In a year filled with uncertainty, the No. 14/16-ranked BYU football team decided to jump quickly to get its bowl game in.

The Cougars announced Monday morning that they had officially accepted an invitation to the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl to face Central Florida. The game is slated to take place at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida, on Dec. 22 at 5 p.m. MT and will be televised on ESPN.

“Our team is excited for the challenge and opportunity to face UCF in the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said in the press release announcing the game. “UCF is a well-coached team and top-tier football program that’s had a lot of success. In a season where we’ve learned that we can’t take playing this game for granted, we’re really thankful for the chance to go to Florida and play one more time with our group. We are looking forward to the bowl matchup with UCF and also really like the timing of this game, which will allow our players to spend the holidays with their families, after a great season together.”

The Knights, who finished at 6-3 with narrow losses to No. 6-ranked Cincinnati (36-33), No. 20-ranked Tulsa (34-26) and at Memphis (50-49), expressed their excitement to be matched up against the Cougars.

“BYU plays complementary football, in terms of offense, defense and special teams, as well as any team in the country,” UCF head coach Josh Heupel said in a press release. “This will be a tremendous challenge for our football team—and certainly one our players are excited about.”

According to the BYU press release, “tickets for the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl are expected to be available soon. With COVID-19 protocols in place in the 30,000-seat stadium, the game has been approved for 6,000 fans at 20% stadium capacity.”

The two teams have one common opponent as they each won in similar fashion at Houston. The blue-uniformed Cougars came from behind to beat the red-uniformed Cougars, 43-26, on Oct. 16, while UCF defeated Houston, 44-21, on Oct. 31.

BYU had talked about the possibility of adding another regular season game on Dec. 19 but had said it would depend on the bowl situation. A number of bowl games have already announced that they will not be playing this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning there are fewer postseason opportunities this year.

The Cougars and Knights have played twice with BYU winning, 24-17, in Provo in 2011 and losing, 31-24 in overtime, in Orlando in 2014.

This is another chance for the Cougars to end their losing streak in the state of Florida, having never won when visiting the Sunshine State. In addition to the loss at UCF, BYU has lost three times to Florida State, once at Miami and in three bowl games. The most recent was a 55-48 overtime loss to Memphis in the 2014 Miami Beach Bowl.

Daily Herald sports reporter Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or jlloyd@heraldextra.com. Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

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