As we have been following for months now, the “Bitcoin Bowl” is now upon us. It will pit the NC State Wolfpack against the UCF (The University of Central Florida) Knights this Friday at 8PM Eastern on ESPN. Here we provide you with some information on the teams and how they match up going into the Bitcoin Bowl.
Less than a year removed from its Fiesta Bowl triumph, the Knights are looking for their fourth straight postseason win while the Wolf Pack are back in a bowl game a season after going winless in ACC play. It’s been quite the run for UCF (9-3) under head coach George O’Leary. A win over NC State would give the Knights their fourth 10-win season over the past five. Although it didn’t come with another prime bowl invite, UCF did defend its American Athletic Conference title, finishing 7-1 and claiming a share of the crown.
“I’m just looking to see what kids have progressed and what they need work on, just let the coaches get a chance to look at them and get some work with them,” O’Leary said. “They understand this is a work week. We only have one practice in Tampa.”
NC State vs. UCF Bitcoin Bowl
The Knights are still reveling in last season’s 52-42 win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl and have won their past three postseason games overall. This also will be their third appearance in the St. Petersburg Bowl. UCF lost to Rutgers in the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl and beat Ball State in the ‘12 edition.
On the other side, Dave Doeren has NC State (7-5) back in a bowl game after more than doubling his win total from his 3-9 debut season in Raleigh. The Wolfpack went 0-8 in the ACC last season and got off to another tough start this fall with four straight losses. But they turned things around late, winning three of their last four including a 35-7 thumping of rival North Carolina in Chapel Hill. NC State’s last postseason appearance came in 2012 when the Wolfpack lost to Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl. That game was played in the Commodores’ hometown of Nashville, Tenn. while this game in St. Petersburg, Fla., is just down the road from Orlando, UCF’s home.
This will be the third matchup between these two programs, with each winning on the other’s home field. The first meeting between the schools since Sept. 11, 2010, when Seattle Seahawks QB and Super Bowl Champion Russell Wilson guided the Wolfpack to a 28-21 road win.
With the Bitcoin Bowl in St.Petersburg, Bitcoin has gained access to ESPN’s network, estimated to be approximately 100 million households. BitPay has also convinced the Bitcoin Bowl organizers to make game tickets available for purchase in Bitcoin. The winning team’s university can elect, should they so choose, to be paid a $500,000 winner’s prize in bitcoins. The four-year Bitcoin Bowl deal is the first contract between a Bitcoin company, BitPay, and a major TV network.
Kickoff: Friday, Dec. 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Spread: UCF -2
Who do you think will win? Share above and comment below
Photos provided by Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, and Shutterstock.