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2016 Cure Bowl, UCF vs. Arkansas State: Date, time, location and everything to know

The new bowl will be in just its second year in 2016.

Photo via Orlando Sentinel

Also, head over here for the fully updated bowl season calendar as it fills in, from the New Orleans Bowl through the Rose Bowl. We’ll also add picks, scores, and more to that calendar over time.

The Cure Bowl made its debut in college football’s postseason last year. It is not a prestigious game, and it’s very much a part of the industrial growth of this sport’s bowls, many of which are not that meaningful.

But, guess what? The Cure Bowl is pretty cool. It’s fun for the players, who get an extra game that counts for something but doesn’t load them with pressure. It’s fun for the the fans, who get to watch the entire spectacle. UCF will face Arkansas State in the 2016 version of the game.

And this bowl, in particular, does something kind of awesome: It donates money to charity. Lots of it. Charity is ostensibly a part of lots of bowl games, even if carried out questionably, but the Cure Bowl’s really, largely about helping people.

This game tries to help find a cure for breast cancer. Here’s its executive director, explaining how this game about:

"I went to a community meeting regarding this bowl, and five ladies came over to me," says Gooch, a former UCF assistant and interim coach. "They say, 'Coach, I know you've got a lot going on, but cancer takes no holiday.' And all five had bandanas on, and no hair, because they were battling cancer for their lives. That pierced my heart. I left that meeting and said that if we made the bowl about that, we got something."

This is fine. It’s not a good bowl game, but it’s a bowl game that is good. That counts for something, and it’s a perfectly fine thing to have in college football.

Here’s what you need to know about the second Cure Bowl, happening this year:

Date and time: Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: CBS Sports Network

Location: Orlando

Stadium: Citrus Bowl Stadium

Last year's score: San Jose State 27, Georgia State 16

Last year's attendance: 18,536

Teams with the most all-time wins: San Jose State, 1

UCF (6-6, 4-4 in American Athletic)

UCF opened 2016 with a new head coach in for the first time in 11 seasons, as former Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost took over as a first-year head coach. Frost’s inaugural season got off to a so-so start, compiling a 4-4 record with losses to Michigan, Maryland, Temple, and Houston, which put them out of American Athletic Conference title contention. However, back-to-back wins over Tulane and CIncinnati got them bowl-eligible.

Although Frost is obviously an offensive-minded head coach given his background, the Knights’ defense has been the more impressive unit during the 2016 season. The Knights do a pretty good job keeping teams hemmed in, and they’re led by linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who’s been an inspiration all season, starting for the Knights while playing with only one hand.

Given the talent level inside the state of Florida, especially near the Central Florida area, Frost has a great opportunity to build a solid recruiting base for as long as he’s in this job. And if he keeps building good things, that might not be for so long.

Arkansas State (7-5, 7-1 in Sun Belt)

For the second year in a row, the Red Wolves started atrociously. And for the second year in a row, they put that behind them to become one of the Sun Belt’s best teams. A last-day win over Texas State clinched a co-championship of the league, along with Appalachian State.

Arkansas State has pretty well perfected the art of rebounding from the slow start. It was 1-3 before an eight-game winning streak to end last year’s regular season, and this year, it went from 0-4 to completely roll through the league again.They’ve established themselves as both a pretty good team and one that we shouldn’t forget about after a dreadful opening month.

Head coach Blake Anderson is known for offense, and that’d been his Red Wolves’ mantra for a while. But Arkansas State declined badly after scoring 40 points per game last year, and the defense emerged as the team’s key asset. There’s no offensive running game to speak of, but the Wolves limit other teams, too, to the point that they can win slugfests.

It’s kind of a hard team to peg. You expect Anderson’s offense to take off any minute, but that hasn’t happened this year, in large part because of an offensive line that’s struggled badly in both run blocking and pass protection. But a defense that was pretty lousy last year isn’t any longer, and the Red Wolves are one of the Group of 5’s better teams, again, despite doing it differently than before.