Florida Gators to play East Carolina Pirates in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl

By Adam Silverstein
December 7, 2014

Bowl-eligible after missing the postseason in 2013, the Florida Gators (6-5) on Sunday officially earned a berth to the 2015 Birmingham Bowl, where they will take on the East Carolina Pirates (8-4) on Saturday, January 3 at 12 p.m. ET.

Florida and East Carolina will play at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The game will be televised on ESPN.

It marks the first time the Gators will play in the Birmingham Bowl, which was established in 2006 and is owned and operated by ESPN.

As it turns out, UF and ECU are also scheduled to square off in each team’s second game of the 2015 season as Florida will host East Carolina on Sept. 12, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. The teams will play each other twice in 253 days.

Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin will serve as the Gators’ interim coach during the Birmingham Bowl, the second time Florida’s had an interim coach for a bowl game in the last seven years.

“We’re very excited to be heading to the Birmingham Bowl,” Durkin said in a school release. “Our guys are ready to get back on the field to begin preparation to face a very good ECU team.”

UF is 20-20 all-time in bowl games, 7-6 this century.

OnlyGators.com will update this story shortly.


  1. DJ Chemist says:

    Offers us a change to get familiar with a 2015 OOC opponent. Not all bad

  2. Oldflyer says:

    It is funny how this is worded recently; “for the first time since 2012”, which makes it sound like it has been a long time since the Gators were in a bowl.

    Who would guess that they were in the Sugar Bowl on 1/2/2013?

    Yep. They did miss a year after the 2013 season; a very strange and anomalous year.

    • Michael J. says:

      How strange was 2013? UF was, possibly, a kindly referee away from being 4-7, due to not calling the clock expired, when it clearly had. Since the departure of Tebow, the anomaly was 2102, not 2013.

  3. Aligator says:

    Maybe with Roper getting to call the offense he wants and Durkin calling the defense, we may just win this one! I know we have better talent!

    • Michael J. says:

      Are you sure? UF has only one first team All-SEC player. It might be the case that UF doesn’t have a talented team, the results, 6-5, don’t give any evidence of UF being very talented.

      • senuod says:

        You are a trip and only here to antagonize. Any person who enjoys football can see the talent on this defense. Vernon, Dante, Poole, Tabor, etc.

        The stats AND the analysts prove it. We may not have all of the best defensive players in our conference but our sum defense is greater than its parts.

        • Michael J. says:

          That’s the problem with your thinking. Stats and analysts don’t win games. As seen in the losses this year, the defense couldn’t stop teams well enough to win, and that’s why you play, not to compile stats.

          • senuod says:

            No. Your problem is you pick and choose what to criticize on a given day. You need a balanced team to win consistently in this era. We had a good defense and a usually mediocre offense. We lost the majority of our games due to offense. You know this. You’re just looking for things to troll about.

            You were trolling about our defense players not being good. The proof is against you on that.

            • Michael J. says:

              A great defense stops a team from going 34 yards in 39 seconds. A great defense at least shows some fight and doesn’t lay down in overtime. That’s what happened against South Carolina, and there’s no need to recount the constant failure of the defense the past two years. I’m not saying the UF defense isn’t good, but it’s not close to being a great defense and is not blameless. The offense improved this year, they averaged 30 points a game, yet the defense almost always faltered when the game was on the line. People blame Westbrook for LSU, but the defense is too blame for giving up a long pass to a team that throws the ball about as well as UF, which means they can’t throw the ball at all. UF’s defense looks great statistically, but I’ll take the FSU defense, that is statistically worse, every day of the week, including Sunday. They stop people when it’s needed to win a game, that’s why you play, not to compile stats.

  4. Are you kidding me? The Birmingham Bowl? A long way to get there.

  5. DJ Chemist says:

    Mark Long ‏@APMarkLong
    Wonder if bowl game in Birmingham helps Gators scoop up any UAB players looking to transfer


    • It would be smart by Florida. There are some talented kids there, and Florida badly needs offensive linemen.

      • Tractorr says:

        They do have a bunch of big rising Senior OL two of which are two year starters. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to those guys because worst case scenario you have a bit of added depth and it costs a roster spot or two for a single year.

      • Tractorr says:

        I was reading up on UAB and their offensive line was considered the strength of their team. We should really be trying to grab some of those guys. If we have some injuries on the line they could be invaluable.

  6. Luke says:

    These boys will feel like they truly went from the bottom to the top when we get to a major bowl and playoff in 3 yrs.

  7. Aligator says:

    That would be smart if they could pick up several of their linemen. I mean any of them with starting exp. could be helpful for us next year.

  8. Conky3000 says:

    With the old orange bowl stadium gone, is legion field now the most decrepit stadium in the country?

  9. Steven says:

    Really disappointed in this considering we easily could have been matched up against Miami, West Virginia, or Texas.

    • Steven says:

      Florida-Miami in Shreveport
      aTm-Texas in Houston
      Arky-WVU in Memphis
      USC-ECU in Birmingham

      This makes too much sense. I don’t get why it didn’t happen.

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