On January 3, the Florida Gators (6-5) will take on the East Carolina Pirates (8-4) at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. Florida had a mediocre season this year, but can thank a tough SEC conference that attributed to four of their five losses. The Gators will look to avoid a loss to against a non-power conference opponents in East Carolina who have a great passing game and have beaten some solid teams by simply outscoring them.
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Currently, 2015 Birmingham Bowl tickets have a current average price of $139.05 on the secondary market, up 70.8 percent compared to the previous bowl game then known as the BBVA Compass Bowl as tickets for the Vanderbilt vs Houston matchup had an average price of $81.40. The get-in price for next month’s bowl game is $81 as tickets are now up 31 percent over the past week. That makes this game easily the most expensive Birmingham Bowl over the past four seasons.
|Year||Match-up||Avg Price||Get-in Price|
|2012||SMU vs Pitt||$48.00||$20|
|2013||Ole Miss vs Pitt||$132.28||$107|
|2014||Vanderbilt vs Houston||$81.40||$36|
|2015||Florida vs East Carolina||$139.05||$81|
One of the main problems the Gators had this year is their passing game, averaging only 180.7 yards through the air ranking almost last in the SEC Conference and 107th nationally, but the Gators have been playing solid defense all year ranking in the top 4 of the SEC in both passing, rushing defense, and rank ninth overall in total defense giving up 311.0 yards per game.
Florida’s freshman quarterback Treon Harris will look to be more accurate this game as he’s only completing 50% of his passes as the Gators truly lack a playmaker at quarterback. Harris will have to play better if the Gators want to keep up with East Carolina.
The Pirates have a pretty good offense considering they rank number 2 in the nation in passing, averaging 366.8 yards per game, while averaging 37.2 points per game which is good for top 20 in the nation. ECU has shown throughout the season that if they get a lead, they have the ability to hold on to it as they have outscored their opponents 151-57 in the fourth quarter this season and have not given up a single halftime lead in 2014.
It will be interesting to see if ECU’s offense can have success against the Gators as Florida has a very good defense ranked in the top 25 in the nation giving up only 21.2 points per game. ECU has had field days against weak defensive teams but have shown the ability to score against very good defensive teams in what should be a good matchup between the Gators and Pirates.