The last time the Gators were in this situation, heading into a bowl game with an interim head coach, it turned out to be a disaster. And everyone could see it coming. The assistant coaches seemed indifferent and more concerned about their next job than their current one. The players didn’t seem to care, either. Even the fans seemed disinterested.
The result was predictable: Charlie Strong and the Gators were spanked by the Miami Hurricanes 27-10 in the 2004 Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta.
Will the Gators suffer a similar fate in the Birmingham Bowl against an East Carolina team that does care and will be highly motivated?
I don’t think so.
This team never played all that great for Will Muschamp (that’s why he’s no longer here), but his players always seemed to keep their focus and put in the work to get themselves prepared for games. Being around the players this week in Birmingham, it’s pretty evident that the Gators’ approach has not changed despite all the potential distractions.
Florida is a better team than East Carolina. If the Gators are ready to play, they will win the game.
They’ll be ready.
Prediction: Florida 28, East Carolina 27.