clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Birmingham Bowl Recap: Florida Gators vs East Carolina Pirates

New, 1 comment

The East Carolina Pirates and the Florida Gators in Legion Field in the [Sponsor Not Found] Birmingham Bowl.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Early in the game it looked like the East Carolina Pirates were going to be able to give the American Conference a winning bowl season, but after an interception return for a touchdown by Brian Poole evened the game up at 7, the Gators were able to pull away to a 21-7 halftime lead.

The Pirates out gained the Gators by 123 yards in the first half, but were unable to score more due to two turnovers- the Poole interception for a touchdown and later a Shane Carden fumble at the Florida 1-yard-line. The Pirates also had two turnover on downs and missed a 42-yard field goal in the first half.

The Gators were able to put touchdown drives of 68 and 85 yards- almost entirely with the running game. The Gators only had 47 yards passing in the first half. Treon Harris had a passing touchdown to Brandon Powell and Adam Lane rushed for a touchdown.

Florida threw an interception on their first possession of the second half. This allowed ECU to narrow the margin to 21-14 after a Carden to Cam Worthy touchdown pass, but  ECU couldn't stay that close for long as they gave up an 86-yard catch-and-run touchdown to Ahmad Fulwood.

ECU was able to add two Warren Harvey field goals to narrow the score to 28-20 midway through the 4th quarter. After an interesting fumble play the Pirates had a first-and-goal from the Florida 5, but a Vernon Hargreaves interception in the end zone saved the game for Florida.

While each team committed 3 turnovers the major difference in the game was that two of ECU's can in the red zone and the other was returned for a touchdown. With the Florida win the the SEC East  finishes the bowl season an improbable 5-0 and the SEC finishes 7-5. With the loss the American will finish bowl season with a 2-3 record.