Mail Jim McElwain got his coaching tenure with the Florida Gators off on the right foot last week. He still has to prove that UF will continually take down the teams they are designed to look after, and he’ll have another shot to complete just that against the East Carolina Pirates this Saturday.
East Carolina was only a 6.5-point underdog last year when these two teams met at the Birmingham Bowl, but this is a far different team and a much different situation. The Pirates are now catching 20 after opening just +15, a huge five-point jump in an exceedingly short 36 hour window because the betting lines opened up.
Give the Gators most of the grief you need about their 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern two seasons ago. Since that time, they have killed all their foes which they’ve been huge favorites against, beating up the likes of Eastern Michigan, Eastern Kentucky and lately, New Mexico State.
All of those wins came by at least 49 points, and all three games were covered as well.
The Gators aren’t quite SEC contenders yet, but they are definitely trending in the right direction with McElwain calling the shots.
Yes, UF hasn’t really decided on a quarterback yet between Will Grier and Treon Harris, but both looked amazing last week against New Mexico State. If these two will look anywhere near as good this week against East Carolina, the Pirates are likely to be in a lot of trouble.
If you merely took the names off of the front of the jerseys and just looked at the trunk, you’d realize that every one of the men that made the Eadt Carolina team from last season’s formidable squad are gone, the most crucial of which was quarterback Shane Carden.
We aren’t Birmingham anymore. ECU is lucky if it gets half the 536 yards it did in last year’s bowl game against the Gators.