College Football Bowl Predictions Part III (New Year’s Day and Beyond): Auburn-Wisconsin, Kansas State-UCLA, and More

8 of 9

Nov 22, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators wide receiver Michael McNeely (31) is congratulated by quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) after he scored a touchdown against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Eastern Kentucky Colonels 52-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Birmingham Bowl- Birmingham, Ala.

East Carolina Pirates vs. Florida Gators

Line: Florida by 7

Saturday Blitz Vegas Bowl Prediction: Florida Wins 20-17

The Florida Gators are in lots of turmoil right now as they bring in a new coach and have a lame duck in D.J. Durkin as head coach in this bowl game. But their defense is so darn good and opportunistic that they should be able to shut down the high-powered East Carolina Pirates offense. ECU hasn’t really played a decent defense all year, and now they are playing a dominant defense. Shane Carden will be rendered useless in that system.

Although Florida can’t move the ball really well, they will still be able to do enough against a very weak East Carolina defense to hold onto a victory. But it will be the defense that is the story of this game. The Gators will force multiple turnovers, including at least two Carden interceptions, to preserve a close win.

This is nothing really to brag about for the SEC since East Carolina is nowhere near the top of even the lowly American Athletic Conference, but it’s still a win nonetheless. And the Gators will nod to the end of this disastrous era in style with a very close win.

Then the Jim McElwain era can officially begin.

Next: GoDaddy Bowl Prediction: Toledo vs. Arkansas State