Florida Gators: Top Five Must-See Games for 2015

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Oct 4, 2014; Greenville, NC, USA; East Carolina Pirates head coach Ruffin McNeill looks on during the 2nd half against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The East Carolina Pirates defeated the Southern Methodist Mustangs 45-24. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

5. East Carolina vs. Florida

Are you thinking that this early season non-conference game is a waste of a pick? Think again.

First of all, this game is actually a rematch. Florida ended its 2014 season by playing in the Birmingham Bowl against the East Carolina Pirates, and defeated them 28-20. There’s a good chance the Pirates are looking forward to this matchup as a chance to both get revenge and take down a major SEC team while that team’s strength is in question.

Secondly, this may actually be Florida’s first test of the season. Gone are the days when any non-SEC team is automatically assumed to be inferior. East Carolina is very evenly matched with Florida. The Pirates will be starting an inexperienced quarterback with an offense that lost many quality players, but their defense is projected to be just as tough as it was last year when the run defense was ranked 11th in the country. Does this situation sound familiar?

Regardless of which Florida quarterback is tapped to start first, this game will hold tremendous meaning for that position. Very likely, we’ll get to see which quarterback is better able to use his teammates around him. We’ll also get to see which quarterback is a better decision maker, which one causes the turnovers and which prevents them from happening.

If you want a gauge of how Florida’s season is going to go, look no further than here.

Next: Ole Miss