January 2015 Birmingham Bowl
- This article is about the January 3, 2015 bowl game during the 2014-2015 college football season. For the December 30, 2015 bowl, see December 2015 Birmingham Bowl.
The contest took place in the rain on Saturday, January 3, 2015 with the Florida Gators (7-5) of the Southeastern Conference defeating the East Carolina Pirates of the American Athletic Conference, 28-20. Florida was coached by defensive coordinator D. J. Durkin after the firing of head coach Will Muschamp and prior to the arrival of incoming head coach Jim McElwain. The announced crowd was 30,083. A group of Free UAB protesters attended the game to publicize their cause.
During the game, East Carolina put up 536 yards of offense, but the Gators defense, led by Dante Fowler and Vernon Hargreaves III, held the Pirates to two touchdowns and two field goals in seven trips inside the 20-yard line. ECU quarterback Shane Carden threw for 427 yards, mostly to senior receiver Justin Hardy (11 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown) and Cam Worthy (8 catches for 130 yards and another score). One of his passes was intercepted by Florida's Brian Poole and returned 29 yards for a Gators touchdown.
The Gators' offense was led by running back Adam Lane who rushed 16 times for 109 yards with one score and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Ahmad Fulwood hauled in an 86-yard Treon Harris pass for a touchdown. The Gators former starting quarterback Jeff Driskel, who had asked to be released from his scholarship before the game, played in relief of Harris after an elbow injury. He completed eight passes for 48 yards and no scores.
A kickoff luncheon on September 25, 2014 featured former Alabama quarterback and SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy. Other speakers included Bowl director Mark Meadows, Bright House executive Robert Smith, and Birmingham-Southern College athletic director Joe Dean, Jr.
The Monday Morning Quarterback Club team luncheon on January 2 featured Auburn Tigers and NFL defensive back Mike Fuller and ESPN analyst Trevor Matich, along with both teams' head coaches and ESPN reporter Laura Rutledge.
That night's Street Fest and Pep Rally was scheduled to be held in the Uptown entertainment district, but was moved indoors to the BJCC East Exhibition Hall due to rain. The event featured performances by both visiting marching bands.
|Site: Legion Field|
|Names: Papajohns.com Bowl (2006-2010), BBVA Compass Bowl (2011-2014), Birmingham Bowl (2015)|
|By year: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, Jan. 2015, Dec. 2015|
- Almond, Mark (January 3, 2014) "Florida 28, East Carolina 20: Gator defense stops relentless ECU offensive attack for Birmingham Bowl win." The Birmingham News
- Wray, Cheryl (January 3, 2014) "Florida's 28-20 win in Birmingham Bowl also pushes the SEC to winning record in postseason." The Birmingham News
- Birmingham Bowl website