Two for Tuesday: Florida football opponent previews – Idaho and Eastern Michigan

By Mike Brandes – OnlyGators.com Contributor

Florida Gators football opens in 2014 reclamation project season with a pair of non-conference home games as has been tradition for the program in the recent past.

Florida kicks things off against the Idaho Vandals under the lights at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in a contest that will air live on ESPNU.

There is perhaps no better opponent for the Gators to face coming off the program’s worst season since 1979. The Vandals went 1-11 in head coach Paul Petrino’s inaugural campaign with their sole win coming on homecoming, 26-24 over Temple.

Head-to-Head

FLORIDA GATORS IDAHO VANDALS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp (Year: 4) Head Coach: Paul Petrino (Year: 2)
2013 Record: 4-8 (3-5) 2013 Record: 1-11 (N/A)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Sun Belt (2014)
Common Opponent (FSU): 0-1 Common Opponent (FSU): 0-1
Scoring Offense: T-112th (18.8 ppg) Scoring Offense: 115th (18.2 ppg)
Scoring Defense: 15th (21.1 ppg) Scoring Defense: 123rd-last (46.8 ppg)

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Florida opens with two games on SEC Network

The SEC Network on Thursday announced its schedule for the first four weeks of the 2014 season with two of the 16 games set to feature the Florida Gators.

Though a time and network affiliation have not yet been released for Florida’s season-opening contest against Idaho on Saturday, August 30, the Gators will be featured in late games on the SEC Network during both the second and third weeks of the season.

Florida will host the Eastern Michigan Eagles on Saturday, September 6 at 4:00 p.m. and open league play at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, against the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m.

In scheduling the Gators for these later games, the SEC Network has given UF its first post-3:30 p.m. kickoff times in the month of September since 2011, as pointed out by SB Nation blog AlligatorArmy.com. Florida has only started five total regular-season games after 3:30 p.m. over the last two seasons.

Now that ESPN and CBS are the sole holders of all SEC football rights, every Gators game is guaranteed to be broadcast nationally – availability dependent on your cable/satellite provider – in 2014.

Seeing as CBS does not begin broadcasting SEC games until later in the season, Florida’s opener against Idaho will likely be on an ESPN network.

SEC Network is currently only available on AT&T U-Verse, DISH Network and Google Fiber though deals with most major cable/satellite companies are expected.

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