Florida didn’t need to be at full strength to win their opener.
They might soon enough. And while they won’t be completely this week, they’ll be much closer.
The Gators will get two starters back this week against East Carolina in defensive lineman Alex McCalister and safety Marcus Maye, as Jim McElwain has lifted their suspensions for violating team rules. Wide receiver LaTroy Pittman remains suspended.
McCalister played sparingly in 2013 as a freshman, but saw an increased role last year in which he recorded eight sacks and forced a fumble. Maye has an interception to his name and made 62 tackles last year and intercepted a pass. Both will make their 2014 debuts against a significantly better team than the New Mexico State team the Gators clobbered last week in ECU.
As for Pittman, well, things don’t look as good for him. He’s been suspended twice before (both under Will Muschamp) for a total of four games, and McElwain apparently remains displeased by him, saying that, “He’s still got a little time to go and, again, it’s about earning your way back, doing what’s right every single day.” Then again, Florida needs him far less than they do McCalister and Maye given the fact that Pittman was low on the depth chart to begin with.
So, good for McCalister and Maye for doing what they needed to do to get back on the field. And best of luck to Pittman in getting back in McElwain’s good graces so that he can be reinstated.