Florida considers flipping Grier, Harris in QB rotation
Sep. 07, 2015
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida coach Jim McElwain is considering flipping his quarterback rotation this week.
McElwain said Monday that starting redshirt freshman Will Grier and bringing sophomore Treon Harris off the bench is "something we talked about" as the Gators (1-0) prepare for East Carolina (1-0).
Harris and Grier were nearly flawless in the season opener, a 61-13 victory against overmatched New Mexico State.
Harris started the game and completed 14 of 19 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Grier finished 16-of-18 passing for 166 yards and two scores. Grier added 43 yards rushing and a touchdown, but also fumbled.
"I think both guys played well, both guys had mistakes," McElwain said. "But that's part of playing, that's part of learning. ... We'll kind of look at that and I'll let you know. But we'll play both like we did last week. I'm sure it will be similar."
Harris played three series before turning things over to Grier, who got the next six series during the second and third quarters. Harris came back in for three more series.
Harris led the Gators to four touchdowns and a field goal in six series. Grier's six drives ended with four touchdowns and a field goal. He also completed his final 12 passes.
"I thought both quarterbacks had moments that were really good," McElwain said. "I thought Treon showed some escape-ability and created big plays down the field, extended plays. I think that's a real positive. I thought what Will did was come in with that two-minute drive right there before half, which actually was really big — we gave up a score and we answered — and what that shows me is a little bit of resolve."
Neither quarterback was made available to reporters after the game, but McElwain said he doesn't anticipate that being a season-long policy.
"I haven't really thought about it that much," he said. "Right now focused on themselves and this football team."
Aside from the quarterbacks, here are some other nuggets from McElwain's weekly news conference:
ROBINSON DEMOTED: Receiver Demarcus Robinson did something wrong, whether it was on or off the field. The Gators demoted Robinson from starter to third-teamer on the official depth chart released Monday. Robinson caught six passes for 34 yards in the opener, but clearly did something McElwain didn't like. The coach declined to provide specifics on Robinson's situation.
"At the end of the day, it's about doing what's right and really what you put on film," McElwain said.
VERSATILE HARGREAVES: All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III showed his versatility in the opener. Not only did Hargreaves have an impressive interception that he returned 43 yards to set up a touchdown, the junior also returned a punt for 11 yards and notched his first career reception, a 6-yard gain in the second quarter. But Hargreaves fumbled at the end of the play.
"There are some things we do with him that I'm not sure are game-ready," McElwain said. "It's all about those things being game-ready to use them. Hopefully, they're successful. Now, his ball security? That's something he needs to work on. The ball came loose on the sideline. Unacceptable."
DAWSON BENCHED: McElwain confirmed that sophomore safety Duke Dawson was benched for the first half after showing up late to a meeting last week.
"It was his choice," McElwain said. "I mean, right? We all have choices, right? That's the case in everything that you do. Nothing against him, he's a good player. He'll play and did play, right?"
INJURY UPDATE: After sitting out the opener, starting safety Keanu Neal (leg) and highly touted freshman left tackle Martez Ivey (knee) could get on the field against East Carolina. Both were hurt during training camp.
"We're hopeful they can get in and help us this week as we move forward," McElwain said.