Harris' knowledge of the offense hurt what the Gators were able to do against Missouri. For all of his shortcomings, Jeff Driskel knows how to get the team lined up and can change protections at the line of scrimmage. Harris isn’t able to do that as much simply because he hasn’t been on campus for as long.
But after the debacle against Missouri, the Gators didn’t have a choice but to make the change.
The bye week was spent giving implementing parts of the offense that Harris excels in. Florida coach Will Muschamp wouldn’t specify which parts of the offense they’d change with Harris under center, but they want to make life easier on the freshman making his first career start.
“We’ve struggled with our identity, but more than anything, when you have 15 turnovers in four games, it’s a struggle to get anything going offensively. (Harris) has a knack for making plays and is calm, cool and collected about himself and how he carries himself.
“We identified some things he feels comfortable with as we continue to move forward offensively. You couldn’t tell a difference whether he was starting or fifth team. That’s just his mentality and the way he carries him. He’s a very calm, cool young man.”
The decision to make a change came down to turnovers. Driskel has thrown 10 interceptions in 183 attempts while losing two fumbles. In his last three starts, Driskel is 32-67 for 292 yards, one touchdown and seven interceptions. The two lost fumbles have also come in that time period.
The turnovers kept Florida out of even having a chance against Missouri. They also killed hope of a win against LSU, a game the Gators were in and could have won.
“It demoralizes the team,” Florida center Max Garcia said. “It’s on us to take care of the football and respect the football. If we come out (of the play) with the football, we’re going to be successful. We’ve turned the ball over way too much and have to grow in that area.
“He has the ability to make plays. He has really good pocket awareness. He makes unbelievable plays in practice. This guy is a special player. I want to see him transition it from the practice field to the games because he can give us the explosive plays we’re looking for.”
Muschamp is leaning on his freshman quarterback to protect the football and give the team a chance against No. 8 Georgia on Saturday.
“We’re continuing to emphasize taking care of the football. You can’t turn it over six times and win. That’s not going to happen.”
Florida and Georgia kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Jacksonville.TAILGATER Wooden Ice Chest Giveaway