Gators will play both quarterbacks vs. ECU

After both quarterbacks played well in Saturday’s season opener against New Mexico State, there’s no change in the competition for the full-time starting job.

Will Grier and Treon Harris will both play when the Gators host East Carolina on Saturday at 7 p.m. The plan is not set for how either quarterback will be used, but coach Jim McElwain said he would share it with the media after practice on Wednesday.

“It’s something we’ve talked about,” McElwain said. “I think both guys played well, both guys had mistakes. Here’s the good thing -- they’re all correctable mistakes, they’re not fatal flaws, and both guys do a good job, both guys moved the team. We’ll play both like we did next week as far as how we’ll do it. I’m sure it will be similar. For the most part, both guys did a heck of a job.”

Harris got the start on Saturday, and after completing his first eight passes, finished the game 14-19 for 215 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions with five rushes for 23 yards. He played the first quarter and gave way to Grier for the first complete drive of the second quarter.

Grier ended the game 16-18 for 166 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The redshirt freshman added four rushes for 44 yards and one touchdown while also losing a fumble.

Harris showed more elusiveness and the ability to keep plays alive with his legs. Grier wasn’t used as much outside of the pocket, but he would’ve completed 17 of 18 passes if not for a key drop by Ahmad Fulwood during the two-minute drill before halftime.

“I thought both quarterbacks had moments that were really good,” McElwain said. “I thought Treon showed some escapability 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, and what I mean by that is we gave up a score and we answered. What that shows me is a little bit of resolve. We overcame some negative plays.”

McElwain was especially impressed with his quarterbacks spreading the ball around. There were 14 different Florida players that caught passes on Saturday, showing that Grier and Harris were willing to go through their progressions and throw it to the open receiver.

“I think that’s a credit to both quarterbacks taking what the defense gives them,” McElwain said. “Not just looking for one guy to throw it to them, and I think it showed a maturation in both of those guys’ cases going through their read progressions getting it where it needs to go. There’s some really good things to build on.”

INJURY REPORT: The Gators escaped the season opener without any serious injuries. All eyes are on offensive lineman Martez Ivey (knee scope) and safety Keanu Neal (leg), who both missed Saturday’s opener with injuries.

McElwain said he would give an update on both after Wednesday’s practice, but he is “hopeful” they can get both on the field against East Carolina.


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