Florida coach Jim McElwain said on Monday that he expects “probably both guys playing” when the Gators open Southeastern Conference play at Kentucky on Saturday. Sophomore Treon Harris started the season opener but Will Grier started on Saturday against East Carolina.
“We stayed up all last night and reevaluated everything we did again,” McElwain said. “Not sure we’re ready to say. I foresee right now probably both guys playing. Both had good things, both had things we need to work on. But then again, I look at it as they weren’t fatal flaws. They weren’t just some of those real scratch-your-head deals as much.”
Grier has completed 74.3 percent (26-35) of his passes for 317 yards, four touchdowns and one interception while adding seven rushes for 53 yards and one touchdown. Harris has completed 70.4 percent (19-27) of his passes for 269 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions with eight rushes for 59 yards.
They’ve both had their strong moments. Harris started the season opener by completing his first eight passes and looked locked in. Grier did the same in the first quarter against East Carolina, but he sputtered in the second half on Saturday when he had a chance to run away with the job.
“I thought they both (had chances to secure the job),” McElwain said. “Treon had an opportunity there when we came into the red area (in the first half). For whatever reason, kind of sputtered a little bit. Coming out after half, there were a couple of throws that Will made that I think Bob Eueker would have had fun with. I don’t quite have an answer for that. They were at least pointed in the right direction.”
DEPTH CHART CHANGES
Florida released its updated depth chart on Monday with a few changes. Running back Kelvin Taylor was moved to third team because of his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty while “Jordan Scarlett or Jordan Cronkrite” was listed as the starter. Taylor leads the Gators with 109 rushing yards, but Cronkrite has 71 yards and Scarlett has 58. Of the trio, Cronkrite’s 5.1 yards per carry is the highest.
“I thought he did a really good job and Scarlett did a couple of good things too, we just have to understand that ball security is one of the most important things that we do,” McElwain said. “(Cronkrite) did a heckuva job.”
Joey Ivie also had an unsportsmanlike for celebration, but he remained as the first team nose tackle.
Demarcus Robinson moved up to the second team behind Ahmad Fulwood. Keanu Neal is back as a starter at safety alongside Marcus Maye. If Alex Anzalone (shoulder) can’t play, Jeremi Powell would start for him at the SAM linebacker position.
After being moved to the third team last week, Demarcus Robinson bounced back with a team-high five catches, going for 55 yards and one touchdown. Instead of sulking, Robinson worked hard during the last week and took advantage of his opportunities on the field.
"I thought he played consistently and played with some speed and tempo,” McElwain said. “You've just got to learn from what we do or what we all do. It speaks I think for D-Rob's kind of coming back. I thought he played pretty good. He did his job, which I was really glad to see."
LEANING ON DAVIS
If Anzalone can’t go on Saturday, the Gators will lean heavily on junior Jarrad Davis. Florida has played mostly with two linebackers on the field this year, and Antonio Morrison has been one of them. Anzalone was the other to start the year, but with his shoulder injury against East Carolina, Davis took off to lead the team with 12 tackles and added 2.5 tackles for a loss.
“He played a ton,” McElwain said. “He played on every special team. He’s a guy that we knew was very important to this team based on how hard the guy plays, how hard he studies. I think his play really showed up.”