The Gators will start redshirt freshman Will Grier on Saturday in their Southeastern Conference opener at Kentucky, the school announced on Thursday. It will be his second consecutive start after getting the nod against East Carolina last weekend.
Florida coach Jim McElwain said earlier this week that regardless of who got the start, both Grier and Treon Harris would play. However, if one of the quarterbacks shows a “hot hand” at Kentucky, the staff would be more willing to stick with him.
“That’s what we’d like to get to,” McElwain said Wednesday. “If a guy’s hitting threes, (he’ll stay in). At the same time, it’s not going to be one of those deals where a guy makes a bad throw and then you’re (out). I don’t believe in that either. If a guy’s hitting it and distributing it and has a good stroke, then we’ll go with it.”
Grier went 10-17 for 151 yards, two touchdowns and one interception last week against East Carolina. Harris went 5-8 for 54 yards. On the season, Grier is 26-35 through the air for 317 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Harris is 19-27 for 269 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
The key for Grier is taking care of the football. He has fumbled twice in the first two games of the season and opposing defenses have dropped potential interceptions. Harris hasn’t fumbled or thrown an interception, but he does have the lower completion percentage.
While rotating quarterbacks during the first two games, the Florida coaching staff has given the starter the first quarter and brought the backup in during the early minutes of the second quarter.
McElwain said on Wednesday there is no timeline on the quarterback competition. They will make a final decision whenever one quarterback emerges, but if that doesn’t happen, they are comfortable playing both quarterbacks while they wait.