Florida coach Jim McElwain insists the quarterback competition is not over after Will Grier played the entire game at Kentucky on Saturday. The redshirt freshman earned the start and went 13-22 for 125 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in Florida’s 14-9 win over the Wildcats. Grier added 61 rushing yards and one touchdown with his legs.
However, McElwain said there were still times that the staff could have gone to Treon Harris.
“Will went the whole game and don’t read anything into that as far as how this goes this week,” McElwain said. “We’ll decide as we move forward, and that’s something we’ll talk about as we go. I wouldn’t look into that more than we were kind of in the flow there a little bit.
“We just felt like in the last game we had some opportunities where maybe we should have put (Harris) in. We kind of get a feel for it and that’s what we talked about. There are some things we’ve really got to work on that position.”
The game film showed some bad decisions from Grier. He had 12 rushing attempts, most of them coming when he didn’t see a receiver open and tucked the ball to run. McElwain said he left multiple plays on the field and missed open receivers because he was too eager to run the football.
“He made some big plays with his feet, using his feet as a check down,” McElwain said. “Sometimes what happens to you is you like, ‘Hey, this is cool, man, I’ll just drop back, look for a hole and run.’ (He) left some plays on the field.”
There were some positive throws, as Grier hit Antonio Callaway for a 34-yard reception down the field in the first half. He was able to make plays with his feet and led drives that ran time off the clock late in the game. However, he still missed open throws and threw a crucial interception in the red zone that could have pushed Florida’s lead to 21-3.
Grier also fumbled on one of his runs but was able to recover it and avoid disaster.
“Just OK,” McElwain said of Grier’s play. “(He) does a great job on the first touchdown not forcing a pass that isn't there and going and creating a play. Then he throws one against zone where he (should have) just given it to a lucky fan, but those are things you learn from and good thing it didn’t come back to bite us.”
Florida tight end C’yontai Lewis suffered a hand injury in practice last week and didn’t travel to Lexington. McElwain didn’t have an update on his status but said it’s “more so the size of the cast” he will have to wear.
Linebacker Alex Anzalone (shoulder) won’t play on Saturday against Tennessee.
“I think that’s one that we’re going to have to look at for a while,” McElwain said.
Linebacker Jeremi Powell is out for Saturday with a foot injury suffered at Kentucky. Receiver Chris Thompson should return from a back injury suffered in Lexington. Defensive end Jordan Sherit (foot) will play against Tennessee.
Linebacker Matt Rolin will return to practice on Monday.