The Treon Harris era at the University of Florida will begin in earnest when the Florida Gators travel to Jacksonville to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
Will Muschamp announced on the SEC teleconference that Harris will be the starting quarterback and answered affirmatively when asked if the game was completely the freshman quarterbacks.
“Treon Harris will start the Georgia game,” Muschamp said. “He’s getting all the reps [in practice].”
The decision to start Harris over incumbent starter Jeff Driskel has not been an easy one for the head coach. Following a game against LSU where Driskel threw two interceptions and fumbled, Florida announced a “two-quarterback” system for the homecoming game against Missouri.
Driskel started, threw two interceptions and posted a season-low 37.9 quarterback rating in a humiliating 42-13 loss. Harris did play but didn’t get into the game until Florida was down 14-0 and had the ball on their own ten-yard line. The two-quarterback system was flawed, substituting quarterbacks only after one was unsuccessful or ineffective. Rinse and repeat.
The Gators typically use an idle week to work on themselves. They watch film and rather than having to gameplan for an opponent, are able to work on getting better at what they do offensively, defensively and on special teams. This time is benefitting Harris to better grasp more of the playbook and give the coaching staff confidence in him.
“He’s got a much better understanding as we continue to move forward. We’ve got an open week now where he’s getting a bunch of reps,” Muschamp said.
Although naming Harris the starter and saying that the freshman was getting all the first team reps in practice, Muschamp did say that Jeff Driskel would have a role against Georgia and moving forward but he was vague in what exactly Driskel’s role would be, saying simply, “Jeff’s still going to have a role on our football team as a quarterback. Right now we feel like that was the best move moving forward.”
Harris may not be the savior for the Florida Gators as they sit at 3-3 on the season. Florida’s goals have largely shifted from going to the SEC Championship game to simply making a bowl appearance this season.
We don’t know if Harris will resurrect a miraculous comeback in Gainesville but we do know that Driskel wasn’t going to be able to do it himself.
The move was made reluctantly. It should have been made at least two weeks ago but the time has come in Gainesville.
It’s Treon time.