Florida Gators football: The opening of the mailbag for week two

This week’s Florida Gators football mailbag is overflowing with questions so we won’t get cute with the intro. Here are your questions and our answers.

MrGator: If the QBs continue to match up statistically after ECU and/or Kentucky, how do you think Mac will ultimately decide on a starter?

Jim McElwain really wants one of these two guys to make the decision for him on the field but with two cupcake opponents to start the season I expect both Treon Harris and Will Grier to shine again this week. That means it’s likely that both quarterbacks will play against Kentucky and, even though McElwain didn’t dismiss the notion that both quarterbacks could play all season, I think he ends up having to bite the bullet and pick one before Tennessee.


OaktownGator: Do we expect Ivey back, and what are the expected OL changes with Ivey back in the line up?

We do not expect Ivey back this week but when he does return he will likely be put into the starting five at either of the tackle spots, moving Mason Halter inside to right guard. McElwain said the Gators will continue to rotate offensive linemen throughout the season.


Gatorstuckey: I expected more pressure from our D-line against NMSU. What can we expect against ECU in terms of QB pressure?
New Mexico State actually had a very good offensive line. They returned four of five starters from a line that only have up nine sacks a year ago. I think we saw a very vanilla defense last Saturday.

As far as pressuring ECU, I don’t know how much Florida will be able to get to the quarterback against the Pirates. ECU’s offensive scheme uses a lot of quick passes to the flats and on slants. The quarterback gets the ball out quickly making it hard to get a ton of pressure.


Mr-BGator: Are Jabari Zuniga and Keivonnis Davis going to play this year?

McElwain denies that any decisions have been made as far as who will redshirt, but I would be surprised to see either of them this season, to be honest.


14serenoa: Ok, word is the loser of our QB competition might transfer after 2015…Might Del Rio or Gornto develop into a #2 or better QB for 2016?

Luke Del Rio will be eligible next season and I would expect that he would slide into the backup role if one of the two quarterbacks who are battling for the starting job this year decide to transfer after the season. Walk-on Quint Gornto has a long way to go and I don’t see him being a contender for playing time in 2016.


Hgators: Because our running backs are obviously going to be able to produce some yardage and touchdowns for us will this take so pressure off of Will or Treon? And how much of an impact do you think this running game is going to have this year?

The Gators have some serious talent in the backfield with the Jordan’s and Kelvin Taylor. You can’t be on dimensional on offense but having that kind of backfield will definitely help out the quarterbacks.

I think the Gators will lean on the running game when they get into conference play. Florida’s offensive linemen are much better run blockers than pass blockers at this point of the season and a strong running game, coupled with the defense will keep Florida competitive against SEC opponents.


Gator_nica: Does the Gators trip to Lexington still scare you or are you feeling much better about a win?

 I wouldn’t say worried, just that I’m not sleeping on Kentucky. Florida is playing a lot of freshmen and redshirt freshmen. This will be their first road game and I’m looking forward to seeing how they respond to a conference game on the road. Spoiler alert: I won’t be picking Kentucky to win the game next week.

Supagator: Is Mr. Taylor going to be okay splitting so many carries with the Jordans?

It’s not Kelvin’s call to make. I think everyone will be happy as long as Florida keeps winning.

Sierra22: I think the offensive line will grow mentally and get better each week. I am however concerned about the center position more than any other. What is your take and what do you see moving forward with the line and the center position ?

Florida is sticking with Cam Dillard and Tyler Jordan at center. Trip Thurman would be the third guy on that list and then Mason Halter has repped at center. I think N.C. State transfer T.J. McCoy needs to redshirt this year, he’s a true center on the roster.

That being said, if the snapping issues continue, McElwain will have to make a move.

OL2ange:Do you think that Marcel Harris is going to see increased playing time under Mac? I noticed that Mac had some nice things to say about him.

Well, he started and played a ton last week, which is more than he’s played in the last two season. Unfortunately for Harris, Marcus Maye is back this week and Keanu Neal will either play this week against ECU or return next week for Kentucky.

Harris will continue to play on special teams. The coaching staff loves how hard he plays on special teams and the way he hits, he’s a guy would could force a fumble at any time.

UFadam: Would you agree that our offense is seeing the 2nd to 3rd best defensive front they will see all year everyday in practice? If so, don’t you think this will mature the offensive line fairly quickly?

Yeah, Florida’s defensive front is definitely one of the best in the SEC but that’s been the case for years now and it hasn’t seemed to help the offensive line much before.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC