It’s here. A long wait has finally led the Gator Nation to its first game week of the season.
Florida will return to the field Monday night in preparation for Idaho. The Gators will square off against the Vandals Saturday night to kick off a 2014 season many in Gainesville are looking forward to. Will Muschamp spoke with the media Tuesday, four days away from kickoff.
As the Gators enter the season, there has been a lot of interest as to who will be redshirted, especially amongst the freshmen quarterbacks Treon Harris and Will Grier. The team hasn’t made any decisions on redshirting players, due to lack of enough separation to make a decision on whom to sit out, according to Muschamp.
Going into the first game we plan on playing Treon and could change in game two, could change in game three. It’s a long season and both of those guys understand that,” Muschamp said.
Treon Harris, QB2
Treon Harris was listed on the depth chart as the backup to Jeff Driskel. Florida would like to play Harris in the second quarter, but that will depend on the game and situation. Harris’ mobility presents the option to play him in a Wildcat package, though Muschamp spoke about his throwing ability, as well as the possibility for Harris to take hits off Driskel.
Well, we’re going to run our offense. And he runs and has good command of our offense and what we do. So whether it’s from the drop-back passing to running the quarterback run game, which Jeff will do as well, or pocket moving situations, he’s going to run our offense.”
Junior receiver Latroy Pittman has improved greatly with Florida this off season, proving to be a very reliable player in camp. The team has noticed his maturity and dedication to doing things off the field to be successful on it.
It’s not ‘Add water, instant player,’ I know you guys all think that, but sometimes it takes a little bit of time for a guy to really come into his own and I think he’s done some really come into his own and I think he’s done some really nice things as far as going across the middle and catching the ball which you’re going to have to do in the slot and winning in the slot.”
As customary with the start of the season, there is a sense of excitement, but with the Gators it is increased as the team opens up the season at night and with a new offense. The spring and summer practices have been long, hot and hard, and the team is looking forward to ushering in the new season, especially those players playing at Ben Hill for the first time.
Excited to get our guys out there in front of our crowd and our stadium and let them see the work that they’ve put in and the fruits of what they’ve done, in our coaching staff and players alike. Probably will play up to nine true freshmen in this game and there will be about eight to nine redshirt freshmen playing in this game. So close to 20 guys will have their first experience of playing in The Swamp, so that will be fun.”
The running game
While much of the focus this offseason has been on Driskel and the passing game, Florida will have plenty of options in the running game between Kelvin Taylor, Matt Jones and Mack Brown. One player bringing a different dynamic to the team is Brandon Powell.
He gives us certainly a different change up from what the other guys do very well. The other guys are good players. He’s just a different talent, skill set, a opposed to what those other guys bring us.”