This is football. There will be adversity. Suck it up folks. Quarterback Will Grier made a bad decision and he will pay for it. It’s not like he didn’t know better. He did. Now the Gators have to face some adversity. Some Gator fans are already throwing in the towel on the season. I’m glad the Florida Gators football coaches and players have more resolve than these wimps seem to possess. This season IS NOT suddenly over.
The Florida Gators are 6-0. I do not in the slightest believe that they are undefeated because of Will Grier. Will has played well but, other than the Ole Miss game, Grier has struggled for large sections of every game. The Gators are 6-0 because of Head Coach Jim McElwain, his staff and the job they have done getting every member of this team ready to play every Saturday, including the quarterback position. I believe that this staff will have Treon Harris ready to play and will design a game plan that utilizes Treon’s skills to give the team a chance to win in each and every game. I have heard stupidity like “we will be 2-4 the rest of the way”. Have a little faith in McElwain. Have a little faith in Treon Harris. A year ago, most Gator fans thought Treon was the savior.
What’s being lost in all of the angst and the sound of fainting goats is that the Florida Gators are 6-0 and coming off of a road win against a decent Missouri team where the defense scored enough points on their own to overcome the score they allowed the Tigers. Other than the Ole Miss game, the Florida offense wasn’t exactly soaring with Will Grier. Grier was making enough plays to move the chains and give the defense the needed rest to stay dominant. More importantly, Grier WAS NOT turning the ball over and putting the defense in bad situations. I believe Treon Harris will also make plays. He will likely make them differently than Grier. Treon has not looked as crisp and accurate as Will but Treon does improvise well during a play. That particular talent may come in quite useful against LSU. The most important thing will be not turning the ball over.
The “plan to win” for the LSU game has not changed at all. The Florida Gators were never going to win that game unless they find a way to slow down Leonard Fournette and force the Tigers to attack the nation’s best secondary through the air. That will still decide the outcome of this game. There is some myth going around that LSU has this great defense. The Tigers have given up at least 19 points in every game they’ve played this year. I believe that both of these teams will score somewhere in the twenties Saturday. I have believed that this was a winnable game for the Gators all season long and I still believe that. Florida has the defensive talent to slow down the LSU running game. Coach McElwain has the offensive mind to design a game plan around Treon’s talents. This is a very winnable game folks.
Now, let’s look big picture here. Where does Grier’s suspension leave Florida with regards to their goals and expectations? Exactly the same. I stated in the previous paragraph that I believe Florida can win the game against LSU. I also believe that LSU is the best team left on the Gator regular season schedule. A win against either LSU or UGA means Florida probably wins the SEC East. Getting to Atlanta was always the real goal for this team. I never expected the Gators to end up in the playoff this year and I doubt many other Gator fans did either. It started to look like a possibility and I think it still is if Treon is at least serviceable at quarterback. Of course, this means that Florida cannot afford for anything to happen to Treon Harris on or off the field. Treon has suddenly found himself at a crossroads of sorts in his life. He has to choose his priorities wisely at this point. This is something he has struggled with so far in his Gator career. Come on Treon, dare to be great.
As for Will Grier’s future. Hopefully, he will win his appeal and get his suspension shortened. Either way his football career is on hold for the foreseeable future. He finds himself at a crossroads as well. This is a major setback and an embarrassing moment. Somewhere in his pondering over the next few weeks the thought will cross his mind to transfer to a school where the shadow of this moment isn’t constantly hovering over his head. I hope he pushes that thought out of his mind and dedicates himself to being ready to contribute to this Gator team when he gets his next chance. It would show a lot of character. Mistakes you run from never truly go away. Mistakes you face head on and fight to overcome eventually go away.
The bottom line is that as much as the news of Will Grier’s suspension felt like a punch to the stomach for many Gator fans it cannot be undone. The Gator football team doesn’t have the luxury of hanging their heads and pouting and they will not do that. The old cliché of man down-man up still applies here. The Florida Gators have to suck it up and keep improving every week. That’s how championships are won.