It looks like Florida’s QB competition may soon come to an end.
Jim McElwain has announced that Will Grier will get the start at quarterback against Kentucky on Saturday night. It’s Grier’s second consecutive start and his first ever on the road.
Florida’s coaching staff (presumably McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier) got together last night, evaluated the week of practice and decided to go with Grier. Harris didn’t have a bad week by any means, but McElwain elected to go with Grier simply because he sees a higher potential for the team with him at QB this week.
McElwain maintained that Treon Harris will also get snaps against the Wildcats, and yesterday, dropped the first hint that this QB battle is on its way to a close. He said that he would consider sticking with the hot hand against Kentucky, which is a great thing to hear after the way he repeatedly disrupted both Grier’s and Harris’s respective rhythms in the first two games by removing one for the other. Kentucky is a team Florida needs to beat if they want any chance of accomplishing the standard preseason goals of making a respectable bowl game and winning the SEC East, so McElwain has conceded that he realizes the time for alternating the two at the possible expense of the team is over.
Grier is currently rated the 13th most efficient passer in the country, posting a season stat line (through two games) of 26-35, 317 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll get a golden opportunity to boost those stats against a porous Kentucky defense that’s given up almost 1000 yards in two games (896, to be exact… and those two games were against Louisiana Lafayette and South Carolina). And if he does, this may be the end of Treon Harris’s chance to win the QB job, which may actually be a good thing because there are so many other spots on this team that require McElwain’s full attention (like the offensive line, for example).
So it’s not farfetched to think this battle could be over soon. Kentucky’s defense is horrid, and they haven’t even faced a good offense yet. Now that they’re actually going to face one (relatively speaking), it’s easy to foresee Grier going off for a huge game. And if he does, and McElwain is true to his word about sticking with the hot hand, this could mark the official beginning of the Will Grier era.