Florida Gators to start QB Will Grier vs. East Carolina; Treon Harris will also play

By Adam Silverstein
September 10, 2015

In a simple flip-flop from a week ago, the Florida Gators announced Thursday that redshirt freshman Will Grier will start at quarterback Saturday against the East Carolina Pirates, while sophomore Treon Harris will still see action, just as Grier last week during Harris’s start against New Mexico State.

Grier, who did not play for the Gators in 2014, will make his first career start on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. He completed 16-of-18 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday, also taking four carries for a net of 43 yards with another score.

Harris, who started the Week 1 contest, went 14 of 19 for 215 yards and two touchdowns, also gaining 23 yards on the ground. He started the game and played the first three series before ceding way to Grier, who finished the first half and started the second half. Harris reentered the game after a few series in the second half and played the duration of the game.

“They were OK in the last game. They weren’t great. They weren’t Earth-shattering by any stretch of the imagination,” head coach Jim McElwain said Wednesday. “They’ve got to get a ton better.”

It is expected that Florida will go with a similar rotation this week. Grier will likely start and throw 12-15 passes before Harris enters the game and finishes out the first half. Harris should then start the second half, unless McElwain decides otherwise, with Grier coming on later in the contest to end the game.


  1. Ryan D. says:

    This is awesome what coach is doing. Basically seeing how they come out. Letting them audition in a sense. May the best QB win the battle, I Love It! Go Gators!

  2. 305Gator says:

    In BigMac we trust. Who are we to second guess our HC at this stage of the game as if any of us knew better.

  3. 1974Gator says:

    I really like the trajectory, velocity and accuracy of Grier’s passes. He looks to be going through his passing play progressions calmly, is making good choices and is delivering the ball “on-time” very well. They both seem to have very good pocket presences. I like Grier’s chances to start against Kentucky.
    Who ever loses this competition should stay positive. He is definitely a valuable asset and should remember that Florida’s back-up QBs are just one missed pass block and bone crushing sack away from starting.

  4. Michael Jones says:

    Going against a vastly more formidable opponent. Will be interesting to see if we have the luxury to play it out like we did last week, or if Coach will have to go with the most effective of the two at some point and abandon the rotation.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      NMSU is supposed to be much better and much bigger this year than it has been in recent years, and actually compete for a league title. They will likely end the season with a better record than the casual person would expect this year, and actually thought before the game they would be competitive and a good chance of winning, certainly not being blown out and just a paycheck game.

      That said, definitely ECU is going to be better than NMSU was, but may not be as “vastly superior” as you think. Maybe Coach Mac’s scheme is what is “vastly superior”. He is identifying the playmakers, the achievers and making use of them. Along with having ‘Tez probably playing if not starting (can’t wait to see this stud), and I was thoroughly impressed with what CeeCee Jefferson did last week as a backup, he will be starting soon as well I am sure, what a great clas he reeled in.

      So many freshmen contributed, even those who weren’t rated as high as the top end, Goolsby, and others. This is why I think this will be a surprise year for the Gators, good business practice, under promise and over deliver. Barring critical injuries, this is why I felt in posts over the summer that got laughed at by a couple of users that this schedule and this talent we could have a ten win season.

      • Buster says:

        Quit makign stuff up.

        They were picked to come in 2nd to last in their conference and are a really bad football team who was completlely overmatched.

        ECU could beat those guys by 30+ points

      • Iamtheeggman says:

        New Mexico State is about the worst team in FBS. To even intimate that they are not shows you are either ignorant or don’t have an objective bone in your body. Nothing was learned playing them, just like last year’s opening 65-0 win was meaningless.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          They WERE the worst team in the FBS last year, yes. They have been picked this year to be able to compete for the title.

          Quite a lot was learned playing them. The coaches have been able to differentia the 2 QBs more a see their abilities in an actual game, the new team discipline was clearly on display. Those who would play every play and those who wouldn’t(Robinson) were identified. I am sure the coaches themselves watching tape learned even more. How effectively were routes being run. Where the blocking/offensive schemes being executed correctly?, etc.

          You like to throw the “ignorant” word around a lot, but every game is a valuable learning experience no matter who the opponent is. There are always takeaways to show where the team is performing and where more coaching and practice needs to be pushed to improve.

          • Iamtheeggman says:

            Of course a lot was learned by the coaches. A lot is learned every time UF holds a scrimmage. The point is that nothing was learned about how god, or bad, the gator football team is. In that way, it was a meaningless game just like last year’s opener was, when UF was even more impressive is all stats and the score. There were a lot of folks who were gullible enough to think UF was going to be a great offense, only the tributes were being paid to Roper, not McElwain. I don’t think UF is going to have a good offense this year, based on the lack of talent. I didn’t watch the first game because there was no reason to. I would have watched it if there weren’t real football games being played, but a you couldn’t pay me to watch such a farce. I’ll watch the game against East Carolina because it’s a real game. I just think too many people are again drinking the Kool-Aid, just like they were before UF’s second game last year. I seem to recall that UF struggled to score a field goal at home, then. I’ll believe in improvement if UF does better than that this year. Until then, it’s just the same old talk, and I’ve heard that record before.

            • Ken (CA) says:

              Last year’s opener, wasn’t actually last year’s opener. Maybe you forgot, but the first game was cancelled. The opener provides a lot of information as to where the team is, whether the opponent is expected to be a top 10 team or is the worst team in the FBS. How different the season might have been if the Idaho game had been played and been able to be evaluated. Not excusing the results of last year, as I think we had a poor coaching staff compared to what we have now, but the points scored in either game are irrelevant. the tapes show the story as to what each person did at their position and if they played effectively and within the game plan. The breakaways plays by what you call the “worst team in the FBS” can be broken down and found where the errors occurred and fixed in practice.

              This is just silly that you keep wanting to be negative about the team when it is clear that the entire philosophy and attitude has changed. Whether it keeps up, we will see, but 1 penalty the entire game? In the opening game with a completely inexperienced offensive line? Nothing learned? That is just flat out absurd.

        • Michael Jones says:

          Think you guys are being a little hard on Ken. I think the truth may lie somewhere inbetween. NMSU may not win their conference, but they are a pretty well-coached team that has improved from last year.

          • Iamtheeggman says:

            Based on what? They gave up 63 points to that great offensive powerhouse, LSU, last year. Giving up 61 to Florida makes them better this year?

            • Ken (CA) says:

              You understand that college personnel changes significantly each year, right? What a team did the year before is no reflection on how they will perform the next year. about 25% turnover each year. This year’s team has been noted as being significantly more talented, much more weight on the lines, and much more experienced. If Muschamp were still here, we likely still would have won, but it could have been something like 31-21 (if he could even get us past 20 points) or so. The offense kept them off kilter all night, and I expect to see the same thing tomorrow. Shocked that we are a 3 TD favorite against a team we were a dog to last year in the bowl, but then, personnel changes and coaching changes make big differences.

  5. Ken (CA) says:

    Can’t say I am surprised with this decision, it was pretty clear last weekend. I bet some of our top uncommitted like nate Craig-Myers loved what they saw last week and would love to see more of it. Offensive recruits have got to like what they saw so far.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      You shouldn’t be surprised by it, it was a decision made before the results of last week’s performance.

  6. Drew says:

    East Carolina isn’t as good as everyone seems to think. They only beat mid-major program Towson 28-20 last week. I think we will continue to see both QBs play until one runs away with the job outright. I can also see us playing both QBs the entire year and riding whichever one has the hot hand. But I must say I do think the offense runs a tad bit smoother with Grier at the helm, and especially on passing downs. Grier’s release is lightning quick and he seems very decisive in his decision-making. A team’s success is predicated on how they can execute on 3rd downs. Offensively and defensively, Can they stay on the field or can they get off the field. Good teams do both. And offensively, I feel like Grier is more built for the passing 3rd down situations we will see a lot in SEC play.

    • Michael Jones says:

      I thought Treon had a pretty good game but I thought that Will Grier jumped off the television screen. He looks like maybe someday he can be scary good, something special.

      But Treon is definitely a gamer and a football player and every program needs players like him. If Grier wins the job, McElwain will still find ways to utilize Treon’s abilities. I’m confident of it.

    • Michael Jones says:

      I especially agree with what you said about the SEC. Will Grier looked more like an SEC QB.

  7. Mike The Red says:

    I look forward to this weekend’s game. It will be very interesting to see how we do against a better team.