Florida QB Treon Harris will start vs. Georgia

By Adam Silverstein
October 22, 2014

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp announced Wednesday that freshman quarterback Treon Harris will start for the team when it takes on the Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville, Florida, on Nov. 1.

“Treon, you saw what he did late in the game [against Missouri]. He has a knack for making plays and making some good things happen for our football team,” Muschamp said. “We’ve struggled with production at the quarterback position and that’s been an issue for us – along with some other [positions] – but that’s been a huge issue for us. He’s a guy that has a knack for making plays.”

Harris will have two weeks getting first-team repetitions ahead of the Gators’ showdown with the Bulldogs.

“He has a much better understanding [of the offense] as we continue to move forward,” Muschamp added. “We got an open week now where he’s getting a bunch of reps.”


Redshirt junior Jeff Driskel, Florida’s starter since 2012 (including all six games this season) will “still have a role on our football team as a quarterback,” though his responsibilities were not specified by Muschamp on Wednesday.

“Treon Harris will start the Georgia game, he’s getting all the reps right now. And Jeff’s certainly going to have a role in that game,” he said. “Jeff’s a guy that’s an experienced player for us. We’ll continue to move forward with Jeff playing a role on our football team as a quarterback. What that role will be, we’ll see moving forward.”

Seeing limited action in three games, Harris appears to have played better than Driskel this season, boasting a 233.3 passer rating while completing 12-of-18 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns to just one interception. He’s also gained 51 rushing yards and scored a touchdown on 15 carries. But most of that yardage and two of those passing scores came on two tosses late against Eastern Michigan in Florida’s season-opener.

Harris, however, directed the Gators’ offense on all four of its scoring drives against Tennessee and Missouri.

Driskel has regressed as the season’s advanced into its middle stage. He’s completed just 53 percent of his passes for 928 yards with six touchdowns and 10 interceptions (one pick-six). He’s also
carried the ball 32 times for 113 net yards and a touchdown, but lost two fumbles, including one returned for a touchdown last week.

“Fifteen turnovers in the last four games has been a killer for us. We can’t afford to turn the ball over. We’ve lacked explosive plays and production at the quarterback position,” Muschamp said.

SEC TELECONFERENCE NOTES AND QUOTES

» Florida’s football team had off on Monday, but the team returned to practice Tuesday and will do so through Thursday before it officially begins preparations for Georgia.

» On blocking out the negativity: “We just try to control the controllables. WE repeat that to ot our players a lot. … We need to play better, that’s the bottom line, need to coach better> Those are the things we need to focus on and improve in ourselves. Find an identity offensively on what we can do and what we can do well. Block out as much as you can. you’re going to hear it. that’s part of it, playing at a place like the University of Florida. Our players understand that.”

» On what the recruiting trail was like on Monday: “It was good. It was good. It’s still the University of Florida, a great education. We’re moving on the recruiting trail very well. Signing Day is in February.”

» On athletic director Jeremy Foley‘s statement and how the Gators can save this season: “We need to win some games, that’s the bottom line. We look forward to our preparation this week and next week getting ready for Georgia. I appreciate it. I think Jeremy sees a lot of the things that are going on in our program, certainly a huge part of that is winning games, and that’s not what we’ve done. But academically, socially, all the things we’ve done within our program to change the culture has been outstanding.”

31 Comments

  1. Razzlegator says:

    Hopefully two weeks is enough time for Treon to be able to expand the playbook.

  2. BillyBob says:

    I really hope Treon can provide this team a spark. I’m not convinced he can do it though. He’s a 5’11 true freshman quarterback starting his first game in the SEC against a rival school, with a ton of negativity currently surrounding the program. He is almost in a no-win situation. I really hope Roper can put together a good game plan for Treon. At this point I think Muschamp is setting Treon up for failure in a desperate attempt to save his job.

    • DFWGator says:

      So if Treon fails and we lose…..how exactly is Muschamp’s job saved?

      • apprentice says:

        Hopefully Muschamp’s fate has already been sealed. However, maybe what Billy Bob is talking about is the fact that Muschamp has this doublespeak, where he says he accepts full responsibility for what’s happened, but at the same time blames everyone else for the team’s failures. Treon Harris doing well against UT and Mizzou, both at the end, have hammered the point home that Muschamp’s blind allegiance to Driskel in the face of overwhelming evidence that he is a broken young man right now have almost cost us games or have made games worse. If Harris goes out as a starter against Georgia and he fails, then he can say: “See? It’s not my fault! I did what everyone wanted me to do, and yet we’re no better off. It’s not my fault. It’s simply execution!” (which is part of his responsibility as well, but you know…)

      • bdown says:

        I can see the angle BillBob is using……”hey, he’s a freshman QB, it’s a new offense, we had to throw him to the wolves cause the upperclassman that I didnt’ recruit couldn’t get it done…..I should get another year!” said Coach Muschamp…..I can see the angle, but I think it’s faulty logic at this point…..he’s gone and he knows it…..the recruiting question told it all, UF is a great education….IMO it’s carry the message so you can get your buyout…..again, just my thoughts….and maybe another thought, does Driskel show up at TE…..he’s gonna have a role with the team, but it’s Treon’s game????

        • Ken (CA) says:

          You have to start that quote with “I take full responsibility, but…”

        • DFWGator says:

          Oh I understand the angle….it’s the “Our head coach would sacrifice one of his own recruits/players for personal gain” angle…..which, in my mind, is the kind of vitriol Adam was referring to previously. It’s ridiculous. It’s not who Muschamp is as a person, despite what everyone thinks about his coaching ability.

          Both Muschamp and Treon have nothing to lose at this point. Muschamp knows he’s a dead man walking. The only solution is winning some incredible upsets, not losing as expected, and even then he’s still more than likely gone. Treon knows he can’t possibly do worse as a freshman than Driskel is doing as a Junior, and even if he does there’s still the ‘lack of experience’ excuse.

          To imply that Muschamp would intentionally throw his player under the bus to save himself shows a level of ignorance about the integrity and character of our program that I cannot fathom, and it is completely unfounded. Take the negative conspiracy theories elsewhere.

          • Ken (CA) says:

            I don’t see how even if he won out the rest of the season in impressive blowout fashion he could possibly be retained. He has lost the fans and the alumni, and that isn’t going to come back. At this point, even if that happened, it would be “gee, now you do it, why didn’t you do this the past 3 1/2 yrs?” He is in an absolutely no-win position even if he wins.

            I can’t even imagine a scenario where he would retain his job without a complete fan revolt

            • Dave Massey says:

              With the way recruiting is going on there is no chance in the world he’s retained even if they win out. Of course, he could get a dozen commits from 4 and 5 star recruits in the next month. Not going to happen.

              Drizzle drazzle drizzle drum, time for this one to go home. Help him Mr. Wizard!

    • gatorboi352 says:

      “He’s a 5’11 true freshman quarterback starting his first game in the SEC against a rival school, with a ton of negativity currently surrounding the program. He is almost in a no-win situation.”

      I’d argue he’s got nothing to lose in that situation, and therefore everything to gain.

      As improbable as it seems, if Florida beats Georgia with Treon playing the entire game it would change the entire perception of this team and program. Yes, one game.

  3. Aligator says:

    Thank you Jesus! Don’t know if this will save his job or we win any games, but we needed a change at QB!

  4. TheRealCaruso says:

    Adam,

    Do you think Driskel’s “role” within the offense will be the Wildcat?

    Also, referencing back to TSL from yesterday, while I am very displeased with the product on the field, I completely agree that the vitriol (great use of the word yesterday) is unwarranted. Muschamp has done a phenomenal job righting a portion of the ship: academics, attitude. I wish the change in those areas altered the direction of the offensive production. I am not saying we need thugs to be productive on offense. I just wish we saw a percentage of a change on the field, like we have witnessed off the field.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      If it is anything like Trey Burton’s Wildcat role, then everytime he comes in the other teams will key on him and it will be a 3-5 yd loss

      • Dave Massey says:

        To me the Wildcat is old school now, only good for short yardage power runs. What is the difference between the spread offense with a running quarterback and the Wildcat? In the Wildcat, you have a running back take the snap and he is not an effective thrower with the theory that you have an extra blocker. The defenses just put more men in the box nullifying the blocker.

        The reason Burton was so bad in the Wildcat was because everybody knew he wasn’t going to throw the ball so they stacked the box. If you are going to run the ball in the Wildcat you have to have a power runner to get anything out of it. I don’t believe it is good for anything beyond 3rd or 4th and short anymore. Defenses have seen it and know what to expect. If you are going to throw the ball in the Wildcat then its just the spread with a running quarterback.

        Let Treon play the whole game. We already know we lose with Driskel. Treon didn’t do that great at Tennessee or against Missouri but did do better than Driskel.

    • Michael J. says:

      Driskel is not a running back. He’s not elusive or decisive. Why in the world would you put him in at wildcat? To help Georgia?

  5. Josh says:

    Jeff is just redshirt junior. You think he leaves after this year?

    • 305Gator says:

      Jeff should either join the baseball team or go play for whatever MLB team drafted him last year. He certainly cannot play QB at a consistently high level.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Does it really matter? He ought to leave, he has graduated I believe, he is not the future. Treon is with Grier as backup after redshirting this year, and if recruiting holds we have another good QB committed for next year

  6. 305Gator says:

    Finally Muschamp did something that makes sense with the QB position, about time he gave Treon the start.
    For those of you who express concern that he is “a 5′ 11” true freshman starting his first game against a rival” what the heck do you want? More Driskel incompetence? Skyler 4th string Morningwheg? I rather lose with Treon than lose with Driskel. At the very least Treon has the excuse he is a 5′ 11′ true freshman starting his first game against a rival. What is Driskel’s excuse?
    In fact Muschamp should come out and say ” I am starting Treon because I believe he gives us the best chance to win”.
    Go Gators!

    • G2 says:

      Finally, after its too late to save his job. What if we actually find a way to win this game, then what? Champ off the hotseat for now?

      • Dave Massey says:

        He just lost his top recruit, to gag, meyer and only has ten commits, that will not be good enough to save his job even if he wins out which I just don’t see happening the way they have played.

  7. Steven says:

    WTF.
    Just start Treon and play him 100% of the time.
    No Driskel drives or packages.
    Let him start without feeling like someone is over his shoulder.

    • Dave Massey says:

      I have no problem with Driskel playing and running some packages that he can do well with. Just a minute, let me check and see which ones those are. Never mind, we don’t have any. Looks like he won’t be playing.

    • Michael J. says:

      I think it’s pretty evident that is the case. Muschamp knows to not put Driskel in, he can’t get away with it. When he says Driskel has a role, it’s just like any other fourth team quarterback. It’s time to put the pitchforks back in the garage until after the Georgia game. Muschamp has done all he can do, now his fate is tied to a true freshman.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      just imagine what hits the fan if Treon isn’t doing anything spectacular, but is managing the game, not doing anything terrible, then driskel comes in and fumbles or throws an INT

    • gatorboi352 says:

      In all fairness (I can’t believe I’m even remotely still defending Muschamp anymore) he did only say Jeff would “have a role”. That’s extremely vague, and almost cop outish. He didn’t even say Jeff would cone in for series or packages or situations. Only, he would have a role. Holding a clipboard is a role.

      • Michael J. says:

        Maybe the ‘role’ thing is only for public consumption. I hope Muschamp had the balls to tell Driskel something akin to what Beatrix Kiddo said before snatching out an eye: “Bitch, you don’t have a future.”

  8. Gatorgrad79 says:

    I really do hope Driskell has gotten his degree or will this semester or next, then he can go play Baseball and make some money. As for Nov 1st, let’s hope Driskell’s “role” is to wear that red hat and signal in plays from the sideline….

    • Dave Massey says:

      He can go play baseball anytime he wants. He was eligible for the draft last spring when he completed his third year in college. If I was him, as soon as this semester is over I would be signing my baseball contract. I would do it now except the baseball season hasn’t started although he could get in on the winter league games. Why would he transfer to another program to play quarterback? He has absolutely no future in football as a QB in the pros unless maybe you are talking about a league other than the NFL. He has no draft stock which is pretty bad for the NFL, they are always desperate for QB’s

  9. Brandon says:

    -DFWGator

    Treon Harris was a Kurt Roper recruit, not Muschamp. Thanks

    • DFWGator says:

      Tomato. Tomahto.

      He came to UF when Muschamp was in charge of the program. He was recruited by Roper, under Muschamp. Doesn’t change the fact that no head coach is going to play a QB with the hope that he loses or stinks up the field.

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