By Rob Powers
The Florida Gators started this year’s campaign with a comfortable win over the FAU Owls Saturday night, but was a quarterback controversy born on the same night? Dan Mullen stated after the win, “Obviously Emory’s our starter.” Jones was 17 of 27 for 113 yards and 1 passing touchdown and added 74 yards on 10 carries in his first start post Kyle Trask era. When Anthony Richardson entered the game, the offense was instantly electric. Anthony Richardson rushed 7 times for 160 yards and a touchdown and added 40 yards throught the air. Should Dan Mullen consider making a change to who is the starting quarterback for the Gators?
These are my three reasons Anthony Richardson should be the starting quarterback for the Florida Gators. First, although Dan Mullen supports his statement that Jones will remain the starter due to his decision making, Jones clearly made two ill advised interceptions. He also consistently forced the ball into tight coverage instead of checking the ball-down or even running.
My second reason for the change, Jones had poor decision making on a 4th and goal. There was a miscommunication between the sideline and Jones. Jones ran a quarterback keeper from the 4-yard line only to be stopped with little gain. Mullen was visibly upset with the play. Clearly it appeared to be a different play than Mullen wanted. A quarterback that has been in the Gator system for 4 years should have called a time out if that was the call he thought was signaled in as it had no chance of success.
Lastly, when Richardson entered the game there was an instant spark with the offense. Richardson appeared confident and had multiple runs that were electric. Although his completion percentage was low, he made the correct reads and protected the football with zero turnovers.
Mullen defended Jones by saying they can run the entire offense with him, but if Richardson receives the majority of reps in practice and their next game against the USF Bulls, the Gators could easily expand the playbook for Richardson. This would help him prepare for the monumental task of facing the Alabama Crimson Tide in week 3. In my opinion the best choice for the future of Gator football is to give Anthony Richardson the keys to the offense and let him grow with real game experience. This is supported from Dan Mullen’s own words, “Anthony’s really growing with that and growing with situations. So, I think he’ll continue to grow with situations as we move forward and Emory’s going to continue to grow, so…”
Let me know what you think Gator nation. Should Dan Mullen make the change now to start Richardson over Jones?
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