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Chomping at Bits: Florida's QB situation still a competiton, but a better one

Could the Gators reverse roles from their first game?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Florida faces more quarterback questions: The good news is that there's no bad choice for the Florida Gators at quarterback against East Carolina, as far as we can tell. The worst stretch of play from either Will Grier or Treon Harris on Saturday against New Mexico State was still arguably a step up both from what Jeff Driskel did in his efforts in 2014 and from what Harris did in his late-season cameo.

But someone still has to start, and Jim McElwain and his staff still have to figure out whether to go with a rotation similar to the one run against the Aggies — in which Harris played three series as a starter, Grier played seven consecutive series as a backup, and Harris relieved him for another three series — or install a starter and end the quarterback competition. McElwain hinted after the game on Saturday and again on Monday that a rotation is likely, and one would expect it to be similar to the one the Gators used in their opener — with perhaps, a role reversal for Grier and Harris that gives the former his first collegiate start.

I'd be fine with that, and I suspect most of Gator Nation would, too: Grier thrilled fans just slightly more on Saturday, but Harris played well enough to merit at least significant playing time, if not a continued competition. It would be the first time in McElwain's FBS coaching career as a head coach or offensive coordinator that he's allowed two quarterbacks to continue contending for a starting job after the first game of a season ... but he does have experience with juggling multiple quarterbacks, both after an injury to Garrett Grayson forced him to do as much at Colorado State, and in his tenure as the offensive coordinator at Montaana State.

When I tweeted out that article about McElwain's history of quarterback decision-making, I got this reply:

Google pointed me to this story, from 1999, in which McElwain's Bobcats were using both Kasey Harte and Rob Compson at QB.

Did that work? No. Montana State went 4-7, and head coach Cliff Hysell retired after the 1999 season, leading McElwain to decamp for Louisville, and the soft landing spot of a wide receivers coach position on former mentor John L. Smith's staff. And McElwain hasn't been back at the FCS level since.

But in Grier and Harris, McElwain appears to have two quarterbacks who not only can play, but may deserve to — and have skill sets distinct enough from each other that they could potentially play in harmony. There are worse situations to have.

Columnist writes fans must temper offensive expectations: Yeah, that'll work. (Luis Torres III, The Alligator)

"Unique" night in The Swamp: Interesting to use Dooley as proxy for lifers. (Pat Dooley, The Gainesville Sun)

Florida plays slew of youngsters: 63 players in total. (Chris Harry, GatorZone)

Your Gators moment of zen:

This is old and somewhat obscure, but I laughed hard.

The comments are yours.