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Friday, July 01, 2022
<p>Jeff Driskel warms up prior to Florida's 42-21 loss to Alabama while backup quarterback Treon Harris watches.</p>

Jeff Driskel warms up prior to Florida's 42-21 loss to Alabama while backup quarterback Treon Harris watches.

It’s OK to change one’s opinion based upon the gathering of new information.

After Florida’s opener against Eastern Michigan, I received a text from a close friend that read, "Jeff looked good, but man Treon...."

Freshman quarterback Treon Harris had just thrown for a quaint 148 yards and two touchdowns on just two passes. A sneaky good 100 percent completion percentage in the first game of his career isn’t bad, even if it is in garbage time.

I wrote it off as knee-jerk (with the added prior knowledge that she isn’t much of a fan of Driskel to begin with).

Understanding what she was getting at, I sent back "No Treon Harris is not starting. Stop it." She clarified "not right away, but when Jeff drops the ball eventually…."

It would appear that Driskel has done just that, because I’m ready for a changing of the guard under center, and depending on if you’re a conspiracy theorist, Florida’s best receiver is too — Demarcus Robinson briefly retweeted a pro-Harris tweet Sunday before undoing the action.

Driskel looked OK in that Eastern Michigan game.

He looked just OK in the triple-overtime win against Kentucky.

The problem is he’s looked just OK most of his career at Florida.

I think you can win with OK, but you’ve got to have a better offense than it appears the Gators have, a dominant defense to tote the mail and a good bit of luck.

Florida struck the lucky pot of gold for two quarters Saturday against Alabama and then the well ran dry after ‘Bama’s fourth and final turnover of the day.

For the third week in a row, Driskel missed deep receivers and stared down others. He was not-so-smooth with the zone read and balls were inexplicably thrown at receivers’ feet. If not for three drives started by turnovers, Florida’s offensive output would have been only 128 yards.

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Jeff Driskel is what he is. I think it’s time to at least give Treon Harris the start at Tennessee.

Sure he can be on a short leash, with Driskel waiting in the wings if it doesn’t go well.

And please don’t give me the "hostile environment" excuse. A nooner at Neyland Stadium is about as hostile as a box full of kittens.

You don’t get experience against adversity until you actually get experience against the adversity — maybe I’m being a bit overzealous, but if I were offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, I’d be itching to throw Harris into the fire to see how he could do.

Will Muschamp thinks Jeff Driskel gives this team the best chance to win.

At this point, I’m just not sure.

So let’s find out.

Muschamp cares about guys who have seen live bullets, which I understand, but at this point what does he have to lose?

The known quantity in Driskel isn’t doing anything substantial over a replacement level quarterback.

Harris arrived on campus in the summer and was still able to beat out freshman Will Grier, who had an entire spring practice to grasp Roper’s new playbook.

The major knock against Harris in Muschamp’s mind, I bet, is that UF can’t run everything it wants to with him over Driskel.

That’s understandable especially since he’s a freshman, but this bye week would be best served trying to further develop packages to use Harris as much as possible.

If it’s not an outright usurpation of the job, or a reopening of the quarterback competition like I’m alluding to at least let him actually get on the field.

The third quarter against Alabama may have not have been an awesome time to get Harris game-reps, overtime against Kentucky isn’t ideal either. But after two weeks of practice with — hopefully — a good amount of first-team reps, what’s stopping you from giving Harris some run on Rocky Top?

Follow Richard Johnson on Twitter @RagjUF

Jeff Driskel warms up prior to Florida's 42-21 loss to Alabama while backup quarterback Treon Harris watches.

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