This past Saturday, Florida played FAU in its first game of the season, defeating the Owls, 35-14.
Redshirt junior Emory Jones patiently waited his turn since 2018 to become the starter this year after Kyle Trask got drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Going into this season, Jones has played in 24 Florida games, making the FAU game his 25th game to play in and his first career start. There was a lot of preseason hype surrounding him, as he’s on the Johnny Unitas and in some conversations for the Heisman. This being said, Jones didn’t play as well as we all expected him to. He finished the night 17-27 with 113 yards, 1 TD pass and 2 interceptions. Jones did contribute to the team’s 400 rushing yards, with 74 total. The two interceptions were definitely surprising, with the first one a forced pass to the end zone. There was also confusion on 4th and goal in the first half when Emory ran a quarterback sneak with coach Dan Mullen visibly upset afterwards.
I’m not going to sit here and say Anthony Richardson, otherwise nicknamed as AR or AR15, was perfect when he came in but his energy was just great. He finished 3-8 for 40 yards passing but what stood out to me the most was his rushing attack, running seven times for 160 yards. Two of his carries were electric, which included a 73 yard rush touchdown and a run for a first down in which he hurdled over the defender, both coming in the 4th quarter. With AR in the game, the energy was just different and you could tell he needs to have playing time because he’s got something special.
After the game, coach Dan Mullen said, “Obviously Emory’s our starter.”
We certainly don’t want to count Emory out after just one game as a starter, but it will be interesting to see who will have the most playing time with a key game in just under two weeks against top-ranked Alabama. This weekend, Florida faces USF, who didn’t look great in their season opener against NC State, losing 45-0. Only time will tell but there’s definitely a quarterback controversy brewing in Gainesville.
Photo from Al.Com