The Florida offense was a disaster last year after Will Grier’s suspension forced him to the sideline. Treon Harris never quite had control over the team and could not keep the offense moving at a solid clip. The Gators finished with the 56th-best offense in the country, according to Football Outsiders’ S&P+.
It felt a lot worse than that.
With Grier gone and the Gators searching for a new quarterback, that position has a lot of the focus for the Gators. The competition that will take place in the fall between Luke Del Rio, Austin Appleby and the other quarterbacks on the roster will be the big story in the fall.
No matter who wins it, coach Jim McElwain believes his offense will be able to open up some more and attack in new ways — ways the team could not with Harris at the helm.
“Obviously the big question is always the quarterback, which is the way it should be,” McElwain told Thomas Goldkamp of GatorBait.net. “I know this, we have really good arm talent and we can push the ball vertically. And I feel very optimistically we can do it on a consistent basis.
“Now time will tell, but they’ve all proven they can push the ball where it needs to go, especially in that 18- to 22-yard area where you need to hit the creases,” McElwain said. “So from that standpoint I’m excited about that group.”
That is certainly an area the Gators need to attack. It seemed last year that throws were limited to short-range passes and the occasional deep throw. Florida just did not have a dynamic offensive attack at all.
Florida could already be better no matter who wins at quarterback because of the ability to make these kinds of throws and move up the field in bigger chunks. It should loosen things up everywhere for the young team.
Of course, it is all to be seen when the Gators open up camp and begin their season.