ORLANDO, Fla. — Success in the passing game has been hard to come by lately for Florida quarterback Treon Harris.
After showing some signs of improvement in his first four games as the full-time starter, Harris has taken a step back over the last three games.
UF coach Jim McElwain said Harris needs to be more decisive as a passer. He’s struggling to locate receivers and taking too long to go through his progressions.
“He’s got to cut the ball loose,” McElwain said. “When the guy’s there, throw it to him. It really kind of works a little bit like that.”
Tuesday wasn’t the first time McElwain has criticized his quarterback for leaving plays on the field. He said Harris missed open throws after the losses to Alabama and Florida State.
But the problems in the passing game are not all on Harris, according to McElwain. He placed blame on himself for trying to push the envelope on offense, and he also said Harris has been spooked in the pocket because of the inconsistent pass protection.
Harris will face a difficult matchup in Friday’s Citrus Bowl against Michigan, which has the nation’s No. 3 pass defense. The bowl practices have given Harris two weeks to address his weaknesses.
“He has put in plenty of work,” offensive guard Trip Thurman said. “It’s tough on a guy like that, putting the onus on him after the thing with Will (Grier).
“He’s stepped up big time and he’s learned from his mistakes the past two games. He’s going to be ready for Michigan.”