GAINESVILLE — Freshman Treon Harris has been named the backup QB for Saturday's opener vs. Idaho. The Miami native led Booker T. Washington High to the Class 4A state championship in 2012 and 2013. Coach Will Muschamp said the competition between Harris and freshman Will Grier was extremely close, but Harris won — for now.
"There's really no separation from the backup standpoint,'' Muschamp said Tuesday. ''We met through the weekend and talked moving forward and felt like Treon has some things he can provide for us offensively, but that's nothing that's made for the long-term. No one's been redshirted. No decisions have been made with Will Grier, Skyler Mornhinweg or anyone else. All of those guys did some good things and we're gonna move forward from week to week on that situation there."
AREA STARS: The projected starting lineup includes OL Chaz Green, TB Hunter Joyer, CB Vernon Hargreaves, DT Leon Orr and DL Dante Fowler, all from the bay area. RB Matt Jones is also a potential starter.
INJURY UPDATE: S Marcus Maye (hamstring) is the only player who's questionable for the game.
USF: Taggart has a special guest
TAMPA — After an offseason of initiatives, booster events and pep rallies designed to lure his fan base back to Raymond James Stadium, Willie Taggart has extended a final invitation to Saturday's season opener — to one prospective visitor.
On Tuesday, the Bulls coach referred to him as "Mr. Adversity."
"I think if there's one area you worry about, for me, it's just how are guys going to respond to adversity?" said Taggart, whose team failed to respond in last year's season opener, a 53-21 drubbing against Division I-AA McNeese State. "I think they'll go out and play well, I think they'll make plays, I think they'll do those things. But the one thing we haven't capitalized on, really, is adversity. You don't get that until the season starts and it's gonna happen. It's how you're gonna respond to it. I think that's something that got us last year."
ON THE MEND?: Senior TE Mike McFarland, slowed by a left knee injury in the latter half of preseason camp, suited up for practice and showed more mobility than he has in the last couple of weeks. "The nice thing is, he's progressing and he's getting a lot closer," OC Paul Wulff said. "But again, I think that's still down the road for us to know for sure (about his weekend status)."
Joey Knight, Times staff writer
UCF: Knights take off
ORLANDO — With bagpipes playing, the Knights lined up to board buses and start the most exciting road trip of their careers. Graduate assistant Rob Calabrese, a former player, held a plastic bag full of passports and handed them to players moments before they left campus. It was the start of a long journey to Dublin, Ireland, where UCF plays Penn State. Kickoff is at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. "Put these in your pockets! Don't lose them!" he shouted. "There's a reason why they're in bags and the players don't have them," coach George O'Leary said. "So they don't lose them."