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Florida, Georgia both uncertain at quarterback

Neither Dan Mullen nor Kirby Smart say who will start in their game Saturday.
We still don't know whether Florida's Anthony Richardson will make his first career start for the Gators this weekend against Georgia.
We still don't know whether Florida's Anthony Richardson will make his first career start for the Gators this weekend against Georgia. [ MATTHEW HINTON | AP ]
Published Oct. 25, 2021

Though Florida and No. 1 Georgia enter Saturday’s rivalry game in Jacksonville in drastically different positions in the standings, one thing holds true for both teams.

Their starting quarterbacks remain uncertain.

Gators coach Dan Mullen said Monday that nothing has changed regarding the situation between Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson. Jones has started every game, and Richardson has played off the bench when he’s been healthy. But Jones’ two interceptions and Richardson’s reserve performance in the LSU loss have increased questions about whether Richardson has supplanted Jones as UF’s top option.

Related: Let’s talk about Dan Mullen’s long-term future at Florida

“We’re going to keep playing them the same way,” Mullen said. “We plan on playing both of the guys like we have.”

Jones leads UF in rushing (494 yards) and passing (1,305 yards), but Richardson is averaging twice as many yards per carry and has a higher passing efficiency. Richardson, a redshirt freshman, also is more explosive, and big plays could be vital to UF’s upset chances.

Later in his Zoom session with reporters, Mullen asked whether Georgia has announced whether Stetson Bennett or JT Daniels will start Saturday. Mullen called that decision “much bigger than ours.”

“They’re the No. 1 team,” Mullen said, “so, I’m shocked how anybody’s even looking at our situation.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart didn’t rule out the possibility of playing Daniels and Bennett this weekend. Daniels is a former five-star recruit from USC and has more upside, but he has been out for a month with a strained lat muscle. Bennett has played well, though, with an 11-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. That’s much better than the 5 of 16 performance he had against the Gators last year.

“I’ll say it again, I’m really okay with whoever the best guy that gives us the best chance to win is,” Smart told Georgia reporters. “That’s based on practice and health and it will continue to be that way the rest of the year. The question of ‘Are you okay rotating them’ is really not relevant if they’re not both completely healthy…'

“Are they healthy, and who gives us the best chance to win based on what we think we need to do offensively against their defense?”

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