Treon Harris, a star at Miami Booker T. Washington, is set to become UF’s first freshman signal caller to start against Georgia since Chris Leak in 2003.
Harris hopes to spark an offense plagued by turnovers (15 in the last four games) and confidence issues.
“I’m excited for him. He’s a guy that just has a knack for making plays,” coach Will Muschamp said. “He’s a guy that is calm, cool, collected about himself. I think we’ll play well.”
Harris has wowed teammates with his improvisational skills in practice, but Florida wants his playmaking abilities to work in concert with protecting the football.
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That’s the offense’s No.1 focus against the ninth-ranked Bulldogs.
“The whole thought process is to not turn it over,” offensive coordinator Kurt Roper explained. “You want to be explosive, you want to make plays. … But right now, until we figure out how to not create those [turnover] issues, that’s where our mind-set has to be.”
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Following three consecutive games with critical drops, senior wideout Quinton Dunbar was benched and did not play against Missouri.
Sophomore wideout Ahmad Fulwood started in place of Dunbar, but Muschamp said the former Tornadoes star would play Saturday.
Dunbar, who didn’t start for the first time since 2012, has 10 receptions for 122 yards and zero touchdowns in 2014.
“We need to be more productive,” Muschamp said. “Quinton had a good off-week. … We’ll continue to work through the repetitions throughout the week.”
Meanwhile, freshman tailback/slot wideout Brandon Powell will have “a significant role in the game,” according to Muschamp.
The Deerfield Beach standout had a breakout performance against LSU (six catches, 66 yards), only to disappear from Florida’s offensive game plan against Missouri.