University of Florida

Freshman Treon Harris keys Florida Gators’ offensive turnaround

Florida quarterback Treon Harris (3) runs 33 yards for a touchdown against Vanderbilt in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Florida won 34-10.
Florida quarterback Treon Harris (3) runs 33 yards for a touchdown against Vanderbilt in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. Florida won 34-10. AP

Florida has rallied behind freshman quarterback Treon Harris, as the former Miami Booker T. Washington star has galvanized the once-putrid offense.

UF is 2-0 with Harris as a starter, averaging 36 points per game — nearly three touchdowns more a game than the offense registered the first two months of the season.

“Treon Harris sparked our football team,” coach Will Muschamp said. “There’s no question the confidence level has picked up for our team, and I credit him for that.”

The true freshman sparked a balanced attack in the win at Vanderbilt last weekend (215 passing yards, 214 rushing yards), something the Gators hope continues in Saturday’s showdown with South Carolina (noon, SEC Network).

For the first time all year, the Gators are actually completing downfield passes.

“The receivers, they go out and run their routes knowing they’re going to have a good ball to them,” senior center Max Garcia said. “They run their routes with just a little more crisp. You can just see the connection they have out there.”

Added Muschamp: “He gave us a charge. Certain people have that persona, personality. I don’t know what the word for it is, actually. But they positively affect the people around them, and he’s certainly one of those young men that has that.”

▪ Starting right guard Trenton Brown (knee bruise) will play Saturday after missing the Vanderbilt game. Muschamp said starting safety Keanu Neal (high-ankle sprain) is “the one guy that definitely will not play this weekend. We should be good to go.” Muschamp expects wideout Ahmad Fulwood (turf toe) and freshman defensive end Gerald Willis III (ankle) to play.

JESSE SIMONTON

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