A potential Florida quarterback controversy that seemed to be brewing coming out of last Saturday’s 29-point loss to Missouri was put on hold Monday by interim head coach Randy Shannon, who announced that Malik Zaire remains the starter.
“Still Malik,” Shannon said. “He didn’t do anything to hurt us. He did a nice job of getting the ball down the field, making some throws and doing some certain things. We just have to build on what he’s done and just keep moving forward.”
In his first UF start, Zaire completed 13 of 19 passes for 158 yards with an interception. He had some success throwing downfield, but failed to get the offense into the end zone.
Former starter Feleipe Franks was inserted with less than five minutes remaining in the game and led the Gators on a 71-yard touchdown drive that culminated with his 16-yard TD pass to running back Lamical Perine.
After the game, Shannon said the quarterback situation would be re-evaluated this week.
The decision has been made to stick with Zaire.
“He’s managing the game. He’s not getting us in bad situations,” Shannon said. “He’s got to continue to do it. We talked to him the other day. Don’t relax. Still put yourself and your standards at a high level, just like we told Feleipe. Keep it at a high level because you never know when an opportunity is going to come for you to get in a game and produce and do certain things, so he’s accepted that and we’re going to stay on top of him.”