Gators expecting a Zaire jump

Florida Gators quarterback Malik Zaire will start again Saturday vs. South Carolina. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]


Malik Zaire had an OK debut in his first UF start against Missouri. Now it’s time to take the next step, UF coach Randy Shannon said.

“Overall game,” he said. “Every week you want a quarterback to improve his overall game. He did a nice job, but now he’s got to do a great job this upcoming week. Today was the first day coming back (Tuesday) as far as putting in the whole game plan, what we’re going to do. He’s got to be consistent tomorrow, build on what we did today and work on it tomorrow.”

Zaire completed 13 of 19 passes for 158 yards and one interception in the loss at Missouri last week. He also had a touchdown pass called back because of a penalty.

“He didn’t do anything to hurt us,” Shannon said. “He did a nice job of getting the ball down the field. We just have to build on what he’s done.”


  1. GatorNaiton was “expecting” to be competitive this year. Sticking by a QB who doesn’t fit the system and won’t be here a year from now is ridiculous.

    I would pull Jake Allen’s reshirt and let him duke it out with Felipe Franks…

    • Uncle Rico. The system will not be the current system next year. Maybe you have not heard. McElwain was fired, Allen is out with an injury to his back, and Zaire is eligible to apply for a sixth year next year and would like fit a system run by Frost, Norvell, Kelly, or Mullen. And I am sure any of those coaches would love to have film of Zaire playing in multiple games this year. They already have that concerning Franks, but I would encourage them not to watch any of it. If they do, they might encourage Franks to transfer before they arrive.

      • I think Zaire would perform very well next year, under the circumstances you specified, Rick. Absolutely correct though, it depends on who the next HC is. Hopefully, we’ll know soon and so will Zaire in order to make his decision. Franks? I don’t think he’s going anywhere else, and I’d be surprised if he does. Too much tape of his faults this year to give him a chance at any place decent….but wouldn’t it say something if he did and turned out to be a great QB after all. What an indictment of his coaching at UF that would be.

    • Jack Jennings. Malik can apply for a 6th year, but another year is not guaranteed right now. But, if a coach like Frost or Norvell is hired and Zaire plays well these last three games, I would expect for him to apply for another year at Florida. He showed potential in the Missouri game. I felt a lot more confident with him playing QB than I have felt in a while. And Franks had his chance and he was downright horrible. No improvement whatsoever from game to game. One can actually say that Franks got worse from game to game.

    • Bill B, from the first spring game Frank’s played in to now they did pretty good, as I remember he threw 3 ints back to back to back. Most fans believe Zaire give them the best chance for a bowl game, and some fans have the mind frame of I’d rather parish with Frank’s than live with Zaire. I’m not saying Zaire is the answer but like Emmit Smith said a few years ago I have seen enough. If Zaire stink it let them flip a coin on starts the remainder of the season,

    • Mikey…what you see now, with Franks…is what you’re going to see the rest of his career at Florida, if he remains at QB…great arm and will make a great play once or twice during the game…but he will never improve on the mental part of the game and he will continue to have trouble consistently moving the ball down field ….which you have to do to win games…one good play out of 20…just aren’t very good odds….in addition, you have to have the ability to make 3rd down conversions ….he usually takes a loss or an incompletion on 3rd downs…I still think his best option is at RW… if he is to have a future at UF or the NFL. In HS he could get away with his play making ability…but in college and especially in the SEC, he just can’t get away with his type of play. Coaching isn’t going to help him become a better QB …I just don’t think he has the mental and the innate capabilities to become a great college or NFL QB.

  2. What’s really interesting is, we said these same things about Roper under Muschamp as we have been saying about Nuss under Mac. Then they team up again at SC and with a really good young QB, and they are blowing it out on offense. Same Roper, different play calling under different circumstances. It makes me wonder if Mac has been holding it back all of this time to be conservative, or if Nuss was doing the same. Franks problem always seems to be decision making and checking off. Sort of like John Brantley (bad memories!). But the worst part is, we are looking at another 2 years at least for it to be fixed.

    • History will show that UF should have been more patient with Muschamp and Roper. That 2014 Georgia game was a true indicator. Muschamp would have continued to attract top level defensive talent, and Roper simply needed some time. As it stands now, UF is in a deep hole with extreme pressure to make the “perfect” hire. Otherwise, expect a decade of Tennessee-type mediocrity. I expect South Carolina to be the top challenger to UGA for the foreseeable future in the SEC East.

      • UF threw six passes in the 2014 GA game and only completed three. At this point, I’d take that if we can win that way, but I don’t think that’s the style of football Gator fans want. Muschamp doesn’t want to take any chances to score points. He plays it safe, and puts all the pressure on his defense to play a perfect game. That’s what he did at UF, and that’s what he’s doing now. He may have an occasional good season that way, like 2012 at UF, but that’s not going to bring consistently great seasons. For this Gator fan, Muschamp is just fine where he is.