With the spring now down to just two practices and Saturday’s Orange & Blue Game, Florida’s situation at quarterback appears to be about the same as it was heading into the first practice.
There has been no separation between the four quarterbacks, no indication who the eventual starter might be.
But then UF coach Dan Mullen hasn’t necessarily been looking for separation over these past three weeks.
“No, for me (there has been no separation),” Mullen said Monday. “I don’t think I’ve paid attention to separation. I’m watching all the guys and really worrying about how we’re getting better.
“Especially with where we are with a new roster, to me, everybody starting over, is it’s a long time before we have to make any decisions or play a game. So I’m not that concerned about that right now. Guys are battling for playing time.”
Mullen said the quarterbacks did show improvement from the first scrimmage to the second, which was held Saturday and closed to the public.
He said the quarterbacks — Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask, Jake Allen and Emory Jones — improved in their decision making and how they managed the game.
“There were some things that I saw with them that they improved on,” Mullen said. “There were some mistakes that they still made that I was disappointed with. They handled some hard situations very well, and then all of the sudden they got like the easiest situation (and they didn’t handle it well).
“They started getting used to handling all these exotic blitzes coming at them. Set in a base defense out there and everybody like freaked out because it was a base defense. I’m like, ‘Come on, it’s back to day one.’ You can’t miss those opportunities.
“But overall I thought they managed the game better than the week before.”
No one struggled more in the first scrimmage than Franks, last season’s starter. He completed only seven of 22 passes and threw two interceptions before hitting some big passes late.
He rebounded nicely in Saturday’s scrimmage. He was more consistent moving the offense and he accounted for four touchdowns — three passing and one rushing.
“He did good,” Mullen said. “I still think we’ve got to complete a higher percentage of passes. But that’s not always the accuracy. Sometimes it’s decision making.
“On first-and-10, when do I want to take a shot or when do I want to just check down and go play the next play? When do I want to scramble around and improvise and make something great happen? And when is the time to just throw it away and we’ll figure it out later, on the next play?
“I thought Feleipe was a lot better at that. Number-wise, Felipe had the best numbers at the quarterback position.”
Trask, who outperformed Franks in the first scrimmage, had a touchdown pass, but also threw an interception Saturday. The pick was made by redshirt freshman linebacker Ventrell Miller.
For Jones, the true freshman, it was a little more of a struggle. He threw a late pick-six to sophomore cornerback Brian Edwards and also had a fumble.
“He’s working and learning how to be a college player,” Mullen said. “I think he’s grown, I think he’s improved and we’ve been patient with the situations we’ve put him in to try to let him learn and build confidence.”
Overall, the quarterbacks need to not only know the offense, but also know how to effectively use it in different situations, Mullen said.
“If I hand you a Lamborghini it doesn’t mean you have to drive 150 miles an hour every second of every day,” he said. “There are times when you want to open it up a little bit. There’s other times where I’ve got to stop at a stop sign, follow the speed limit. They’ve got to learn when those opportunities are and how to take advantage of them.”
What: Annual Orange & Blue Game
When: 3 p.m.
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Tickets: Free admission
TV: SEC Network