Andreu’s Analysis: Young Guy Day

Florida freshman quarterback Emory Jones (5) hands off to freshman running back Dameon Pierce in the game against Charleston Southern on Sept. 1 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gators beat Charleston Southern 53-6. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]

It’s Senior Day in The Swamp on Saturday. But you also could call it Young Guy Day — because a whole bunch of true freshmen who haven’t played, or haven’t played since the first two non-conference games, are going to get on the field and show what they can do. And, thanks to the new redshirt rule, those players are still going to have four years of eligibility remaining after this season.

Dan Mullen, of course, has remained mum on what he plans to do with quarterback Emory Jones. He can play in two of the final three games and still redshirt. The question is, which games will we see Jones. Will it be Saturday, in a game where he could play a whole lot, and then in the bowl game? Or does Mullen keep Jones on the bench against Idaho and then give him a special set of plays for the FSU game, like he did against Georgia?

My feeling is we’re going to see a whole lot of Jones against Idaho. And with that, we’re going to see the kind of offense Mullen ultimately wants to run here, with a true dual-threat quarterback.

 UF fans also should be looking forward to seeing wide receiver Jacob Copeland for the first time. He is the most dynamic offensive player in the 2018 recruiting class and has some Percy Harvin qualities about him. He’s still behind in terms of learning the overall offense, but Mullen can give him some of the plays that he does know and turn him loose.

Numerous other true freshmen could see the field Saturday, including outside linebacker Andrew Chatfield, offensive tackle Richard Gouraige, defensive end Malik Langham, linebacker David Reese and others.

On a day where the 20 seniors are going to be honored, the Gators are going to give us a glimpse of the future.

Prediction: Florida 49, Idaho 10.



  1. You know I just hope the Gators are not looking past Idaho too much. They will still have 11 guys on offense and defense to deal with. All this early talk about playing all the freshmen for a lot of minutes can only happen if the Gators 1st team plays well. They should not be coming in to this game thinking they can just show up and win. Need I remind you about a small town team called Georgia Southern that beat the Gators 26-20 back in 2013. Anybody can be beat by anybody on any given Saturday if you do not execute and play well. Idaho loves to throw the ball and the way the Gators secondary has played lately it is kind of scary. In order to get a New Years 6 bowl bid the Gators need to beat the pants off of Idaho and beat FSU and hope somebody above them in the current rankings falls. The first part of this equation is beating the pants off of Idaho so they should just focus on that for this week.

    • I think it’s a little bit of a different story here. The team that faced Georgia Southern was 4-7 at the time coming off 5 straight losses and severely depleted with injuries. I think it’s safe to say they pretty much gave up on the season at that point. This team is still playing for a shot at a New Years 6 bowl, so I’m sure they’ll be a little more focused than that team was.

  2. Hey True Blue-you must’ve been reading my mind. Those are my thoughts exactly. This appears to be a mini-version of Missouri. Looks like they have little quick receivers and like to utilize short quick passes. I hope they come out firing on all cylinders, get a big lead to get all of the starters off of the field, and then get the young guns on the field. I truly hope he doesn’t play EJ just for the fact I would like to see him play against fswho and in the bowl game. GEAUXXXX GATORS!!

  3. If Jones plays against Idaho, and Franks gets injured in the FSU game, Jones will have to play the last two games and burn his red shirt. May be a non issue a couple of years from now but has to be part of the equation.

  4. I don’t think Emory Jones will play in this game. I feel like Mullen needs to have a backup vs FSU in case something happens to Franks. We have no other QBs. They will want to leverage the extra practices for the Bowl and give Jones some playing time in that game.

  5. I am very proud and pleased with the Gator football team this year. Yes, we have lost a few games, but we won most of them – several by comeback victories. This team as guts – it has heart – it has the desire to win that requires hard work, dedication and determination. I see a very promising future for the Florida Gators under HC Dan Mullen and crew. GO GATORS!!!

  6. Lets not write off Frank’s just yet. The goal with Jones is this year’s backup imo. No special sequence of plays and protect him from injury. If he is to ever win the starting job let him earn it just like linebacker or tight end.

  7. I also doubt we see Emory. I expect Kadarius Toney to be at qb by the third quarter and a walk-on by the last five minutes. Of course, I believe Franks and company hang almost a “half a hunnert” on outmatched Idaho by intermission. Save Emory for the two games whose outcome is less certain. Gators to win big, 70-10.

  8. Idaho is a cozy little state university located about 8 miles up the road from Washington State, but 1/3 its enrollment. Out of curiosity I watched a few minutes of their game with Montana last week on Root Sports Northwest. A lot of young Gators should be getting a chance to play once the first string has them under control.