No. 11 Florida welcomes No. 1 Alabama to The Swamp on Saturday in an early season SEC showdown with College Football Playoff implications.
It also features one of the most intriguing quarterbacks of the first two weeks. In this case, we’re not talking about Alabama’s Bryce Young.
Anthony Richardson is not starting at Florida yet, but the redshirt freshman’s play-making ability has been on display through the Gators’ first two victories. Florida coach Dan Mullen said starting quarterback Emory Jones and Richardson will continue to share time. Still, Richardson brings the curiosity factor.
Will the big-time plays pop against the Crimson Tide? Who exactly is Richardson?
Richardson is a hometown favorite
Richardson is a four-star dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2020. He played at Eastside High School in Gainesville, Fla. The 6-4, 224-pound quarterback had 4,633 passing yards with 37 TDs and 1,633 rushing yards with 41 TDs.
Richardson saw limited action last year with the Gators, and he threw a TD in the loss against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl Classic.
Richardson makes big plays
Richardson is getting attention because of the quick-strike scores he’s made in wins against FAU and South Florida. Richardson totaled 275 passing yards on just 11 attempts and 192 rushing yards on 11 carries. That’s an average of 21.2 yards per play.
Anthony Richardson’s plays run/pass plays in 2021
Nine of those plays have gone for 20 yards or more, and the four TDs are all from 40 yards or more. That’s why Richardson could be trending Saturday if he makes a few big plays.
Why isn’t Richardson starting?
Emory Jones has started in Florida’s past two games. Jones, a junior, has 264 passing yards but has four interceptions this season.
In the first two games against FAU and South Florida, Jones played the first two series before Richardson entered the game. Mullen said earlier this week that will be the plan again.
Where does Richardson need to improve?
Richardson has completed 54.6 percent of his passes through two games. That needs to be better against an Alabama pass defense that allows 173 yards per game.
Who is the last Florida QB to beat Alabama?
Alabama has won six straight in the series with Florida. The Gators’ last win was on Dec. 6, 2008, in the SEC championship game.
Tim Tebow led Florida to a 31-20 victory with 216 passing yards, 57 rushing yards and three total touchdowns.