Florida’s Anthony Richardson to start vs. Florida State with Emory Jones injured, per reports

By Adam Silverstein
November 24, 2021
Florida’s Anthony Richardson to start vs. Florida State with Emory Jones injured, per reports

Image Credit: Courtney Culbreath / UAA

Ahead of a must-win rivalry game that has bowl eligibility vs. a losing on the line for both teams, it is expected that the Florida Gators will move to redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Richardson as the team’s starter on Saturday against the Florida State Seminoles, according to The Gainesville Sun‘s Zach Abolverdi. Richardson moves into the starting role after redshirt junior Emory Jones injured his ankle in practice Monday, according to 247Sports’ Thomas Goldkamp.

Update: Jones returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to be available to play Saturday, according to The Athletic’s G. Allan Taylor. It is not yet known whether that means Jones will start the game, though it may be too early to tell.

The turbulence Richardson has faced this season has been a microcosm of the team as a whole. After getting off to a hot start with 275 yards rushing and four total touchdowns in Florida’s first two games, Richardson was sidelined with an injured hamstring he suffered in that second game against South Florida. He played sparingly over the next month until UF faced a significant deficit at LSU on Oct. 16.

That led former head coach Dan Mullen to insert Richardson into the game. The returns were immediate with Richardson completing 10 of 19 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for another score. However, he also threw two interceptions in the game, including one that iced the win for the Tigers.

Richardson earned his first career start two weeks later against No. 1 Georgia. After struggling to get going early in the game, he committed turnovers on three consecutive drives near the end of the first half that led to 21 straight points for the Bulldogs and put the Gators in a massive hole. Richardson then suffered a concussion early in the second half with Jones replacing him.

Richardson has not played since that Oct. 30 game due to a combination delayed clearance from the concussion, Jones playing exceedingly well vs. Samford, Richardson injuring himself dancing in the team hotel before a game, and Richardson sustaining an undisclosed injury in practice last week.

Saturday will be his second career start and an opportunity for Richardson to show what he can do in a full game against a team that does not boast the nation’s top-ranked defense. Interim coach Greg Knox previously said Richardson would play in the game as long as he was healthy.

Richardson, despite some struggles, has been one of the few bright spots for Florida this season as it looks to the future. The Gators are in the midst of their fourth head coaching search in 11 years.

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