Sports

Mullen: Jones still Gators’ QB1 despite hiccups

Florida coach Dan Mullen is sticking with Emory Jones as his starting quarterback despite a second straight game with two interceptions as the No. 13 Gators beat South Florida 44-20 on Saturday.

Freshman quarterback Anthony Richardson, meanwhile, continues to impress from a backup role for the Gators, throwing touchdowns on each of his first two pass attempts against USF. He also ran for an 80-yard touchdown.

Richardson came up limping after the run with what Mullen said was a hamstring pull.

Mullen was asked whether Jones, a redshirt junior, would remain the starter as Florida prepares to host No. 1 Alabama next Saturday.

“Yeah,” Mullen said, laughing. “Yes. As I said, we have two really good quarterbacks.”

“We’ll play two every games,” he added.

Last season, Jones appeared in a supplementary role to starter Kyle Trask, who was a Heisman Trophy finalist and was selected in the second round of the NFL draft.

Jones was the Week 1 starter against Florida Atlantic and completed 17 of 27 passes for 113 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed for 74 yards.

Against USF on Saturday, his numbers were similar: 14 of 22 for 151 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Jones also rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Richardson has taken on that secondary role, coming on the field in certain situations. He led the offense during Florida’s third drive against USF and promptly threw a 75-yard touchdown.

Two drives later, he was back on the field and threw a 41-yard score.

So far this season, Richardson has completed 6 of 11 passes for 192 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s run for 275 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries.

“He doesn’t always do the right thing, but he does special things,” Mullen said. “We’ve got to keep coaching him to be efficient and make sure we’re making all the right reads.”

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