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Mullen Non-Committal Regarding Florida Gators Starting QB

Dan Mullen has no plans to inform the public about the Florida Gators' starting quarterback versus Georgia.

Odds are, Florida fans won't know who their starting quarterback is until the Gators take the field for their first offensive snap against the Georgia on Oct. 30.

At least, that was the gist of head coach Dan Mullen's message on Wednesday's SEC coaches teleconference call. Although Mullen opted for redshirt freshman Anthony Richardson over redshirt junior and incumbent starter Emory Jones halfway through UF's loss to LSU this past weekend, the head coach is seemingly in no rush to make that move official for future contests.

"We're really fortunate. We have two really good quarterbacks here," Mullen remarked. "We've played them both in every game they've been healthy. I see us continuing down that path."

Mullen has made similar statements throughout the season, acknowledging that Florida has two starting-caliber quarterbacks and that he is thankful the Gators are in that position. But reporters on the call didn't bite on the non-answer and proceeded to ask Mullen about Jones' job security.

"Like everything, we'll look at everything. We evaluate everything that we do all the time," Mullen said. "Both guys have played a bunch, they have experience, you have two guys that are a pretty good combination out on the field together.

"I'm never going to get into the strategy of what we're going to do in the game," Mullen continued as reporters pressed on. "Like I said, we played both quarterbacks in every game and I'm not really going to get into the strategy of when I'm going to play the different guys. I'm not going to tell you what the first play of the game is, if that's what you're asking."

However, Mullen's non-answer regarding a starting quarterback could raise some eyebrows with additional context. He has, specifically, previously gotten into the strategy of what Florida was going to do in a game at quarterback this season.

Mullen made waves earlier in the season when he was asked a similar question to the ones he's being asked now. When reporters inquired if Jones would remain Florida's starting quarterback after he was outperformed by Richardson against USF, Mullen retorted with a question of his own. 

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"Yeah, uh, yes. Like I said, we have two really good quarterbacks. You’ll see both of them play every single game," Mullen said in September, confirming Jones' starting status while leaving the door open for Richardson to enter games. "You know what you never ask? Why don’t you ask who the starting running back is?"

Because Florida's running back rotation, comprised of three capable contributors in Dameon Pierce, Malik Davis and Nay'Quan Wright, hasn't led to a mid-game benching. Each back has been productive, hasn't committed any game-changing mistakes, and no player has drastically out-performed another who is eating into their playing time.  

Those things have happened at the quarterback position, though.

Now, Mullen is refusing to give Jones the same nod of confidence that he did earlier in the season. That could mean nothing, and Mullen certainly could start Jones against Georgia after two weeks of making the Bulldogs guess. It could also mean that Mullen truthfully does not know who his No. 1 quarterback will be.

Or, although Mullen won't confirm it with his words, it could mean Florida is quietly preparing Richardson to take the first snap against UGA next Saturday. 

Actions speak louder than words (or a lack thereof) sometimes, and Mullen's latest action was to replace Jones with Richardson while the Gators were losing by two possessions to LSU. 

Mullen's next action will be loud, perhaps the loudest decision that he's made as Florida's head coach. But only time will tell what action Mullen will take.

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