Early enrollee QB Anthony Richardson helped Florida prepare for Virginia
Florida early enrollee QB Anthony Richardson won’t get to play in Monday’s Orange Bowl, but if the Gators beat Virginia, he will deserve some credit for helping UF prepare for the Cavaliers.
This month, Richardson joined in the growing trend of early enrollees participating in on-campus bowl game practices. On Sunday, Dan Mullen revealed Richardson played an important role while the Gators were still in Gainesville.
At the Orange Bowl coaches press conference, a reporter asked Mullen if Richardson or fellow dual-threat QB Emory Jones helped with preparing for Virginia’s dual-threat QB, Bryce Perkins. Mullen made it clear that the role went to Richardson.
“Well, it was nice when we were in Gainesville when Anthony Richardson came in and really didn’t know a whole lot on our offense but was able to go be a scout team quarterback for a week,” Mullen said.
Perkins is UVA’s leading rusher in both carries (213) and rushing yards (745). Containing Perkins on the ground and pressuring him as a passer figure to be two keys to the Gators’ defensive game plan.
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Mullen’s full answer on preparing for Perkins can be viewed below, via the official transcript:
Q. You’ve had guys like Bryce before, so how do you stop him? And also, were you able to use Emory and maybe Anthony for a few days to give you those looks?
DAN MULLEN: Well, it was nice when we were in (Gainesville) when Anthony Richardson came in and really didn’t know a whole lot on our offense but was able to go be a scout team quarterback for a week. To get a guy that could run around and give looks — you know, the most challenging thing, obviously, when you have a quarterback that’s as athletic as Bryce is, is one, the ability to run the ball, that you’ve got to defend all 11 players, both within the run game, and to be able to stop him. The hardest part about doing that when you do that, a lot of times you look at a guy that’s more just a dropback pocket passer you don’t have to defend him in the run game, you can use that extra guy to go defend in the pass game.
So you have to use that extra defender to help stop the run. Then a guy like Bryce who you’ve watched him grow and develop and become a really good passer, even from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, you’re seeing him develop and grow as a passer, to be able to hurt you with his arm, now they’ve created the mismatch that way. And then the scariest one is the plays that he makes after the play has broken down. You know, to sit there and say, okay, we stop the run or we stop the pass and all of a sudden he made somebody miss, he scrambled around, he got out of the pocket, he broke contain, and now you have a guy that is a great athlete in the open field making plays happen.
You’ve got to be sound. You’ve got to be disciplined. You’ve got to understand he’s going to make plays, and you just have to limit the amount that he can make.
The Orange Bowl is set for Monday with an 8 p.m. kickoff. The game will air on ESPN.