Here’s a clear-eyed post from David Wunderlich about what Florida needs for Emory Jones to accomplish this season.
The bigger question is the second half of the statement. What UF needs is dependent on what your expectation of the team is. Do you want to see the Gators challenging Alabama in Week 3 and giving Georgia an honest run for its money in the East? That’s a higher bar than getting back to ten total wins after winning in a New Year’s Six bowl.
David notes that most of Mullen’s quarterbacks have improved their completion percentages as they’ve gone along. It’s not unreasonable to expect that will be the case with Jones. But herein lies the rub:
Here we’re coming back to the limitations of completion percentage. If Jones is completing 66% of his throws but for 7.1 yards per completion, we’re probably looking at a significant offensive regression. Franks went for 7.6 yards/att in 2018 despite having almost no practical limit to how far he can throw. Trask went over eight per toss in 2019 and was a hair under ten in 2020.
It’s the accuracy on the intermediate and long throws that will count most, since you can’t dink-and-dunk your way past Nick Saban or teams as talented as this year’s Georgia.
And that’s what I anticipate, come this season. Jones will be an effective runner and his completion percentage will be respectable. But Florida isn’t going anywhere if there’s significant regression in yards per completion and I’d bet that’s exactly what’s coming with Jones.