Florida’s Emory Jones to play in Gasparilla Bowl, Anthony Richardson ruled out

6-6 Gators look to finish strong versus 8-4 Knights
Gators arrive in Tampa
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 10:02 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Despite planning to transfer at season’s end, Florida Gator quarterback Emory Jones will start against UCF in Thursday’s Gasparilla Bowl, UF interim head coach Greg Knox said on Monday upon his team’s arrival in Tampa.

Knox actually has very little choice, as redshirt freshman Anthony Richardson has been ruled unavailable after recent surgery.

Jones has had an up-and-down redshirt junior season, passing for 19 touchdowns but tossing 13 interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing with 696 yards and four more touchdowns.

The Gasparilla Bowl pits two schools who don’t have much head-to-head history. Knox believes his 6-6 Gators will still be motivated to beat the 8-4 Knights.

“It’s not a rivalry, but an in-state game against an in-state team,” said Knox. “Guys are playing guys they played against in high school or with in high school, so it’s a big game and our kids are approaching it that way.”

Florida junior cornerback Kaiir Elam will also suit up and play despite being a projected first round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Elam has made no declaration about his future.

Seniors like running back Malik Davis are savoring one last chance to play for the Gators and an opportunity to be called best team in the state of Florida in 2021.

“That’s what makes it more exciting when everybody talks about who’s the best team here,” said Davis. “UCF is a team that’s been playing well over the last few years so it’d be a good game.”

Kickoff for the Gasparilla Bowl is set for 7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.

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