Florida names Malik Zaire starter against Missouri

Zaire transferred to Florida before the 2017 season. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Florida quarterback Malik Zaire is getting his chance to start.

The Gators said Thursday that the graduate transfer would be the team’s starting QB on Saturday vs. Missouri Feleipe Franks started in Week 9 against Georgia.

“Malik is the starting quarterback for this upcoming game at Missouri,” Florida interim coach Randy Shannon said in an article on Florida’s website. “This is his opportunity to get this team where it needs to be and not to be satisfied just because he’s the starter.

“Today is an opportunity for him to run the offense and understand the expectations that we have for him. This is not a time for him to feel comfortable and feel like he’s made it. We want him to keep grinding and understand that competition is very good.”

Franks has been the team’s primary starting quarterback in 2017. Zaire, who transferred from Notre Dame and enrolled at Florida over the summer, has only gotten playing time in two games this season, both in relief of Franks. He was 9-17 for 106 yards in a 33-17 loss to Michigan in Week 1 and was 3-6 for 36 yards against Georgia.

Florida’s offense has sputtered once again in 2017. The Gators, 3-4, have broken the 30-point barrier just once this season and has failed to crack the 20-point mark in the last three games.

Gator quarterbacks have thrown five touchdowns and five interceptions this season. Franks is 75-125 for 830 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Luke Del Rio, who started that Vanderbilt game and played the week before at Kentucky, is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!