Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier confirmed on Wednesday that a key player will be out against the Tennessee Vols on Saturday.

Napier told reporters that backup quarterback Jack Miller won’t be available on Saturday against Tennessee.

Miller is a former four-star recruit who was rated as the No. 13 pro-style quarterback in the nation in the 2020 recruiting class.

Typically, a backup quarterback wouldn’t be viewed as a “key player”, but Miller’s continued absence (he’s recovering from thumb surgery that he underwent in the offseason) could have major implications on this game.

Gators starting quarterback Anthony Richardson is a bit banged up, which has limited what he can do on the field — specifically in the running game.

Florida’s backup quarterback situation with Miller out isn’t exactly ideal, so the Gators’ coaching staff has instructed Richardson to try to avoid big hits. He’ll still run if he needs to, but he likely won’t run as often as he did in the season-opener against Utah (when he rushed for 106 yards).

With Miller still out, I expect Richardson to continue to be hesitant to run.

Backup quarterbacks have traditionally had success against Tennessee, so I’m sure Vols fans are happy they won’t have to deal with Miller this week if something happens to Richardson.

This poll has ended (since 15 hours).

Who will win Saturday in Knoxville between Tennessee and Florida?

Tennessee Volunteers
86.15%
Florida Gators
13.85%

Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports