Florida gives QB Zaire a shot as starter

Nov 2, 2017 - 5:23 PM Florida interim head coach Randy Shannon is making a change at quarterback in his first game, starting graduate transfer Malik Zaire on Saturday at Missouri.

Zaire has played sparingly following his summer transfer from Notre Dame, appearing in two games and completing 12 of 23 passes for 142 yards.

"Malik is the starting quarterback for this upcoming game at Missouri," Shannon said in a statement from the school. "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."

Zaire replaces redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks, who has started six games. He lost the starting job to Luke Del Rio for a game, but Del Rio suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in his only start, against Vanderbilt on Sept. 30.

Florida (3-4, 3-3 SEC) is on a three-game losing streak and fired coach Jim McElwain on Sunday, elevating Shannon from defensive coordinator.

Franks has struggled in the three-game skid, completing a combined 35 of 62 passes for 273 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions against LSU, Texas A&M and Georgia.

Florida plays Missouri (3-5, 0-5) on Saturday.

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