Malik Zaire (photo/Florida Athletics)

Not only will the Missouri Tigers face the Florida Gators with a new head coach, but they’ll be tasked with stopping Malik Zaire who was named the starting quarterback for this Saturday’s matchup at Faurot Field. (11am Central kick). Gators interim head coach Randy Shannon made the announcement late Thursday morning.

“Today is an opportunity for him to run the offense and understand the expectations that we have for him,” Shannon told “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, a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, has been the backup all season and played in just two games in relief of redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks.  Against Michigan & Georgia, he has completed 12 of 23 passes for 142 yards. Zaire led the Gators on their only touchdown drive against Georgia.

In three years with Notre Dame, he appeared in 17 games and made four career starts for the Irish.