Notebook: Driskel back at practice


Florida freshman quarterback Jeff Driskel is taking reps at practice. (Photo courtesy of UF Communications)

Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 12:21 a.m.

Florida's great true-freshman-quarterback competition is on.

Jeff Driskel has returned to the field this week and is taking reps in practice along with last week's starter, Jacoby Brissett.

On Monday before the team's first practice of the week, coach Will Muschamp said Brissett would be considered the starter until Driskel's status could be determined.

Then Driskel was able to practice on Monday and Tuesday.




“We've given a lot of reps to predominantly Jacoby and Jeff so far,” offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said after practice on Tuesday. “I wouldn't say they're split, but they've both gotten enough reps where either one would be ready to play in the game.”

Weis said Driskel's ankle is no longer a hindrance.

“I wouldn't be giving him that many reps if that were the case,” he said.

Both quarterbacks could play on Saturday, Weis said, and the gameplan would be the same because the two are so similar.

“There's a lot of similarities,” he said. “Jacoby would be the first one to admit to you that Jeff's faster than him. That's not one thing that young quarterbacks like to admit.

“They're both young, strong, physical guys, very sharp mentally with a very, very high ceiling. Both of these guys have room to improve and be very, very, very good players.”

Injury update

Auburn coach Gene Chizik didn't have much to say on Tuesday about his leading wide receiver, junior Emory Blake, who reportedly suffered a high ankle sprain two weeks ago at South Carolina. He leads Auburn with 19 catches for 333 yards and four touchdowns.

"It's really probably going to be a game-time decision,” Chizik said.

Also dealing with an injured shoulder is redshirt freshman Trovon Reed, who has missed the last two games.

"You saw (last) Saturday who we played with,” Chizik said of his wideouts. “It's not going to be much different Saturday.”

Another key player injured at Arkansas last week was offensive guard Jared Cooper, who hurt his right foot and was seen with a protective boot and crutches on the sideline. He was replaced by redshirt freshman Chad Slade and is unlikely to play against Florida.

“The prospects don't look good," Chizik said.

Starting Patchan

Florida has made one significant change on it's offensive line, starting fourth-year junior Matt Patchan at left tackle in place of junior Xavier Nixon.

“He's played with a lot of physicality, that's what's got him more time,” Weis said. “When he has a better idea and knows what he's doing and can really turn it loose, he can be a dominant physical presence. That's what he's shown to earn himself more playing time.”

Chizik vs. alma mater

Chizik was born in Tarpon Springs and played football at Clearwater High in the late 1970s before playing for Florida coach Charley Pell in 1981. He went on to graduate from UF with a bachelor's degree in education in 1985. His first coaching job was at Seminole High School in Tampa Bay in 1986.

He didn't have much to say about facing his alma mater on Saturday.

"It's not about me,” he said. “This is about another great SEC week for Auburn and another great opportunity for our team.”

Muschamp, however, did have kind words for Chizik.

“He's a good defensive football coach,” he said on Monday. “I got to know Gene when I was the defensive coordinator at LSU and he was at Auburn, and I've got a lot of respect for the work he's done.”

Florida-Georgia HOF

Since 1996 the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame has inducted four individuals each year the day before the annual game between arch-rivals in Jacksonville.

This year, former Gators defensive lineman Kevin Carter and running back Nat Moore are the latest inductees from UF. The Georgia inductees are former linebackers John Brantley (no relation to UF's quarterback) and Bill Saye.

Carter was a consensus first-team All-American defensive end in 1994. Moore, currently a pre-game host for the Gator Radio Network, was a first-team All-SEC running back who broke the UF rushing record at the time with 845 yards.

Contact Jeff Barlis at (352) 374-5066 or barlisj@gvillesun.com and follow at http://Twitter.com/JeffBarlis

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