Notebook: Brantley will start
Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 12:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 12:34 p.m.
Florida coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday quarterback John Brantley will start Saturday's game against Georgia unless something unexpected happens between then and now.
“John Brantley has continued to progress pretty well through the week,” Muschamp said on the SEC coaches' teleconference. “I expect him, obviously, to play Saturday unless something shocking comes up here in the latter part of the week.”
Brantley sustained a high ankle sprain late in the first half of the Alabama game almost four weeks ago and missed the LSU and Auburn losses.
He returned to practice Monday and has been able to run the offense effectively.
“He's throwing it well,” Muschamp said. “We'll progress through today and Thursday and the walk through on Friday and see how he continues to improve.
“There is no question that psychologically, a senior quarterback and how well he was playing and how well we were playing offensively, when he was in the game, it was a psychological advantage for our entire team. It creates some good momentum for your team.”
If Brantley is unable to go Saturday, true freshman Jacoby Brissett would get his third consecutive start at quarterback.
Demps running fast
Muschamp said tailback Jeff Demps, who missed the Auburn game with a sprained ankle, is back to 100 percent this week.
“He's practiced well,” Muschamp said. “We feel like the off week obviously helped. We feel like he's at top speed.”
Murray impresses Muschamp
Redshirt sophomore Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has a fan in Muschamp.
“He throws the ball very well,” Muschamp said. “He's completing over 60 percent and you don't look at their passing game as an underneath passing game. They have a lot of vertical throws. That's impressive.
“No. 2 is his mobility. He runs well. He's got great presence in the pocket as far as getting away from the rush and getting rid of the football on time. Those are things that jump out at you.
“He's got some good leadership ability and qualities and a lot of starts under his belt in this league.”
More on Christian, Clark
Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said he was caught a little off guard by the news Tuesday that he was losing two of his players — tight end Gerald Christian and wide receiver Robert Clark. The two former Palm Beach Dwyer teammates decided to transfer.
“Both of them surprised me, to tell you the truth,” Weis said. “They practiced last week every day. You think if you were going to quit, you'd quit last week. Why would you go through a bye week practice?
“I know one thing: I'm not going to go through practice on the bye week and then say, ‘OK, I practiced last week when we don't have a game and then I'm going to go this week.' That caught me off-guard, let me just say.”
Muschamp would not comment on Christian and Clark on Wednesday, saying they are no longer part of the team.
Cleaning up the ‘O'
Weis said the offensive staff spent the bye week last week trying to fix the things that got off track in the three consecutive losses.
“We had a lot of things to clean up after the last three games, where things didn't go very well, especially offensively,” he said. “There were several areas that we addressed. You can't fix everything, but you can move in the right direction by fixing a lot of the major things or working on the major things.
“There isn't anything we identified that we don't feel better about now than we did a week and a half ago.”
Weis said the bye week came at a good time for the Gators.
“The timing came at a good time because psychologically the loss to Auburn was deflating,” he said. “I think that any time you're coming off of — hey, look at, Alabama and LSU, they whupped us pretty good. I'm a very straightforward person. Those games really turned out fairly lopsided at the end of the game. Now that wasn't the case at Auburn.
“Psychologically, that was a good time for a bye. It's always a good time for a bye physically, because you have the walking wounded and then a week later, everyone but one guy is listed as a go. So physically, a bye is always good, but psychologically I thought it couldn't have come at a better time.”
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