Andreu's Answers: UF QBs need work


Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel throws a pass against the Bowling Green Flacons during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Bowling Green 27-14.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 8:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 12:53 a.m.

Before every Florida game, veteran Sun football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here's Week One:

1. Is there finally some separation between the two Florida quarterbacks -- Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel?

They were both shaky, both mediocre. So, no, there was no obvious separation to those watching from the stands or the press box. But the coaches must have seen something, because after evaluating the situation at the half, Driskel played the entire second half. But don't read too much into that. Coach Will Muschamp said it was because his mobility fit better into the flow of the game. The QB issue is right where it was heading into the game. The position will be re-evaluated today, Muschamp said.

2. Will the Gators be able to establish their downhill running game with tailbacks Mike Gillislee, Mack Brown and Matt Jones?

Gillislee had a career performance, rushing for 148 yards, and the Gators had success running between the tackles when they were not in obvious running situations. But when UF had to run the ball on third - or fourth-and-short, they got stuffed just about every time. If this offensive line is tougher and stronger than a year ago, it did not show Saturday.

3. How will a talented and veteran UF secondary match up against quarterback Matt Schilz and a potent Bowling Green passing attack?

For some reason, the Gator defensive backs, especially the corners, seem to play soft for much of the game, creating opportunities for Bowling Green's quick passing game -- and Schilz was able to move the Falcons through the air for much of the game. Overall, it was just an OK performance by a secondary that aspires to be one of the best in the nation this season. There is work to do.

4. Will the Florida defense buck last year's trend and produce some turnovers?

The Gators finally came up with a big turnover. It came on the first play of the fourth quarter on an interception by sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson. But it's not like it was forced. Quarterback Matt Schilz's pass hit wide receiver Shaun Joplin in the hands, but he tipped it in the air and Roberson was able to make the interception to preserve a 17-14 UF lead. Once again, the UF defenders seem to be almost trying too hard to come up with strips, instead of attacking and playing aggressively and letting the turnovers come naturally -- like the muffed punt the Gators recovered with 3:03 left in the game.

5. How many true freshmen will play for the Gators and how will they do?

Many of the true freshmen played. The one who appeared to make the biggest impact was Buck linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler, who played most of the second half and came up with a key fourth-down stop late in the fourth quarter to preserve the shaky Florida victory. Others who saw playing time were linebacker Antonio Morrison, defensive end Jonathan Bullard, tailback Matt Jones, wide receiver Latroy Pittman, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries, offensive guard Jessamen Dunker and tight end Kent Taylor.

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