Notebook: It's Driskel's turn vs. LSU


Sports, Online
Sports, Online

Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel runs along the sidelines against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 in Gainesville.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, October 1, 2012 at 6:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 1, 2012 at 6:43 p.m.

Heading into last year's game at LSU, then true freshman Jeff Driskel was expected to make his first career start for injured senior quarterback John Brantley.

But Driskel had his own injury — a sprained ankle suffered the week prior against Alabama — and was unable to suit up against the Tigers.

“I was in the training room all day long trying to get back, doing whatever I could,” Driskel said. “But there was just not enough time. An injury like a sprained ankle takes time.

“Nobody likes being sidelined. I wasn't happy obviously, but that's part of the game. There's gonna be injuries and the next guy just has to be ready to go.”

That guy was fellow true freshman Jacoby Brissett, who got the nod against LSU and remained the No. 2 quarterback for the rest of 2011.

Although the injury caused Driskel to miss some time, he feels it wasn't responsible for his drop on the depth chart.

“I hadn't been playing well, and that's what it came down to,” he said. “They were going to put the guy in who was going to perform the best and at that time that wasn't me.”

Florida coach Will Muschamp credited Driskel for how he bounced back in the offseason.

“A lot of guys nowadays want to point at a situation and say it's unfair,” Muschamp said. “Instead, he decided to go back and work. He had a really good spring, a really good summer and a great training camp.

“So he's a guy that took his circumstances and did something about it. It's a credit to him and his fortitude and his drive to be the starting quarterback at the University of Florida.”

Backs blocking better

Having been the defensive coordinator at LSU, Muschamp is well aware of the Tigers' talent on defense. He said the strength of this year's unit is along the defensive line.

“This is probably as good of a front four in college football,” Muschamp said. “You look at the edge pressure they are able to create with four guys rushing; they're very talented across the board. Inside, they're a difficult group to block.”

It's inevitable that the Tigers will get in the backfield, but Muschamp believes senior running back Mike Gillislee and sophomore running back Hunter Joyer are up to the challenge.

“I think that's one of the things where Mike's very attractive as a guy on the next level, because of his protection and because of how intelligent he is in picking up the right blitz, sticking his face in there and being able to block. Mike does a great job,” Muschamp said.

“Hunter has been fantastic in blocking the two-back power force this year and some of the perimeter blocks. You look at the run against A&M there that Mike scored on, that was a huge block by Hunter. So he's done really a fantastic job and really an unsung hero so to speak in that position. I think both of those guys have blocked extremely well for us.”

No Gator Chomps

After his 13-yard touchdown against Tennessee, Florida junior fullback Trey Burton did several Gator Chomps as he ran along the back of the end zone.

UF players may be inclined to use the chomp more in the big atmosphere this weekend, but they have been flagged for it in previous years. When asked about the celebration, Muschamp said he has told his players not to because referees can still call the penalty.

“They certainly can,” Muschamp said. “We've addressed it.”

Injury Report

Muschamp said Burton (back spasms), redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed (concussion) and junior defensive end Dominique Easley (knee) were expected back at practice Monday. Redshirt junior linebacker Jelani Jenkins (thumb) will be non-contact until Wednesday and may play Saturday, Muschamp said. Chances are good Jenkins will play with a cast on his hand.

Etc.

ESPNU will feature the Florida Gators on ESPN All-Access at 7 p.m. Tuesday. … UF's game at Vanderbilt on Oct. 13 is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff and will be televised on ESPNU.

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