UF’s Pease: It’s Brissett’s chance
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
They are similar quarterbacks with similar skill sets. But, as similar as they are, Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett are not the same quarterback. That’s why Florida coordinator Brent Pease is tweaking his offense this week in anticipation of Brissett taking over for the injured Driskel.
“It’s going to be Jacoby in there and everything’s going to be centered around him,” Pease said Tuesday. “He’s taken good quality reps through fall camp. Now, it’s just kind of getting him settled in of what we’re going to do with the game plan.”
Driskel sprained his right ankle in the third quarter of last Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette, and Brissett came in and helped the Gators pull out a 27-20 victory.
UF coach Will Muschamp said Monday that Driskel is doubtful for Saturday’s game with Jacksonville State and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Driskel was on crutches and it’s looking more and more like Brissett will be UF’s starting quarterback Saturday.
That means adjusting the offense this week to fit Brissett’s skill set. One probable change is the Gators likely will limit those option-read plays and and maybe even eliminate the designed quarterback runs that were such a good fit for Driskel, but probably not for Brissett.
“Yeah, that’s a fair assessment,” Pease said. “I think they’re two different type guys. Like say, throwing-wise. They both are in touch with what we’re doing there. Jacoby’s probably not much of a read-option type guy. We’ll devise some things (to fit Brissett).
“He’s not the runner Jeff is. He doesn’t have the elusiveness and speed. I’m not saying we won’t do it. I’m just saying some of those things are built a little more for Jeff’s ability than Jacoby’s.”
Brissett may get more opportunities to throw the ball down the field. He’s executed the downfield passing game in practice, Pease said, and he had some success in Saturday’s game, almost hitting Frankie Hammond Jr. on a deep pass and then completing a 39-yard pass down the middle to tight end Jordan Reed.
“I'm so proud of the kid to step into a tough situation and make the plays he did when he did,” Pease said. “He's made the plays in practice, too. It's not like they're new plays and he hasn't done them.
“He obviously puts things out there that we will try to do things that benefit him a little bit more in a game plan. Yet he's still going to have to do some things that are our base, our base offense to execute.
“The one thing Jacoby does do is he’s got good vision for the field. But sometimes when you’ve got good vision for the field, you’re holding on to the ball a little bit. He’s got good pocket awareness and understands coverages and sees things that he needs to see.”
Although Pease and his staff are tweaking some things, the offense — and offensive philosophy — will basically remain the same with Brissett under center.
“I still think we stay within our philosophy,” Pease said. “To get to 9-1 and work towards getting to 10-1 and hopefully 11-1, I think we've got a pretty good recipe. Is it totally what you want it to be in the big picture? No. There's things we've got to improve on. There's pieces you can put in.
“Jacoby has a great opportunity, and what he does to improve us and do good for himself as well as his teammates, hey, it's his stage for this game. Step up and do what you've got to do. Your number's called, go carry the flag."
Pease said Brissett is prepared to step in as the starter because he’s continued to compete and stay focused in practice even though he was edged out by Driskel for the starting role after the opener.
“Jacoby has handled it professionally,” Pease said. “He’s handled it like he’s mature about the situation. I’m sure he didn’t like it. I wouldn’t want him to like it. But he’s been admirable about what he’s done.
“It shows because to step in in a situation like that and to have to make some plays as opposed to just taking reps to end the game, it shows he’s prepared every week. He’s prepped himself and he’s been ready for that situation rather than a full-game situation. Now he’s got an opportunity to be a full-game situation.”
Brissett is a low-key kind of guy, but he’ll be pumped up about this opportunity, Pease said.
“I might think he’ll have probably a little more juice in his step. He’s probably going to be pretty excited,” Pease said. “Maybe a little bit more focused, putting more into it. I think that’s what we all naturally would do. So I would expect to see that from him.”
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.