Brissett will start, UF's Muschamp says
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 12:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 12:12 p.m.
The anticipated news became official Wednesday.
Sophomore Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett will start Saturday's game against Jacksonville State in place of injured starter Jeff Driskel, whose sprained ankle has prevented him from practicing this week.
“Jeff is out. Jacoby will start and play well,” UF coach Will Muschamp said on the SEC coaches' teleconference Wednesday. “I have a lot of confidence in Jacoby. It's his opportunity. I'm looking forward to seeing him play.”
Driskel sprained his right ankle in the third quarter of last Saturday's game against Louisiana-Lafayette and has been on crutches this week. Muschamp said Monday that Driskel would be re-evaluated Wednesday, saying if he could return to practice there was a chance he could play Saturday.
"He can't get on the practice field today,” Muschamp said. “If you don't go by Wednesday, you don't need to play. You certainly don't need to start.
“(I've) got all the confidence in the world in Jacoby. He'll play well and he's preparing himself. The one snap away, man down, man up, and that's been our motto.”
Brissett came off the bench and helped the Gators rally for a 27-20 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. He threw the tying touchdown pass to Quinton Dunbar with 1:42 to play in the game. UF won the game on a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown by Jelani Jenkins.
This will be Brissett's fourth career start. He started the LSU and Auburn games last season and the season opener against Bowling Green in September. Driskel was named the starter after that game.
Muschamp said it's still too early to tell if Driskel will be able to return for next week's game at arch-rival Florida State.
“We're just working through this week and it's day-to-day whenever you deal with an ankle,” Muschamp said. “It's a day-to-day process.
“It's a situation that continues to improve. How much it will continue to improve into next week, I have no idea at this time. We feel like he'll be available, but who knows.”
Muschamp announced three other players were definitely out for Saturday's game — wide receiver/returner Andre Debose (knee), linebacker Neiron Ball (ankle) and safety De'Ante Saunders (ankle).
Offensive guard Ian Silberman is questionable, while offensive tackle Xavier Nixon and offensive guard James Wilson are probable.
Muschamp also addressed the situation regarding junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. In a story by USA Today, it was revealed Tuesday that Floyd was legally adopted by the same man (Kevin Lahn) who gave him illegal benefits when he was a senior in high school. Floyd was ruled ineligible for the first two games last season and ordered by the NCAA to reimburse Lahn and give $2,700 to charity.
Muschamp said he was aware of the adoption and that Floyd and UF are in the clear concerning any possible NCAA wrongdoing.
“Absolutely nothing,” Muschamp said. “I knew everything. I never, absolutely, worried about any eligibility issues. Sharrif is a fine young man and everything is above board. The University of Florida has handled it with Sharrif and Kevin Lahn.
“What is wrong with someone caring about someone else? What is so bad about that, that's my question. The young man has done nothing wrong. My statements speak for themselves, as I said a year ago. And I stand by it today.”
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.