Muschamp: Driskel will play vs. FSU


Published: Monday, November 19, 2012 at 12:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 19, 2012 at 3:35 p.m.

Florida will have starting quarterback Jeff Driskel back for Saturday’s game at Florida State. But a decision on how much he plays will not be made until later in the week, UF coach Will Muschamp said Monday.

“Jeff Driskel will play in the game,” Muschamp said. “He worked out (Sunday). What will be his percentage? I don’t know right now. He will not practice (Monday). He will practice (today).

“He probably could practice (Monday), but in talking to (team trainer) Anthony Pass, we felt like it would be best for him to have treatment. But he will play in the game. To what degree? Again, the week will determine that on how his health continues to improve.”

Driskel sprained his right ankle in the Louisiana-Lafayette game two weeks ago and did not play in last Saturday’s victory over Jacksonville State. In his absence, fellow true sophomore Jacoby Brissett completed 14-of-22 passes for 154 yards and no turnovers.

Driskel is not the only injured Gator returning this week. Muschamp said outside linebacker Neiron Ball (ankle), offensive tackle Chaz Green (ankle), fullback Hunter Joyer (thigh bruise) and wide receiver/kick returner Andre Debose (knee) will return to practice today and will be ready to play in Saturday’s game.

Driskel was on crutches most of last week, but was walking on his own on the sideline without a limp during last Saturday’s game.

“He would not have been able to play last week, regardless of who we played,” Muschamp said. “Based on talking to him (Sunday) and feeling very comfortable about where he is right now, regardless of who we’re playing, he would be able to play this week.”

Muschamp said he does not know if, or how much, Driskel might be limited Saturday. He’ll know more later in the week, at which time he will also name a starting quarterback.

“We’re going to see how the week goes. I don’t know,” Muschamp said. “I know right now, based on (Sunday), that he will play in the game. How much he’s going to play, whether he’s going to start, I don’t know right now. I’ll know more as the week goes on.”

Muschamp was asked if Driskel will start if he’s healthy.

“I’m not going to get into playing the ‘if’ game,” he said. “We’re going to see what it is (today) and we’re going to move from there.

“I met with the offensive staff this morning about moving forward and the things we’re going to need to do in the game to be successful. We’ll detail that as the week goes on.”

Of the two quarterbacks, Driskel is faster and more mobile, and his ability to make plays running have been a big part of the offense. He’s UF’s second-leading rusher with 424 yards and four touchdowns.

A mobile quarterback might give the Gators a better chance against FSU’s fast and physical defense, which is No. 1 in the nation in total defense.

Muschamp said Driskel will be less effective if he’s less than 100 percent and is limited in what he can do running the football and avoiding the rush.

“Well, it certainly would,” he said. “And that’s why we’ll work through the week. We’ll see where we are. Certainly, he’s going to play in the game. How much as far as the escapability, that will all be determined on how the week goes.”


Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or andreur@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.

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