Practice report: Driskel shows command of new offense
Published: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 10:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 8, 2014 at 12:12 a.m.
QB UPDATE: Everyone has been talking about and writing about how Jeff Driskel is more comfortable in Kurt Roper's spread, hurry-up offense, and he showed that in Thursday night's practice. Driskel made quick decisions in the passing game, was accurate, and had total command of the offense. He appeared head and shoulders above the other quarterbacks, not only with his sharp passing but with the way he led the offense. True freshman Treon Harris saw some work with the No. 2 offense during some pre-practice drills against the defense. Once the regular practice began, Skyler Mornhinweg and true freshman Will Grier shared reps with the second-team offense. Both seemed to struggle with consistency. Harris struggled some with his accuracy in passing drills, but has a quick release and throws a nice ball.
NEWS OF THE NIGHT: Preseason All-America cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III injured his left knee during the first half of practice Thursday night and did not return. A tackling drill turned into a brawl, with Hargreaves coming out of it limping. Hargreaves had to be helped off the field and his knee was wrapped in ice. During a break, many of his teammates came to the medical tent where he was at to check on him. A few minutes later, he left the practice field on a cart. Coach Will Muschamp later said,” An MRI revealed that Vernon Hargreaves suffered a bone bruise and he is listed as day-to-day.”
TRENDING ON OFFENSE: During pass skel early in practice, Driskel was precise, completing all of his passes. … The offense made numerous plays in the passing game in 11-on-11 against the defense. Driskel threw a 35-yard TD strike down the sideline to true freshman tight end DeAndre Goolsby early in practice. Later in the practice, Driskel was on target again for a 35-yard TD toss, this one going to Demarcus Robinson, who had gotten behind cornerback Brian Poole. … Mornhinweg threw a nice touch pass on the sideline to redshirt freshman wide receiver Alvin Bailey for an 18-yard gain. … Clay Burton opened the practice with the No. 1 offense at tight end, but McGee seemed to get more of the reps as practice progressed. … Tailback Adam Lane showed great explosiveness on a 20-yard TD run, when he cleared his own path by breaking a tackle. … Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper got wiped out on the sideline by wide receiver Valdez Showers. He quickly got up, unhurt. … Gideon Ajagbe worked out with the tight ends, while fellow fullback Hunter Joyer practiced with the running backs. … Trip Thurman lined up some as the starter at left tackle.
TRENDING ON DEFENSE: One of the best defensive players on the field seemed to be true freshman defensive end Gerald Willis, who was quick off the ball and spent a great deal of time in the UF backfield disrupting plays. … During pre-practice drills, Jonathan Bullard lined up at defensive tackle, but he spent the rest of the night at end, his more natural position. … True freshman corner/safety Duke Dawson intercepted a Mornhinweg pass that went off the fingertips of a leaping Showers. … Outside linebacker Michael Taylor broke up a pass in the flat during the two-minute drill at the end of practice. … Kyle Christy had some booming punts during special teams work, including a bomb that seemed to carry about 70 yards in the air and sent returner Demarcus Robinson sprinting after it.
TRUE FRESHMAN SPOTLIGHT: Tailback Brandon Powell, who missed the spring with a foot injury, looked quick and fast and could bring a home-run threat to the position. He was wide open on a wheel route that would have produced a big play, but the pass was tipped near the line of scrimmage.
PLAY OF THE DAY: Driskel threw a 35-yard TD pass to McGee on a wheel route by the tight end transfer from Virginia. Driskel squeezed the pass between two defenders and McGee made a nice catch, going to the ground to secure the ball.
INJURY UPDATE: Hargreaves missed the second half of practice after injuring his knee. WR Andre Debose (knee) practiced in a full-contact jersey, as did linebacker Matt Rolin (knee). True freshman cornerback J.C. Jackson (shoulder) practiced in a non-contact jersey.
NEXT OPEN PRACTICE: Friday, 7:40-9:40 p.m., Dizney Stadium.