Playing those mind games

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On a teleconference Sunday afternoon, Georgia coach Mark Richt said he hoped Will Muschamp would make it easier on the Bulldogs by going ahead and naming a starting quarterback early in the week.

Richt was making a joke, because like everyone else who has followed Muschamp this season, Richt  knows how secretive Muschamp is about injuries. Sometimes players don’t show up in games and you find out later they were injured.

The day after Richt’s comment, Muschamp announced at his weekly news conference that not only was injured quarterback John Brantley returning to practice Monday, but that he is probable for Saturday’s game and he expects Brantley to be ready to play.

This is so unlike Muschamp, revealing this much information about  an injured player, especially a quarterback (remember how he kept the Jeff Driskel injury hidden the week of the LSU game). It makes you wonder what he’s up to.

Is Brantley really going to play Saturday in Jacksonville? Or does Muschamp just want Richt and the Bulldogs to think he is?

I have a feeling Muschamp is playing mind games here. I think he wants the Georgia defense spending the week preparing for the Florida offense that Brantley runs, which is far different than the offense Driskel and fellow true freshman Jacoby Brissett have run.

If the Bulldogs knew Brantley was out, the game plan would be pretty simple and easy to follow: load the box with eight and nine defenders to shut down the run, then bring heat on the inexperienced quarterbacks in obvious passing situations.

Alabama did it  (in the second half.). LSU did it. Auburn did it.

Of course, if the Bulldogs think Brantley is playing, they’ll have to come up with a more complex plan to defend an offense with much better balance and an experienced quarterback who knows how to check in and out of plays at the line of scrimmage.

Not knowing for sure what’s really going on with Brantley, Richt said the ‘Dogs will prepare for all three Florida quarterbacks, just in case.

So, is Brantley really going to play Saturday? I have my doubts. But it’s pretty obvious Muschamp wants the Bulldogs thinking he is.

46 COMMENTS

  1. No matter what the mind games may be played by the coaches, here is to hoping that Brantley is truly ready to play on Saturday! As talented as the Gator’s two freshman quarterbacks may prove to be over their Gator careers, they have yet to show they are currently ready to play successfully in the SEC without a legitmite power back to share the load. Demps and Rainey are quality top shelf running backs but not the power back an offense needs to be successful in the SEC and play for championships!! Prove of this will be how well South Carolina’ quarterback plays without Latimore who is now out for the year.

  2. If Brantley does not play, the odds are not in our favor to win on Saturday and I am putting that nicely. I am sure Jeff and Jacoby are going to get better and we should be fine once we get the right guys around them next year or 2013. Hopefully our defense can get some turnovers and special teams does not give give a big play. However, its nice to say that we have owned Georgia for the past 21years. Go Gators!

  3. Muschamp needs to stop worrying about mind games and start teaching discipline, blocking and tackling. Spend less time blowing your top on TV and more time coaching your players. Spend less time on players who can’t or won’t produce and give ones lower on the depth chart a chance to step up.

  4. I say start Driskel for the rest of the way and take our chances instead of hoping that a rehab’d Brantley can pull out the next 3 or so games. At least we can get some experience for the future starter before recruiting season picks up. Like it or not the future is now and the transition is underway. And I wouldn’t sweat UGA or South Carolina too much going forward. The Gamecocks are significantly hobbled and we’ve beaten the Dawgs under worse conditions (see post Ron Zook firing in ’04). There’s still an outside chance that Driskel can sneak us into Atlanta and give us another shot at the Tide/TIgers. At the very least it’ll be an extra game on the season. Go Gators!

  5. It is pathetic that we have to hope Brantley is our guy now. The worst starting QB at UF in several decades. Play the two freshman- they are our future. Whether we lose five games, six games etc this year makes no difference. For a fifth year senior, Brantley is awful.

  6. WOW…shariff?…really?…what makes him awful then?…because not only did he play in a offense that was not suited for him, but he was being coached and had a coach that was calling plays who was a TERRIBLE offense cord. who never had any exp calling plays in his coach career and all sudden meyer wants him to call plays in the SEC?…come on man…common sense…JB is going to be a good NFL qb i just wish he had more time to play here under Charlie W…

  7. Um, Focused, get some focus. We lost to UGA the week after the Zook firing so I’m not sure I get your point. JD (or more likely JB) doesn’t have to be on the field every week getting their heads beat in to learn the system and become effective next year. There are no wash seasons in modern College Football. The roster changes almost completely every 2 years. Go with your best players every week. In this case, there is NO DOUBT that is John Brantley, even a little hobbled. He never was a runner anyway. I’d rather see us go max protect with Brantley making the calls than with either frosh that has no clue about how to adjust at the line and is going to get his head taken off.

    GO GATORS!!!

  8. Shariff, I don’t know what games you were watching before John brantley got hurt, but he was playing extremely well. And he clearly proved to everybody during the first half of the Alabama game that he can be very good at the very things everybody said he couldn’t do.

    I agree that he will get a shot in the NFL. His circumstances are sort of similar to those of Matt Cassel coming out of college.

  9. Whewwww….GOTTAPROVEME…I’m so glad you didn’t say the ‘A’ word (our last OC, for anyone who doesn’t know)…Give us Gilleslie along with (hopefully) healthy Demps/Rainey and we should be better than we’ve shown in the last 3 weeks…Gilleslie is the key…

  10. Doesn’t this whole mind trick thing play games with your own team? I’m not sure why people think Driskel is definitively the answer over Brissett. I think we win the game in Auburn if Brissett plays the second half. Brissett is eludes the rush and can hit the deep ball better than Driskel. Driskel, at this point plays scared as is afraid to get hit- which is why he is no Tebow at this point- if he sacrifices his body and gets the 1-inch for the first down instead of running out of bounds, there is no controversial 3rd down call. Driskel may prove better over the long haul but I like Brissett and think he hits play to a WIDE OPEN #11 in the Auburn game. Here’s to hoping they get both get much better going forward and win the East.

  11. I agree with Gary, in that Gillislie (Joyer, too) is the key…Fla has to IMPROVE the run game and I suspect Coach Muschamp isn’t going to play Brantly…Just playing “mind-games”, but why not!?! UGA isn’t owed a thing from Fla. I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SEE A FLORIDA ‘D’ INT or FUMBLE RECOVERY (T/O margin has to improve)… And, PLEASE ….Special Teams- play SPECIAL!!! Jacoby Brisset needs some PLAYING-TIME, regardless….He is the MOST comfortable in the pocket and has (so far) the BEST TOUCH on the ball…GO GATORS!!!

  12. Brantley is a great player with a horrible luck here at Florida. First by having to sit behind Tebow, then playing for Addazio, and now for his injury. Still, I don’t see the point of playing him anymore this year. It doesn’t matter whether we lose 3 or 8 games at this point, and I would love Driskel (or Brisset) to get that invaluable experience. The same goes for Joyer and Gillislee (even Brown for that matter).

    This season isn’t going anywhere so why not prepare for the upcoming one(s)? Any thoughts?

  13. When Brissett committed late in the process to UF, It didn’t make any sense to me. Why would a top QB like Brissett commit to a school with the number 1 QB already committed? It is finally starting to make sense. Driskel is a dual threat QB who committed to Urban and his spread. Brissett saw the handwriting on the wall and committed to Charlie and his pro style, which is the type of QB he is. I just read Robbie’s latest article and it says Brissett will be number 2 against Georgia. Expect Driskel to transfer after the season. Bank on it.

  14. @ Bites
    I hate it! Breaking up Jeffcoby Driskett like that! Ugghh. I disagree with everyone about Brantley. No one has seen enough of him against a quality team to know if he is any good, or not. This is the first year we literally played to his strengths. In his first 4 ganes he gets two lay downs and two cupcakes. Then, he has a great almost 1st half against ‘bama and he is gone, just like that! So, who really know if he is any good, or not? I do not.
    Not start Brantley anymore and go with Driskel the rest of the season, why? As of right now we have a shot at the SEC East, go all Driskel, despite whether or not Brantley can start, we have no chance in the East. God Bless Jeff, but he is not ready yet, not even for Georgia or Vandy, and forget about SC and Spurrier. So there it is, with Brantley, we at least have a puncher’s chance, without him, no, and can you say music city bowl, if we are lucky?
    GO GATORS!

  15. I think Manny Tee is on target with his comment. When your players can’t block, tackle, catch the ball, field a punt or avoid constant penalties, you need to focus on YOUR team and forget the BS of mind games with any opponent. Old saying holds true; “we have met the enemy, and he is us”. If the Gator’s can’t do the things noted above, then it won’t matter who is the QB.

  16. imfocusedman, Reality bites is exactly correct when he says that Driskel will transfer after this season. I am not sure what Weis see’s in Brissett because he sure has not shown it in the games. Driskel has not exactly lit it up but the little he played against Auburn he clearly was the better QB even thouth it did not translate into points. Unless Weis is bluffing about Brissett being #2, Driskel needs to get the H out of Gainesville and away from Charlie Weis. The kid is a stud and winner and would be foolish to spend 4 years behind a player whose best quality is that he is “cool under fire”.

  17. It looks like Gilleslee is this year’s Emanuel Moody, who comes in looks great and then you never see him again – I don’t get it. I think Brantley is our only chance, both Driskel and Brissett have been pathetic. How is it that a guy standing on the sidelines for FSU can come in and almost beat Oklahoma, and these two highly touted guys can’t complete a pass? Of greater concern are the continued defections from the team with Clark and Christian leaving – exactly what’s going on here?

  18. Listen, I’m not tryin to be a fortune teller, it is just obvious that a QB like Driskel won’t sit the bench behind Brissett. Jeffcoby Driskett (nice one rooferman) are destined to divorce. We got away with one talented QB sitting the bench for 4 years behind Tebow, and waiting patiently for his shot. I think in retrospect, he will have to say that was the absolute worst career choice he could have possibly made. I doubt when he listened to the bad advice of his dad and uncle that they had his best interest in mind. He would have excelled in a different program. What worries me the most is that we have no QB’s on our recruitment list, and none that are targeted that I know of. All of the top QB’s are committed or don’t have us listed. That puts us in a bad, bad way for the future.

  19. @Bites, don’t sweat the QB situation too much. We pulled in two of the very best last year. It’s rational that we don’t have more on the board this year especially considering that up until a few weeks ago we had a definite redshirt QB. We have much bigger needs on this team right now than a 2012 third string QB.

    I’m not sure what games some others are watching but if JB plays the 2nd half at Burn, we win. JB was just getting into a good groove at the half. He was making plays. The kid is impressive to come in with only a few weeks prep and handle himself pretty well in some of the worst places to play in the college world. I’m also not sold on the idea that JD transfers. He is Gator through and through. What if he ends up as the Senior starter in a few years once JB leaves (yea I’m calling JB next year’s starter)? That would be awesome for all of us.

  20. The Gators can’t play out this season worrying about who may or may not transfer out after the season. Unless Brantley heals up and becomes Superman with no injuries the rest of the year, both frosh QB’s should get planty of PT. With 13 players now having left / transferred since the first of the year, I’m sure we can expect one of the QB’s to join the exodus, since QB is a unique position in the playing time scenario. Until then, let’s see them both.

  21. We will win this weekend but on offense we need to spread teams out more because we have a whole lot of speed and when we use Trey Burtin we need to let him run the ball up the moddle because he has size and strenth having him at quarter back will not work and can someone close to will muschamp tell him to scrap the 3-4 defense because it doesnt fit our team we need to go back to the 4-3. And also stop putting Jeff Demps on kickoff return and put Andre Debose back out their we Demps on offense.

  22. Anyone here watch any part of the ewe aka scUm game tonight? the palce was a ghost town, more than half empty.

    They billed this as their celebration of their old national championship days. The game looked like theyr were holding a private event for frineds and family and the ususal cadre of thugs from the old days.

    How the heck to they recruit when they have subpar facilities AND no one comes to games, even conference games?

    The old players sitting in the luxury boxes looked double pissed. cant beat an ACC team that had lost & straight road games coming in AND the old guys and foul mouthed Uncle Luke can no longer get away with paying the players to hurt opposing quarterbacks.

    No bounties, no wins, no fans. Their fans sUck.