Can this be called a fair shot?


Last week, Will Muschamp announced that Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel would play in the opener against Bowling Green, emphasizing that they both deserved a fair shot at winning the starting role at quarterback.

But can you really call what Brissett got a fair chance? I don’t think so.

While Driskel played the first quarter and the entire second half, Brissett was given less than a quarter — a mere 11 plays in all in which he wasn’t really given much of an opportunity to show anything.

In naming Driskel the starter Monday, Muschamp said the decision was based on more than just Saturday’s game. So, if that’s the case, then Driskel must have been running ahead of Brissett going into the game, and all that talk about the two quarterbacks being dead-even was, well, not exactly truthful.

My point is this: if Driskel was ahead of Brissett, then he should have been named the starter heading into the opener. It would have made the build-up to the game a whole lot less complicated and it would have saved Brissett the indignity that he had to endure Saturday in The Swamp.

Brissett was given a few plays and then brushed aside. That’s not a fair chance, any way you look at it.


  1. I totally agree. Not only was it unfair to Brissett, but it made Muschamp look unprofessional and potentially untrustworthy. I am a Gator through and through, but Muschamp has yet to do anything to make me feel good about the direction of the program. Boy do I miss the days of Spurrier. We had a decently clean program and there was never any doubt in anything that Spurrier said. It is a crime that we have the talent that we have on the team yet we haven’t played up to it in the whole time that Muschamp has been here. I’m disappointed and I don’t feel like Muschamp is the right person for the job at this point.

  2. When is our AD going to learn that Florida is no training grounds for coaches? Did he not learn from the Zook hire or did he just stumble and fall into Urban Liar…I mean Meyer? Muschamp’s handling of this quarterback situation reeks. There is no way he can truthfully say that Jacoby was given a fair chance in this game to play quarterback having only thrown 5 passes. Even the commentators were confused by this so-called competition.

  3. Robbie, I’m disappointed in your article…Brisset got more than a fair chance … he started several games last year he went through the spring and fall practices … Muschamp did exactly what he said he was going to do, play one qb in the 1st quarter and the other in the 2nd quarter and who ever he though could win the game would start the 2nd half… there is no doubt Driskel is faster and stronger than Brisset and a better runner … and in the SEC I’ll take the better runner every time … even the players say the only difference is Driskel has the ability to escape pressure… we saw that againsyBG when Brisset got sacked and Driskel escaped being sacked …

  4. You are absolutely correct. Can’t keep his story straight. They are even, but now the decision was made over the last nine months? Jacoby can run too – 3rd rated dual-threat passer by Rivals. Driskel was highly rated as conventional passer. Muschamp is disappointing all around. I expect more shifts at QB, once Driskel bombs. I also expect this to be Muschamp’s last year.

  5. Brissett played in multiple games last year. He had the entire spring, summer, and fall to win the job. Don’t talk to me about not getting a fair shake. Muschamp simply said that it was close and that both guys deserved a shot to play. He kept his word. Period. Driskel is the guy because he outperformed Brissett in practice. End of Story.

  6. Totally disagree. In a perfect world it could have been a true audition; however, UF was trying to win a football game. An unexpectedly close football game. So the coaches stuck with whom they thought would give them the best chance to win. They are trying to win a game this weekend and believe going with a certain starter gives the best opprotunity. To say #12 wasn’t given a fair shot or chance is simply not true. To imply that the coach was underhanded, dishonest, and unfair to a student-athlete is irresponsible. This article was simply not very thought out. Come on Andreu you’re better than this.

  7. No shot@ what? Give me a break! Driskel is the QB because the coach said so. How do you know anything about who is the better leader, better under pressure, better football player. Got a stat for that whiney boys? Get behind this team and its coach

  8. Did it ever occur to any of you that Muschamp also needed to evaluate the o-line and receivers in live action to get a better feel for which QB would give us the best chance to be successful this season? Everyone just keeps looking at the QB comparison, but if your o-line is suspect and your receivers don’t get a ton of separation then perhaps a more mobile QB gives you a better chance to win games. If the o-line is dominant and the receivers are blowing people off the line then maybe you go with a more poised pocket passer. My point is, maybe it was the rest of the offensive players that dictated which QB would be best for this season. And Muschamp needed to confirm it in a live game situation. Just a thought.

  9. Both quarterbacks are young and look to be average at this point in their careers. Muschamp, on the other hand, is still trying to build but he calls the “Florida way” and at the same time, trying to sell us on what he calls a downhill running team that is tough, and plays great defense. Well, he’s got the defense part going in a real good direction, let’s hope by this Saturday he gives Pease the freedom to open up the playbook!

  10. Robbie, there are plenty of football related things of interest to write about Gator fans. Is it really necessary to scrape the bottom and stir up discord with this tabloid-like speculation? I am really disappointed in Gatorsports because of your article. It’s challenging enough to be a Gator fan lately without seeing this sensationalized fake story.

  11. Robbie, why should this decision be any different than the decisions Muschamp makes during the games? He has absolutely zero clue what to do in terms of game management. He may be trying to build a program, he may be trying to get great players, but all of these things will be futile b/c Muschamp does not have what it takes to oversee an entire team on game day. The things he lacks come from within and can’t be learned. I hate to say it but it is painfully obvious.

  12. I am a gator through and through . I will stick behind Driskell and this Florida football team but I too worry about the message we are sending to future Gators and the team as a whole. First you send a false signal by allowing Brissett to take the first snap. Which to me is a slap in Brissetts face. Two you play him Five minutes into the second qyaerter and i undersand that Driskell was still in a series at the end of the first quarter. To say this descision was based on the last nine months is either a lie. If that were the case he should have named Driskell the starter in the first game, because Brissett never got the chance to prove anythin against BG. How do we know he could not have been effective against the pressure of BG? So my point is this. If that is the best excuse WM can give then that is piss poor. why tell a kid he will have a fair shot if your mind is alreay made up? You also bring discord to the team when you do this. Especially if players are hoping they have every opportunity to earn a position and have to witness that. If I were a player I wouldn’t trust WM to be honest with me and give me a fair shot. I like Will and think he means well, but this was handled poorly and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is more players leaving the program after this year. I am behind Driskell 100% and support this team but I totally disagree of how WM handled this QB competition from a stand point of honesty and fairness. I think he is a great coach with a bright future but he needs to work on his public, social relations and communication skills. He lacks tremendously in that area. Go Gators and Beat A&M!!!

  13. if the style of offense Muschamp wants to employ lacks a vertical passing game and needs a mobile quarterback he picked the right guy in Driskel. Brissett can stretch the field vertically. The one long pass he threw was on the money if Debose didn’t stop in the middle of his route.

  14. I was selling cokes at FloridaField as a young kid when Spurrier was playing Quarterback for the Gators! I have seen some really lean years at Florida and I think Andreu and Dooley need to get a grIp! These guys are constantly trying to pick a fight in the press with the Head Coach of the Gator football teams. They weren’t happy when Spurrier was the coach. They were not entirely happy with Urban Meyer. Now they have an axe to grind with Will Muschamp! simply because Muschamp shut them out of the team practices. These reporters would not be happy if Nick Saban was head coach of the Florida Gators and won 4 national championship in a row for us! Simmer down everyone and let the Head Coach, COACH!!!

  15. I too am a Gator through and through. This situation is just bad. First off we all know that what we saw on Saturday was not a fair shot for Brissett. What is more disturbing is the fact that Driskell looks lost at times when he has to pass. The miss to Dunbar was ridiculous. So much so that Dunbar went straight to Brissett to express his displeasure. Second the fourth down play when Trey Burton was again wide open and Driskell one hops a throw. That was at home against a team from the MAC. We have the Aggies this Saturday in one of the toughest stadiums to play. What do u think will happen. I just hope Brissett keeps working hard cuz it won’t be long before this job will be his.

  16. Agreed.

    Brissett was given five pass plays, and one of his snaps included having Driskel in the game at the same time.

    I’m not mad at Driskel, but disappointed in how this played out. It looked ineffectual for Muschamp to start the game that way, and it looks worse for him to handle the way he has.

    Here’s a thought, how about instead worrying about the quarterback scrambling we worry about completing a few more passes?

  17. I agree.. I really think that … well wait let me say this is no slap intended towards anyone in particular especially Driskell.. but the goood ole boys called this shot. Good ole boys aka the big money Boosters…. They ran Spurrier away first… Secondly they ran Urban away.. all that crap about health and getting better was due to the fact that he wanted out.

    Oh.. take Cam Newton for example.. Brantley a 4th or so generation Gator.. there was no way in God Green Earth that this Kid would sit behind Newton as Florida starting QB. When Jbrantly backed out of his commitment to Texas to come back to Florida… Guess what .. Cam supposedly stole a laptop and was kicked off the team.. to make room for Brantely. Heck Cam would have been or sohuld have been even better gator than Tebow but need i say more. He throws better than TT he run better than TT and he is a starting QB and Probowler in the NFL need i say more.

    This is indirectly a racial decison.. and the ones who writes the ck.. who know sht about football make the personnel decisions.. so Brissett.. please start looking elsewhere.. or go and ask Billy D if you could play b ball full time.. at least i think Billy D would be more fair and honest than muschamp.

  18. Is the D going in the right direction, Davido, really? They STILL struggle to get TO’s, get off the field as well, and against a VERY mediocre team.
    Like you, Robbie, I don’t get the QB situation at all, and many other aspects of what UF did Sat. Stubbornly running into 8-9 man fronts, I get the “develop toughness” thing(looks like we’re still not tough, BTW), but doesn’t a new QB(and that’s essentially what Driskel is) need to be throwing it and running the whole O?
    This week is crucial, IMO. We go up against a team that is playing its first game of the season, with a new coach and a TRULY new QB. If WE, not THEY, look like that team, and they are more disciplined and prepared than us, Muschamp will have lost me.

  19. WM handle this poorly, first everyone around the program knows this offense is a prostyle offense similar to the one thay ran under CW last year.JD had a full six months of learning and JB caught him and passed him. The thing that will haunt UF in recruiting “true Gamechangers” is that you have Recruits who know they are better than Guys that are starting for UF now, they also know that politics dictate at UF know. When you wont put the best you have on the feild,why would I want to be a part of that.

  20. Speaking on what we have heard through the off season. Where was Trey Burton on Saturday? He has arguably been the most consistant player on offense the last 2 years. Will Muschamp needs to have NO imput on the offense. Let Brent do his thing and sling the rock all over the field. I truly like both qbs on our roster. They bost have great arms, but they need more reps throwing the ball. We missed some wide open peeps on Saturday. I do think Driskle getting all the reps will be good for this weekend. BTW Fla 34- T A&M 14.

  21. I agree…Brisset was given 11 plays and that was it! He still looked more poised and his passes more crisp than Driskel. His arm seems stronger and he can go DEEP. This seems like Cam Newton/John Brantly all over again, where

  22. amen gbreaker ! mr foley made a zook like decision to hire WM who is not
    working in the capacity of the position. we have a team managed by a group of coordinators w/o a true HC . this will spell disaster on the field this season
    and will be WM’s last year. why this premier program was handed over to a coach in waiting without ANY head coaching experience?…meanwhile our program is knocked down to second tier status and will take a couple tough years to recover.

  23. where…QB high school rankings trump talent, and on-field play. Not saying Driskel is bad, but he seemed uncomfortable on Sat and last year. By the way….I have never seen him “comfortable”. Then you really start to look at guys that have transferred from UF and start to wonder if Coach Muschamp is the right guy for this JOB.

  24. Not true, Driskel was ahead of Brissett last year until he got hurt in the Bama game. That’s why JD went in for Brantely and not Brissett. Go back and watch Brissett last week, not one of his passes were on target, and his velocity just isn’t there. Honestly Brissett would not be on this team if it weren’t for Weis. I have no faith in anything Weis does, he is a product of Tom Brady, not the other way around. Driskel is clearly the better QB.

  25. Really? I don’t think it is up to anybody to decide what is the truth or not, especially when the practices are closed. This is why they are closed. Let’s talk about fair, discrediting WM based on an assumption or feeling? Come on. WM said, “JB is only a snap away”. Well, if JD plays poorly and he does not put in JB this Saturday, than that would be untruthful. Until then, trashing WM and pumping others up to do so is a complete disservice to your readers.

  26. If Brissett were better than Driskell then he would be the starter. End of story. The fact that Muschamp gave him as much respect and opportunity as he did is more than fair. If Driskell struggles and Brissett comes in, I suspect all of the Chicken Littles in Gator Nation will start whining about that, too.
    If some of you hate the Gators and/or the coach, that’s fine, but do you have to keep saying so over and over? We get it. Some of you hate the coach. We heard you. Now shut up.
    Go Gators!

  27. Coach said that Driskel won the job on the practice field. I’m good with that. Driskel is mobile and has a strong arm. I suspect that when the playbook opens up, the Gators can open up a can on the Aggies. GO GATORS!

  28. This story is just another example of what idiots the Gatrorsports writers are (except for Zach)..How much fairer could it be? They try to stir up controversy because they have few if any insights to the reeality of the team..Go Driskel..Go Muschamp Go Gators

  29. C’mon now! The Muschamp bashing here is out of line. Neither guy won the job outright. Muschamp thought we’d have a comfortable enough cushion against BG to experiment with 2 QB’s. Obviously, we didn’t and winning the damn game became the top priority. Muschamp must have felt, deep down, with Driskel’s mobility, he’s slightly better. Push came to shove in that game and he had to pick a guy. So that’s what he did. Maybe Brissett didn’t get a fair shot in this one game but he got a fair shot over the past year and a half and never seperated himself from Driskel. Remember, Spurrier and Meyer did some pretty bone-headed stuff here and there so, let’s not start going after Muschamp prematurely.

  30. Doug, no it can’t even though it is a blog and not so much a story. What it really sounds like is a complaining fan who didn’t get the guy he was hoping for, not something so narrow minded and subjective coming from the ‘UF Footall Guru’. Also agree that there is another side to this in WM giving JB the respect and due dilligence in fighting for the job…well put.

  31. I think the problem is that neither QB distinquished himself as the starter. Did anyone see Oregon with a TRUE freshman QB on the field? He played with leadership, confidence and swagger. Neither JD or JB exhibited that last year or last Saturday. Granted, we play a different offense, but come on! We need one of these guys to really step-up and make the team his. Then the discussion will be over.

  32. The ”chicken little” reference is for when the SKY IS FALLING, RIGHT? Well, I think after Saturday’s game, some people have a legitimate concern. Like Robbie point’s out Brissett never really had a chance to get into a ‘flow’, but he is a Gator, and I believe he’ll get a chance, again. The SEC needs 2 Q.B.s per Team, see Fla/’Bama last year, and Carolina/Vandy last week. The Gators will need to improve their passing game immensely, in order to ‘beat a ranked team’ for the 1st time under Coach Muschamp. The Gators are improving, but at ‘what pace’? We’ll see soon, and hopefully, the Q.B. thing will be in the past! Robbie and Pat speak the TRUTH, and in this Country presently…that is RARE! As there’s a saying “…that hypocrisy, and deceit get paid ample wages, but TRUTH goes begging!” So, I hope they continue to ”tell it like it is”, regardless, of ”politics” and Gator-fan hysteria! And, HEY,ROLL TIDE, you seem PROUD of your WORK HERE, huh!?!? That’s sad!
    ~Greg Ines.

  33. Lee,

    You basically made Robbie’s point. If Driskel out preformed Brissett in practice, then NAME HIM THE STARTER FOR THE OPENER! Then you aren’t rotating QB’s back and forth like a freakin circus show. Based on what we saw, and what we heard from coaches prior to the game, both deserved to play equally. I do know this, Driskel didnt show me anything in the BG game that clearly set him apart.

  34. Brett,

    Not that your assessment is wrong BUT when they game is on the line you can’t play musical QB’s. Muschamp’s plan went out the window and he had to choose to stick with Driskel in order to win the game. The conditions of the game kept Muschamp from “being fair” to both QB’s. Not Muschamp as Mr Andreu tried to frame it. That is simply not fair to the coach. He wanted to do one thing but the conditions of the game dictated something else. Period. To Imply that Muschamp didn’t give Brissett a fair shot is unreasonable and disingenious.

  35. Lee,

    I can understand your point however, Muschamp has stated numerous times that “we can win games with EITHER qb”. So he is either lying or he should’ve prefaced his comment with “every game except BG”. Muschamp never said the QB competition was “close”, he said it was dead even.

    Also, I think you are correct about Muschamp having to throw out the rotating qb plan. However, I still dont undersand how Robbie is wrong in his assessment. It is not a stretch to say that Brissett was not given a fair shot in the game, because he wasn’t.

  36. When the game was tied in the 2nd half and was at the point where we just needed to get a win, the coaches went with the guy they felt gave them a better shot to win. This a bottom line business, it’s not about being “fair”.

  37. Brett,

    My point is that Muschamp didn’t intentionally screw Brissett. He simply wasnn’t afforded the flexibility needed to allow Brissett more snaps. I also think that this whole “it’s dead even crap” is exactly that…crap. He has to keep Brissett happy so he won’t transfer. Because if we get “John Brantleyed” then we are screwed. We need a solid backup that can win games. Tyler Murhpy simply isn’t that guy. So Muschamp has to say whatever he has to say in order to keep him here. Redsirt his tail and he will be a beast by the time Driskel leaves….or if Driskel stumbles then let him take over.

  38. I really hope that Driskell lights it up this weekend for a convincing victory and all of you fair weather Muschamp bashers have to eat every pointless negative premature comment you’ve made. I think Muschamp had to make a decision on the fly against BG because he realized this uncertainty with the QB situation was messing with the tempo and the offense getting in sync. For all you spoiled fair weather fans that are saying he’s done after this season, go jump on the Nole bandwagon and you can all revel in your unrealistic expectaions together.

  39. A bigger question is; is Robbie trying to pull a Mark Jones of ESPN last saturday and vaguely hint that somehow race was an issue? Would we even be discussing this if Brissett were the starter? No matter what; if Driskel remains the starter by the end of the season then Brissett is gone; either to Basketball or to another team. I next expect Obama to send the Justice Dept down here to see if he was given a fair shot.

  40. Define fair. Brissett himself has said many times that he signed his scholarship knowing Driskell was already on board. Maybe they guy loves the Gators and will do whatever is necessary to be on the team and contribute in any way that it takes to help the team. What a concept! Driskell is the QB and Brissett is the back up. Good. I’m glad. If it were the other way around I’d feel the same way. I pull for the Gators regardless of who is coaching or who is starting at QB. I long for the days when Gator ‘Nation’ was as unconditionally committed to the team as Jacoby Brissett appears to be.
    Go Gators!

  41. Stirring the pot with wah wah whine, sniff sniff. LOL. What did you want the coach to do, flip a coin? Coach Muschamp said they were even as passers, but he thought that Driskel could do a few extra things with his legs; which he displayed in the game. The Coach made a hard decision, end of argument, move on. Go Gators!

  42. I watched the game on television and it was painful to watch. We have got to get rid of these silly penalties and play calling or we are in for another long season. I think we can be Texas A&M, but we will lose to Tennessee this year. I think it lloks like a 8 wins and 4 losses with us losing to Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, and FSU. I like the recruits we are getting for next year and in 2014 and I think we have to give the coaching staff time with some more depth, Go Gators!! We will show them Aggies what the SEC is all about.

  43. I agree with you Robbie. I wish someone would do something similar to Will Muschamp to what he did to Brisset to see how does it feel like. Definitely, WM is so unprofessional and a nervous wreck, immature, unproven head coach.
    Hope we win on Saturday and WM lets Pease coach the offense by himself and not be so stubburn in just running the ball.
    WM doesn’t even motivates me to watch him coach or see his interviews, much less he motives his players. When Spurrier or Meyer used to talk, they impressed a lot.
    Go Gators!!!

  44. Lee,

    I certainly dont think anyone is saying that Muschamp “intentionally screwed” Brissett. However, he (Brissett) wasn’t given a fair shot in the game, bottom line. I still say that Driskel should’ve been named the starter before the game and we wouldn’t even be discussing this.

  45. HHO…WM let Weiss have total control over the offense last year and look where it got us. So I am going out on a limb here in thinking WM, as head coach, wants a little more oversight with the offense, who can blame him? He is ultimately responsible. We played one game so far this year and all this complaining…wow. I do not think Pease would have come to UF if he would not be able to run the offense without the trust of WM. How can anybody talk so much trash and than say Go Gators!!!?

  46. I mean how can we say Driskel was better for that game because of his legs?! Last year we saw how hard it was for defenders to take down Brissett himself, and 11 snaps isn’t anywhere near the time it would take to get the proper assesment from the QB’s. I’m thinking WM hit the panic buttonn early on…I won’t bash WM because he’s likeable but what good is that when he can’t make the right calls as an HC. One thing all us gators can agree is that we have been having some serious player develeopment issues.

  47. OH….I am sorry…I thought all the practices were closed….Im amazed at how everyone is an expert on the QB choices between 2 19 year olds…..Do you recall Driscoll was the National Player of the year? and he was the QB choice before Weiss got Brisett????/ They were at every practice……Do you really think they are just dumb? We are trying to rebuild and you guys dont seem like Gators!!! I cant believe when I was at the Game last week that 8,000 of you did not even show up!!! Bob in Jupiter…Go Gators….

  48. Bob…you are correct and this is the very reason why practices are closed…and I don’t want to hear that if the media had access, than we could be offered meaningful and “truthful” information. The coaches have a job to do and the product on the field will dictate that, not all of this babble about what is fair or not, or who said this or that. The only way a kid will start is if he clearly has earned the spot by outperforming the next guy.

  49. First of all regardless if its an audition or not we should not have to come down to the first game of the season to do something like that. It’s true WM said he can win with both guys. But you also want to start the best QB that will give you the best chance of winning. Also we need to remember that Pease will need the best QB to run his offense not Weis’. And Brissett was brought in by Weis at the end of the recruiting period. So that could have much to do with it as well. Did he get a fair shot or not? Maybe, maybe not. But they still had the same amount of practice time and I will give you that JB had more snaps with JD’s sore shoulder in camp. And if he could not establish himself by then, maybe WM knows who is the better QB. I am sure he knows that his job depends upon it.

  50. A lot of the so called Gator Fans need to grow Up! You are like twelve year old spoiled kids. This Coaching staff is doing a great job! Just because Ol’ Robbie Andreu can’t have open access at his little whim he’s trying to knock Coach Muschamp! If I were him I’d never answer another question you ask! Gator Fans pull for this STAFF THEY ARE THE GATORS! GO GATORS!