10/4: Debose’s maturity and confidence in Driskel

By Adam Silverstein
October 4, 2011

With the No. 17/18 Florida Gators preparing for their toughest road test of the 2011 season, three prominent offensive players were made available to the media on Tuesday to discuss how the team is progressing heading into their showdown with the No. 1/2 LSU Tigers on Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m. in Baton Rouge, LA.

PROGRESS IN PRACTICE HELPED DEBOSE ON FIELD

Redshirt sophomore Andre Debose on Saturday made his most significant contribution from the wide receiver position to date, catching two passes and taking the first play 65 yards for a touchdown. Debose was pleased with his play after the contest, noting Tuesday that it was “definitely a nice feeling to be involved in the offense.”

Asked what changed this week, Debose explained, “Coaches always [said] it was pretty much my practicing and my practicing habits, me being consistent in practice and showing the coaches that I can compete at a competitive level on Saturday.”

He also feels like he can be consistent game-in and game-out as long as he continues to get chances to prove himself. “I definitely will be getting my opportunities and that’s all I’ve been asking for – the opportunity to make plays,” Debose said. He also hopes to go back to returning kickoffs as soon as possible. “Coach always preaches that if you don’t practice you don’t play. I didn’t practice the kick return position so I didn’t play it. I’m trying to get back there as soon as I can,” he said.

RALLYING AROUND DRISKEL
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]Considering redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley has been ruled out for Saturday’s game, freshman Jeff Driskel is by far the most likely player to take his spot in the huddle. In addition to Driskel himself needing to get his head in the game and mature quickly, the support of his teammates is going to be important going forward.

If comments that Debose and redshirt sophomore guard Jon Halapio made on Tuesday are any indication, Driskel is not lacking in that department. “We have the ultimate confidence in Driskel. I feel like he can get the job done,” Deobse said. “His whole attitude has changed since the time he has been here until this point. He’s a whole different person. He let us know that he doesn’t consider himself a freshman.”

Though Debose said that redshirt freshman Tyler Murphy and freshman Jacoby Brissett are also getting reps in practice, he thinks Driskel brings something special to the table. “He has a strong arm, and when things are going bad, he can always get away with his legs. That’s one thing he can bring to the offense that Johnny B couldn’t,” he said. “He can keep a lot of plays alive a lot longer, so the scramble rules play into effect.”

Halapio said Driskel is “confident in the huddle” and though “he’s young, he’ll get it right this week.” He continued, “Obviously he’s a young quarterback, but I have full faith in him and we fully support whoever will be playing that quarterback position on Saturday.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Debose on how hurt he was two weeks ago: “I had sprung [sprained] my ankle, and I feel like I’m 100 percent now. It was pretty bad. I couldn’t walk for a while. With our training staff, they helped me get back as fast as possible. It was pretty bad. I was walking on crutches after the game and had a boot for a couple days after that. I was just determined to get back.”

» Debose on why the offense struggled moving the ball against Alabama: “We really couldn’t get a run game started. That had a lot to do with it. Once you’re one-dimensional, the defense can kind of pin your ears back and it’s kind of hard.”

» Debose on how he gets along with redshirt freshman WR Quinton Dunbar: “Our relationship is great. I’m always pushing him and he’s always pushing me. When he was on the field, I just always tried to tell him little advice on what he can do to get better. He does the same for me. It’s a friendly competition. We’re never putting each other down or anything like that.”

» Debose on how the team can be more successful this week: “I would definitely say we have to get our run game started. Our whole offense is kind of based on our run game. Once we get our run game started, I feel like our team will open up.”

» Redshirt freshman tackle Chaz Green on the team’s performance vs. Alabama: “We obviously struggled and need to do better. Everybody will take that upon himself to get better. We got to do better on protection of course. We don’t like to give up any sacks. That’s something that we pride ourselves on. We got to get better in that area and we got to get better in our run blocking.”

» Green on the offensive line not creating holes to run the ball: “It was rough because that’s what we pride ourselves on. It was rough but, like I said, we just got to look at film and correct it. We got to make sure we correct our technique and make sure we get it back to where it [was].”

» Halapio on not playing well against Alabama: “We feel like it’s just motivation. We’re going to go out there and play to our best abilities. It’s motivation for this week to get better, go up to Louisiana and handle [our] business.”[/EXPAND]

One Comment

  1. Jesse C says:

    Circle the wagons gators!

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