Brissett steps into Gators’ No. 2 quarterback role

By Adam Silverstein
October 26, 2011

After serving as the backup to redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley through the first five games of the season, Florida Gators freshman Jeff Driskel has been passed by classmate Jacoby Brissett for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis announced Tuesday.

“Based off of their performance in the games and practice, Jacoby is slightly ahead,” Weis explained.

When Brantley went down with a lower leg injury against Alabama on Oct. 1, Driskel replaced him and played the entire second half. However, he also wound up injuring his ankle and was unable to start in Brantley’s place the following week at LSU.

Brissett, who had not taken a snap all season long at that point and was considered the No. 4 quarterback, wound up starting against LSU. Weis was impressed with his poise playing in such a tough environment.

“LSU, the environment did not overwhelm him. That’s a bit surprising if you think about it,” he said. “You haven’t played one snap for the whole year and you go to that place right there. I’m not saying we did a great job on offense, but it wasn’t too much for him. That certainly was the case the following week, too.

“Now we certainly have to play a lot better at that position – starting with him if he were in there. […] I’ve always said that, with a quarterback, your presence and how you run the team is one of the critical factors.”

Against Auburn one week later, Brissett started the first half but was pulled for Driskel, who replaced him after halftime and completed 50 percent of his passes for 75 yards.

Even though Brissett has a one-to-three touchdown-to-interception ratio combined in his two appearances this season, Weis is giving him the nod this week. He said Tuesday that does not speak to his opinion of Driskel going forward.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]“I’m not down on Jeff now. I think it’s a combination of Jacoby getting better and Jeff getting banged up. It was a combination of the two that closed the gap,” he said. “Both these young men have a very, very bright future. I’m really looking forward to what’s going to come with these two guys.

“The downside of John getting hurt is you lose your starting quarterback when things were going pretty well, especially in the passing game. The flipside on those two guys is they got some experience that you don’t have to go through next year. They’ve already experienced it here in the last few weeks.”

Who will wind up starting for the Gators in 2012 is not even a thought at this point. The backup job behind Brantley, should he return this week, could very well be a back-and-forth struggle the rest of this season.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press[/EXPAND]

8 Comments

  1. Zurbo says:

    Bye Driskel, I hope you enjoy your new school when you transfer

  2. npgator says:

    Zurbo – are you serious? That is ridiculous to suggest that Driskell leave at this point.

    • Gator John says:

      I don’t see it happening at this point, but you never know. Having two two quality QBs on the same timeline (both true freshman) would seem to lend itself to one not hanging around. Once Brissett’s redshirt was burned this year, it seems more likely one of the two of them will transfer. Time will tell.

  3. GG says:

    They need to let Brissett throw it, when Driskel’s in they need to let him run with the ball, otherwise its more of the same, two yards and a cloud of dust. Is a rusty JB a good idea? Really don’t think he will play.

  4. Drew says:

    Brissett sucks. If he starts next year, a life long Gator fan might lose all interest in the program.

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