Brantley’s picks doom Gators as Florida State upends Florida 21-7 in The Swamp

By Adam Silverstein
November 26, 2011

Senior Night in The Swamp was anything but a celebration Saturday for the Florida Gators (6-6), which fell 21-7 to the Florida State Seminoles (8-4) after their in-state rival scored 21 points off of turnovers and won at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL for the first time since 2003.

Florida State running back Devonta Freeman found the end zone twice on a pair of short touchdown runs following interceptions off of Florida redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley, and safety Terrance Parks returned an interception off of freshman QB Jacoby Brissett 29 yards for a touchdown to ice the game in the fourth quarter.

Despite the Seminoles only gaining 95 yards of total offense on the evening and averaging 0.7 yards per carry, FSU was able to manhandle UF by making the most out of four turnovers and ensuring that the Gators had a tough time moving the ball on offense.

Brantley threw three interceptions in Florida’s first five possessions; the Gators went three-and-out and punted the ball the other two times.

Down two touchdowns, Florida chose to go for it on 4th and 1 from Florida State’s 15 midway through the second quarter, but sophomore running back Trey Burton lost 14 yards and UF turned the ball over to FSU on downs.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the rest of the Florida-Florida State game story.]Attempting to overcome his poor play in the first half, Brantley remained composed with 1:49 left until halftime and delivered a 21-yard strike to redshirt freshman wide receiver Quinton Dunbar. He was sandwiched on the play, and a helmet-to-helmet hit knocked him out for the remainder of the game.

Brissett took over for Brantley but failed to do anything with the Gators offense until Florida redshirt senior defensive tackle Jaye Howard recovered a fumble caused by redshirt freshman linebacker Michael Taylor with 4:32 remaining in the game.

Following a pass interference call on 1st and 10 from Florida State’s 21-yard-line, Brissett hit Dunbar in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. The late score allowed the Gators to avoid their first shutout since 1988.

Joining Brantley on the trainer’s table were redshirt senior RB Chris Rainey, sophomore DT Dominique Easley, sophomore LB Darrin Kitchens and redshirt sophomore guard Jon Halapio, all of whom were injured in action and did not return to the field.

Kitchens was injured on the opening kickoff of the second half and was carted to the locker rooms after laying motionless on the field for a number of minutes. He gave a thumbs up to the crowd on his way to the back.

Brantley finished his final game in The Swamp 9/15 for 104 yards and three interceptions. Rainey carried the ball 15 times for 42 yards, and senior RB Jeff Demps touched it just four times for -8 yards.

Dunbar finished with three receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown, and freshman tight end A.C. Leonoard led all Gators with 65 yards on the evening.

Florida’s stout defense held Florida State QB E.J. Manuel to six completions on 13 attempts for 65 yards and Freeman to 44 yards on 15 carries.

The Seminoles committed nine penalties for 85 yards and held the ball three minutes longer than the Gators did on Saturday.

Florida finished the regular season with a .500 record for the first time since 1979 (0-10-1). The Gators await a bowl invite but are expected to face Ohio State in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2, 2012 in Jacksonville, FL.[/EXPAND]


  1. zurbo says:

    nothing to say…and I dont want to hear from the “I expected this kind of year” gator fans. You all are liars if you expected this.

    • Mark says:

      Muschamp for sure gets an F for this year. If he doesn’t show serious improvement next year then we need to say cya.

      We lost to any halfway decent team on our schedule. Unacceptable.

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    Halapio went out too? I thoguht it was Koehne? Our last shutout was 1988, but when was our last home shutout? 88 was my senior year, but I don’t remember which game that was that the shutout happened.

    I hope we don’t play OSU this year, I doubt we are good enough to even beat them, and then we would be the first SEC team OSU beats in a bowl game. How ironic that would be…

  3. Eli says:

    There’s a lot to talk about from this game and I’m sure everyone else will vent the frustration here, but this is what got me- Adam, you said it on twitter and I totally agree. What does Muschamp see in Brissett that Driskel did not get one snap tonight? Clearly JB (both of them actually, but Brissett in this case) does not have the decision making ability at this point to be a successful QB. Add with his lack of mobility and he’s really a sitting duck.

    If I’m Driskel, I’m pissed. He’s going to either have to play his ass off in practice to prove he deserves a shot over Brissett, or I bet he’d transfer. The kid’s got a ton of talent. This is not to knock Brissett, I just never saw anything positive from him this year. In a game like tonight’s where we needed a spark, Driskel might have been the better option.

    Anyone else think it might have been closer with Driskel in the game?

    • Glad someone reads my ramblings.

      • Tim says:

        The coaches watch these guys all day every day in practice. There is a reason he’s not seeing the field. Much like everyone wants to know why 23 never saw the field under Urban Meyer, and now the new coaching staff hasn’t put him out there either. They see more than we do. You’ve got to believe with a bad as Brantley has played in his two years as a starter….we have some real issues at QB for him to still be out there.

    • jay d says:

      Let me start by saying…I called brantley garbage when he stuggled against some scrub team at the beggining of last season on opening day….briss did do a lot of possitive things this year…yes his decision making is questionable…but that’s to be expeccted…driskel…in what little playing time he has had has been horrid….that’s not to say he is any worse or better than briss…I think they are on par with o….ne another…briss just has more game time expieriance….driskel will have a great shot at starting next year because once that bust of a qb brantley leaves…the possition battle will be wide open

      • Drape says:

        Most of Driskel’s playing time came against Alabama unannounced. The whole offense is a damn mess. Total disservice to Rainey, who could never fully display his talent.

      • uf_84 says:

        They’ll both get their chances next year. Problem is neither are very good. Reminds me of the great Kyle Morris / Donald Douglas QB controversy back in in the day. Welcome back to the 80’s Gator fans. One thing is for sure. If we don’t find a QB, we’re going to suck for a while. Even the great Emmitt Smith wasn’t enough to overcome the haplessness of the Morris / Douglas duo.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          That wasn’t a QB controversy, Galen Hall called emmit left, emmit right, emmit up the middle, punt or first done, repeat. Very predictable offense using supremely talented back… Kind of like Earl Campbell with the Houston Oilers. Lean too much on greatness ignore the rest of the talent

    • g8ter27 says:

      I do. Nothing Weiss has done the past 8 games makes any sense to me though.

  4. jay d says:

    I got a lot of backlash…when I bashed brantley verbally on this site….but as obvious as it is now to the brantley supporters …the kid is a bust/dud/ducck…no fight…no confidence….no leadership…no athletisism…my big question…is how the hell he ever earned a starting role on the gator football team…and our O-line should crawl under a rock and hide after the lack of exacution they displayed this season…this is florida footballs rock bottom….time to stop being a part of the problem and beccome a part of the solution…coaches get one more year if they are lucky enough to finish a full second season of football

  5. GatorKen says:

    Funny people still bash Brantley as if its all his fault. The offensive line is the major issue. Those guys failed to do much of anything this year. 4th and 3inches and they can’t get it? What a joke. When Brantley was healthy he looked good, had a rough night tonight but was moving the ball before he got hurt. We still had a chance while Brantley was in there. The OL gets no push and opens no holes. Have not all season. Couldn’t even dominate Furman up front. Brissett and Driskel both have a long ways to go. I wish we had a QB coming in this year. Its kinda sad to get 2 top recruits and neither can move the ball. But next year we should have bigger stronger backs, better WRs and a TE that can block hopefully. Even if they are young and learning SEC football.

    • Tim says:

      Brantley blows! Period…stop making excuses for him. He’s horrible!!!! His interceptions tonight had nothing to do with the receivers or the line. They were bad, and I mean BAD reads. He was moving the ball before he got hurt alright….right into the FSU receivers’ hands.

      There was a reason last year’s staff played a now full back and now tight end in place of Brantley last year at QB. Because they knew he was a problem also…this isn’t new. I wish our kids could have gotten more experience this year…next year might be more of the same.

    • Mark says:

      Wow….just wow.

      Is this Ken Brantley?

      • g8ter27 says:

        I totally agree that there would have been much more scoring had brantley not been hurt. Sadly for FSU he was so they were held to only one more score by our offense. Otherwise, I would guess somewhere in the 35-7 range.

  6. swiftt_tech69 says:

    Brissett has looked better than driskkel by a lot. Driskel also had his shot, he lost it and this point jacoby is just better. Watch the kentucky game.

    • J-rod says:

      By A lot???? Couldn’t look any worse than Brisset so I don’t know how he looked better than Jeff D. Totally inept at moving the offense down the field. Deep pass against lsu for td was the only thing he did that whole game, absolutely nothing in a half against au (same with driscoll), and again absolutely nothing in a little more than a half last night ( please don’t come back with he had a td pass blah blah blah even he thought it was going to be picked after he threw it…watch his post game comments). But the Butler backup qb comes in last night and scores 30+ in the second half ( I know it was TTU) but still. How can our offense look so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Tampa Gator Girl says:

    Watching last night’s game, one BIG question comes to mind that I have asked all season long other than our horrible offense issues, what is going on with our strength and conditioning coaches? They have had all off season to get these guys in physical shape and have done a terrible job!! We have had so many injuries this year because our guys are so little and fragile compared to the teams we play. I hope that if UM gets the head coaching position at OSU, he takes our strength and conditioning coaches with him! They have failed us miserably this season!

    • g8ter27 says:

      TG Girl, sadly our team plays like Weiss looks. I think that he was promoted to our conditioning coach on offense this year.

  8. J-rod says:

    Driscoll is going to Alabama. His dad has already talked to Saben. Last night was icing on the cake. They feel (correctly) that weis isn’t giving him a fair shake. I found it strange last year when weis was hired how he went out and recruited Brisset so hard when we already had Driscoll. Weis didn’t even want him to play the second half of the Auburn game…WM made the switch against weis’s wishes and then between series weis ignored Driscoll except to say sarcastically “nice throw” when he over threw the receiver on the flee flicker (this from driscoll’s dad). He’ll stay for spring ball just to see what happens but then he is gone once weis sticks with “his” guy.

    • Mr2Bits says:

      Your inside knowledge screams of credibility when you can’t even spell the players name correctly, its Driskel!

      Many of you forget that Driskel was not all that effective in Septembers mop up duty when he had his chance. These coaches see these players allot more than we do. Sure, Driskel might have changed a few plays last night but our coaches were not going to shuffle QB’s in and out. Driskel will have every shot to earn his spot next season. If he doesn’t win the job, its nobody’s fault but his own!

      • J-rod says:

        Using my phone and it auto corrects (you probably are still using a flip up and wouldn’t understand). He also was in mop up duty with second and third string linemen and wr’s. He didn’t get his chance this year and won’t get it in the spring. CW is sticking with “his” guy. JD (solved auto correct problem) is going to alabama

      • g8ter27 says:

        I agree with much of what you post on here and enjoy them as well. (especially where you wanted to punch SA in the face). However, I disagree with this post in that these coaches do appear to be playing some of what they see as “their” guys. Mike G. was given very little chances this year at running back when he clearly was our best option in many games. He would run 2 or 3 plays, make 20 yards and then it was back to the Demps and Rainey show. No way Brantley gave us our best chance to win on one leg against Georgia. The guy is just not a player. I have said it many times, he is likely a great person, terrific student, best damn Gator fan out there, but he is not a winner on the field period. Anyway, player of the year last year in the U.S. and he is 3rd string right now, seems like a lot of BS to me. I sure hope Driskel gets a shot for real next year.

      • Ken (CA) says:

        hard to be effective in mop-up duty when all you do is hand the ball off. I complained about that back in Sept, how could he be ready if he had to come in against real teams and had thrown so few times in games he couldn’t possibly be ready for the speed at this level and adjust. all that mop up the first 3 games he handed off about 50 times and threw maybe 3.

    • uf_84 says:

      If Driskel goes to UA he’ll make a fine scout team QB for the next 3 / 4 years.

  9. GG says:

    Not blaming SA, but Urban. This is still his mess. Lots of problems to go around.though. Should have benched Brantley games ago and let the young guys get some exp. Now we still dont know anything going into next year.
    If Jeff D does transfer, bet its OSU.

  10. GG says:

    If we dont have the mother of all recruiting classes, coach M will be gone after next year. He doesnt have much to work with especially on offense.
    Jeff D to OSU if he transfers.

  11. scooterp says:

    I hope Driskell and Brissett can co-exist on the roster for the next 3 years. Both, are very talented, but I can’t disagree with Brissett getting the nod for now – just based on what we’ve seen so far. He looked more comfortable in the pocket than Driskell did. Though both were put in pretty bad spots – bad protection, being yanked in and out, LSU/Bama starts etc. I agree that Brantley just never measured up to his potential or maybe he was just in over his head…… still don’t understand the goofy “this is Meyer’s mess” statements or “left the cupboard bare” – I guess there is enough stupidity to spread around all college fan bases.

  12. true gator says:

    This is really sad our fans like to think we are coaches and know everything ……driskell leaving because of the lack of pt is crazy what happened to the days were kids went out worked hard and earned a position if he’s better he will prove it and if the boy doesn’t want to try and be a man about it hit the road because in life nothing is given to you because you have to work for everything you got this isn’t high school its the sec where everyone is just as good as you or better ….I want players who love the university and are willing to work hard not ones who cry about pt as a freshman

  13. G8trpls says:

    Brisset is is John Brantley with just a little..I do mean little more foot speed. Driskel needs to play he is a dual threat QB, which is what we need.

  14. triplegator says:

    The coaching staff needs to hit the road immediately and start looking for JUCO transfer linemen. Even if we have a great freshman recruiting class, they won’t make a big impact on the O line right away and we need help immediately. Muschamp needs to use some of his texas connections and his vacant scholarships and get some big hogs out of junior college.

    Also, completely disagree with those who think Driskel is the better QB. He had a whole extra spring of practice and is not ahead. Brissett will be fine if he ever gets time to set up in the pocket, and I predict that he will be obviously ahead of Driskel by the end of next spring practice. Finally, can anybody explain why Joyer doesn’t get more carries? He goes 10 yards every time he gets the ball, and then he sits for another half.

    • g8ter27 says:

      Yes I believe I can help you on that question. You see, Joyner gains yards and runs north and south. He also does not run track. Similar to Mike Gillislee, once you gain a few first downs and a couple dozen yards, you must come out. The fans want to see spin moves, jukes and east/west running so that we can watch 175 backs get slammed to the ground for 5 yard losses and the roll on the turf for a couple of minutes while we get an injury time out so we can go get another beer from the fridge without missing a play. Plus, Weiss has to stand up on the sidelines while the offense is on the field and, lets face it, this is Florida and it gets hot and the man gets tired if we have long drives. So, we continue to run small backs and use JB at qb so that he can take a rest on the bench with his ham sandwichs after most of our 3 and outs. Joyner getting first downs????unacceptable!

  15. ncgator says:

    Well I hope Brantley is happy. He finally sent me to the emergency room last night with chest pains. Even though I wasn’t supposed to watch the rest of the game, I turned it on with the sound off. After he went out with the concussion I was hoping he would be admitted to the same emergency room so I could sneak out of my room and smother him with a pillow. I continued watching Fat-ass Weis’s inept offensive scheme even though my cardiac monitors were going off like smoke alarms and I kept wondering, “is he the best we could get”? Rainey left, Rainey right. Demps left, Demps right. This is the scheming of a great offensive mind? Hold on a second, the nurse is coming in………..OK, she said I have to get some rest. One last thing, knowing the bowl game is Brantleys and Thompsons last game as gators will get me thru this crisis, unless of course we play an Urban Meyer led Ohio State team and get our asses kicked. That will surely do me in.

  16. HardToKillGator says:

    All we need is a miracle.

  17. Andrew says:

    Isn’t weis making 750K this year? I’d be fired if I sucked as bad at my job. Muschamp is definitely regretting his decision. Driskel looks like a chicken with his head cut off when he’s on the field. How many picks did he throw this year? Brisset looks like he’ll be a mediocre QB. We need some receivers though. They are one of the weakest links of the team. Get rid of Aubrey hill.

    • scooterp says:

      Why don’t you pick another team to root for? I’m tired of idiots making our fan base look bad. Sounds like you have all the answers there, Andrew. We shouldt just fire the whole coaching staff, tell the freshman QB’s to transfer and shut down the program. God I hope your not a student there – if so the school has certainly down graded its admission requirements. Dummy.

      • Tim says:

        Scooter, I usually don’t, but on this comment, I agree with you 100%. The team has Brantley and two 5′ 8″ backs. Fire Weis? That’s stupid and there are a lot of bitter fans. We’ll be fine. Just need to rebuild to match the system.

  18. rosskoe says:

    PANIC, PANIC, PANIC!!! You guy’s are spoiled. Taking shots at true freshmen QB’s. These guys weren’t suppose to be thrown out there like that. The fact is, they are young and inexperienced. Playing behind a line that can’t even block a varsity HS defense, much less open a running lane. Can they play better, yes! And they will next season when they are coached up.

    The fact of the matter is….
    1. Running a pro offense with spread option personnel cannot work in the SEC, or against fast defenses. The problem we are having with the O line is they are undersized and athletic, which is basically fitted for the spread. We need big and strong blockers in order to have a down hill running game.

    2. Youth….70% of our starters are freshmen/sophomores. That should speak for itself. Players have to develop. Our team and the defense especially, will be better next year. Our players will be coached up. Hopefully our strength and conditioning coach will stay instead of leaving for Ohio State and Meyer.

    3. Look at the class we have coming in. OL, TE, RB…. Need I say more? Coach Boom and his staff are getting the pieces they need. We are getting bigger and physical. Meyer’s coaching years were great for the program but the SEC caught on to him and with out a Tebow, who is a once in a generation player, the program would be good at best, but not dominant. Hence, jump ship! Muschamp now has to fix this. He needs at least two years. Get off his back.

    4. We have a good young defense that’s only getting better. We could have won all our games except for LSU/ALABAMA. Yeah, we gave up a few big plays here a there but the main reason we were in all those games was because of our D in spite of our offense. We’re definitely going to have to add more size at linebacker and get more physical, but we will.

    We have a bright looking future even though we’re loosing games. I like the direction we’re headed in, and i can actually see progress especially defensively. This was a difficult year because all of our weaknesses were exposed, not to mention the injuries, coaching transition, one of the most difficult schedules in college football.

    So before you guys demean our freshmen QB’s and start wishing for the return of Ron Zook, maybe what you need to do is look at what we been through this season, and accept that this transition is tough, and we have to do some building. Remember, Urban Meyer inherited a damn good team from Zook. The team Muschamp inherited had all sorts of problems that not even the great UM wanted to stay and fix. For that, he needs great recruiting, and time.

    Oh, and just to let you guys know….
    Nick Saban’s first year at Bama, he went 6 for 6, including a 4 game losing streak, and a loss to Louisiana Monroe of all teams. They won the bowl the bowl game though. Ended up with a 7-6 record.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      the Zooker was fired today, he is available! /duck!

    • jay d says:

      hahaha…lamest argument ever…..saban had years of head coaching experiance when he took over Alabama….muschamp has none….he is in way over his head and is trying to learn on the job….we should can him if he doesn`t turn it around next season….because next thing you know ….3-4 years have passed and we are still at square one….while also being further removed from our glory days which still help bring in those big name recruits….ROCK BOTTOM!! LETS QUIT SHOOTING OURSELVES IN THE FOOT AND PUT THE GUN DOWN!!!

  19. Jesse C says:

    Defense played great.

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