College football season is almost underway, and while most teams have their rosters aligned, Florida faithful are awaiting the announcement of the starting QB going into the season opener against Bowling Green. The decision, however, is not that easy.
After a sub-par 7-6 record in 2011, and ranking 47th nationally in scoring offense (thanks Charlie Weiss), the Gators are looking to build on last season and step back into SEC contention. With John Brantley’s departure, Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel are vying for the starting job. Both have shown significant strides in spring camp, but Coach Muschamp stated that the QB battle is “50/50 down the middle”.
Last year, Driskel played in five games, while Brantley sat out with his injury. He completed 16-of-34 pass attempts, threw 2 INTs and no touchdowns. Brissett did not fare much better, completing 18-of-39 passes, scoring 2 touchdowns and tossing 4 INTs.
After a recent practice Coach Muschamp said, “Both guys [Driskel and Brissett] have shown command in the huddle and knowledge of the offense under coordinator Brent Pease and an increase in maturity level of anticipating some of the situations that come up and what we’re going to do”.
We still won’t know what each quarterback will bring to the table until that opening game against Bowling Green. Both quarterbacks should expect playing time against the Falcons, and should treat the game as an audition to secure the starting role for the season.
The real testament is going to be the bulk of the SEC schedule, beginning with away games at SEC newcomer Texas A&M and longtime rival Tennessee. Whichever quarterback fares better in the opener against Bowling Green could see the most repetitions come this fall, but that is no guarantee.
When asked if there was one thing that each quarterback can work on, Muschamp replied, “Game experience – and that will come September 1st”.
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