Prior to the Florida Gators’ 2012 season, coach Will Muschamp was questioned daily on whether he and offensive coordinator Brent Pease had chosen a starting quarterback between true sophomores Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett.
No one made mention of a player a year older: Tyler Murphy.
Eventually, Driskel would win the starting spot, and after the season Brissett transferred to NC State. Murphy stepped up and into the primary backup role behind Driskel.
Then, on Saturday, in front of a rowdy home crowd and against rival Tennessee, it happened. Just a little more than five minutes into the game, Driskel threw a pass. It wound up in the hands of Volunteers defensive back Devaun Swafford, who returned his interception 62 yards for a touchdown.
Driskel went down on the play, and he stayed down. He had hurt his leg, and was forced to crutch his way into the locker room. Murphy, a redshirt junior, had never thrown a single pass for Florida, but with Driskel done for the day (it was eventually determined that he will be missing the rest of the season, unfortunately) it was his time.
And wow did he shine. He finished 8-for-14 with 134-yards, 84 rushing yards on only 10 attempts, one touchdown passing and another rushing. He did not turn the ball over once – but he did turn all of Gator Nation into huge fans.
Including a former Florida baller.
I like Tyler Murphy…very solid last name too
— Erik Murphy (@e_murphy31) September 21, 2013
Check out what the rest of the Twittersphere had to say in reaction to Murphy’s excellent performance.
Tyler Murphy welcome I’m excited to see where this chapter of Gator football leads.
— Greg Jansen (@GAJ13) September 22, 2013
QB Tyler Murphy was SOLID today in relief for Jeff Driskell, who is out for the year. The Gators are in good hands with him.
— Olindo (@OlindoSays) September 22, 2013
Tyler Murphy is the man. From here in out we will not lose another game with him behind center
— Bryce Williams (@BryceWilliams) September 22, 2013
I’m feeling good about Tyler Murphy #gogators
— Karli Windischmann (@karli_charlie) September 22, 2013
When I get bummed about missing the game because of work I just think about how my wish for Tyler Murphy to become the new QB being answered
— Jack Squires (@SirJohnSquires) September 22, 2013
Player of the game with no doubt.. Tyler Murphy. #isalute
— Marissa King (@TheBritRiss) September 22, 2013
— Randy Glein (@rglein) September 22, 2013
Tyler Murphy’s QBR was 94.1 out of 100. I have a newfound faith in Florida’s offense even with him technically being our backup
— Scott Breen (@scottybreen) September 22, 2013
Tyler Murphy should’ve been the starter along anyway…
— Mikey Holmes (@KoolAiddComic) September 22, 2013
So proud of Tyler Murphy, played one hell of a game today. #gogators
— John Picaro (@JohnPicaro) September 22, 2013
As a fan, I just had more confidence when Tyler Murphy came in. Weird? Maybe. But I did.
— Andrew O’Brien (@aobrien7) September 22, 2013
Tyler Murphy gives Gators element they haven’t had since Tebow:
— Aorta Rock Official (@AortaRock) September 22, 2013
How bout Tyler Murphy for the Gators?!
— Chance Harbour (@ChanceHarbour) September 22, 2013
Jeff driskel out for the season but I liked what I saw out if Tyler Murphy today we will be fine
— Adam Mayo (@AdamMayo23) September 22, 2013
Tyler Murphy took off for the Gators today… The new QB for the gators gonna lead us to victory!! pic.twitter.com/i3A2JOxo9k
— wes welker (@callmestevo_31) September 22, 2013
I can’t wait to hear on Monday from the Gatas how Tyler Murphy will kick FSU’s ass. Bring it MFers. I’ll be waiting.
— In Jameis We Trust (@FSUWK10) September 22, 2013
— Go Gators (@gogators4eva) September 22, 2013
— Rob Faenza (@RobFaenza) September 22, 2013
Honestly losing Driskel will help Florida in my opinion. Tyler Murphy is gooood.
— Tyler Marks (@tyler77heartbrk) September 22, 2013
Muschamp said Tyler Murphy asked him if he could run the scout team last year: “There’s not many guys like that in this society.”
— Cody Jones (@CJonesScout) September 22, 2013
Glad the Gators got the win! Sorry for Jeff.. Two words… *TYLER MURPHY!!! *in bestest, loudest Charlie Murphy voice
— Jaggedape (@jaggedape) September 22, 2013
I just wanna know how Tyler Murphy didn’t win the starting job coming into the season
— Justin Farkas (@farkasaurus) September 22, 2013
Florida QB Tyler Murphy should get a #HelmetSticker for his play vs Tennessee after Jeff Driskel went down with the ankle injury.
— Rhoderic Bell (@roddbell) September 22, 2013
Tyler Murphy is the future!!
— Torms (@Matt_Tormey) September 22, 2013
— Lacey Jones (@Lacey_D_Jones) September 22, 2013
Tyler Murphy has instantly become a hero in Gainesville.
— Matt Grossenbach (@MattGrossenbach) September 22, 2013
#Gators Tyler Murphy is going to be the college kaepernick!
— Skoo boi (@DANIEL_ARBOGAST) September 22, 2013
— Dave DeNovellis (@YourBoyDaveDeNo) September 22, 2013
What the ESPN ticker should be saying Is UF Finds A New QB in Tyler Murphy
— Fat Nigga (@FatJenks) September 22, 2013
Props to Tyler Murphy for stepping up and leading the #Gators to the win. Here’s to many more in the W column.
— Kathryn Elizabeth (@rynthetyn) September 22, 2013
Tyler Murphy for heisman
— Courtney Criswell (@CRCriswell39) September 22, 2013
Tyler Murphy stepped up today impressed the shit outta me
— Joshua Johnson (@Johnson2012Josh) September 22, 2013
The Gators looked good today even without their starting QB but I think the backup Tyler Murphy might be better than Jeff Driskel. Chomp!
— Ellis_Bruchman5 (@EllisBruchman) September 22, 2013
— Tyler Costley (@tdcostley) September 22, 2013
— Travis Johnson (@T3johnson) September 22, 2013
Fuck u jeff driskel tyler murphy is the future! #Gators
— wesleybrumley (@wesleybrumley) September 22, 2013
@RodVedder4 nope. He’s a junior but with the way Tyler Murphy played today, Driskel may not see the field again. Solid effort by the backup
— sean carpenter (@seancarp) September 22, 2013
A little shameless self-promotion? Why not?
— bretty (@Brett_Franks16) September 22, 2013
Photos: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports