GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida starting quarterback Jeff Driskel was spotted on campus Tuesday using crutches and wearing a brace on his right ankle, which he sprained over the weekend against Louisiana.
Sophomore quarterback Jacoby Brissett could start for Florida this week after Jeff Driskel suffered a right ankle sprain against Louisiana.
Fellow sophomore Jacoby Brissett will likely start in his place this weekend against Jacksonville State, and he's excited to finally get his opportunity again after losing the quarterback competititon to Driskel following the first game of the season.
"He’ll have probably a little more juice in his step," offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. "He’s probably going to be pretty excited. Maybe a little bit more focused, putting more into it. I think that’s what we all naturally would do.”
Brissett has patiently bided his time behind Driskel, opting not to transfer during the season despite the fact that teammates and coaches have said he could start at any number of BCS-caliber programs.
The waiting hasn't been easy, but it paid off for Brissett last weekend, albeit under unfortunate circumstances.
Now it's Brissett's turn to seize the moment he's been waiting for.
"Jacoby has a great opportunity," Pease said. "It's his stage for this game. Step up and do what you've got to do. You're number's called, go carry the flag."
With Brissett in the game, the dynamic of Florida's offense is likely to shift a bit. Driskel is a better running threat, and the Gators have used him throughout the year in the running game, particularly on the zone read.
On strictly running plays this season, Driskel has racked up 635 yards on 69 carries. Brissett simply doesn't have that kind of speed or running ability, though he moves around effectively in the pocket.
"Jacoby’s probably not much of a read-option type guy," Pease said. "He’s not the runner Jeff is. He doesn’t have the elusiveness and speed. I’m not saying we won’t do it. I’m just saying some of those things are built a little more for Jeff’s ability than Jacoby’s."
Another thing Florida has to consider is keeping Brissett healthy. If Driskel can't play on his right ankle, Tyler Murphy becomes the backup.
Running Brissett unnecessarily means taking the risk of being forced to play your third-string quarterback.
"Now all of a sudden you’re down a guy, too, and you put a guy in that position where he’s gonna get hit, you’ve gotta kind of guard yourself against getting that kid dinged up a little bit," Pease said.
Still, even though Brissett may not run as much as Driskel did, don't expect Florida to change what it's doing on offense.
The Gators are still going to try to grind out wins with a strong running game by wearing teams down over the course of the game.
"I still think we stay within our philosophy," Pease said. "To get to 9-1 and work towards getting to 10-1 and hopefully 11-1, I think we've got a pretty good recipe."