Florida Offense Preparing for Road Noise

The Florida offense went through fall camp preparing for road games and the noise that comes with them. Part of the reason it was emphasized is the early season schedule, as the Gators play at Texas A&M and Tennessee in the next two weeks. Kyle Field is expecting a sellout and an electric atmosphere as the Aggies celebrate their first game as an SEC member when the Gators enter on Saturday.

Florida offense coordinator Brent Pease knows how loud Kyle Field can get. He reached in the stadium twice between 2003-05 when he served as the offensive coordinator at Baylor. Despite the instate rivalry of that game, he's expecting an atmosphere this weekend unlike anything he saw during his time at Baylor.

"That's something we've got to be able to handle— the noise," Pease said on Tuesday. "We've got to be prepared in how we're going to do it and the mechanics of what we've got to be ready on. We'll work on that."

Pease wouldn't answer whether Florida will use hand signals to get calls throughout the offense before the snap. He said the issue for quarterback Jeff Driskel will be in the huddle. Loud stadiums can sometimes make it more difficult when the offense is huddled together and trying to get the play announced to the group.

The atmosphere at Kyle Field is unique. Head coach Will Muschamp, a former defensive coordinator at Texas, shied away from sharing his favorite Texas A&M tradition during games on Monday, but Pease has a clear memory of what the stadium can be like.

"The thing I do remember is in the third quarter and you look up there, and they're all swaying," Pease said. "You can't look or you're going to get like vertigo. Those stands start moving. It can get loud. They're into it and they get their little yell people going and all the kissing going on if they're scoring.

"It's a great atmosphere to play in. There's going to be a lot of people, and it's steep. The stadium is very steep. That's something you can't get caught up in. It's a distraction you've really got to block out as a player and a coach."

Saturday will be the first time Texas A&M takes the field for a game this season. After their season opener at Louisiana Tech was cancelled because of Hurricane Isaac, the Aggies immediately turned their focus to the Florida game. There are still things that can only get cleaned up in games.

The Gators were sloppy and had plenty of mistakes in their season opener. The Florida staff is hoping Texas A&M has to go through the same experience on Saturday.

"There's definitely some growing pains," Pease said. "I mean, we found that out. That's a natural, so I'm sure they are going to run into some things that they don't know about yet. Expect the unexpected, as we say. I don't know, maybe they've rehearsed everything there is, but there are some things you have to get use to when it's the first time.

"I'm sure they are going to have some growing pains that they will have to work though."

GIVING DRISKEL THE NOD: After Saturday's 27-14 win over Bowling Green, Pease and the offensive staff didn't go straight to their offices to start figuring out who should be the quarterback. The process started on Sunday. Pease and Muschamp sat down for a meeting to discuss it after watching tape from the previous day's game and left the room with the plan to start Jeff Driskel on Saturday.

A lot went into the decision. They talked about old practices and situations during Saturday's game that helped them pick the starter.

"It was tough because both guys have done a really good job," Pease said. "I think just with the situation and kind of where it's moving right now, Jeff is the guy that we decided to go with. It wasn't a decision totally just based off the game.

"We had to see some things in the game, but it still goes back to spring ball, what they did in the summer-time development, what they did through camp and continued to improve and how they handled situations. It wasn't just about one game."

Pease wanted to make sure it was clear that the decision wasn't a knock on Jacoby Brissett or the job he did. They thought Driskel managed the team and brought an added advantage with his mobility.

That doesn't mean Brissett will back off trying to win the job.

"Jacoby has the capabilities of doing this thing also," Pease said. "Credit to him— I just saw him in the hall like an hour ago and he's studying film."

The focus for Driskel this week will be involving the passing game. The Gators ran the ball during two-thirds of their snaps on Saturday against Bowling Green. The play calls were intentional, trying to show off the ground game that Florida spent the offseason improving.

This weekend will be about opening up the passing game. Even though the Gators threw the ball just 21 times on Saturday, Pease said there were open receivers.

"The receivers did do a good job of beating the coverage," Pease said. "I think how I can help (Driskel) is just, one, you've got to show it and go back and go over and simulate it again, trying to use the same kind of progression. Sometimes I can change where their progression is at to get him to his open guys quicker and help him from the box, or change their read this week to make it a little bit easier for him.

"Reads as a quarterback never stay the same, and you've got to understand with coverages how they rotate and where it's going to tell you."


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