Driskel Understands LSU's Talent

Florida sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel believes he understands the talent level he will be facing this Saturday when the Bengal Tigers of LSU come to The Swamp to take on the Gators in an SEC matchup. The state of Louisiana has more players playing in the NFL per capita than any other state in the country and the best players in that state go to LSU.

It isn't just about size or just about speed at LSU, it is about size and speed and they bring it in waves on the defensive line. Jeff Driskel thinks his guys are ready for what will be w tough match up.

"They have speed all over the field, especially on the defensive line," Driskel told the Florida media on Monday. "That front four is loaded with first round draft picks. Our offensive line is ready for the challenge and ready to go on Saturday." Driskel knows that the confidence factor for this LSU team is through the roof and losing just one game in the last two years coupled with the ridiculous talent will do that for a team.

"They are a team that wants to go one-on-one," Driskel said. "They think they have better players across the board and they do have very good players. They will go one-on-one in the secondary and just ‘bull' you up front. We think we have outside receivers and tight ends that can create mismatches. We have to find the mismatch and go there.

Preparation is big this week. In week two Driskel took about six sacks that he shouldn't because he wasn't ready to do the right thing with his feet or his arm depending on the situation.

It's a battle of two talented squads and it likely could come down to the team that follows through best with their game plan and executes.

After every sack (offensive coordinator Brent Pease) says, ‘You have to get rid of the ball, you have to know your protection, you have to know down and distance'. We're going at it like any other week. We aren't changing our game plan on offense or anything like that. We just have to execute and that is what it comes down to.

"We know about their speed rushers. They are going to get in there quick. We will have quicker stuff. We will have some quick game, draw, and stuff like that. We will help the tackles with ‘chips' on the ends because they are really good players. It goes back to knowing your routes, knowing the defense, and knowing the protections."

A year ago Florida limped into Baton Rouge after getting beat up by eventual national champion Alabama. The Tigers beat the Gators up even more on their field to the tune of 41-11. The SEC Champion and eventual national runner-up was more than the Gators could handle, but Driskel says his guys felt ready for the fight. He also believes they will bring a much better fight this time around.

"Going in last year we definitely felt like we had a shot," he said. "We didn't go into that game saying ‘hopefully we don't lose by 20' and ‘try to keep it close'. We go in every game thinking we have a shot and knowing we have a shot. This year it will definitely be a lot closer, it won't be like last year.

"We are a confident team. We have gotten better each and every game and are going to do the same this week. We had a week off to rest our bodies and a couple of extra days to prepare for LSU. We will be ready to go."

That game against LSU was even harder on the 6-3, 240 pound quarterback. He wasn't able to play because of an ankle sprained in the Alabama game when he had to play for the injured John Brantley. He did everything he could to try and get on the field and help his team.

"Nobody likes being sidelined and not being dressed for games," Driskel said. "That is why you come to Florida and play in the SEC. I am excited to get this opportunity and I am ready to go.

"I was in the training room all day long (all week), trying to get back, and doing whatever I could. There was just not enough time. An injury like a sprained ankle takes some time and I did get better every day, but it just wasn't going to happen.

"I was upset, but that is part of the game. There are going to be injuries and the next guy just has to be ready to go… like any other position."

In the absence of Brantley and Driskel, freshman Jacoby Brissett was thrown into the first live action of his young career when had to start on the road against LSU.

In his valiant effort, Brissett tried, but the LSU team was much too good for that young and experienced Gator squad. Brissett started and played the whole game, but Driskel says there really isn't that much they can draw from the two teams from a year ago.

"As a team we have watched clips from last year, but it's a new team and new guys," Driskel said before adding what he and Brissett talk about in the film room for a game like this. "We sit right next to each other in meetings and kind of pick each other's brains… ‘What do you see in this defense?' or ‘what do you think our best mismatch is?'. We definitely communicate a lot. "

Communication like that among teammates and the willingness for these guys to be a better team has made it a better team overall and the staff keeps reminding them of that.

"The coaches said all along ‘we are a more mature team'," Driskel noted. "That means we do a lot on our own. We get in here and watch film. We aren't going to be guys that just do the bare minimum. We all want to get better and that's what it takes.

One guy that won't be roaming the defense for LSU is talented cornerback and athlete Tyrann Matthieu who was dismissed from the program earlier in the year. Matthieu was a headache to Florida and Brissett much like he was to everyone else a year ago.

"He is definitely one that can create some matchup problems and he can play all over the field," Driskel said. "But, LSU is going to always have DB's and the next one is going to have to step up. They still have a great secondary and we are going to have to game plan just as much as we would have with him. " LSU started strong but had a slow start Saturday against Towson. They eventually rolled in the matchup, but the start certainly made a lot of people take notice.

"I watched some of it," Driskel said. "I wasn't too locked into it because I know you can watch it a lot faster and easier in (the film room) without all the commentators and stuff like that.

"I definitely was (surprised). That is a big time program and a big time team, but they ended up winning the game and that is all that matters."

Driskel refuses to put too much stress in this one game. LSU is the highest ranked opponent on the Gators' schedule according to the national coaches poll, but there are three teams right behind them still on the gators' schedule.

At the end of the day it's just another game, but it's definitely a big one," he said. "That's a really good opponent and we are excited for the opportunity to be matched up against one of the best in the country."

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