Driskel expects to learn from mistakes

Something we have learned about Florida's sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel is that he is one tough customer. In a game against Georgia where the Gators turned the ball over six times and he was responsible for four of them, he was leading his team down the field with less than three minutes to go and try to send the game to overtime. It was to no avail. But just two yards short of a big finish.

For Jeff Driskel it wasn't a clean game from The Opening snap and the entire first series. On play one of the game, he was hesitant in handing the ball of to running back Mike Gillislee and the ball went to the ground, he pounced on it, only to be hit two plays later and a fumble caused a turnover.

"The first was a zone read and I tried to hold it in there too long and pull it out at the last second," he described the play. "The mesh point was a little longer than it was supposed to be and that was on me. When you are in doubt in the Zone Read, you give the ball. I wasn't in doubt. I just held the ball too long.

"The second one I got hit right when I was releasing the ball. It was one of those plays that was tough to make when you are getting hit."

Georgia went away from their norm and put everything up front. They stymied the run and just rushed hard up field toward the quarterback. Driskel has never shied away from contact and in doing so Saturday he put himself in harms way a few too many times.

"I thought I did pretty well under pressure," he said. "They had some good d-linemen and were obviously going to bring a lot of pressure against us. I thought I stood in there a while and took a couple of sacks. But, I thought I stood in there well with some pressure and some hits."

He also made errors on the run. One critical one caused the Gators points at the end of the half when they were inside the ten and he was flushed out of the pocket and needed to throw the ball. He should have thrown it away, but instead threw it across his body and into the waiting arms of Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo.

"I saw Trey in the flat late and tried to make a play that wasn't there," Driskel now knows.

Driskel knows it is a process for him. He has made several mistakes out of inexperience and his belief that he can make a play when it probably isn't there. The Missouri defense they face this week is a big turnover defense and he understands he has to back off a bit.

"Unfortunately a lot of times we learn from mistakes," he said. "It was a big loss, but we will have to respond and play well to win this game."

He won't dwell on the game and says he has only seen it a couple of time in the film room. He just has to move on knowing that what he went through is something he can build on so that he won't make the same mistakes again.

"Any time you play a good team like that, with more reps comes more confidence," he said. "Hopefully I got it out of my system. I have to learn from my mistakes and get them out of the way."

One thing that would help alleviate some of the pressure up front on this team is the ability to throw the ball deep. The Gators had the intention to do it a few times Saturday but really only one deep ball was thrown and it was thrown out of bounds and out of the reach of everyone on the field.

It is a two headed beast and getting some of the deep balls to work almost has to come before they can alleviate the pressure they are getting. At the same time, because of all the pressure, it has been very difficult to throw it deep.

"A lot of time when there is pressure it is hard… we have played some great defensive lines," Driskel said. "With longer developing routes you can't step into the pocket and move around. We've been trying to get the ball out faster because of all the pressure they are bringing me. We haven't hit too many deep plays and we are going to have to. We have been working on it. We took a couple of shots and just didn't hit them.

Driskel said the play calls almost all have deep routes embedded in them and depending on what he sees from the defense, he has more often than not gone to the shorter route.

"Every route concept there is a deep route… and shorter routes built in for pressure and they are bringing pressure a lot," he said. "There are a couple of times when I could have gone deep and I chose to go to the shorter ones. I missed a deep ball to Frankie. I didn't really give him a chance. On deep balls it comes down to giving your receiver a chance and I didn't do that."

He knows he has to have his teammates to make this thing work and one of the biggest difference makers this year is junior tight end Jordan Reed. Reed had a great game up until the final offensive play when he was the receiver that made a great play and headed to the end zone only to cough up the ball for the sixth and final time, all but ending the contest.

Reed has been criticized for unnecessary jumping during his play and he did just that as he was heading to the end zone. He was stripped of the ball in mid-flight to cause the turnover. Driskel says reed just needs to keep making plays however he knows how to do it.

"To me, it's been working for him. There was a big play against Texas A&M where he jumped over a guy and got like 20 extra yards. Nobody wants to talk about that. He makes plays and is a play maker and tried to do a little too much. Unfortunately he fumbled the ball. He's a great player and we want the ball in his hands. He will be fine."

Driskel also knows he has a defense that has helped him and the offense maybe more than any in the country. On Saturday the defense held the Bulldogs pretty much in check most of the game, despite having to try and make up for so many offensive gaffes.

"They were put in some tough spots," Driskel said of the defense. "We put them in some spots where their backs were against the wall and they got some huge turnovers and stops. They have been playing like that all year long. That is a great defense and we have to give them a chance." Now it is time to move on, focus for the next opponent and finish the season strong.

"I am disappointed, especially with what was at stake in last weekend's game," Driskel said. "But, we can't dwell on it too much because there is a lot of football left to go and we have to press on and be positive for the upcoming week. We have another challenging SEC opponent.

"It is going to be a lot like Texas A&M the same style of offense and defense. We are going to have to prepare and be ready to go."

Crazier things have happened in regards to the SEC East race even though it appears Georgia will get the crown sometime next month.

"That was the goal in the beginning… get to the SEC Championship game," he said. "That is still not out of our reach. (But) we have to control what we can control and win our remaining games. We can't worry about what is going on with other teams and just focus on Florida.

"So far we have handled wins well, but now going to have to handle the loss well. We will have to bounce back and not hang our heads. So far we aren't hanging our heads.

"We will have to bounce back after a big loss. We are disappointed and our fans are disappointed. We have to go back to work and at the end of the day all that matters is the game in front of you. We are looking at Missouri now and not looking at the past."

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