Offense would change for Brissett

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel is considered doubtful for Saturday's game against Jacksonville State. He will test the ankle on Wednesday to get a better idea, but after spending the first two days of the week on crutches and in a boot, the Gators are expecting Jacoby Brissett to start the game. The offense will change to feature Brissett's strengths and eliminate most of the quarterback runs.

Driskel won the starting job in fall camp, forcing Brissett to serve as the backups and have his practice reps cut. That will change this week. The Gators want to get him as many snaps as possible during the week of practice to build chemistry with the pass catchers and get a rhythm in the offense.

"He'll take the majority of the reps," Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. "It's going to be Jacoby in there and everything's going to be centered around him. How we base reps during the season, it's not like he doesn't get some. He doesn't get the number that Jeff has had, but he's taken good quality reps and even through fall camp the number he can build on.

"Now it's just kind of getting him settled in of what we're going to do with the game plan."

There will be key plays in the offense from this season that probably won't be in the playbook on Saturday if Brissett is under center. The zone read play that Driskel has given opposing defenses fits won't be there since Brissett doesn't command the respect on the ground that Driskel does.

It could mean more wildcat with Trey Burton playing quarterback so the Florida offense will still have the running element from a quarterback.

"He's not the runner Jeff is," Pease said of Jacoby Brissett. "He doesn't have the elusiveness and speed. (The zone reads) are built a little more for Jeff's ability than Jacoby's. Jacoby probably wants to do it. He's not opposed to doing it. He bugs me about it all the time.

"I'm not saying we won't. But now all of a sudden you're down a guy, and you put a guy in that position where he's going to get hit, you've got to kind of guard yourself against getting that kid dinged up a little bit."

The quarterback run game won't be there as much with Brissett, but the Gators will still lean on Mike Gillislee and the wildcat on the ground. Without the quarterback runs, Pease said the Gators could try multiple things to get the ground game going, but he wouldn't give away any of the potential game plan.

Pease doesn't want to change too much. The offensive scheme hasn't produced big numbers in recent weeks, but it's what the team is comfortable with.

"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. Is it totally what you want it to be in the big picture? No. There are things we've got to improve on. There are pieces you can put in.

"Jacoby has a great opportunity, and what he does to improve us and do a good job for himself as well as his teammates. It's his stage for this game. Step up and do what you've got to do. Your number's called, go carry the flag."

The Gators will continue to see how Driskel's ankle is. The Florida coaches have all said they will play him this weekend if he's capable of it, and they wouldn't sit him to give him rest for the Florida State game next week. The ankle is still sore and in a boot while Driskel uses crutches.

"He got rolled on his ankle pretty good," Pease said. "Just kind of how he got bent on it, where his weight was. He's rehabbing. He'll be fine."

If Driskel isn't cleared to play on Saturday, redshirt sophomore Tyler Murphy would serve as the backup quarterback to Brissett.

Fightin Gators Top Stories