Driskel comfortable in Roper's scheme

When Kurt Roper turned on the film of his Duke offenses before spring practice, it didn't take long for the Florida players to buy into his system. The proof was in the production last season, carrying a traditionally struggling program to a 10-win season. It caught Jeff Driskel's eye in a hurry, and he's comfortable with the way his offense produced in Saturday's spring game.

"You have to believe in the scheme, which I'm sure that our guys do," Jeff Driskel said. "When you turn on the film of Duke for the last few years, they spread the ball around, they give it to a bunch of guys and a bunch of guys were making big plays. When you see that from another team, it's exciting when you look at our skill players on offense.

"Whenever you have a new offensive coordinator and a new system, it a new reenergized. We felt like it's a new start and there's something about it where you can get rolling. It's been a lot of fun and I think our guys had fun making big plays."

The Florida offense closed out its spring on Saturday in The Swamp. The 15 opportunities the Gators had to work with offensive coordinator Kurt Roper came to a close, and they now head into an important offseason to make sure they stay sharp while going into fall camp.

Saturday saw Driskel go 18-32 with 167 passing yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He added 34 rushing yards on 10 carries. The normal inconsistencies he showed in the passing game during the spring still showed up on Saturday, but he felt more comfortable running an offense that's a better fit for his skills.

"As a quarterback that as a quarterback when you're in a no-huddle type deal, you're able to get into rhythm," Driskel said. "We do have a lot of quick game and when you start getting completion, completion after completion, it kind of builds your confidence and gets you in a rhythm that sometimes is tough for the defense to break."

The quick passes showed up on Saturday. Driskel hit Demarcus Robinson on one that turned into a 31-yard touchdown. He targeted Quinton Dunbar, Ahmad Fulwood, Latroy Pittman and Chris Thompson all on passes that weren't five yards from the line of scrimmage. It's the design of the offense, slowly making its impact on the defense's stamina.

"The majority of our passing offense is based on getting the ball out and getting it into receivers' hands and making them make a play after they catch the ball. I think we had a lot of YAC today, when we got the ball into receivers hands they made plays for me so that's a big part of our offense."

The deep balls were more of a struggle for Driskel on Saturday. Multiple floated out of bounds and kept his receivers from having a chance to make a play on them. But it's the short passing game that made the offense go, and it's likely going to stay an important part of what the Gators do in the fall.

As the player run practices now become the focus of the offense's improvement, the most important thing is that Driskel is comfortable. He's in charge when the Gators hit the practice fields without coaches this summer, and he has to know what they're doing. He showed on Saturday that he does.

"I felt like we were really efficient," Driskel said. "We moved the ball really well. We only turned it over one time and we only had one penalty on offense. I think when you're not beating yourself up, you can really, really gain momentum and gain confidence. We had some big plays. That's just something that we're going to have to continue to do to have a good offense, and I think we will."

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