Man down, man up. Muschamp’s motto for when one player goes down another player steps up in his place. Late in Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette, Gator fans worst fears came to pass when the man down was starting quarterback Jeff Driskel. Up to that point, Driskel was playing well passing at a high efficiency but perhaps more importantly he was having success on the edges of the defense running the zone read keeper.
In comes backup, and training camp competitor, Jacoby Brissett. If Brissett was put in a tough situation coming in cold to lead the Gators from behind, he sure didn’t show it. After knocking off the rust he strung a few completions together to tie the game setting the stage for a last second punt block and subsequent touchdown as well as an improbable come-from-behind victory.
After not being able to go this week in practice, it appears Driskel will not be available for this weekend’s game against Jacksonville State. As a result, Brissett will get the nod.
“He’ll take the majority of the reps,” offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. “Now it’s just getting him settled in with what we’re going to do with game plan.”
Man down, man up.
With Driskel out and Brissett starting it appears the game plan may change somewhat to better suit Jacoby’s skill set.
“I think they’re two different type guys,” said Pease. “Jacoby’s probably not much of the read option type guy. He’s not the runner that Jeff is, he doesn’t have the elusiveness and speed.”
As far as the difference in the game-plan and how they plan to attack,
“We’ll see, he obviously puts things out there that we will try to do things that benefit him a little more in the game-plan yet he’s going to have to do things out of our base offense to execute.”
“He has been a good deep ball guy.”
So look for less of the zone read and more pass plays which suit Jacoby’s set a little more. Just don’t look for big changes in the offense.
“I still think we stay within our philosophy because to get to 9-1 and work towards getting 10-1 and then hopefully 11-1, I think we got a pretty good recipe,” Pease said
“Is it totally what you want it to be in the big picture? No there’s things I think we got to improve on. There’s pieces that you can put in.”
The staff has ultimate confidence in Jacoby. It’s not like he’s a newbie by any means. Having played some last year and then splitting reps and competing with Driskel in the spring and summer camps, Brissett understands the offense and has shown he has the ability to run it. He’ll have the opportunity to show what he can do for a whole game.
“Now Jacoby’s got a great opportunity and what he does to improve us and do a good job for himself as well as his teammates,” Pease said.
“Hey its his stage for this game. And step up and do what you got to do. I mean your number’s called, go carry the flag.”
He definitely showed on Saturday what he can do in a limited amount of time by leading the comeback to prevent what was starting to look like a huge upset. Pease spoke of his play in that game,
“I’ m so proud of the kid to step in, in a tough situation and make the plays that he did when he did. He’s made the plays in practice too, it’s not like they’re new plays and he hasn’t done them.
Pease expressed sincere confidence in Brissett’s ability to lead this team he just brings a little different qualities to the table than Driskel.
“He’s got good vision of the field but sometimes when you got a lot of vision of the field your holding on to the ball a little bit. He’s got good pocket awareness and understands coverages and sees things that he needs to see.”
So while the quarterback may be different don’t expect to see a big change on the field this Saturday outside of the designed quarterback runs. They’ll continue to do what they do and Gator fans will get to see what Brissett can do as the starter and finisher.
Man down, Man up!