When John Brantley went down with a first-half injury against Alabama this past weekend, he was replaced under center by true freshman Jeff Driskel. After head coach Will Muschamp ruled Brantley out of the LSU game with what’s believed to be a high-ankle sprain Monday, it’s been widely expected that Driskel would start on the road against the Tigers, especially after Muschamp said as much.
Charlie Weis, on the other hand, is keeping his quarterback cards close to the vest, if for nothing more than to keep LSU “guessing” as to the true identity of the starter.
The UF offensive coordinator said Tuesday, apparently with the accompanying straight face and everything, that a decision on a starter for the LSU game will not be made until later in the week. In addition to Driskel, true freshman Jacoby Brissett and redshirt freshman Tyler Murphy are also involved in what’s being described as an open competition to replace Brantley.
“I could tell you, but I’d have to shoot you,” Weis said according to the Gainesville Sun. “We don’t know yet. We’re practicing. As the head coach has already previously told you, (starter John) Brantley is out and we’re practicing the other three guys.
“By the end of the week, we’ll decide who the starter is.”
That said, we’re guessing that LSU, along with most anyone else with a lick of sense, would be beyond shocked if it was anybody other than Driskel taking the first step in Death Valley Saturday night.
Regardless of whether it’s Driskel or one of the others, UF will go into the game knowing that they will be very raw and inexperienced at the position. And that they will need to run the ball effectively to take some of the pressure off the young players.
“That’s the first thing,” he said. “Any time you have a fairly inexperienced quarterback, you need to take the pressure off him by being able to run.
“Last week, it was a combination of things. They won the line of scrimmage. When you lose the line of scrimmage, which we did last week, you usually aren’t going to be very effective in the run game whether inside or out. It doesn’t make much difference if you don’t win the line of scrimmage.”
Winning the line of scrimmage will be easier said than done for the Gators. After being held to just 15 yards rushing — 31 of which came on a run by Driskel — against the top-ranked Tide run defense, UF will now face an LSU run defense that’s ranked No. 3 nationally.
Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, it’s time for both of y’all to step up and help out your young signal caller. Another 14 carries for eight yards — combined — will not suffice this time around, either.