Unlike Charlie Weis‘ antics from Wednesday, this throwing under the bus could very well be warranted.
In his first season as Florida’s starting quarterback, and in Will Muschamp‘s second season at UF, Jeff Driskel helped lead the Gators to an 11-2 and a Sugar Bowl appearance. It was all downhill after that as his 2013 season ended after three games because of injury, however, and he lost his starting job last season after the Week 8 loss to Missouri. Those last two seasons saw the Gators go 11-13 and Muschamp lose his job.
In January of this year, new Gators head coach Jim McElwain confirmed that Driskel had been granted a release from his UF scholarship. Shortly thereafter, Driskel transferred to Louisiana Tech, where he’s eligible as a graduate transfer and actually won the starting job.
It would be an understatement of mammoth proportions to say he has made a positive impression on his head coach, who used an opportunity to praise his new starting quarterback to also take a couple of thinly-veiled shots at Driskel’s former program.
“I think down at Florida, it got very toxic for him. He became the scapegoat,” Holtz said according to the Monroe News Star. “He became the guy that was tied to losing at Florida as a fan base that does not take very well to losing. It really became a negative situation, which is unfortunate because he’s such a great Christian young man with such great values who is a leader.
“If you ever have a chance to sit down and talk with him, he’s almost too good to be true. He’s exactly the way you’d want to raise your son. I’m really proud of him and really happy for him that he was able to go out, play that way. Our fan base was able to embrace him the way that they did.”
At least one noteworthy Gator fan seems to agree with that assessment.
In Tech’s season-opening win over Southern, Driskel completed 12-of 15 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns. His pass efficiency rating of 321.4 is the highest for a single game at the FBS level since at least the 2013 season.
Could this, though, be a win-win for all involved? In UF’s opener, Treon Harris and Will Grier combined to complete 29-of-36 passes for 379 yards and four touchdowns in the opener. Granted, it came against New Mexico State, but then again Driskel opened against an FCS team so there’s that.
(Photo credit: Louisiana Tech athletics)