GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Gators coach Will Muschamp provided more insight Monday into how quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett will be used in Saturday’s season opener against Bowling Green.
Muschamp announced that Driskel and Brissett will each play a quarter in the first half against the Falcons – the order has not been determined – and then they will be evaluated at halftime to determine the plan for the second half. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease is also heavily involved in the decision-making process.
“Brent and I right now plan to play one in the first quarter – and we have not made that decision yet – and another in the second quarter,’’ Muschamp said Monday. “And then through halftime make a decision as we move forward.”
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The two highly touted sophomores have competed to be the Gators’ starter since spring practice. Driskel played in five games a year ago and Brissett earned a pair of starts when fifth-year senior John Brantley suffered a knee injury in midseason.
Gators receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. voiced no concerns Monday over both quarterbacks splitting reps in the season opener.
“We’ve been rolling with them since January,’’ Hammond said. “They have been splitting time. When one comes in and the other goes out, there isn’t a difference, there isn’t a drop-off.”
Driskel passed his final test on Sunday when he was cleared for physical contact. Driskel was forced to miss two practices in camp when he suffered a bruised shoulder. Still, the competition remained close enough for Muschamp and Pease to enter the first game focused on getting in-game evaluations of both players.
When they are in the game Saturday, Driskel and Brissett will be operating Florida’s new offense installed by Pease. The pro-style scheme is much heavier on shifts and motion than the system put in place a year ago by Charlie Weis.
“It’s a totally different offense,’’ Hammond Jr. “We’re all piecing it together.”
Muschamp was asked Monday if Florida’s offense still featured a “wildcat” package with Pease now calling the plays.
“It’s something we’ll use game-to-game,’’ he said. “I think we can certainly benefit from it.”
Meanwhile, according to Muschamp, these are players out of Saturday’s game:
DE Ronald Powell (knee), DT Nick Alajajian (knee), TE Colin Thompson (foot), DE Kedric Johnson (knee), CB Jeremy Brown (wrist/will be re-evaluated Tuesday), OL Matt Patchan (pectoral strain), OL Tommy Jordan (shoulder), WR Mike McNeely (foot) and DB D’Ante “Pop” Saunders (hamstring).
Check out GatorZone.com later today for a story on how the Gators want to come out fast Saturday against the Falcons and put some distance between what happened in their last game in The Swamp.