Gators OC Pease says QB spot up for grabs
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two weeks into fall camp and two weeks from the season opener, Florida’s quarterback battle remains a tight race between sophomores Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel.
While Driskel missed some reps on Monday and Tuesday due to a shoulder bruise suffered in Sunday’s practice, Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease said Friday that both players remain in contention to be the Gators’ starter on Sept. 1 against Bowling Green.
“It’s been up and down,’’ Pease said of the quarterback competition. “The thing I’ve seen from both of them is this: They both have gotten better in all aspects of their game. If they can get better to where both can manage [games] and make plays, then that’s really what we’re striving for.”
Two days after Florida head coach Will Muschamp said that Driskel’s bruised non-throwing shoulder was not a factor in the competition, Pease echoed those sentiments Friday.
While Brissett did get more reps early in the week as Driskel’s shoulder improved, there doesn’t appear to be enough separation between the two for the Gators to name a starter.
“I don’t know if he gained anything or went ahead,’’ Pease said of Brissett’s extra reps this week. “When you get more reps, it’s going to make you better naturally because you’re seeing more things.”
Since the end of spring practice, Muschamp and Pease have reiterated they can win with either quarterback. They also want to see them compete for the job as long as possible. Muschamp said last week not to expect a starter to be named until at least after three scrimmages.
The Gators held their second scrimmage of camp on Friday afternoon.
Pease provides daily reports to Muschamp on the quarterback competition with his thoughts on how each player is progressing. When it is time to make a decision, Pease isn’t concerned about it being an overly difficult one.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that tough,’’ Pease said. “I say that because I think they’re both capable. I’ll give [Coach Muschamp] my feedback on how guys perform. I think he’s valued my opinion, and I give it to him. I think it’s a 50-50 deal, probably a bit more 51-49 [in his favor] because he’s the head coach.”
Fans can get their first glimpse of the team this fall on Saturday at an open practice at The Swamp. The stadium opens at 8:30 a.m. and the practice is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.