September 1, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) hands the ball off to running back Mike Gillislee (23) during the second half against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Bowling Green Falcons 27-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Texas A&M won't be the only team playing its SEC opener with a quarterback making his first collegiate start when it welcomes Florida to town this Saturday: Jeff Driskel has been named the Gators' starting quarterback, and will make his first-ever start on the road in College Station.The move by Will Muschamp should surprise very few after last Saturday's game against Bowling Green. Driskel took the lion's share of the snaps, took snaps in every quarter, was on the field at the start of the game as a slot receiver, took all but one snap in the first quarter, and both threw the only touchdown pass of the day and ran for 22 yards on a scramble that showcased his mobility.
Driskel also reportedly slid past Jacoby Brissett, who looked to be higher on the depth chart for much of 2011, in the last two weeks of practice, taking the lead in a quarterback competition that has been open since the day after John Brantley took his last snap as the Gators' starter at the Gator Bowl in January.
Driskel looks to have shored up some of the patience and composure issues that troubled him in 2011, but struggled with his accuracy at points on Saturday, and was either not permitted or not inclined to throw deep, as even the 50-yard touchdown to Frankie Hammond Jr. — which Driskel sarcastically referred to as "that 50-yard bomb" when asked about it in a postgame interview — came on a 10-yard pass that Hammond turned into a scoring strike.
Kyle Field will likely house 90,000 screaming Aggies on Saturday (and a few thousand Gators), and should be a cauldron of oppressive heat. Driskel, who joins redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel in making a first collegiate start in the game, has a test before him.