By his own standards, Jeff Driskel had just another mediocre performance against LSU in a 30-27 loss on Saturday night.
The stat line shows two interceptions — the first an underthrown deep ball to Demarcus Robinson. That’s on Driskel. The other was an ill-timed slant pass to Latroy Pittman that ended up being tipped and intercepted, setting up LSU’s eventual game-winning field goal. The pass was solid, the decision to leave Pittman hanging out to dry on that pattern and trying to squeeze the ball into that window, risky.
Driskel was asked to do so much this week for Florida to get a win. He carried the ball 21 times for 71 yards and a score but the same inconsistency — or even worse, his consistency to be mediocre — is what plagued the Gators in the end.
“We never got anything going much other than Jeff [Driskel] with the running game,” Muschamp said after the game. “We have to continue to search for consistency when throwing and catching the football.”
With the loss to LSU, the Florida Gators are no longer driving the bus that holds their fate in the SEC. Even if the Gators win out, they would need Kentucky to lose at least one more SEC game or Kentucky, yes the basketball school from the Bluegrass State would represent the SEC East in Atlanta if both the Gators and Wildcats win out.
So here we sit. Florida is 2-2 in league play and there is no way Will Muschamp survives the season if the Gators fall out of the race in the SEC East. The Gators will host Missouri this week with a bye week and Georgia staring them down in the two weeks to come.
A loss in either week would set Florida back and all but render them spectators this season.
This is why the call needs to be made. It’s time to make the switch at quarterback.
Driskel played about as good of a game as he’s going to against LSU. His physicality was huge in the running game and about the only thing that Florida had going for them offensively.
However, Driskel’s last 11 quarters consist of six interceptions on just 27-of-66 (40.1%) passing.
Driskel can’t catch the ball for Tevin Westbrook. Had Westbrook caught a fourth quarter pass in the end zone we would be sitting here talking about how Driskel led a game-winning touchdown drive.
It’s not about one play though. It’s the summation of watching Driskel play for years. You know what you’re going to get with Driskel — it’s probably why Muschamp feels comfortable playing Driskel — he knows what to expect. At times it’s better to go with the evil that you know over the evil that you don’t.
That time is over.
Will Muschamp’s job is on the line next week and the week after. The Florida Gators still have an opportunity to bounce back this season.
With all the distractions surrounding Florida this week, the team rallied around Driskel. They played hard for him but in the end they found a way to lose.
A week earlier, Treon Harris was inserted into the game against Tennessee and although his play was not outstanding, he gave the team a boost and led two scoring drives to win the game.
Harris watched the LSU game sitting next to his offensive coordinator. High above the field, away from cameras that would have been pointed directly at him, recounting the allegations that, apparently wrongfully, smeared his name all week.
He sat there with a different perspective. He was able to watch the game from a different vantage point and listen in to his coach as he called plays and managed the offense.
Next week, he’ll be on the field and if the Gators want to turn things around, it should be Harris taking the first snap at quarterback against Missouri.