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  • Jeff Driskel, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida

    Jeff Driskel is your starting quarterback, Gator Nation. It's time to get his back and rally around him. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

Florida Gators Football: Time
to rally behind Jeff Driskel

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Written by Nick de la Torre, October 6, 2014, 17 Comments,
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The Florida Gators turned to freshman quarterback Treon Harris last week in Knoxville Tennessee to spark a comeback and extend the school’s record 10-game winning streak over the rival Vols.

Monday’s news that Harris is involved in allegations of sexual battery has caused the University Athletic Association and team to suspend Harris from all team activities until further notice.

Following Florida’s win, Will Muschamp sang a different tune about the quarterback situation and while the head coach didn’t name a starter for this week’s game against LSU, many thought Harris would get the nod after Driskel was removed from the game after starting 11-23 (47.8%) with three interceptions.

The decision to pull Driskel was made with Harris in mind. Harris has been taking all of the second team reps and worked with the first team prior to the Tennessee game. The next quarterback up, freshman Will Grier, has not traveled with the team or been practicing fully due to back spasms.

However, Grier tweeted on Sunday that he has been cleared to return to practice.

All of the news on Monday leaves an already foggy quarterback situation at Florida even more muddled. Will Muschamp and Kurt Roper had previously stated that Driskel have the Gators the best chance to win. Harris was being groomed as the backup and Grier appeared to be heading for a redshirt, even before his back issues popped up.

What does the team do now?

Enrolling early there were two things that Grier needed to do. First, the slender quarterback needed to add weight to his frame. Grier has done that and is around 200-pounds currently.

The second was get into the playbook and get ready to run the offense.

The latter has been slowed down in part due to Harris’ emergence and seizing of the backup job and two, the back issues that have kept Grier off of the practice field.

Currently, Grier is not ready to run the offense in a game.

That means it’s time for Gators fans to rally around the embattled Driskel.

Driskel’s play has drawn the scorn of Gator Nation. Not all of Florida’s shortcoming have been Driskel’s fault but in football, the quarterback gets more praise than they deserves and bear the brunt of the blame when things go poorly.

We don’t know how long it will take to sort out the Treon Harris investigation, what the outcome will be or if he will ever play for the Gators again. LSU doesn’t care who starts this week for the Gators. They’re trying to win a football game, the same as Florida.

Jeff Driskel will be the starting quarterback at the University of Florida this week when they take on the LSU Tigers. Despite how you feel about Driskel, now is the time to rally around the redshirt quarterback.

Nick de la Torre

About Nick de la Torre

A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC

  1. pcolagatorOctober 6, 2014, 6:42 pm

    what about Skyler? he looked decisive and confident running the O during O&B game?

  2. Wilbur_36October 6, 2014, 6:55 pm

    If Treon Harris is actually guilty of sexually assaulting a lady, he should be dismissed from the team and the School. I think Jeff Driskel is out best chance at winning, WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE!!!!!!!
    He probably is a fine young man, but he is not a college Quarterback. We have seen him struggle for his entire career at Florida. Brissett and Tyler Murphy were both better college Qb’s then Jeff. This also again puts the hat on Muschamp for letting them get away last year. Jeff and Muschamp are probably good people, bur they are certainly not our answer as COACH AND QUARTERBACK.!!!!!

    • gatorjb11October 6, 2014, 7:59 pm

      Do not use the terms “our” or “we” when you are stating personal opinions, as you are not the voice of Gator Nation. I believe the team and the majority of the fans will use this opportunity to rally around Driskel, and the atmosphere on Saturday night will be nothing less then electric. Go Gators, beat LSU!

  3. caririckmamOctober 6, 2014, 8:41 pm

    Absolutely not, I will never stand behind Driskel. And stop trying to get us to, he is not QB material and our season is over if he is the only choice we have. I fully believe this Treon issue is a setup of some kind. Either by a girlfriend or Muschamp. Kind of convenient Muschamp doesn’t have to choose now don’t you think?

  4. keywesterOctober 6, 2014, 8:49 pm

    I haven’t been the strongest supporter of Driskel given another alternative, but hey, the alternative fucked up. I’m not prematurely pronouncing guilt, just saying nothing good happens after midnight. Hey Treon, get your ass in YOUR bed!
    Against the Vols, Jeff had a lot of help developing his poor stat sheet. Admittedly, not all his balls are catchable, but of those that are: Will somebody step up and catch one?
    I was struck by DJ Humpries remarks from an earlier article: Yeah, it’s a big difference from having a guy that’s been there and a guy that hasn’t, Humphries said of Treon. “…we’ve got to protect him more, so he can actually see stuff.”
    PROTECT HIM MORE? Hey D.J., how ’bout giving Jeff a little extra effort, too. I think he might appreciate it.

  5. snowprintOctober 6, 2014, 8:58 pm

    I feel Florida is now the guy in “The Cat Came Back.” UF was very happy when Driskel arrived, but they have now seen what a pain he is, but he won’t go away. He keeps coming back. Oh you are right to say that everyone should get behind Driskel. But isn’t there a gnawing in your stomach that tells you that this isn’t going to turn out well. But it is what it is. Mornhinweg is not a viable alternative and Grier isn’t ready to play. You can actually ruin a quarterback by throwing him into the fire too early. Maybe that’s the excuse for why Jeff Driskel…do I need to say it anymore? No, playing Grier now ould be a mistake, you have to think of the future and hope he will become a good quarterback by insuring he is not ruined before he’s ready to play. I guess I’ll watch “The Cat Came Back,” at least it’s funny. The Gators are becoming a very bad soap opera.

  6. raghavenduOctober 6, 2014, 9:28 pm

    During the last part of the 2012 season Driskel was terrible, then suddenly he had success against the Seminoles. Against Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, he put the Gators in a bad position in the first half but played better in the second half. Overall he was a major contributor to that terrible loss on a national stage. Then in 2013 he almost personally blew the game against Miami. Next he had Florida on it’s way to a loss at home against the Vols by his sub par performance until that scenario was derailed by fate. Now in 2014 it has become obvious that Driskel has a confidence problem which is so severe that he could not be successful in the Sun Belt Conference. Whatever his problem really is the fact is that he almost consistently throws a bad ball so that even if he is occasionally accurate, his placement makes it difficult for receivers to catch and/or run after the catch. I am getting to the point of not being able to watch when he is in at QB! Why should I expect and thing different and torture myself? Sad but true!

    • milehighgatorOctober 6, 2014, 10:04 pm

      I agree. This team is unwatchable with Driskel at QB and Muschamp coaching . Even if Treon or another QB starts in the future, it won’t matter– the offense will be controlled by our Def Coord– Will Muschamp..

  7. thecrusherOctober 6, 2014, 10:55 pm

    Whether you think Driskel still has a ton of potential and will live up to it soon or if you’re one of those who thinks he is the worst thing since satan, now is the time to get behind him. One of the commenters down below said they will never stand behind Driskel because he sucks and isn’t QB material. Those people say that like the gators have another choice at QB right now. He’s all we have (even though i would love to see provancha play. Even if it’s just for one play. That’d be awesome). So if you’re a Florida Gators fan, root for Driskel, because he’s the QB of the Florida Gators. He may make some bad decisions and bad throws (Although I still think his throw to Jordan Reed against UT in 2012 off of his back foot is one of the prettiest throws I’ve ever seen in the college game). He may be a sucky quarterback sometimes and you may hate him for it. But he’s OUR sucky quarterback. And when he makes a great play he’ll still be OUR quarterback. Stand behind Driskel. Stand behind Florida. Through all kinds of weather. Go Gators.

    • snowprintOctober 7, 2014, 7:52 am

      Do you see the problem with getting behind Driskel? When you list what he has done well, you come up with a single play, that is how bad he is. The Gators might win this week, LSU is as offensively challenged as Florida, but I’m not going o become stupid and think Jeff Driskel is suddenly going to become a good quarterback. It doesn’t matter if everyone gets behind him or not, he has already proven he’s incompetent regardless of the fan’s support. I’m sure that well over 90% of the fans swallowed the Kool-Aid handed out before the season that he was going to thrive with a Roper and a new offensive system.Asking everyone to get behind Driskel is like asking a woman to believe that most men are not dogs, she might say she believes, but she knows from experience that is a a fairy tale.

    • cwkempOctober 7, 2014, 10:11 am

      No, SNOWPRINT, I do not see a problem getting behind Driskel! I dont root against college kids out there doing their best. To root against your own players is ridiculous, I was hoping all through fall camp we would hear that TH or WG had begun to over take the starting job. But I never came on here and bashed Driskel, or any other of the players that need to step up in order for this team to succeed.
      I too was excited as anybody to see TH get in the game Saturday. And the team seem to really respond. Although, everyone seems to overlook the fact that he made the worst throw of the day that should have been a pick six for UT. Everyone also overlooks the fact that 2 of the 3 Driskel INT’s hit our receivers hands.
      So on to this Saturday. Everyone prepare yourselves, Driskel is going to start, and probably play the entire game no matter what. Hopefully the coaches gameplan is simple: QB runs, PA bootleg passes, screen passes, along with Matt Jones pounding the middle of their defense. Easy plays that allow Driskel to use his legs and not his head. When he does make a decent throw, we have to CATCH it! It will be low scoring and what many of you football GURUS on here call “ugly”. But the defense will play well against LSU, and maybe we can help ourselves with a big play on special teams. No matter how bad any particular player plays, I will always support them. To do otherwise helps nothing.

  8. malscottOctober 7, 2014, 1:22 am

    Driskel should take this opportuntiy, if he is capable, and turn it into a huge win. He basically just had one of the more humiliating things that can happen to you as a QB happen. Suddenly, in less than a day, he has another chance. Having a second chance doesn’t happen all the time. Along with hoping he does well, I hope the guys that are willing to do a little extra for Mr. Harris will up their game for the team…just saying. Treon, allegedly, just soiled the whole University. I hope there is a good explanation-other than him needin’ some trim. I feel bad for the kids that are trying hard to make it in this game. Go Gators.

  9. drewrichmondOctober 7, 2014, 8:50 am

    Driskel and the offense is nearly unbearable to watch, there’s no denying this. However, the reality is now he’s what we have and now we really see what Roper can do as a coach.
    Beyond the coach talk, “we have to put him in good situations”. He has to understand by now JD struggles mightly running any offense in a game situation and needs to treat him like a freshman, and do whatever needs to be done to make his decision process very minimal.

  10. drewrichmondOctober 7, 2014, 9:09 am

    And one more small nugget here. This is why coaches do not over react to situations immediately following games or situations when the media and fans almost demand a comment or decision. Imagine, if Muschamp would have said after the game that we’re moving forward with Harris. Wow!

    I know it’s tough to understand and we want answers, but these coaches cut their teeth for years behind other coaches, good coaches, learning the dos and don’ts of coaching. So although no one could have ever imagined such a scenario as we had this week, do understand why your coach cannot be quite as reactionary as you are in your living room and maybe perhaps cut him some slack, even if it’s just a little.

    Go Gators!

  11. rockiflyOctober 7, 2014, 11:57 am

    Why, time to move on with a change at that position. He has never proved himself at Florida. Lets move to the other options for quarterback and build a better team. If Muschamp loses after this much time to build a team…He’s out and its time for a coach who knows how to build a team and not just a defense.

  12. raghavenduOctober 7, 2014, 3:22 pm

    With Freshman Will Grier missing time with back problems he is not a realistic option. Despite his getting into a fight with a teammate I believe that under the circumstances many other coaches would start Skyler Mornhinweg, including the Old Ball Coach. Driskel could get another chance as a backup if their is an injury to the starter, then I could pull for him. I’m not hating on Driskel as a person rather I am frustrated with Muschamp’s overly cautious approach especially towards Roper’s offense and his over all game management. Muschamp’s style is contrary to any kind of spread, hurry up scheme on offense. Play to win not to avoid losing!

  13. snowprintOctober 7, 2014, 11:24 pm

    It will be a great day for Florida football when Muschamp is fired. Here is another gem of his that proves he is incompetent. He aid this about Jeff Driskel. “He reads defenses very well. He takes the ball to the right spots.” Can you believe that this guy is still the head coach at Florida? Either he thinks everyone is stupid, like when he made his idiotic query to a reporter about knowing what a midline was after losing to Georgia Southern or he is stupid. Either way, Muschamp needs to go, the sooner the better. I did agree with Foley about waiting until the end of the year, but have now changed my mind, he needs to go immediately and let an adult run the program on an interim basis. Disd you see how childish Muscham acted after the Tennessee game? You accept a fan acting silly, but the head coach should act like a professional. The curtain needs to be pulled on this guy, he’s not fit to be a head head coach anywhere.

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The Florida Gators turned to freshman quarterback Treon Harris last week in Knoxville Tennessee to spark a comeback and extend the school’s record 10-game winning streak over the rival Vols.

Monday’s news that Harris is involved in allegations of sexual battery has caused the University Athletic Association and team to suspend Harris from all team activities until further notice.

Following Florida’s win, Will Muschamp sang a different tune about the quarterback situation and while the head coach didn’t name a starter for this week’s game against LSU, many thought Harris would get the nod after Driskel was removed from the game after starting 11-23 (47.8%) with three interceptions.

The decision to pull Driskel was made with Harris in mind. Harris has been taking all of the second team reps and worked with the first team prior to the Tennessee game. The next quarterback up, freshman Will Grier, has not traveled with the team or been practicing fully due to back spasms.

However, Grier tweeted on Sunday that he has been cleared to return to practice.

All of the news on Monday leaves an already foggy quarterback situation at Florida even more muddled. Will Muschamp and Kurt Roper had previously stated that Driskel have the Gators the best chance to win. Harris was being groomed as the backup and Grier appeared to be heading for a redshirt, even before his back issues popped up.

What does the team do now?

Enrolling early there were two things that Grier needed to do. First, the slender quarterback needed to add weight to his frame. Grier has done that and is around 200-pounds currently.

The second was get into the playbook and get ready to run the offense.

The latter has been slowed down in part due to Harris’ emergence and seizing of the backup job and two, the back issues that have kept Grier off of the practice field.

Currently, Grier is not ready to run the offense in a game.

That means it’s time for Gators fans to rally around the embattled Driskel.

Driskel’s play has drawn the scorn of Gator Nation. Not all of Florida’s shortcoming have been Driskel’s fault but in football, the quarterback gets more praise than they deserves and bear the brunt of the blame when things go poorly.

We don’t know how long it will take to sort out the Treon Harris investigation, what the outcome will be or if he will ever play for the Gators again. LSU doesn’t care who starts this week for the Gators. They’re trying to win a football game, the same as Florida.

Jeff Driskel will be the starting quarterback at the University of Florida this week when they take on the LSU Tigers. Despite how you feel about Driskel, now is the time to rally around the redshirt quarterback.

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