Starting quarterback John Brantley took a big shot from Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan late in the second quarter in Florida’s 48-10 win, and Brantley left the field early to go to the locker room.
The senior from Ocala said after the game he was fine and simply had the wind knocked out of him, and both he and head coach Will Muschamp said Monday he would be ready to play this weekend against No. 3 Alabama.
Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said the signal-caller is happy the game isn’t today, though.
“I think he’s glad that the game’s still a few days away, but I think that he’s moving along nicely,” Weis said. “He’s really progressing nicely. He threw the ball well today.”
Weis said Brantley got a good amount of work at quarterback in Florida’s practice Tuesday, and he looked fine for the most part.
“He was out there slinging it today, so it was encouraging,” he said. “I told him quit being so soft. Actually, I think that we gave him most of the reps today. He got most of them.”
Brantley is expected to play Saturday against the Crimson Tide, but his unexpected exit against the Wildcats thrust backup Jeff Driskel into action without much notice.
Driskel looked shaky in an 0-for-3 passing performance that included an interception and a fumble on a sack.
Still, Weis is confident in the true freshman backup’s ability. Asked if he would be ready to play if necessary against Alabama, Florida’s offensive coordinator was extremely blunt.
“He better because he’s second (string),” he said. “It would have been nice if he got a little bit more help in that game the other day.”
Weis said Driskel was worried about the pass rush off the edge on the play he fumbled on, and he lost concentration on the linebacker who blitzed up the middle and stripped the ball.
“You can’t throw the ball much better than he threw the ball,” Weis said. “I just don’t like strip-sack fumbles that lead to the only touchdown that the other team scores, because ultimately we feel like we were the ones that gave them their one touchdown in the game.”
Florida fans will certainly have their fingers crossed that Driskel isn’t needed against a talented Alabama defense, but Weis said he’s ready to play if necessary.
“I think that he runs our team well,” he said. “The team’s not afraid when he’s in there. He can make every throw. Just gaining experience, that’s what he’s doing. Every time he’s out there it’s a good thing, regardless what happens because he’s gaining experience.”