Brissett or Driskel?
Driskel or Brissett?
If there hadn’t been non-stop media coverage of the ongoing Gators’ quarterback competition, the world might assume this question had all the makings of a bad romantic comedy, starring Adam Sandler as Jeff Driskel.
Early in the fourth quarter, in fact, Driskel did his best to reprise Sandler’s role in ‘The Longest Yard’ by standing tall in the pocket and rifling a pass towards the left sideline, where Frankie Hammond, Jr. was anxiously awaiting.
Of course, ‘The Longest Yard’ was just a silly football movie, while the ramifications of Florida’s match-up with the Bowling Green Falcons were very real. If Driskel could lead his team to victory by providing a big play, he would finally wrestle the starting gig from his teammate.
Next week’s starting passer will most likely not be named until either later this week or on game day, if at all. Yet, after Hammond Jr. deftly spun towards the sideline, avoiding a would-be tackler, cutting upfield and turning a first down into so much more, Driskel staked his claim as strongly as he could to the starting role.
However, it was not all sunny skies for Hammond Jr. at that point; like the group of steroid-riddled cops that Sandler had to beat, Hammond Jr. still had a lot of work to do.
A safety, playing his position perfectly, barreled down onto the fifth-year senior, forcing Hammond Jr. to cut back in toward the middle of the field.
A little Football 101: The middle of the field is generally where the rest of a team’s defenders are. Offensive players tend to run away from where those guys are playing.
Never fear, this story has a happy Hollywood ending.
After evading the safety in question and bringing himself back towards more defenders, Hammond Jr. displayed the type of big-play athleticism Gators fans have been waiting for out of the program’s wide receivers since Percy Harvin left the program in 2009.
With Driskel looking on from where he had thrown the football and Brissett watching from the sidelines, Hammond Jr. again made a cut, this time straight upfield once more.
Now with three Falcons defenders hot on the chase, Hammond, Jr. made one last gasp towards paydirt and jumped in, landing on his back on the big blue ‘G’ in ‘GATORS’ painted onto the end zone.
The play, a 50-yard catch and run, was the longest in the careers of both Driskel and Hammond Jr.
‘The Longest Yard’ was far from Sandler’s best work, but this touchdown pass was the first of Driskel’s career, and it gave his team a commanding lead in a hard-fought victory over Bowling Green.
The struggles of Brissett and Driskel as true freshmen in 2011 have been well-documented. The eight month battle between the two to start in 2012 has been at the crux of various questions regarding how the team as a whole will perform in 2012. On this night, one stood out; only one had that ‘it’ factor, the ability to make something out of absolutely nothing, and to shine brightly, like one of the stars of Hollywood.
Most critics would say that most of Sandler’s work following the movie was poor.
Gator Nation, on the other hand, is hoping Driskel’s best performances are yet to come.