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Florida Gators await word on injury to quarterback John Brantley

Florida quarterback John Brantley is helped off the field after his right leg twisted during a sack Saturday against Alabama. The senior’s status has not been determined.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Florida quarterback John Brantley is helped off the field after his right leg twisted during a sack Saturday against Alabama. The senior’s status has not been determined.

GAINESVILLE — As if Florida's 38-10 loss to now No. 2 Alabama wasn't bad enough, things could get much worse this week.

With Saturday night's injury to starting QB John Brantley, Florida might have to rely on freshman Jeff Driskel as it heads to Baton Rouge to face No. 1 LSU on Saturday.

With 35 seconds left in the first half, Brantley's right leg twisted during a sack. He did not return.

Coach Will Muschamp said he expected to know more about the senior's injury Sunday, but the school did not release any updated information.

"We've got to push through it," Muschamp said after the game. "Injuries are part of the game, and you're never going to hear me talk about that or youth. That's part of the game. We've got to go to the next guy. It's unfortunate."

Muschamp said he believes Driskel, who had appeared in relief in three previous games, is ready to start if necessary. He was 2-of-6 for 14 yards Saturday.

This will be the second straight week the Gators have faced a Top 5 opponent — and a staunch defense. LSU is ranked ninth in Division I-A in total defense.

Last season, Florida's loss to Alabama started a three-game skid. It could be in for more adversity if Brantley can't play.

"We'll find out a lot about our football team (today) in how we respond to the situation," Muschamp said.

POLL DROP: With the loss, Florida (4-1, 2-1 SEC) fell five spots to No. 17 in the Associated Press writers' poll and six to No. 18 in the USA Today coaches' poll released Sunday.

RUN DEMISE: The Gators rushed for just 15 yards after entering Saturday averaging 259. Seniors Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey combined for 8, which Demps said was extremely "frustrating."

"We just didn't execute," Demps said. "Alabama played great, and hats off to those guys. We thought we were going to come in and run the ball pretty effectively. But we're just going to … try to get a little better with it."

DEBOSE'S BIG DAY: The outcome wasn't what he hoped for, but sophomore WR Andre Debose finally showed signs of becoming the impact player many expected. He had a career-high 90 yards on catches of 65 (a touchdown on the game's second play) and 25 yards.

"(Offensive coordinator Charlie) Weis told me that he was just going to go at me first play and try to make something happen," he said.

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

Florida Gators await word on injury to quarterback John Brantley 10/02/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 2, 2011 10:27pm]
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