Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp praises quarterback John Brantley's command

John Brantley goes 21-of-30 for 229 yards and a touchdown in his first game under new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

John Brantley goes 21-of-30 for 229 yards and a touchdown in his first game under new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

GAINESVILLE — Any questions about QB John Brantley's ability to run Florida's new pro-style offense should be put to rest following Saturday's 41-3 win over Florida Atlantic, coach Will Muschamp believes.

Brantley was 21-of-30 for 229 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown. But more important, Muschamp said Sunday, was the way he managed the game and commanded the offense.

"I'm just very pleased with how he directed the offense, got us in the right runs, got us in the right protections, took the ball to the right spots," Muschamp said. "Certainly, we've got some things to clean up. But for a first ball game, first offense, new scheme, all the newness to everything we're doing, very pleased with the performance."

Muschamp's greatest disappointment? The Gators weren't tested enough.

"We certainly didn't face, maybe, as much adversity as I would have wanted to," he said. "I would have liked to have had more adversity, to have us handle those situations."

INJURY UPDATE: CB Jeremy Brown (knee), WR Robert Clark (hamstring) and WR Omarius Hines (hamstring) did not dress. Hines and Clark are probable to questionable for this week. Brown will be evaluated this week.

DYNAMIC DUO: The Florida offensive line generated praise, particularly with Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey rushing for 105 and 79 yards, respectively. LT Xavier Nixon said the two make it easy to shine.

"They are very versatile players, and they make things happen," Nixon said. "When you get them in tandem together, it's a beautiful thing."

IN DEFENSE OF NO. 2: Leading into Saturday, Muschamp said he didn't expect backup QB Jeff Driskel to play. But with Brantley battling a lower back issue, Driskel played briefly in the first half, throwing an interception, and one series late in the game. He was 4-of-6 for 42 yards.

Muschamp said Driskel's playing time was not related to Brantley.

"We've got to prepare, and we needed to get Jeff to get those snaps," he said. "He's earned the right to be the backup quarterback at Florida. John is our starter. There is no issue.

"I just look at the big picture. It's a long season. I didn't want to just throw him out there in Week 2 and he hadn't taken any snaps and the game's still hanging in the balance."

ORANGE VS. BLUE: Muschamp said the decision to wear orange jerseys wasn't based on his desire to relive the days when he attended games as a child. "Our seniors wanted to wear orange," Muschamp said. "It had nothing to do with me. Our main home uniform is still the blue jersey."

Antonya English can be reached at englissh@sptimes.com. Check out her blog at tampabay.com/blogs/gators.

Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp praises quarterback John Brantley's command 09/04/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 4, 2011 7:56pm]

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