Florida Gators QB John Brantley will not play against Auburn

GAINESVILLE — Florida starting QB John Brantley will miss his second consecutive game because of a sprained ankle when the Gators play at Auburn on Saturday. His replacement will be determined later in the week.

Coach Will Muschamp said freshman Jacoby Brissett is the starter, but backup Jeff Driskel will also practice this week. Brissett played his first collegiate game last week at LSU because Driskel has an ankle injury. How much Driskel will play is contingent on how well he heals.

"I really think that'll depend on Jeff's health," Muschamp said when asked if Driskel and Brissett will evenly split practice time. "Obviously we would generally go into a situation where they would split reps. How many reps will he be able to rep in practice? I don't know at this point.

"As we move further in the week, I'll know how much he'll be able to go and compete for the job this week, and that'll determine the reps and then obviously determine the starter."

INJURY UPDATE: RB Jeff Demps (ankle), S Josh Evans and DT Ronald Powell are all expected to play. Evans and Powell left last week's game with undisclosed injuries. CB Jeremy Brown is out. WR Quinton Dunbar will play after missing last week's game due to a personal matter.

FIXING MISTAKES: The Gators are No. 119 out of 120 I-A schools in penalties with 55 penalties for 425 yards — 70.83 per game. Muschamp said some are from aggressive play, others lack of discipline. "It's something we've been working on and something we obviously need to keep working on," he said.

IN SEARCH OF DEFENSE: The Gators have given up 464 rushing yards in the past two games, which might result in personnel changes this week.

"We teach the proper technique on how you tackle a player as far as an angle is concerned, as far as finishing on a (ball) carrier, as far as when you're in close quarters or as far as when you're in the open field," Muschamp said. "We hit all of those situations throughout training camp, and then throughout game week we all have individual drills that we do with every defensive coach.

"Obviously tackling for a defensive lineman can be different for a secondary player based on the quarters of where you're going to make the tackle. We do all of those things. …

"At the end of the day, after all of that work and after all of that practice if you don't want to stick your face on somebody, you find somebody else. I think in the secondary it's been a big problem. Again, have we worked on it? Yes. Have we worked on it enough? Obviously not. We're going to look at some different guys and see if they'll tackle better."

IN BRISSETT'S CORNER: While they await Brantley's return, the Gators have thrown their support behind Brissett.

"Jacoby played a really good game, and we all have his back," sophomore RB Trey Burton said. Burton has no doubt the Gators can get their offense back on track this week behind the leadership of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. "Coach Weis will think of something to do; he's an unbelievable coach," Burton said. "There's a lot more to come."

Forward reinstated: F Cody Larson has been reinstated to the basketball team, athletic officials confirmed Monday night. The redshirt freshman had been suspended since his arrest in April on charges he tried to break into a car near a bar in St. Augustine.

Larson's original felony charges were eventually reduced to a misdemeanor, and he agreed to a plea agreement. Last week, Larson also received two years' probation for violation of the terms of a previous agreement in his home state of South Dakota for sharing prescription medication while in high school.

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

Florida Gators QB John Brantley will not play against Auburn 10/10/11 [Last modified: Monday, October 10, 2011 10:05pm]

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