Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Colleges

Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel to play against FSU Seminoles

GAINESVILLE — Florida starting QB Jeff Driskel will play in Saturday's game against archrival FSU, but to what extent and how effective he'll be is unknown.

Driskel sprained his right ankle against Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 10 and did not play in Saturday's win over Jacksonville State.

Coach Will Muschamp said Driskel looked good in a workout Sunday but would not practice on Monday, instead undergoing more treatment. He's scheduled to practice today.

"What will be his percentage? I don't know right now," Muschamp said. "I'm not going to get into playing all the 'if' games. We're going to see what it is (today), and we're going to move from there."

If Driskel is unable to play the entire game, backup Jacoby Brissett is available. Brissett played in last season's game against Florida State and said he believes that experience could benefit the Gators this weekend.

The game is a must-win for both teams as they maintain hopes to get into the BCS national title game mix.

STAYING FOCUSED: Want to know just how much the Gators are trying not to think — or talk — about the BCS standings, rankings or anything other than the FSU game?

Senior NT Omar Hunter said Monday he has paid so little attention to the BCS that he thought the Gators were ranked "like No. 21 or something."

In fact, Florida is No. 4 in the BCS standings. And Saturday night, when Oregon lost to Stanford and Kansas State lost to unranked Baylor, a lot changed for the Gators. Defeat FSU and Florida can secure a BCS bowl invitation. Florida is ranked behind Alabama (No. 2) and Georgia (No. 3) in the BCS, but one of them would fall below a one-loss Florida team after the two meet on Dec. 1 in the SEC Championship Game. And if No. 1 Notre Dame loses at Southern California on Saturday, UF would have a shot at getting into the national title game.

Which is why the Gators refused to entertain any of this on Monday. Because everything rides on the Florida State game.

"Huge IF," Muschamp said about BCS bowl games and national title implications. "We've got to take care of business Saturday. Any clutter outside focusing on the game Saturday, it doesn't really matter. That's my message for our football team. Let's understand what's at stake and what's important, and that's focusing on the game. They are very aware of what's at stake."

Florida (10-1) won six straight in the series before losing the past two, getting outscored 51-14. The Gators continue to deflect questions about their struggling offense (ranked No. 104 nationally), saying a win is a win and style points don't matter.

"Definitely, we need to play better," senior WR Frankie Hammond said. "But if we score seven and they score six, we still win the ballgame. We've got all this week to scheme stuff up. Of course we want to score points. I want to put up 50 on them if that's the case, but at the end of the day it's just score more points than they do."

MOVING ON UP: The Florida men's basketball team (3-0) moved up from No. 10 to No. 7 in this week's AP poll and No. 8 in the coaches poll.

ANOTHER TITLE: Mary Wise led the Gators volleyball team to its 20th SEC regular-season title this past weekend. The championship was extremely special for the No. 16 Gators (23-4, 17-1), who began the season with just three seniors and overcame the loss of star OH Noami Santos-Lamb to a preseason ACL injury.

"When Noami went down I said if we can even get into the (NCAA) tournament, it will be one of the greatest accomplishments of all time," Wise said. "Let's at least try to get into the tournament. And we're in now because we're the automatic bid. So I would say this ranks as one of the all-time greatest accomplishments by a Florida Gator team if the season ended today."

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

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