Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Colleges

Jacoby Brissett steps up after entering at quarterback for Florida Gators

GAINESVILLE — Jacoby Brissett easily could've gotten complacent.

He hadn't played a meaningful down since fellow sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel was named Florida's starter after the opening win over Bowling Green.

Rather than be idle, Brissett listened to advice from coach Will Muschamp, and in turn his performance helped bail out a stagnant offense in Saturday's 27-20 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.

"You're one snap away," Muschamp said. "That had been his approach."

With the Gators leading 13-10 late in the third quarter, Driskel sprained his ankle after being tackled for no gain on a keeper. Brissett completed a 1-yard pass on third down to running back Mike Gillislee on his first play. On the next play the Ragin' Cajuns blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown and a 17-13 lead.

On their next three drives, the Gators mustered 9 yards on 11 plays. Brissett overthrew Frankie Hammond Jr. on a deep ball down the left sideline that would've put Florida inside of ULL's 10-yard line.

"I felt like I should've just bulleted it into him," Brissett said. "I put too much air on it and it got away from me."

Then on third down with Florida trailing 20-13, Brissett found tight end Jordan Reed open deep down the middle for 39 yards to the Ragin' Cajuns' 3-yard line. On the next play, Brissett rolled right and found receiver Quinton Dunbar open in the back of the end zone to tie the score at 20.

Reed was impressed with Brissett's ability to play after being inactive for so long.

"That says he is a great player and always working," Reed said. "I always see him in the film room whether he is starting or not."

Brissett's teammates took notice of his positive attitude after he lost the battle for the starting job.

"Not once have I seen him complain or cause a problem in the locker room or say anything bad about Driskel or anything," safety Josh Evans said last week. "He's just a good teammate. He's a great player."

Brissett finished 6-for-8 passing for 64 yards and a touchdown. He took no pleasure in the circumstance in which he entered, but he was glad he could come through.

"It's bad that it happened to Jeff at that point in time in the season," Brissett said. "But with coaches feeling that (I was) one snap away, I had to make sure that when I got my chance to make a fool of myself that I came out and did what I had to do."

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