Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jeff Driskel finds ways for Florida Gators to win

Jeff Driskel, trying to outrun South Carolina star end Jadeveon Clowney, doubles his season total with a career-high four touchdown passes.


Jeff Driskel, trying to outrun South Carolina star end Jadeveon Clowney, doubles his season total with a career-high four touchdown passes.

GAINESVILLE — Jeff Driskel wasn't asked to do much Saturday. But whenever No. 3 Florida sniffed the end zone, he got them in.

"We won the game," coach Will Muschamp said when asked to evaluate Driskel's play. "That's Goal 1. That's what I look at."

Muschamp is happy as long as his quarterback gets him a win, and the sophomore keeps producing just enough to do that.

While Florida threw for fewer than 100 yards for the third consecutive game, Driskel converted on his opportunities. He matched his season total and set a career high with four touchdown passes in the 44-11 win over No. 9 South Carolina.

Florida entered second in the SEC at 233.3 rushing yards per game (and last in passing at 145 yards per game) but had just 66 through three quarters.

"They know that we want to run the ball in short-yardage situations," said Driskel, who was 11-of-16 for just 93 yards and thanks to three sacks rushed for minus-5 yards on nine carries. "They loaded the box. We got some good play calls, and we found some open receivers."

While the title of "game manager" often comes with a negative connotation as it implies limited ability, Driskel's teammates praised him for filling the role.

"He's doing an unbelievable job," running back Trey Burton said. "He's managing the game really well. That's why we're winning a lot of games."

Driskel was not given much ground to cover as turnovers and shaky kicks and kick coverage by the Gamecocks consistently gave the Gators a short field. The average starting field position for Florida was the South Carolina 49.

One possession started at the Gamecocks 1 and one at the 2 after fumbles. On first down of both, offensive coordinator Brent Pease called handoffs to Mike Gillislee. He was stuffed both times.

But Driskel capped the drives with touchdown passes to tight end Jordan Reed. The junior caught four passes for 44 yards, including a 34-yarder off a screen pass during the third quarter.

"He's definitely a mismatch," Driskel said of Reed. "They're going to put a safety on him or a linebacker on him. And I'll take him over any safety or linebacker in the country."

Whether it's keeping the ball on the ground, as he did last week at Vanderbilt when he rushed for 177 yards, or converting on short passes, Driskel, like Muschamp, said he doesn't care how he is used.

"It comes down to winning games," said Driskel, who also threw touchdowns of 13 yards to Quinton Dunbar and 6 yards to Frankie Hammond.

"And that's what we're doing."

Jeff Driskel finds ways for Florida Gators to win 10/20/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn't have CTE.


    Researchers studying the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy found that 99 percent of the brains donated by families of former NFL players showed signs of the neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study published Tuesday.

    This combination of photos provided by Boston University shows sections from a normal brain, top, and from the brain of former University of Texas football player Greg Ploetz, bottom, in stage IV of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to a report released on Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, research on the brains of 202 former football players has confirmed what many feared in life -- evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a devastating disease in nearly all the samples, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. [Dr. Ann McKee | BU via AP]
  2. How do Bucs players rank? SI puts 16 in their NFL top 400


    It's a fun exercise for Bucs fans: If you had to rank Tampa Bay's best players, how would your top 10 look?

    Bucs receiver Mike Evans, shown at mandatory minicamp last month, was ranked as the No. 70 player in the NFL by Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback. That's much lower than he was ranked in NFL Network's top 100 this summer.
  3. Florida Gators want a White Out in home opener


    At least the Florida Gators are trying to do something to spice up this season's home opener.

  4. Stop expecting Gerald McCoy to be Warren Sapp


    Here's the problem when it comes to Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

    Photo from National Pediatric Cancer Foundation The crowd cheered wildly for cancer survivor Joshua Fisher, left, and Tampa Bay Buc Gerald McCoy at the 14th annual Fashion Funds the Cure on May 6 to benefit the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation at Port Tampa Bay Terminal 2.
  5. Orioles Buck Showalter's Trop takedown includes bullpen mounds, bathroom options, bladder problems


    Orioles manager Buck Showalter has never been a fan of the Trop, and after Monday's 5-0 win he — with some prodding from O's TV man Gary Thorne — took a few more shots during their MASN interview, specifically about the location of the bullpen mounds, and the lack of bathroom facilities.

    Orioles manager Buck Showalter has never been a fan of Tropicana Field.