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QB Jeff Driskel to start for Florida Gators

GAINESVILLE — Jeff Driskel will start Saturday for No. 6 Florida against No. 10 Florida State, based on the way the sophomore quarterback practiced Tuesday, UF coach Will Muschamp said.

"Obviously, we've still got a couple of more days of practice, but he looked good enough to me that he'll be fine," Muschamp said. "And (backup) Jacoby (Brissett) looks good as well."

Driskel sprained his right ankle during the third quarter against Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 10. Brissett took over and started Saturday against Jacksonville State. Driskel returned to practice Tuesday.

Prior experience: Florida has faced its share of mobile QBs this season, including Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, South Carolina's Connor Shaw and Missouri's James Franklin. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said he hopes that will benefit the Gators against FSU's EJ Manuel.

"That's been a little bit more of a theme in terms of the defenses and the style that we've played against," he said. "This is another one and another really good one."

Antonya English, Times staff writer

USF: Temperature could be coldest ever

TAMPA — USF could play in the coldest weather in its history Friday night at Cincinnati. But if you ask senior OT Mark Popek, spending time worrying about the cold or bundling up with extra clothes is time distracted from the real focus.

"If I was a coach, I wouldn't allow any long sleeves or anything like that," said Popek, a Plant City graduate who returned to the starting lineup Saturday after missing time with an ankle injury. "I think guys who focus too much on the weather aren't focused on the game.

"I actually enjoy it. It's a lot colder, but I think it's way more fun. The UConn game three years ago is probably my favorite."

Many USF seniors point to a 29-27 loss at UConn on Dec. 5, 2009, as their coldest memory. The temperature at kickoff was 34 degrees, and it's one of two Bulls games played during falling snow. The other, a 13-7 loss at West Virginia on Dec. 6 2008, is the coldest kickoff temperature, 29 degrees. The low for Cincinnati is projected to be 26 degrees.

USF is 1-3 when the kickoff temperature is below 40 degrees. The lone win came Nov. 24, 2007, 48-37 over Pittsburgh.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

FSU: Hopkins invited to kick at Senior Bowl

TALLAHASSEE — The past week has been busy for Florida State K Dustin Hopkins.

After setting an NCAA scoring record Saturday, he accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., in late January. The weeklong practices and game give NFL teams an opportunity to evaluate seniors.

QB EJ Manuel accepted an invitation last week.

Hopkins was named a finalist Monday for the Lou Groza Award (nation's best kicker) for the second straight season. Florida's Caleb Sturgis and Tulane's Cairo Santos, a St. Augustine native, are the other finalists.

No Miami: FSU's rivalry with Florida is vastly superior to its rivalry with Miami, sophomore DE Cornellius Carradine said.

"We practice really hard for Miami as well," said the Cincinnati native who admittedly knew little about FSU's rivalries before arriving in Tallahassee. "But this week, we're really, really getting after it. This is the game right here."

Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel

Up next

USF: at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. Friday. TV: ESPN

UCF: vs. Alabama-Birmingham, noon Saturday. TV: FSN

Miami: at Duke, 12:30 p.m. Saturday. TV: Ch. 44

Florida at Florida State: 3:30 p.m. Saturday. TV: Ch. 28

QB Jeff Driskel to start for Florida Gators 11/21/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:40pm]
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