GAINESVILLE – Oviedo’s Jeff Driskel called it “a lifelong dream” to be named the Florida Gators starting quarterback.
SEC play on Saturday at Texas A&M.
“I just felt like at this time it’s good to name one guy and go with it,” Muschamp said Monday. “I think right now in the development of our offense, that’s something that's going to benefit us.”
Muschamp’s choice ends the quarterback competition between Driskel, a former Hagerty High star, and fellow sophomore Jacoby Brissett. It also answers the biggest question the team has faced since the end of last season, when each quarterback played extensively as freshmen.
“I told Jeff, I don’t want you to be looking over your shoulder,” Muschamp said. “But you need to play well.”
Driskel will be making his first career start in a hostile environment, facing off against the Aggies and their rabid fans. Kickoff for Florida’s game at Texas A&M is set for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Driskel and Brissett engaged in a heated competition during spring and preseason practices. Florida entered Saturday’s season opener against Bowling Green with a two-quarterback rotation in place.
During the pregame introductions, the school even announced both players as the team’s starting quarterback. But it soon became clear somewhere along the way Driskel had overtaken Brissett.
Driskel said Muschamp told him Monday, “the choice wasn’t just based on Saturday.”
Brissett opened under center against Bowling Green, but Driskel took the next snap and would quarterback the team on all but 11 of 63 offensive plays during a 27-14 win.
Driskel ended the day 10-of-16 for 114 passing yards, hooking up with senior Frankie Hammond Jr. for a 50-yard touchdown to put the Gators ahead 24-14 early in the fourth quarter. Brissett, who did not play in the second half, was 3-of-5 for 31 passing yards.