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Florida's Muschamp expects QB Jeff Driskel to start vs. Florida State

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer
Jeff Driskel will be ready for Florida St. (US Presswire)

Give Florida coach Will Muschamp some credit: Gamesmanship just doesn't seem to be his thing.

Though he could have milked the uncertainty over quarterback Jeff Driskel's status for Saturday's top-10 showdown with bitter rival Florida State for a few more days -- or even all the way up until kickoff -- he told reporters point-blank Tuesday that he expects Driskel to overcome his ankle injury and get the start against the Seminoles.

"Jeff Driskel looked very good at practice [Monday]," Muschamp said, per the Palm Beach Post, "and he'll be ready to go."

Driskel left the Gators' Nov. 10 game against Louisiana-Lafayette with the injury, giving way to fellow sophomore Jacoby Brissett. Brissett threw for a critical game-tying touchdown in the come-from-behind win against the Ragin' Cajuns, then started against FCS Jacksonville State last Saturday, completing 14 of 22 passes for seven yards an attempt in the 23-0 win.

But while Brissett has been competent, the Gators offense -- largely dormant for weeks now -- didn't show the kind of explosiveness that would force a legitimate quarterback controversy.

So the Gators will go with Driskel, who hasn't thrown for more than 200 yards or more than 7.1 yards an attempt since Week 4. And Florida fans won't be encouraged by his last performance against a top 10-caliber defense like the Seminoles' -- his zero-touchdown, four-turnover outing against Georgia, a major factor in the 17-9 defeat.

Still, if Driskel can recapture the dual-threat magic of his early-season performance (which has seen him rack up 424 yards rushing, the team's second-highest total despite an abundance of sacks), he could pose a legitimate threat to the FSU defense -- one that Muschamp is no doubt excited to have back in the lineup.

 
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