Tagging the Gators: QB Jeff Driskel

December, 5, 2012
12/05/12
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Editor’s note: Each day between now and Florida’s Allstate Sugar Bowl date with Louisville, GatorNation will review the season for a key Gators player and attempt to project what’s next. Today we’ll look at quarterback Jeff Driskel.

QB Jeff Driskel
Sophomore
140-216-3, 1,471 yards, 11 TDs; 108-409 yards, 4 TDs

[+] EnlargeJeff Driskel
Stephen M. Dowell/Getty ImagesThough he had plenty of ups and downs in 2012, Jeff Driskel is now entrenched as the Gators' starting quarterback.
Role in 2012: Driskel beat out fellow sophomore Jacoby Brissett to win the starting job and solidified a position that had been a weakness.

The good: Driskel wasn’t spectacular, but he was efficient and -- with the exception of the Georgia game -- didn’t make many mistakes. He won the job because of his mobility and he ended up as the Gators’ second-leading rusher and had a big game against Vanderbilt on the ground (177 yards and three TDs). Driskel improved on early struggles with holding onto the ball too long and learned to throw the ball away instead of trying to scramble and losing yards.

The bad: Driskel had the same problem that all young quarterbacks have: locking onto a receiver and failing to read the field. There were times when he didn’t see open receivers in the middle of the field. He also needs to work on getting the ball out quicker in rhythm, especially on the short, timing throws. His pocket awareness needs to improve as well.

Crystal ball: Offensive coordinator Brent Pease took the shackles off the offense against Florida State and should do the same against Louisville. That means more chances for Driskel to make plays in the passing game, which is something the Gators haven’t done much. That should give Driskel some momentum heading into the 2013 season. He’s the unquestioned starter, and a full offseason of first-team reps should be a huge benefit. If the Gators are able to add some talent at receiver, the passing offense should be a weapon and not a liability.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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