- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease had no issues with the Gators’ grind-it-out offensive game plan against Bowling Green.
He said he knew going into the game that coach Will Muschamp wanted to pound the football to establish the Gators’ identity as a tough, physical team, so he was OK with not throwing the ball 36 times, which is the number of passing attempts Pease’s Boise State offense averaged last season.
"I’m not doing anything that I don’t feel comfortable with, because if I was doing something I wasn’t comfortable with I wouldn’t have come here," he said.
Muschamp hired Pease away from Boise State to develop young quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett and to improve an offense that finished 105th nationally last season. But his debut featured 42 running plays and 21 passes, and after the game Muschamp said he wanted to be run heavy and had Pease put that game plan in place for the Falcons.
Muschamp claimed -- and Pease reiterated it on Tuesday -- that Florida’s offense will be much more diverse on Saturday against Texas A&M. Having Driskel named the starter and taking all the reps with the first-team offense will help with that, Pease said. That also means the Gators will rely a little more on the quarterback against the Aggies than they did against Bowling Green.
"We knew going in that we were going to put it on the offense line last week," Pease said. "It’s going to grow now. I think once you get with one guy and he has more reps in practice and kind of gets that comfort zone a little bit, his execution has got to improve."
Purifoy at WR not a negative
Pease said having cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy take snaps at wide receiver against Bowling Green and become more involved in the offense as the season progresses is not an indictment of the receivers.
"We’ve done it everywhere I’ve been," Pease said. "We took the fastest kid and tried to use his strengths. He’s a very talented kid. They’re always eager to do it. You’ve got a chance to catch a ball. It’s fun. They’re into it. We’ll always use the ability to have him do some things for us."
Purifoy lined up at receiver for a handful of snaps and he didn’t get a pass thrown his way. He’s got good size (6-foot-1, 189 pounds) and long arms and is an intriguing prospect at the position. Despite Pease’s objection, Purifoy’s presence there does indicate that the Gators are looking for playmakers at a position that hasn’t produced a consistent one since Riley Cooper (2006-09).
Brissett taking benching well
Brissett is obviously unhappy with losing out to Driskel to be the Gators’ starting quarterback, but Pease said he likes the way Brissett is handling the situation.
"I just saw him in the hall and he’s studying film," Pease said. "Jeff is the guy that we decided to go with, and that’s no knock on Jacoby. He has the capabilities of doing this thing also."
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