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Jeff Driskel named starter for Gators against Texas A&M

Jeff Driskel is Florida’s starting quarterback for Saturday’s Southeastern Conference opener against Texas A&M, coach Will Muschamp said Monday.

Driskel and fellow sophomore Jacoby Brissett had been battling since spring for the job. The two split time in the first half of the Gators’ season opener against Bowling Green, but Driskel played the entire second half. After evaluating the two from spring, Muschamp said it was time to name a starter.

“From offseason to spring practice to training camp and into Saturday [against Bowling Green],” he said. “It’s not just a knee-jerk reaction. It’s a total process, and again, a very difficult decision. Both guys are very deserving. Both guys are really good football players. But at the end of the day, I felt like we needed to name a guy and move forward.”

Muschamp said Driskel’s ability to move the pocket and scramble adds another dimension to the offense. Driskel completed 10 of 16 passes, with several coming on the run, for 114 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons, and rushed for 26 yards on a scramble. Brissett still has a chance to play this year.

“Jeff needs to be productive,” Muschamp said. “I told him that, ‘I don’t want you to look over your shoulder, but you need to play well’ That’s true at every position. But Jacoby needs to continue doing what he’s doing. … He’ll be repped at practice and certainly will be ready when called on.”

Injuries

Offensive tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral muscle strain) will not play this week against Texas A&M, Muschamp said Monday. “I’m hoping for Tennessee, but I’m not sure of that either,” Muschamp said. … Long snapper Drew Ferris (broken clavicle) will be out for an extended period of time after suffering the injury while recovering a fumbled punt Saturday. Redshirt freshman Kyle Crofoot will assume snapping duties.

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