By: CJ Rooks (@cjrooks0415)
Lets start with the good news. Florida was able to open up SEC play with a 31-17 win against rival Tennessee. Unfortunately, the Gators lost starting quarterback Jeff Driskel to a broken lower right leg and he will be out for the rest of the year. Before Driskel was injured he looked shaky again and lacked the pocket presence you would think a junior would have developed by now. His interception should not be excused either. I feel terrible for Jeff and his injury, but that throw was absolutely horrible.
There were a few other bright spots for the Gators. The defense was in control for almost the entire game. The touchdown drive in the fourth quarter was a little troublesome, but that drive consisted of a lot of freshmen playing. The defense forced six turnovers. They got pressure on the quarterbacks and got great penetration to stuff the run. The secondary play was phenomenal and even when Tennessee had time to throw the ball, there was nobody to throw it too.
Another bright spot was the play of Tyler Murphy. A name unknown to most Gator fans, Murphy is a former two-star recruit according to Rivals.com. He committed to Florida during the Urban Meyer era. Murphy originally was set to go to Temple, but flipped to Florida in hopes of contributing to Urban's high-power, fast-paced offense. His entire time at Florida has been as a back up. When his number was called on Saturday he stepped up big time. Murphy looked like the more poised and developed quarterback compared to Driskel. The playbook was limited with Murphy in the game, but Pease opened it up a little bit and allowed him to showcase his throwing ability. Keep in mind this was a Tennessee defense that just gave up 59 points last week to Oregon, but still Murphy looked like he has the tools to be a descent quarterback. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year plays out.
In the end a win is a win and the Gators are 1-0 in conference play. Florida’s defense should be able to keep them in every game this year. The hard part will be keeping them off the field. Even the best defenses will get tired. It may be time for Brent Pease to show the offensive genius that he is. He now has a new quarterback that seems to feel comfortable and not afraid to use his feet. Hold on to your seats Gator fans. The rest of the year is going to be a very wild and interesting ride.
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