- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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When No. 4 Florida (10-1, 7-1 SEC) takes on No. 10 Florida State (10-1) in Tallahassee, Fla., this Saturday, the Gators will have their starting quarterback available.
Coach Will Muschamp said sophomore Jeff Driskel will play on Saturday, after he sprained his ankle against Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 10. How long Driskel will be on the field is still something Muschamp doesn't know.
"Jeff Driskel will play in the game," Muschamp said on Monday. "What will be his percentage I don't know right now. We will not practice him today, but he will practice tomorrow. He probably could practice today, but in talking with (trainer) Anthony Pass, we felt like it would be best for him to have treatment today."
So the good news for the Gators is that Driskel will be back, but how effective he'll be against the top-rated defense in the country is still a mystery. It has to be be a little nerve-racking for the rest of the offense to not know what to expect from Driskel this weekend, but I'm sure players will know a lot more as the week progresses.
Figuring out a way to make Driskel effective without him being 100 percent is up to offensive coordinator Brent Pease. Maybe, the shorter the passes the better.
Backup Jacoby Brissett wasn't put into position to really do much in the Gators' 23-0 win over Jacksonville State over the weekend, completing 14 of his 22 passes for 122 yards, but he didn't make any mistakes and didn't put Florida into a position to lose.
The offense relied heavily on its running game and chances are that's exactly what the Gators are going to do against the Seminoles -- with or without Driskel at 100 percent. But it will certainly help Florida if Driskel can run the ball and against a Seminoles defense that is first nationally in rush defense (70.6 yards per game and 2.3 yards per carry).
He adds another quality weapon to the ground game and with Florida's offensive line in the shape it's in, the Gators will need Driskel to be able to extend plays with his legs or it's going to be another very long day for Florida's offense.
2dSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf