Saturday, October 8, 2011
Brissett with rough debut for Gators
By Edward Aschoff
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Jacoby Brissett got a rude welcome to life as a quarterback in the SEC.
Not only was the true freshman taking his first snaps of the year on the the road, but it was in one of the most hostile houses in college football, against one of the toughest defenses in the country.
It was no wonder that Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis decided to keep Brissett's arm out of the game for most of the day.
Brissett finished Saturday with 94 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions on 8-of-14 passing. Sixty-five of those yards came on heave to Andre Debose down the left sideline in the third quarter.
Florida quarterback Jacoby Brissett struggled against LSU, completing 8 of 14 passes for 94 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
“I thought he was solid under the circumstances against a good defensive football team,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said of Brissett.
“He's going to be a really good football player for us. We've got to play better around him in situations and create some more [plays] in the run game.”
That running game failed throughout to get anything going. Without a true power running back, Florida cringed as LSU allowed 113 rushing yards on 32 carries, a paltry 3.5-per-carry average.
But did Brissett every really have a chance? Sure, true freshmen have gone on the road and won before. Chris Leak even did it against LSU in 2003. However, he started two games prior.
It didn't help that Brissett had no real help from his wide receivers, completing four total passes to two receivers and a tight end.
And it didn't help that LSU's defense just feasted on Florida's young offensive line and lack of receiving threats.
Brissett was no doubt intimidated by his surroundings, but he held his composure for the most part. Although it wasn’t even close to being enough to rescue the Gators from the jaws of Mike the Tiger and his band of hooligans.
When LSU linebacker Ryan Baker was asked about how he would feel about being a true freshman taking his first snaps down in the depths of Death Valley against this Tigers defense, he tried to be politically correct at first, but just couldn’t hold his composure or his laughter.
“It’s tough for a quarterback to come in here ... especially one that’s straight out of high school that doesn’t really know how to read coverages,” Baker said after he scooped himself out of his chair after a momentary laughing fit. “We throw a lot at you.
“I couldn’t do it … and I don’t see a freshman quarterback coming in and really delivering against our defense.”
How good could this defense be, and what did Brissett truly get himself into, Ryan?
"There aren’t really a lot of holes on our defense now," he said.
"I feel like we have a long way to go, but I feel like this is one of the best defenses ever."
At least Brissett can hold his head high and say that he throw a touchdown against that defense — and actually didn't look completely lost for most of the game. He still has a ways to go, but Brissett actually took a step forward in his maturation.
"I have to give him props," Florida's Trey Burton said of Brissett. "He played really, really well. He's a really good runner and a really good athlete. I'm proud of him. The team has his back and he's just going to get better every week."