Florida has a quarterback competition on its hands this week.
After freshman Jacoby Brissett started against No. 1 LSU last week while fellow freshman Jeff Driskel was sidelined with an ankle injury, Driskel is back in practice and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said the ankle has been a non-factor.
Weis said both have taken snaps in practice, although they weren’t split evenly.
However, Weis said both would be ready when Florida travels to take on No. 24 Auburn because they each are getting plenty of reps in practice.
With senior John Brantley still sidelined with an ankle injury of his own, Weis said Brissett and Driskel could both potentially see the field, and the offense will be tailored for both.
While the competition is open, Weis was impressed with what he saw from Brissett against LSU.
Brissett completed 8 of 14 passes for 94 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, but Weis was most pleased Brissett’s poise in a hostile environment while taking the first snaps of his career.
“There’s a lot of good practice players that when it comes times to play in a game, they disappear,” Weis said. “He isn’t one of them.”
Teammates said Brissett commanded the huddle and kept his composure in Death Valley, something Weis noticed about the quarterback when he saw Brissett play basketball at Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer High.
While Weis admitted taking a conservative approach to the LSU game, he said Brissett’s performance was not the reason Florida lost the game.
Patchan seeing more time: Junior left tackle Matt Patchan has finally worked his way into a prominent role in the Gators’ offensive line.
After seeing limited time in the team’s first four games, Patchan has played extensively against Alabama and LSU.
He made his first start of the season Saturday, when he got the nod over junior Xavier Nixon, who has been plagued by penalties and poor play this season.
Sophomore guard Kyle Koehne believes Nixon was benched due to a lack of performance. However, Weis said Patchan earned the chance to start.
“Matt is a physical player,” Weis said. “When he knows what he’s doing and can really turn it loose, he can be a dominant, physical presence, and I think that’s what he’s shown.”
Patchan had a standout performance against the Tigers, Weis said.
Discipline problems: During Saturday’s loss to LSU, Florida became the most penalized team in the nation. The Gators now have 55 for 425 yards in six games.
Koehne attributed the penalties to a lack of discipline, adding that coaches are cracking down on it in practice to avoid similar mental lapses in games, too.
“You’ll probably be pulled,” Koehne said. “They’re unacceptable right now for how many we’ve been getting per game.
“They’re not being tolerated.”