Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel went down with an apparent leg injury against the Tennessee Volunteers in a Gators 31-17 victory. After the game, Gators head coach Will Muschamp confirmed Driskel had a broken fibula and would need season ending surgery.
This is terrible news for a Gators team that already has one loss on their resume, and has yet to get to the heart of their schedule. That Gators squad still must face four top-15-ranked teams, including the always-tough conference rivals, the LSU Tigers. The Gators were already upset by the Miami Hurricanes just a few weeks ago, and their hopes of getting in a BCS bowl were already fading, but this news about Driskel drastically limits the rest of their season.
Driskel by no means is a top-tier quarterback, as he has never really been asked to carry an offense, but he has proven to be a game manager for the Gators and was going to be relied upon this season to do more for the offense. Now the team must rely on Tyler Murphy, a redshirt sophomore who entered the game yet to attempt a pass at the college level. Murphy, however, came out prepared as he completed eight of his 14 passes for 134 yards and secured a Gators victory with two total touchdowns.
Now Murphy could prove to be a capable passer and possible contender for the starting job next year after his performance Saturday, but his first true test will come in two weeks when he must face the very good Arkansas Razorbacks.
Most likely, it will take the offense some time to start clicking the way it had before, so the run game will become even more important going forward, which could pose as a threat consider the team’s top running back, Mack Brown, averaged just 3.6 yards per carry against the Volunteers, and hasn’t done much better on the season. While I was never convinced of the Gators’ chances to finish the year as a top-25 team, now more than ever am I confident they will be a five-loss team and become an afterthought for most fans come bowl season because of the injury to Driskel.