Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 9/11/12
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Old habits are hard to break. That goes for starting quarterbacks, too. Prior to his first career start on Saturday at Texas A&M, the last time Jeff Driskel took the field knowing the game was his from start to finish was in November 2010. He was a senior at Hagerty High and in his final game a loss to Lakeland in the state playoffs all Driskel did was account for 494 yards of total offense, including 270 yards rushing on 20 carries. Back then, the 6-foot-4, 237-pound Driskel was as big as or bigger than most of the players trying to tackle him. Thats not the case in the rough-and-tumble SEC. Gators coach Will Muschamp will undoubtedly remind Driskel of that fact more than once this week as the Gators travel to Tennessee. In Saturdays 20-17 win over Texas A&M, Driskel was 13-for-16 for 162 yards. He also picked up 56 yards on his six rushing attempts that were not sacks. However, Driskel was sacked eight times by the Aggies and showed a tendency of holding onto the ball too long. Instead of throwing it away, Driskel often endured contact by taking a sack. As he prepares for his second start, Driskel is determined to make better decisions when the defense gets too close for comfort. Well be focusing on that lot, Driskel said Monday. We know that Tennessee will definitely be coming after me, because we put on film that Im susceptible to holding the ball too long or try to get outside and not throw it away. But Ill definitely work on that. Knowing that you dont have to make a play every time is something I learned. Dont be scared to throw the ball away and live another day. While the eight sacks against the Aggies werent in the gameplan, Driskel managed the game well in other areas and made plays when he had to. He said his favorite pass from his first start was a 17-yard throw to receiver Frankie Hammond on the Gators first drive. The play came on third-and-11 from UFs 37 and kept a drive alive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by Mike Gillislee. Driskel showcased his running ability on the games final drive when he virtually sealed the victory with a 21-yard run on a bootleg. A two-way threat in high school, Driskel rushed for more than 1,300 yards his senior season and one reason he edged fellow sophomore Jacoby Brissett out for the starting quarterbacks job is because of his athleticism and ability to make plays with his legs. Still, there is a fine line on how many hits the Gators want Driskel to take. We want him to get down more in situations and obviously be smart in the situation, Muschamp said. Its easy to sit here and talk about it as opposed to when theres 90,000 people and youre scrambling and you got a 300-pounder chasing you and you know where the first-down marker is and you want to get the first down. Driskel may have an easier time adjusting to throwing the ball away than sliding when he runs. He said Monday that has never been his style. Im a bigger guy. I can take a couple of hits. If Im going to get popped, and I know its coming, then Ill slide, Driskel said. Im a bigger guy and I feel that I can put my head down and get a few more yards. It would definitely be different. Ive never slid in the past. Driskel did acknowledge that you never want to take that many hits. This week will be as much about continuing to learn on the job as anything for Driskel. In two games Driskel has hit 71.9 percent of his passes (23 of 32, 276 yards) and thrown one touchdown and no interceptions. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease said following Saturdays game that once Driskel reviews the film, he will see there were big plays left on the field. Even Driskels longest pass of the game a 39-yard completion to Omarius Hines early in the fourth quarter could have gone for more according to Pease. When we look at it, if we can polish the route up, he probably has a touchdown, Pease said. Keep it vertical. But clutch throw, clutch catch, kid ran it with speed, line gave him time, big-time play. We didnt put ourselves into being totally conservative. We kept things open and helped ourselves out. Overall, Muschamp remained pleased with the way Driskel handled himself in his first start. He has said all along that there would be a learning curve. We learned on Saturday that two of those lessons for Driskel are learning when to throw the ball away and when to get down and avoid a hit. He does need to get rid of the football in some situations. We had some guys open that we could have hit vertically down the field for some big, big plays, Muschamp said. But again, the game will continue to slow down for him the more reps he gets, the more experience he gets. Hes hard on himself. Hes a competitor. Hes tough. Hes shown all of the things that Ive seen and that weve seen throughout his time here at Florida.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents


U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker