Florida Gator football coach Will Muschamp discusses the many injuries suffered during the Gators’ 31-17 win against Tennessee. Muschamp empathized with quarterback Jeff Driskel, who will undergo season-ending surgery on his right fibula. (Photo credit: Robert Judin)
“Man up, man down,” Muschamp said after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers 31-17 Saturday night.
Yes, the Gators took the victory, but it came with a price.
Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel went down with an injury to his right fibula and will miss the rest of the season.
The Gators also saw offensive lineman Jon Halapio get poked in the eye — blurring his vision for the rest of the game. Florida’s defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy suffered a contusion on his right leg as well.
So Florida will have to take the good with the bad.
What’s very good for the Gators is when Driskel went down, back up quarterback Tyler Murphy stepped up — literally man down, man up.
Murphy showed he had a feel for the zone read, racking up 84 rushing yards on 10 carries.
What was more impressive was his “aerial attack.” You read that correctly.
Murphy went 8 of 14 through the air for 134 passing yards; his lone touchdown came on a screen pass to Solomon Patton who scurried 52 yards for the score.
More importantly, he did not throw an interception.
With Murphy assuming the starting job at quarterback, freshman Skyler Mornhinweg is now the second quarterback on the depth chart.
Tyler Murphy was prepared to step in for Jeff Driskel in the first quarter. Murphy said there was a time he considered transferring, but he chose to stick it out at Florida. (Photo credit: Robert Judin)
Florida fans might cringe at the thought of Driskel being gone for the season. Many fans might already be rolling down the windows on the Murphy bandwagon.
The only statistic that matters is the final score, and Murphy led the Gators to a victory after a shaky first quarter with Driskel, who went 3 of 6 in the air with an interception returned to the house.
Florida fans saw a lot from Murphy Saturday night. They will see if they get the same results against Kentucky next week.
Check out some of the best soundbites from Head Coach Will Muschamp and Tyler Murphy in their post-game press conferences.