John Brantley Injury: 5 Things Florida Can Expect from Season Without QB
Florida quarterback John Brantley waited years for his time to shine. Now, he's going to have to wait a little longer.
After stepping into the shadow of Tim Tebow, Brantley looked to be having a decent season before disaster struck Saturday night in Florida's game against Alabama.
The exact nature of the injury is still under suspicion but many reports indicate that it is a high ankle sprain. Considering the injury looked to be something with Brantley's knee, it could've been worse for Gator fans, though he is ruled out against LSU.
The recovery time for this injury will more than likely be at least two weeks and possibly more. Nevertheless, what can Gator Nation expect if Brantley misses an extended period of time?
1. Florida's Defense Will Be Even More Important
As of now Florida's defense has fared rather well.
They are currently ranked 13th in passing defense, 19th in rushing defense and seventh in total defense overall. Also, they're ranked 12th in the all-important scoring defense category.
With true freshman Jeff Driskel more than likely starting, it will be up to the defense to keep games close.
Florida won't be able to compete in games if they're forced to have Driskel play catch up the whole time.
2. Jeff Driskel Running... A Lot
It's a good thing Driskel is an athletic quarterback. He's going to need that mobility, starting Saturday against No. 1 ranked LSU in Death Valley.
Driskel will undoubtedly be seeing a lot of blitzes as defenses will look to rattle his cage from the first play on. I'll cut him some slack on Saturday's performance because being thrown against Alabama's D is asking to being put in front of a firing squad.
Driskel is going to have to learn to take a hit and be able to move around in the pocket if he wants to survive, let a lone win.
3. Weis Will Earn His Paycheck
Charlie Weis is going to earn his paycheck while Brantley sits out.
Being hailed as an offensive genius, Weis will look to prove that his supporters are correct.
Weis is no doubt going to have to minimize the playbook for Driskel, but having Driskel behind center gives Weis some new options as well.
Brantley is more of a drop back passer while Driskel can run pretty well. Florida may spread out the field with their speed and allow him to run some option plays to get him comfortable.
4. Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps Become Option 1 and 1A Respectively
When in doubt, look for No. 28 and No. 1.
The name of the game for Driskel will be to manage. He doesnt need to win games for Florida, he just needs to not lose them.
Getting the ball to speedsters Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey will be the two most important things for Driskel. Demps and Rainey have the potential to make every play something special with their speed and running ability.
Driskel's going to hear far less boo's if he gets the ball to Demps and Rainey.
5. Bumpy Road Ahead
As the old and senile Woody Paige of ESPN and the Denver Post always says, "LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE!"
Without Brantley, Florida's prospects for the rest of the season look bleak. Everyone in the nation has already marked LSU down for a win this Saturday night and games at Auburn and at South Carolina won't be a cake walk either.
Well, at least they finish the season against rival Florida State at home. And right now, the Seminoles look to be in disarray following two straight losses.
Get Well Soon!
A high ankle sprain is one of those injuries that doesn't have a set timetable for a return. Even if Brantley manages to get back on the field for Florida's game against Georgia, it's highly unlikely he will be at 100 percent.
I know Brantley is going to rush back given this is his final season at Florida and he's already waited an eternity to play.
Gator fans will just have to look with one eye closed through the next few weeks and hope the season is still salvageable when Brantley returns to the field.