Driskel gets one more shot at SEC foe
When Jeff Driskel left Gainesville to join the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in January, SEC fans thought they’d seen the last of the former 5-star quarterback.
Except for one team.
Driskel will lead the 4-2 Bulldogs into Starkville on Saturday to face Mississippi State.
Before transferring, he played four seasons at Florida and had success, at least some of the time. Last year, he started six games for UF and threw for over 1,100 yards and 9 touchdowns. But he gave way to Treon Harris.
Driskel also broke Tim Tebow’s record for most rushing yards in a game for a Florida quarterback when he ran for 177 yards against Vanderbilt as a sophomore.
His time at Florida has been invaluable to Louisiana Tech.
“I think Jeff would be the first one to tell you that one of the reasons he’s able to have so much success even now is because of the experience he has,” Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz said after the Bulldogs beat Texas-San Antonio last week. “The three years he had at Florida along with this year and that’s why he’s able to do what he does. I can’t say enough positive things about him and his growth as a quarterback and the job that he’s doing.”
This season, Driskel has completed 136 of 223 passes for 1,812 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averages 305 passing yards per game.
He may be the most NFL-ready quarterback Mississippi State has faced this year. The Oviedo, Fla., native has been placed on several experts’ draft boards and he is on the Senior Bowl watch list.
With Will Grier lost for the year with an NCAA suspension, the Gators must be wondering how their situation would be if Driskel was still in Gainesville.
Driskel saw action at Florida as a true freshman and in each of his four seasons there. But his playing time lessened after suffering a broken leg as a junior.
Now he’s showing that injury has healed in Ruston, La. Driskel has run for 4.1 yards per carry and 5 touchdowns.
As Driskel adds to his resume, he has been having to do it against the likes of Southern, Western Kentucky, Florida International and Louisiana-Lafayette.
On Saturday, the competition is much better against a Mississippi State team that he never faced in all his time at Florida.
As for the Gator fans who didn’t think much of him, Driskel has proven them wrong with his success at Louisiana Tech. On Saturday, he’d like to prove to Mississippi State he is an SEC-caliber quarterback.