By Mark Long
GAINSVILLE, Fla. —
No. 6 Florida will have its starting quarterback back in the starting lineup against one of its biggest rivals.
Coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday that sophomore Jeff Driskel will return to the starting lineup for Saturday's game at No. 10 Florida State (10-1).
Jeff Driskel looked very good at practice (Tuesday) and he'll be ready to go," Muschamp said on the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference.
Driskel sprained his right ankle Nov. 10 against Louisiana-Lafayette and sat out last weekend's 23-0 win over lower-division Jacksonville State. Jacoby Brissett started in his place and completed 14 of 22 passes for 154 yards.
Driskel was on the sideline during the game without a walking boot, worked out Sunday and was cleared to practice Tuesday.
"He looked fine," Muschamp said. "We did everything we normally do. There was nothing limited within the package of what we did with him, with the way we normally prepare for any game. So again, looked very good yesterday, and unless something just unheard of happens in practice today or tomorrow, he ought to be ready to go Saturday."
Driskel has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,324 yards, with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.
His ability to scramble has been clutch for the Gators (10-1), whose offensive line has been inconsistent most of the season.
With Driskel cleared, Florida will have its quarterback and starting offensive line together for the first time in four weeks.
The shuffled line and Driskel's ankle injury have been part of the reason the Gators had lackluster performances against Missouri, Louisiana-Lafayette and Jacksonville State.
"It hurts a lot because you get a new guy in there," offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. "The guy you are used to working with in combinations is not the same guy. Maybe the words you use to communicate — there is a loss of communication at times. It is kind of like being married. If your partner is not there, you are kind of looking around. It just causes inconsistencies."