GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease believes it wouldn’t be fair to Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett to name one the starting quarterback over the other because they’ve both performed well throughout preseason practices.
That’s why he’s in agreement with coach Will Muschamp about playing both against Bowling Green.
But he’s not sure that’s the best way to go the next weekend in Florida’s Southeastern Conference opener at Texas A&M.
"I don’t know. Tough to answer," Pease said Tuesday in reply to a question about whether the quarterback rotation is sustainable beyond this week. "I don’t think so. That’s my gut feeling.
"It depends on how they play, I guess, and what they create."
Muschamp said Monday that one quarterback would play the first quarter against Bowling Green, the other in the second, and then the staff would evaluate their play at halftime and decide what to do in the second half, whether that's continuing to rotate by quarter, switching every drive, or playing only one the rest of the game. Pease said he and Muschamp would decide later this week (most likely Thursday) which quarterback starts against the Falcons.
Driskel said Tuesday the quarterbacks were told of the rotation plan on Sunday, and both said they were a bit surprised by the decision. They understood it, though, they said.
"I don't think anyone was really expecting that," Driskel said in the quarterbacks’ first media session since media day on Aug. 2. "I think they wanted to choose a starter before the first game, but like I say, we both have performed so well that it is really difficult to do that.
"I thought they were going to name a starter, but I knew it was going to be difficult for them, and I wouldn't want to be the guy to have to pick between us two, because like I've said we've both been performing so well. I mean, if that's how they want to do it, that's fine with both of us."
Muschamp denied that Saturday’s game is an audition for the quarterbacks and the one who plays better will get the starting job the following week. But that’s essentially the way Driskel and Brissett are approaching it.
"I’m sure it’ll have a big factor on (the starting job)," Driskel said. "They’re going to be looking at us really closely and I guess it’s just another chance for us both.
"This is our biggest opportunity and our biggest chance. They’re going to go with the guy who is going to give them the best chance for the rest of the season."
Brissett said he’s looking forward to the chance to state his case to be the starter, but he’s expecting the two to continue to push each other throughout the rest of the season.
"At the end of the day, it’s just go out and play football," Brissett said. "It’s time to play. No more time for interviews and talk. Just go out and have fun.
"The battle will never end. Every day is a struggle and you have to go out and compete as hard as you can and to the best of your ability."
They both have done that throughout the preseason, Pease said, which is why neither has been able to grab a lead over the other.
"They have both done a really good job with how they’ve handled the situation and how they’ve progressed," Pease said. "I think it would be difficult to name a starter right now. What would you be telling the other kid?
"They’ve both made major progress and done good things. We have a situation in a game where we can play them."
And the following week against Texas A&M?
"Ask me that in a week," he said. "I don’t know that answer."