Florida to stick with QB Jeff Driskel

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- There's no change at quarterback for Florida, but there was an apology.

Struggling junior Jeff Driskel is still the starter after Florida coach Will Muschamp reiterated Wednesday that the fourth-year quarterback "gives us the best opportunity to win right now."

Muschamp also said he got a call from Gator great Emmitt Smith, the NFL Hall of Famer, who called for Driskel to be benched during Florida's 42-21 loss to Alabama last Saturday.

"Emmitt called to apologize, to me, to Jeff Driskel and our football team," Muschamp said. "He was frustrated. He wants us to win. He wants us to be successful."

Driskel's mistakes were obvious and costly in the Gators' blowout loss. He completed just 32 percent of his passes (9 of 28) with two interceptions.

"Jeff needs to play better and I think he'd be the first person to tell you that," Muschamp said. "... He certainly forced some things that we can't afford to do, especially on two of the interceptions."

Driskel was particularly ineffective on third down, completing just one of eight attempts. He also continued to struggled with longer throws, missing 14 of 16 that went at least 10 yards.

Muschamp did say he was pleased with the progress that true freshman backup Treon Harris has shown in practice this week.

"[He] continues to do some nice things," said Muschamp, who admitted he thought about pulling Driskel late in the Alabama game. "Game by game, [we'd like to] give him some opportunities. We'd like to have him have some snaps depending on the situation in the game.

"But he had a good day yesterday; I'm very pleased with some things he did."

Florida (2-1, 1-1 in the SEC) has a bye this week before traveling to face Tennessee on Oct. 4.