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Man Down, Man Up

GAINESVILLE -- When Florida quaterback Jeff Driskel woke up with a stomach ache Monday morning, his head coach thought it was nothing more than a bad piece of beef.

“I hoped he ate a bad cheeseburger,” Will Muschamp said. “But it wasn’t.”

Driskel underwent surgery for acute appendicitis Tuesday afternoon at UF Health Shands Hospital, but not before suffering through persistent pain around his right abdomen for over a day until his roommate, former UF offensive linemen Tommy Jordan, warned Driskel he should get his issue checked out.

“We’re lucky we found it early and acted on it,” Florida’s junior quarterback said. “It could’ve been a lot worse.”

Driskel said he’s feeling better already -- not surprising considering he was just two days removed from surgery and speaking to the press at UF’s Media Day on Thursday -- but he won’t rush his return.

“Whenever I’m ready, I’ll be back,” Driskel said.

Muschamp expects his quarterback to miss roughly two weeks of practice, and like Driskel, complemented Florida’s medical staff for discovering and diagnosing the problem quickly.

“Our medical staff did a fantastic job indentifying that early,” Muschamp said. “If it’s a rupture, you’re talking about at least a month, probably.”

Driskel will remain around the team while he recovers from surgery, taking “mental reps” on the practice field sidelines and in the film room.

“I’ll be right there behind the huddle,” he said.

Tyler Murphy will lead Florida’s first-team offense in Driskel’s absence, as Muschamp officially named the redshirt-junior the Gators’ “clear-cut” backup.

Murphy is eagerly approaching this unique opportunity and didn’t mince words with his ultimate aspiration.

“If I can stir up a problem in the coaches office, and they’re questioning who the starting quarterback should be, I feel like I’ve reached my goal,” he said.

Florida will have no such quarterback controversy again in 2013, but Murphy is at least relishing the chance to give UF’s offense some early camp momentum.

“I want guys to believe when I’m in we won’t skip a beat,” he said. “I want to prove to the coaches I’m trustworthy.”

It starts today.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton


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Matt Jones' serious illness, Halapio's torn pec muscle..how did all this escape notice until now? By all accounts Matt has been ill for a while. Either these injuries are exaggerated or everyone went out of their way to keep this stuff quiet. Don't these guys and their team mates have all the social media outlets woven into their lives? I'm sure their friends, family, HS coaches, and ex-team mates know about this stuff too.

Am I the only one that thinks this is kind of weird?

You make an interesting point, Gator Mike.

Jones actually hasnt been sick very long (four day tops) but from the sound of it, the illness isnt going away anytime soon. Now I'm no MD, but if I had to venture a guess I'd say he has a serious bout of mono.

Garcia has dealt with back issues before, so that wasnt surprising and not something worth "hiding." But Halapio's torn pec is the really strange one. How it was never leaked is curious.

Perhaps I'm overstating the Matt Jones illness. My cue to the fact he's been sick for a while came from Halapio's comment that Jones has lost 'a lot' of weight. Not sure you can lose 'a lot' of weight in 4 days, even in an extreme circumstance.

We need all hands on deck, specially on offense. Drskel and Jones are vital, so is Halapio. Hope they heal up fast.
How long does it take to come back from a torn pec?

If Matt Patchan is the measuring stick for that, it's a very long time.

Patchan's situation was much more complicated, and I'll leave it at that. It is noteworthy though, that his injury was only called a "strained pectoral" while Halapio has a slight tear.

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