GAINESVILLE -- The Tyler Murphy era is officially underway.
Gators starting quarterback Jeff Driskel will miss the rest of the 2013 season after breaking his right fibula early in the first quarter in Florida’s 31-17 win over Tennessee on Saturday.
Driskel was injured while throwing a pick-six -- UT’s only touchdown in the first half -- after UT defensive end Marlon Walls fell on the junior’s leg.
Coach Will Muschamp immediately knew Driskel was hurt badly.
“When he looked at the sideline and waved I knew it was not good,” Muschamp said.
Driskel will have surgery Sunday.
“I’m disappointed for Jeff because he’s worked extremely hard for this season,” Muschamp said. “One man’s misfortunes are another man’s opportunity and Tyler Murphy certainly took advantage of his opportunity.”
Murphy impressed, completing 8-of-14 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 84 yards and a score -- all career firsts.
“He did a fantastic job coming into these circumstances and performing well,” Muschamp said. “I thought he managed the game extremely well and made plays.”
Murphy will start next weekend against Kentucky.
But for Florida’s incumbent starter, Saturday was a brutal blow. Driskel, much maligned after a tough outing in the loss to Miami on Sept. 7, was slowed by a slight knee strain in practice, yet started his 15th career game Saturday.
“It’s going to hurt us,” Muschamp said. “He won a lot of ballgames for us.”Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton