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ICYMI: Murphy makes the most of unexpected opportunity

Murphy be like...


But really, here's the piece I wrote on Murphy's journey from backup, backup, backup, backup, backup to No. 20 Florida's unlikely starter.

GAINESVILLE -- Tyler Murphy never pictured himself standing at a podium and addressing the media after a collegiate game.

Will Muschamp never did either.

Just last spring, as Jeff Driskel -- No. 20’s Florida’s incumbent starter now sidelined for the season with a broken leg -- and Jacoby Brissett, a recent North Carolina State transfer, battled for Florida’s starting job, Muschamp was asked about Murphy’s potential prospects in the quarterback competition.

“Right now, none,” Muschamp said.

But circumstances can change dramatically in college football.

Brissett transferred this offseason, thrusting Murphy into Florida’s definitive backup role. Then, after Driskel went down early in the first quarter of Saturday’s win over Tennessee, suddenly, unexpectedly, it was Murphy’s turn. 

“It was in the back of my mind that I might never play,” he said. “People wanted me to change positions. I like playing quarterback. I had people telling me to transfer. It’s something I considered. But my dad encouraged me to stay.”

For at least one day, the Gator fasn were quite thankful.

Between all the laughable follies and snafus in the first half of Florida’s 31-17 victory, Murphy -- a redshirt junior -- emerged as an unlikely hero.

He threw for 134 yards and a touchdown, while adding another 84 yards and a score on the ground. He was confident, poised, slippery and displayed no signs of never taking a meaningful collegiate snap.

"I told our team what a great example he is," Muschamp said. "There's not many guys like that in this society. Everybody wants it now. He's a guy that's worked extremely hard and he cashed in his opportunity today. We look forward to seeing him play the rest of the year."

Murphy will make his first career start next weekend on the road at Kentucky.

“It wasn’t the way I wanted it, but an opportunity is an opportunity,” Murphy said.

According to Murphy, he never left Gainesville because he loves Florida -- the school, his friends and now, his team.

His route to UF was as improbable as Saturday’s performance. An unheralded two-star prospect, Murphy essentially recruited the Gators -- not the other way around. The former Temple commit sent film to ex-UF coaches Urban Meyer and Steve Addazio. Florida’s offensive gurus were impressed and Murphy was a late edition to the 2010 signing class.

Despite sitting behind as many as five quarterbacks -- Driskel, Brissett, John Brantley, Jordan Reed and Trey Burton -- Murphy’s attitude never wavered. Neither did his commitment to studying, practicing and always staying ready.

“He’s selfless and that’s his greatest attribute,” center Jonotthan Harrison said. “That’s what I love about him.”

There’s a chance Murphy’s performance was an anomaly. A red herring to the Gators faithful. Driskel had his career-day (in 2012) against Tennessee’s abominable defense too.

But this much is clear: Saturday -- the fans chanting his name, the locker room crowd surfing -- will always be Murphy’s day. His teammates love him and appear ready go to battle with him.

“We have all the faith, all the trust in Tyler Murphy,” Harrison said. 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton


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We've proven that we can win when we go conservative with the playbook. Don't see why we can't do the same this year with Murphy. It seems things go south when we ask these guys to do too much (see Louisville, UM, UGA games).

Any report on the injuries from Sat? I know the coaching staff is stingy with that information but we need to have a healthy Purifoy and O-line to be able to pull the plow the rest of the way.

It's not so much going conservative as it is for the QB to make smart decisions and not to force the plays.
After that pick 6 I lost the small amount of trust I had left in Driskel.
I welcome Murphy with open arms, he played very well and if he continues to play this way he gives us the best chance at winning. Just because he takes better care
of the ball and doesn't make stupid mistakes.

I like Driskel, and I'm pulling for him to recover quickly and get back into action in the Spring, but he has turned out to be a huge disappointment. This guy was the # 1 QB recruit in the nation (ahead of Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater) and in 15 or so starts, he has yet to impress anybody. What's even sadder, is that Tyler Murphy, a two star recruit who hasn't played in a football game in four years (since high school), a permanent bench warmer, a nobody, comes on the field, energizes the offense, and totally upstages Driskel.

I was VERY impressed with Tyler Murphy. Not so much with his arm, or with his legs, but simply with his poise and his "it" factor. When the play broke down, when the receivers were covered (which for us, is often), he took off running. Why doesn't Driskel do that? He's supposedly a dual-threat QB. He's big and fast as hell. He showed that a few times last year. But he doesn't freaking run anymore, unless it's some design run or a read-option play. Driskel is NOT a baller. He reminds me of John Brantley. He doesn't move the offense. I agree with Jesse that Driskel is super tough. In the Miami game, Driskel stood in the pocket and took huge hits just after releasing the ball. Driskel is tough as nails. But he's no playmaker. I hope he becomes one, but thus far, he isn't.

Back in the Spurrier days, if the QB (or anybody else) didn't perform well, he was benched and the next dude got to play. We need to return to that. Nobody should be guaranteed a job because of their pedigree (in Driskel's case, because of his ranking as a recruit). Tyler Murphy managed the impossible: sparking our lethargic offense.

I'm happy for Murphy and if he leads us to the SEC championship, this will be quite the Cinderella story. Who would've thought?

Lastly, I'm sure somewhere (in North Carolina), Jacoby Brissett is wondering whether he made the right decision to transfer. This would've been his big opportunity.

Peace players.


Suicyco, the best thing you said was Driscol is not a play-maker. He is a great athlete that just doesn't have a feel for the QB position. He took sacks, had no pocket awareness, and had more turnovers than TD pass thrown(8 in past 4 games).

Murphy, shows poise and the ability to throw the ball down the field. Yes he made a few plays, but the key was he didn't take a sack or throw an interception. Look for more plays under center, play action and deep balls in the coming weeks. Also lookout for a few freshman as play makers. There is no excuse for not to using them now; Saturday marked
a new season!

Go Gators!!

I think we are saying the same thing. We all were pulling for Driskel but it was painfully obvious he wasn't getting it done. Something happened to him after the Georgia loss last year and he wasn't the same from then on, even in the games we won he was lackluster at best. Gilleslie, Sturgis and the defense were responsible for most of those wins.
Murphy can only get better with more reps in practice now that he is the man.
The other change I would make is to start Brown and have Jones come off the bench until he shows he is all the way back.
With our defense and with a QB who doesn't put us in the hole we will do very well.
Go Gators!

2 Star QB starting for the might sec gators? Really? Cant wait until he fumbles and throws INT's and JLO bashes him and begs for Driskel to come back, hilarious.

Lmao...first U quoted him as saying he was thinking of transferring and someone was telling him to transfer and his dad talked him out of it . Then U said his attitude never waivered...
Better get that oline fixed or he will be hangin' with driskel.
Gators are so funny!

21-16 -- You have a reading comprehension problem.

Lmao with delusionaljlo....he already had his first fumble....more to come with that oline. WOW! Two star qb behind a twostar oline!

No,no jesse thats what it says...

Did U ask harrison if he knew murphy was considering transferring afterhis comment?

21-16 -- You have a reading comprehension problem.

Posted by: Jesse Simonton

Reading comprehension is a problem for him but in light of all the other psychological problems it is last on his long list.
Sid the 43 year old virgin with no life. Pity the fool.

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