NCAA F

Jeff Driskel injury thrusts inexperienced Murphy into starter role

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Tyler Murphy sparked the Gators with 218 yards. (©GettyImages)
Tyler Murphy sparked the Gators with 218 yards. (©GettyImages).

Before junior quarterback Jeff Driskel suffered a season ending leg injury in the first half against Tennessee, redshirt junior Tyler Murphy had yet to complete a pass in a Florida Gators uniform.

Thrust into the starters role in front of a national audience, Murphy shined against an admittedly below average Tennessee defence, leading the Gators to a 31-17 victory. 

Murphy totalled 218 yards and scored two touchdowns against the volunteers and gave many Gator fans hope that the end of Driskel’s season won’t mean the end of their teams. 

"It’s been a little hectic I guess you could say,'' Murphy said on Monday. " They're real supportive, so I've just been trying to (tell them) like, 'thank you,' and how much I appreciate it because it means a lot to me.''

Murphy’s opportunity as a starter comes just a few months after the redshirt junior considered a position change to earn more playing time. 

"Sitting on the bench isn't fun, especially when there's a game where the team is struggling,'' Murphy said. "You kind of feel bad because you want to go out there and do something to help the team win, especially when you feel like you can contribute. It was tough.''

Murphy’s next challenge comes against a Kentucky Wildcat team that played tough in a loss to No. 7 ranked Louisville last week. 

Gators wide receivers coach Joker Phillips, who was fired from the Kentucky head coaching job last November, will likely give Murphy and the Gators offence familiarity with the Wildcats’ roster. 

"I'm going to ask him a lot of questions about their defence,'' Murphy said.

"He recruited, I want to say, a majority of those guys, and so he knows their weaknesses and their strengths. So I think it's important for me to really pick his brain, you know, and get insight on how he feels about the players.''

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