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Driskel hopes he got turnovers 'out of system'

Associated Press Modified: October 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm •  Published: October 29, 2012

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The best thing Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel did through the first seven games this season was hold onto the football, even if it was too long at times.

Driskel had just two turnovers before Saturday's debacle against Georgia.

He had four against the Bulldogs, mistakes that were critical in the 17-9 loss that likely cost the eighth-ranked Gators the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division.

Driskel watched the game twice since and said Monday what everyone already knew.

"I can't turn it over four times myself," said Driskel, who hopes to bounce back Saturday against Missouri. "Hopefully I got it out of my system. You've got to learn from mistakes. Got the mistakes out of the way, learn from them and try not to make the same mistakes again."

The worst game of Driskel's career came at the worst time for Florida, which could have wrapped up a spot in the SEC title game.

But it also exposed several offensive weaknesses that had been somewhat masked during the team's undefeated start: protection issues that start with the offensive line and include the inability of running backs and tight ends to pick up blitzes; and more dropped passes and inexact routes by receivers.

All those issues have Florida ranked 100th in the nation in total offense and last in the SEC in passing.

"It's not falling on one person's or one position's shoulders, I can assure you of that," coach Will Muschamp said. "It's a combination of things and it's something that we, as a staff, have been working through the entire season and knowing that we need to continue to work on it and improve with it. I do think we've made some strides, but it certainly wasn't good enough Saturday."

It was good enough in the first seven games.

But six turnovers proved to be too much to overcome against Georgia, proving Muschamp's point that Florida has a slim margin for error.

Driskel, who completed 14 of 26 passes for 185 yards, threw two interceptions and lost two of his three fumbles. Wildcat quarterback Trey Burton botched a handoff, and tight end Jordan Reed fumbled near the goal line in the closing minutes. Reed lost the ball while trying to leap two defenders, ending Florida's chance at tying the game.

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