Tyler Murphy: Sidelines to Headlines

The story of No. 19 Florida’s new starting quarterback Tyler Murphy’s debut after Jeff Driskel’s leg injury contains all the elements of a classic underdog tale. The key player is tragically injured just to be replaced by the inexperienced man keeping the bench warm for years waiting patiently for his chance to step into the spotlight. Sounds a lot like the plot line of Varsity Blues.

Excluding a 2-point pass attempt against Miami two weeks ago, Murphy was a rookie on the field having never thrown a pass in college. He was resigned to the sidelines as three quarterbacks, a tight end and all-purpose utility man got their hands on the ball before he did.

“It was always in the back of my mind that I might never play,” Murphy said to the Associated Press.

Though heartwarming, the standout performance by Murphy means significantly less since it was against the unranked crew of Tennessee Volunteers that took the field on Saturday in Gainesville. Some people have even suggested the redshirt junior deserved the top spot as quarterback from the beginning.

Murphy competed for the position by practicing against the third best defense in the nation according to The Bleacher Report. On Saturday, the two-star recruit from Connecticut faced off against a defense ranked number 90. So while Tennessee still falls among teams like No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 LSU in one of the country’s toughest conferences, the SEC, they do not carry quite the weight of their highly-ranked counterparts.

Driskel had earned his stature though leading the Gators to a Top 10 finish in 2012, defeating seven SEC teams along the way. Saying that Murphy deserved his spot after watching just three quarters of that incredibly sloppy game against UT is unfounded.

That is not to say Murphy’s first crack at heading the offense does not deserve credit though. After he returned to the field following halftime, the jitters were gone, and he led the team to a 31-17 win completing 8-of-14 passes with one touchdown pass and another rushing.

Driskel himself congratulated his teammate on his performance in a tweet.

The future of Florida’s already struggling offense may not be quite as fairytale-worthy as the movies, but it does hold some promise. Murphy poses a larger rushing threat than Driskel did as evidenced by the game against the Vols, and his confidence will only grow in the next two games against Kentucky and Arkansas before he has to face a team representative of the rough and tough SEC in the LSU Tigers on Oct. 12. If he can shake the skepticism, Murphy may prove a valuable player can indeed be found buried in the roster.


5 thoughts on “Tyler Murphy: Sidelines to Headlines

  1. Loni Gibson

    I really enjoyed this post! It was very easy to read and allowed me to a connection to his story as an underdog. I enjoyed you sharing Tyler Murphey’s background with us as many of had no idea. Your lead was also very intriguing.

  2. vaughn9

    Very good lede, hooks the leader with interesting and factual narrative. Good, clean, and smooth inclusion of quote with attribution. Fully developed angles -more of a running threat, Driskel earned starting spot after much better play in previous season than evidenced in first three quarter against Tennessee and low expectations for Murphy (two star recruit)- and well paced writing really make this story.

  3. ncastre

    I really enjoyed reading this blog post because it wasn’t all bogged down with just facts and numbers and felt more relatable to read. I do like how you talk first about how Murphy had to wait for his turn and then going into what challenges he has ahead of him in terms of what teams he faces next. I also liked that you didn’t use too many links to stories and then those links were very relevant to the point that you were making. Overall I think that this post was very well written.

  4. connorsmo

    Really liked the article, and it started with the headline. You did a good job of getting all the points of the story in the top of the article with all the players having a shot at QB before him and his recruitment value. I also liked how you acknowledge Tennessee’s shaky defense, and pointed out that though he had his struggles, there were some bright spots to his game. I like that you also compared Murphy to Driskel by pointing out his upside, but countering it with his upcoming tests in conference. The only criticism that I have is that “SEC” is written as “Southeastern Conference” on first reference.

  5. jfedich

    I liked in this article how you didn’t make this story any bigger than it needed to be. You acknowledged that Tennessee was not necessarily a worthy opponent, and that Murphy still has a lot to prove as a quarterback. However, you told Murphy’s story of how he got to where he is now, and how many fans thought he should have been starting from the beginning, which is true. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this article and I think it is really well-written. It’s clear you did your research for this blog post. Good job.


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