In the midst of Florida’s 63-35 dismantling of Arkansas, Redshirt QB Kyle Trask had himself quite an evening as he went 23/29 passing for 356 yards and six TD tosses. According to the announcers, he had now put himself into the discussion for the Heisman! You mean that he wasn’t in that discussion already? Could’ve fooled me. 28 TD passes in six games should have garnered plenty of attention. If you asked backup QB Anthony Richardson, he’d probably tweet something like “Give Kyle the Heisman Trophy already!”
But that’s kind of how it is for our Gators who seem to always be nobody’s media darlings. I can only harken back to the old ball coach who enjoyed the almost villainous status that was bestowed on him and the program and remains to this day. Truthfully, we’ve had that notoriety for quite a bit longer, but I’m good with it. I’d much rather be Doc Holiday than Wyatt Earp. Doc had a helluva lot more fun!
Where Trask is concerned, I hope we are all appreciative of what he’s doing this season. His accuracy and knowing when to drill it and when to throw it with touch are quite amazing. I think the fact that we are as inconsistent defensively...alright, we stink it up quite a bit on that side of the ball...probably takes some of the shine off of Kyle’s accomplishments. And it really shouldn’t. The story of how he got to this point is quite amazing, but what he’s doing with his opportunity exceeds that.
*Saturday’s game could have been billed as a battle of the Gators’ former and current quarterbacks, with Feleipe Franks making somewhat of an inglorious return to the Swamp. For a few plays, most notably two nicely thrown deep balls for TDs, it looked as if Franks would indeed make a statement. But the day belonged to his predecessor and Feleipe was simply visiting in the stadium that was his home no more.
*Being kind, our defense continues to be inconsistent. Being brutally honest, we stink in the secondary and at LB. At one one point, I could have sworn we suited up about four “Rudy’s” in the secondary, only the real Rudy looked more talented. If you aren’t blessed with a lot of talent, you have to make up for it with an understanding and knowledge of what your opponents do offensively along with communication and a lot of toughness. We don’t seem to have a lot of any of these, at least not consistently.
*Mullen’s response to our defensive woes might have been to emphasize controlling the clock with our running game. We rushed for over 200 yards on 45 carries. The result was keeping the Hog’s O off the field and not giving them the chance to develop any lasting momentum. For the game, we had the ball for 18 more minutes than them. Ordinarily, I would tell you that this stat isn’t as important as it once was, but I think it played a part in our success today. Don’t underestimate Dan’s strategic acumen. Or give his OC some credit. The run today and the wheels last week were good touches that helped make the games winnable.
*It’s no secret that our LB play has been erratic at best. Without Houston and Moon yesterday, we played some sets with no ILBs (mostly passing situations) or played Diabate in the middle. #11 made a couple of plays on the perimeter, but he was no factor on runs between the tackles. He’s simply too light to take on an OL and looked more ballerina than football player on more than one occasion. But obviously he’s all we had (what’s happened to the kid from St. Thomas Aquinas?). This position is beyond priority where recruiting is concerned.
*The DL is a bright spot as they are beginning to get pressure on the QBs (4 sacks last night I believe) and are improving against the run, though we surrendered a couple of long ones. Carter’s scoop and score was a highlight and we played a lot of bodies, though I don’t recall much from Slaton and he didn’t show up in the stat line. Arkansas was only 3/9 on third downs. We’ll have to take our gains where we can get them I suppose.
*Next to Trask, the receivers were the story offensively. For one evening at least, we didn’t seem to miss Pitts. Grimes (2), Zipperer (2), Copeland, Shorter, and Henderson had TD receptions. Sounds like Pitts will miss one more game, but it’s good to know that this group is coming into its own. Grimes probably had his best night as a Gator. Toney didn’t score, but still had 7 receptions. Quietly, or behind Pitts at least, they have become a deep and dangerous group.
*We rushed for 208 yards. Pierce, Wright, and Davis had good nights and the OL was efficient. Our OGs looked good on the G Schemes and overall this group, while not mistaken for the “Great Wall,” is appreciably better than the last several seasons. If they will continue to get just a little better each game, we will have a chance to make the SECCG. Pretty remarkable.
*Not football, but I’ve got to share some softball news. Tim Walton signed Bainbridge Bearcat pitcher Lexie Delbrey this week. Lexie was the #7 player nationally and one of the best high school pitchers I’ve seen in a while. I think she’s got a chance to be a good one and I can’t help but be very proud of her!
I’ve had these strange thoughts that this team is looking eerily similar to some of Spurrier’s teams with the offensive numbers we’re putting up. Trask could easily pass for one of SOS’s QBs with the way he’s carving up the opposing defenses. I’ll take that even though I really want us to be better defensively and I must admit to having a feeling in the back of my mind that a really good team will give us trouble despite how good our O is clicking. A&M has given us a foreshadowing. But football is best watched as it’s played...one game at a time. And for now, Vandy is looming. Not the most anticipated matchup, simply the next one. Go Gators!
Best Posts in Thread: Bits & Pieces: Florida vs. Arkansas
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Good stuff C2. Is Florida HS softball playing this season? I'm in Virginia and it's been cancelled in many school districts.
Some other observations:
- The OL is developing some solid depth. I was concerned about 22, losing so many OLs. But w/ Braun, White, Eguakun, Harrod, and Tarquin all getting quality playing time I think we'll be okay.
- EJ won't be as efficient as Trask, obviously, but with his running ability the O will likely still be explosive next year.
- I wish they'd let Pierce get into a "groove" at RB (give him more carries). Collectively, the 3 RB's had a great game.
- The D is frustrating, but I chalk it up as one of those games where we had a big lead most of the way. The last score was all 2's.
- It's great to finally see true blow outs - something we missed during most of the Muschamp and Butters eras. The young guys got a lot of work. Jalon Lee & Princely look promising, along w/ the young OLs. Zipperer played great.
- Rick Wells!! I think he doubled his career receptions last night!
As always great analysis. Thanks, @cover2!
This game had plenty of plays that seem so rarely to happen in UF's favor - Busted coverage for an easy TD, a screw up (dropped flea flicker) that STILL ended in a big gain, bang-bang plays where our WR still catches ball, etc.
Great to see the WRs/TEs not named Pitts have a great night. XH had much better hands than a week ago. I hope that continues. Zip finally introducing himself to the world, too. Building depth for next year!
The D was up and down. TG still isn't earning his paycheck, but the D still generated more stops than the first games of this season. Wilson made a big stop against a big TE to force a punt. At least one stop was prevented by the refs, just 3 plays following a no-call on arkys face mask on Trask. Also...
Arky scored on their opening drive in both halves. I wonder if they scripted plays for each drive? Because similar to when we had nuss as OC, their remaining drives weren't consistently smooth. Just speculating a bit.
The post game interaction between FF and the Gators said a lot. He irritated us with some antics, but he must've been a good teammate in the locker room while at UF.
It's arky, not bamuh. Not ready to say we're world beaters, but I enjoyed seeing the good guys put up 60+ for the first time in quite a while!
Go Gators!!! [emoji246][emoji246][emoji246]
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As usual excellent summary. On defense our DL is showing improvement. However our lack of LB's did leave us open for some gash plays. It looked like both teams were in Dime coverage a lot. Gators with limited LB's and the Hogs looking to slow down Trask. Mullen effectively countered with an efficient running game. The ESPN production of this game was one of the worst all year. Announcers in the studio were awful and the coordination between their rambling and the game action was non-existent. They cut away a couple of times while plays were still happening. The only channel worse was the studio audio on the ACC Network call of FSU/NCSt. Fun to cut away and see the Semi's get trashed.
Speaking of fun where was the highly touted "Bumper Pool"? I see he only had 2 solo tackles. Guess the Dime Package ended that game.
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Good stuff, cover 2, as always.
Is it just me, or does Copeland seem about 80% disinterested in any play where he isn’t getting the ball?
His td catch was a good one, but there have been several plays this season where he either completely whiffed on a block, or didn’t even attempt to make one.....including last night.
Thanks @BMF. Not sure about Florida high school softball as they play in the spring. I guess time will tell and is COVID-dependent. Georgia softball just wrapped up two weeks ago.
Agreed about Pierce and the RBs overall. If there’s a plus to the platoon system, it reduces the wear and tear, but it does keep them from getting into a productive zone I believe.
The blowouts are very Spurrier-esque!
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