Andreu’s Answers: Franks, Del Rio swap hero roles in Gators’ win

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Anonio Riles, Luke Del Rio
Florida offensive lineman Antonio Riles, left, celebrates with quarterback Luke Del Rio after a game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Before every game, veteran college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here’s week 3:

1. Will Feleipe Franks and the Florida offense take a step forward, or will it be backward?

From hero one Saturday to benched the next. That’s how quickly things changed for Franks. A week after throwing the game-winning 63-yard TD pass on the final play against Tennessee, the struggling Franks didn’t make it through the third quarter before being pulled by Jim McElwain. So, yes, it was a big step backward for Franks. But huge step forward for Luke Del Rio and the offense with that fourth-quarter rally for the win.

2. Can Florida contain dual-threat quarterback Stephen Johnson?

He hurt the Gators a little with his legs and a lot with his arm. Johnson, who played a major role in turning around UK’s season a year ago, had a big game throwing the ball. He threw for 100 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, then another TD toss in the third quarter.

3. How will the young secondary hold up against a potent UK passing attack?

It didn’t hold up well at all, and that was with senior cornerback Duke Dawson clearing concussion protocol and given the go-ahead to start Saturday’s game. UK receivers were open much of the night and pretty much wide open in the third quarter, when the Wildcats built their lead to 27-14.

4. Will the Gators make anything positive happen on special teams?

No, not even close. There was nothing in the return game and punt coverage was awful again, with the gunners failing to get in a position to make tackles. So, basically, another overall poor performance by the special teams.

5. Can the UF offense generate any kind of ground game against a UK defense that gives up very few rushing yards?

This was a big bright spot on offense. Going against the nation’s No. 3 run defense, the Gators managed to rush for 101 yards in the first half alone, the highlight being the 26-yard TD run by Kadarius Toney out of the wildcat. The running game also showed up in UF’s fourth-quarter rally.

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or robbie.andreu@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.

11 COMMENTS

    • Accurate and to the point, jh. It is amazing to me how the “quarterback whisperer” cannot develop a quarterback. He sent Grier packing after the suspension, informing him he had no future at UF. He is 4 games into the season and cannot pick a starter after Franks chucks one 67 yards. I think we may get our wish, JH, but only because Mac wants out. He is so sick of this job and makes it painfully obvious in his pressers. One thing is for certain….Mac will NEVER be fired. His payout is so great now and I can’t really see programs lining up to get this imposter.

    • We didn’t lose at home to an unranked team from their Division like the team just to the west that you are so proud of. That program is trending down while UF is trending up. I like the direction UF is heading.

  1. Winning is NEVER bad for a program. Just ask KY how it feels to possibly be the better prepared and motivated team, dominate much of the game and still lose #31 in a row to the Gators, at home. Both teams fought hard and the Gators found a way to win. An ugly win is still looks the same as a blowout in the W-L column. OBTW, Kentucky is a pretty damn good team this year. They will pull some upsets.
    GO GATORS!!!

  2. Good road win in the SEC! Go Gators! What’s up with the punt coverage though? Don’t think I’ve ever seen a unit play that consistently bad.

  3. Noles may struggle to get bowl eligible this year. I see a 4-7 finish with wins vs Delaware St, BC, Cuse and Wake. Even with winning all of those games they need at least another win vs UF, Louisville, Duke, Miami, or Clemson to be ELIGIBLE for a bowl waiver. Oh how the might have fallen. Couldn’t happen to a nicer program. I believe these hard times were caused by Mike Winter and the Black Ju Ju’s bad karma.

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