Gators sound off on social media controversy, Franks’ celebration

108
2583
UF quarterback Feleipe Franks raises his index finger to his facemask to silence the crowd Saturday at The Swamp after scoring a touchdown against South Carolina at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Lauren Bacho/Staff photographer]

In the buildup to UF’s 35-31 come-from-behind victory over South Carolina, Florida found itself in a familiar place: embroiled in a quarterback controversy.

It truly began before the season commenced, but UF’s loss to Missouri the week prior ramped up the pressure on coach Dan Mullen and Co. to sort out the quarterback position. Back-up QB Kyle Trask appeared to have an opportunity to usurp Franks, but the competition ended Wednesday when Trask suffered a broken foot during a non-contact portion of practice.

Many had campaigned for Trask to make his first start, and that list seemed to include former UF quarterback Luke Del Rio.

Now operating under the guise of his self-funded podcast ‘The Dropback’, Del Rio has expressed numerous opinions on the current iteration of the Gators, including but not limited to his thoughts on the quarterback situation, the fanbase, Mullen and former UF coach Jim McElwain.

When it came to UF’s current quarterback situation, Del Rio suggested Mullen could lose the support of the Florida fanbase if the first-year Gators head coach opted to stick with Franks rather than make a late-season change. While Del Rio attempted to express his sentiments under a different guise — that of the UF fan base — it came off as his opinion to many, and was discussed by the broadcast crew during Florida’s victory.

Particularly, Del Rio’s opinion wasn’t well-received by Franks, to say the least, nor was it embraced by the rest of the Gators, many of whom promptly blocked Del Rio on social media.

After the contest, junior defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson opened up about Del Rio’s vocal assessments this season.

“Luke Del Rio is the past. So he’s speaking on a team that he really didn’t have nothing to do with. When he was here, he wasn’t (a) leader. So he can take it how he wants it. He can blog about me, he can blog about my team. But at the end of the day when he was here, he didn’t do no different than anyone else was doing,” Gardner-Johnson said. “If he got comments, he can say it to everybody’s face if it’s a problem. But other than that, he’s not a part of this team. It’s a new standard here, new guys, new chip on our shoulder. We’re ready to go out there and continue to win.”

Whether he was shushing fair-weathered Florida fans or Del Rio, Franks’ pointer finger celebration made the rounds on TV and social media, and soon Mullen and Gardner-Johnson were answering questions unrelated to the redshirt sophomore’s performance on the field.

Those who have watched him absorb the frequent ire of Florida fans felt Franks’ actions were deserved — especially if it results in a 15-for-21 passing performance and two critical rushing touchdowns.

“A lot of people have doubted him since he’s been here, talking crazy about him,” Gardner-Johnson said. “He’s shushing the crowd, telling them we’re not going anywhere and I’m going to continue to lead this team. He led us to a victory today, like Coach said: they’re going to hate you one minute and they’re going to love you when you throw a touchdown pass. You ain’t shush them, they’re going to hate you. So, at the end of the day he went out and competed, he did what he’s supposed to do and he led us to a victory.”

Mullen had a different take, however. Like Gardner-Johnson, he didn’t seem truly upset with Franks’ celebration, although he did note it irked him slightly; in an attempt to justify  Franks’ actions, Mullen hypothetically asked the assembled media how old Franks is in an attempt to attribute his behavior and how he handles the resulting scrutiny to his age.

But Mullen didn’t mince words when lamenting the use of social media amongst the Gators. Many programs have banned it — No. 2 Clemson has gone as far as to prohibit players from using Twitter this season. If the Gators are looking to take the next step and ascend the ranks of college football, perhaps said resurgence entails a ban on social media. But not if it brings out the Franks that Florida fans saw for much of Saturday.

“You know what bothers me a lot more: stay the hell off social media if you’re a starting quarterback. Unless it’s for your amusement. I go through my social media for amusement sometimes. But if you click on one every once in a while, and you read all this commentary,” Mullen said, “I’ll go on tonight and read a commentary about my performance from somebody that’s got six followers and follows 27 people, right, and is obviously an expert on college football. I told him, don’t worry about anything that is not going to help us win the football game.”


Up next

Who: Idaho Vandals (4-6) vs. No. 15 Florida (7-3)

When: 12 p.m. Saturday

Where: Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

TV: ESPNU

Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850

108 COMMENTS

  1. 1. Del Rio is a twerp who should shut up.
    2. Franks was dead-on right to “shush” a bunch of boo birds.
    3. I really wish the Sun would stop interviewing players too ignorant to make complete sentences (“You ain’t shush them …”). Hard to believe someone speaking like that is actually passing college-level coursework.

      • Six, you began your above sentence with a pronoun without first identifying the subject noun of your sentence. Therefore, you just received a grade of D in English 101. And who is “they” in your sentence? Therefore, your grade just dropped another letter grade to F. You flunked English 101. And Trump is making “America Great Again” by not correctly spelling basic English words or using proper grammar in many of his tweets. I guess they did not teach him English 101 at that Ivy League school he attended. But I doubt you would post about DJT not knowing or using basic English in his posts. But like him, you have no issue attacking people from the safety of the internet. You and your friend, LT.

          • I actually felt kind of bad, poor grammar notwithstanding, about the conditions under which he was forced off — not fair and certainly not worthy of any celebration. Of course, I’m reconsidering that now….😢

          • Six. If you plan to attack someone’s English language skills on here, first make sure you have your own English language skills down pat. And, if you don’t, do what your buddy, LT, says: “Be a man” about it. But not surprised you did not do that. And for the record, I would rather hang around hand have a conversation with CGJ, FF, and any other Gator player than have a single thought shared with you, LT, CO, and some others on here. Now, bye. At least until your group start to attack young kids again on here.

        • Here you go again, different name same sanctimonious know it all wannabe profesor. The troll who stole your former name sounds just like you do. And yet you like to call those you disagree with trolls, look in the mirror fool.
          See if you can buy a little sense of humor

        • Swampy Tampa…Since you’re giving formal grammar lessons again and grading people, you, yourself, should try to avoid beginning your sentences with a coordinating conjunction. Also, there’s a matter of word choice; “by not correctly using” would be less awkwardly phrased if you changed it to “by incorrectly using”. Of course, that’s why jounalists need talented editors. Just joshing you. My goodness Swampy…lighten up.

          • Well done prairiegator – we could all do gooder to get a sense of humor. I was once mocked because I was using correct English. I can deal with a lot opinion choices, but it is when I am reading an article and I find something wrong in the article that makes me shake my head (smh). I always stop and have to re-read it while I edit it in my mind. I swear it makes me feel stoopider when I reed those. GO GATORS!!!

    • It’s not about how a person talk, you sound strange to millions of people. It’s about understanding, most communication is non verbal and a majority of people talk and sound like what they grew up around, accents I.e. Second Franks played hard, not like a Tua or even Drew Lock, and two quarters of football vs his entire career at UF I can understand the boo’s. If played like those 30 minutes his entire career maybe he wouldn’t have been booed. Del Rio did save us a few times, and I think he was repeating what half the people that watch Florida football say.

      • Yeah, uh, it kid is sho’be how a person they talk…

        Look Ruth, while I realize that standards for everything seem to be crumbling, UF is supposed to be better institution of higher learning. I don’t give a single damn HOW I sound to non-English speakers, but any college student not being fronted as a future pro-athlete sounds like a moron when they can’t complete basic sentences.

        This is not a matter of accents – it is substandard communication that will not do anyone any good that has to get a living in something other than professional athletics. And it is your kind of sad surrender that does not demand of would-be students better performance.

        • Gatorgrin. Go read the next Donald Trump tweet post and repeat your post about the leader of the free world. Give me a break. Many of the players on any SEC or any Power 5 football team would most likely not have gained entry into the school they play for if they were not football players. But they all met the minimum requirements for athletes at UF and those schools. Mullen is not, for the most part, recruiting chemistry majors to play for him. But some are just that. I do not know what the academic credentials are for G-J and Franks, and neither do you. But both could be geniuses in chemistry and not be that accomplished in the art of the English language. I know for a fact that Einstein was not well versed in language skills and dependent upon the help of associates to help him write his theories and scientific presentations. To assume something else without knowing the facts about individuals and their diverse abilities and knowledge just comes across and judgmental to the core.

          • SwampyTampa…You might think about what you just posted the next time you start to call someone you hardly know an “illiterate redneck”. Remember your judgemental tirade about an entire city Jacksonville and its inhabitants? Do you think it possible that many of the people you sterotyped in that post are people about whom you don’t actually know all the facts? What is good for the goose is good for the gander. I wish you, et al, would get off sociology and politics and lighten up the chatter.

          • Amen, prairie. Thought about posting something similar the first time I read Swampy’s remarks here, because as a native, Panhandle redneck, I was irked by his dismissal of the good country folk around Jax as ignorant hicks. Glad I didn’t now, since you said it much more eloquently and succinctly than I could’ve.

            Swampy, I read your explanation for your disdain of the Jax locals, and it’s a shame you had to experience that. But a little practice of your own preaching might help you avoid a broad brush insult and buy you a little good will here, if that’s of any concern to you.

    • Could it be the tutors passing the courses and not the players? What I’ve wondered about for quite a long time is how a kid from the less prosperous side of town can accumulate enough gold around his neck and in his teeth to pay off a large portion of our national debt. Not suggesting anything, just wondering.

      • And I often wonder why people are unfairly biased, judgmental, hateful, lack cultural understanding, and are often just ignorant of reality. But they now suddenly have no fear of freely expressing all of the above on the internet without the slightest pause or sense of decency. And feel free to take my post any way you prefer.

  2. I don’t agree with booing the players or coaches. But it’s peoples right to do so. So let them make their own choices. I think Franks just gave up his right to EVER complain about booing though. Taunting your own fans show just how inexplicably stupid this guy is. Who does that??? A LOT of people have gotten booed around here but who has responded like that? His excuse was that he’s a really “emotional” person. Well apparently the fans are really emotional fans. So he has nothing to complain about anymore. And it’s not like he went out and lit it up. He didn’t lose the game with his play but with only around 200 yds of offense, he certainly didn’t win it. He should be thanking his O line and running backs instead of taunting fans that the vast majority of were cheering him all along. It’s a minority of fans that boo. That dude is just dumb.

    • I agree. It looked arrogant by a guy who should be the most humble kid on the team. And you never draw a line in the sand with your fans. He has always played tough, but more heat than head. This exemplifies that. As for Del Rio, I think he’s trying to get a job with ESPN or trying to start a social media blog for a living cause he sure as hell won’t be playing or coaching.

    • LT. I do not enjoy posting on here much anymore because of people like you making personal and insulting attacks on kids playing college football. Just dumb.

      And by the way, Franks won the game on his fourth down run at the goal line and made multiple other key plays during the game. It was without a doubt the best game Franks has played at Florida, and particularly how he ran the ball with authority and conviction.

        • For what it’s worth, I agree 100% with LT on this one. Like LT said on another post, if you taunt your own fans, you got no right to complain about any booing or fan criticisms. Heck even Mullen said it was wrong. I posted after the game that I thought Franks played his best game, and was proud of his performance, albeit still unable to make a pass. Maybe we should stay an option/run team, whatever… But to taunt your own team, as an opposing player would do in an opponents stadium? That’s obviously dumb, and wrong. Now that I’ve had time for this to sink in, I’m glad Del Rio said what he said. Not because it’s classy or even helpful, but because it’s true. If Mullen would have started Franks over a healthy Trask, more than half the fans would have really turned on Mullen. That’s just a fact. Already too many empty seats. Do you want more? How’s that gonna affect recruiting?

    • Like it or not he’ll never be more than a mediocre college QB and he will never play pro football. Florida demands that their QB’s win games for them and that he does not. The game was won by an outstanding running back stable and an offensive line that dominated in the second half. When you are at a game you see he regularly doesn’t fine wide open receivers and misreads the coverage or just makes a poor decision. If Mullen could speak freely he would tell you about all the smoke and mirrors he uses to hide him. I would not be saying this aloud if he would not of acted out against his own fans during the game. Criticism comes with the game and if you want to pretend to be a big time college OB your gonna have to deal with it or just get a lot better and they will shut their mouths.

    • Right on LT/mkfgator… those fans booing in the stands paid damn good money for tickets and travel expenses which I’m sure SparkyGator & SwampyGator didn’t pay for… I personally don’t like the booing but have always said, it’s their right to do so…

    • ”(Booing) it’s peoples right to do so.”
      Respectfully, LT, as I enjoy your posts, it also the people’s right to RECOGNIZE these guys are busting their butts from 8 A.M. football meetings, and then thru academic classes all day, and then PRACTICE from 3-6 P.M., and then try to study academic work and/or practice and game film.
      Maybe after all that, try & relax, socialize for a couple hours, and then wake up and do all it over again the next day. Lastly, these scholarship and walk-on athletes are NOT getting paid big $$$!
      And paying GATOR BOOSTER PRICES, TIX PRICES, and the high costs of Gator gear doesn’t give anyone the RIGHT TO ”BOO A KID ON SCHOLARSHIP” (in my opinion). Boo the HELL OUT OF PRO PLAYERS! They’re getting into their Jags, Porsches, etc… and MILLION DOLLAR HOUSES. So save THE BOOS for the JAGS, BUCS, or DOPLPHINS! But these Gator players deserve nothing but CHEERS, and perhaps some constructive criticism here on message boards, etc…
      And thanks again LT for all your posts, I do enjoy reading them. GO GATORS! ”On to the goal we’ll fight our way for FLORIDA!”

  3. I find it interesting that there appears to be a number of fans who can dish it out but have a hard time handling it when they get it in return. If you boo a player, you have given up a right to criticize him if he proves you wrong and lets you know it. I’m not a fan of what Franks did. He would do better to encourage support rather than respond directly to the negativity. In terms of political expediency, that would do more to help others develop a better attitude toward him. On the other hand, I cannot say that I blame him or am bothered by it.

    • I agree also. Look, Franks is very flawed and perhaps doesn’t view himself as that flawed. But he is giving the Gators great effort and heart, and I believe is playing as well as he can. It is not his fault if there is not anyone else on the roster ready to take his place. Mullen is doing what he has to do.

    • Gators67. I agree. The fans that boo have no right to complain about what he did. It really shouldn’t even bother the ones who didn’t boo. But it shows he makes dumb decisions because it’s definitely not smart to taunt your own fans especially since most of them weren’t booing and he really doesn’t have a leg to stand on in the future if they boo because he’s in a peeing match with the fans now.

      • Concede the issue of rights on all sides, both fans and Franks — issue a written waiver if you want to. Gator fans booing a player who is playing to his best, and a Gator player who responds are both immature. That’s all there is to it, it’s over, we’ve enjoyed the diversion and now let’s move on.

      • I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just the booing he was shushing. The kid plays as hard as he’s capable of playing and does everything he can to try to win games and there’s nothing but hate and vitriol every second of the day on social media and every Gator forum there is about him. Try to set the criticism and hate aside for a second and put yourselves in his shoes and think about what you’d do under those same circumstances and emotions. LT I’ve seen you lash out several times, so that’s like the pot calling the kettle black. Yeah he probably shouldn’t have done it, but hard to blame him. I’d probably want to shush the fins with a big middle finger if I were in his place.

  4. I think the thing Gator fans need to remember about Franks is that this is really his first year of being the guy. Last year he was pulled by Mac every time he made a mistake if he had another quarterback available to go to. Lest we forget DelRio and Trask were injured all or part of the year and then he even went to Zaire who was such a good qb Notre Dame did not care if he left or not. Not only is it is first true year of being the starter, it is also his first year in a totally new offensive system with Mullen. Has he made some bad throws and made some bad decisions? Sure he has but what young qb doesn’t. Feleipe has the physical tools to be a good qb. He just needs some time to develop. If he battles during the off season to improve and comes out next fall as the starter I would expect to see some improvement. If he doesn’t then I am sure Mullen will go to another guy if one is better in practice. In the end, Coach Mullen is the one who sees these guys everyday in practice. I am sure if he had a better option available he would go to it. I think with the exception of the Missouri game, the Gators have been competitive in every game in the SEC. Given the last few years performances, I think the team has definitely taken a step forward. Now they just need to continue to improve and show they can play good on a consistent basis. Personally I am more worried about the back end of the defense than Franks. They just blew two coverages this week against South Carolina that resulted in touchdowns and did the same against Georgia. They just don’t seem well prepared at all on defense some times especially when teams go uptempo on them. But the defensive secondary is very thin with Marco being out for the year and these guys are young too. I just don’t think true fans should be booing the players when they are out there giving their best. But I understand the fans have the right to do so. Franks just needs to control the thinks he can and ignore all the outside noise.

    • We remember and we get reminded by coach every week. Ok. But we have been thru 9 1/2 yrs of bad QB play, which has been the difference between winning and losing most weeks. I still think he’s a C . But I would never boo a college player or my team. The student section sucks.

  5. Just curious LT, can you actually give a compliment when it’s due? Or you as a pathetic moron in real life as you are here? You were quick to snap at FF for not securing the ball or throwing a pick, neither of them happened. He played with fire inside him Saturday and that kid deserves credit and RESPECT!! Personally, your probably the guy CDM was talking about, your such the expert on college football. What do you have, 2 followers??? And your too dumb to follow anyone else. Experts dont go by W/L , they actually analyze and give credit when it’s due!!! Your opinion doesn’t even matter nor does anyone care what you even say. You have been so far off base all season with your BS!! Your about as pathetic as your posts are!! Just calling it as I see it, sorry if you just cant handle being WRONG!!!

  6. Very happy with the win, hats off to Franks and Chauncey Gardner…however, before you players start crowing about competing, they need to watch their performance against Mizzou. They did not compete, and played like they did not want to be on the field. Sometimes getting called out hurts…gut check for the players…

  7. Those who preach tolerance are the first ones that don’t tolerate a different opinion. Case in point all the name calling and vitriol towards LT.
    The only thing he did wrong was to call Franks dumb. The rest of it was his opinion and much of what he said I agree with.
    Fans have a right to boo when exposed to more incompetence at QB.
    Franks has a right to shush the crowd after his TD run, it’s only human to feel thst way. But not the second time, by that time no one was booing he needs to move on. The second time makes him look dumb and petty. That’s what LT should have said, not that Franks is dumb but his actions make him look dumb.
    The kid had a good game with tons of effort and powerful running. Kudos.
    He still can’t complete a foreard pass, and that is what a QB is expected to do.
    Go Gators and hoping to get a real QB by next season cause I understand we have to go with Franks the rest of this season

    • CO Jones. I’ve been saying on just about every topic we talk about on here that a lot of the people on here are way too emotional, react on that emotion instead of logic, and are largely hypocrites. Glad someone else recognizes that.

    • What id like to know is where is ARNOLD FELECIANO now? He warned me not long ago for calling people some of the same things these people call me even though they were saying those things about me to begin with. Now, they are at it again. But I still see no ARNOLD FELECIANO. Where ya at Arnie?? You said people were supposed to be respectful and civil to one another on here. I guess that only applies to some people. Lol

      • LT: Sorry for not being on this board 24-7, just have other things going on in my life, especially on a Sunday. And an NFL Sunday at that. I read back on some of the posts of readers commenting on what you wrote. Didn’t seem as bad as you are letting on. You kind of started it by calling Franks dumb and they in turn called you the same. Again, folks on this board, let’s cut out the name-calling. Heck, LT, you are on here wanting to fight folks. I don’t think Wisconsin Gator is the same guy you had an earlier spat with. This goes for everyone, keep the discussion civil. Thank you.

        • Sure bro. Calling someone dumb for taunting their own fan base is the same as random people calling me things like a “pathetic moron” just because they don’t like my opinion. Very similar. And it’s nice that you point out that it’s the exact same person that was doing it before. And yet you still defend him and do nothing. Does he say good things about you? Stroke your ego from time to time? Make you feel good about yourself? So then you just let him do whatever he wants? Even other posters on here are calling him out for saying what he did. But yeah, it’s all very similar. Wow.

          • Actually you are wrong again LT! SwampyGator is the old Tampagator. It appears there are multiple people that you seem to start fights with. And Arnold was exactly right, you started it again by calling OUR qb dumb. Seems hypocritical to let it bother you to be called the same.

        • “Didn’t seem as bad as you are letting on”. What was I “ letting on”? All I said is that I got warned by you for posting stuff like was being posted here. This message board is kind of like the Gainesville Sun as a whole. A joke ran by biased people.

        • And I’ll tell you something else Arnie, I’ve never said a thing about fighting. Once again you act just like WisconsinGator/ TampaGator. He did the same thing a couple weeks ago. When I told him to meet me and say it face to face, he started talking about fighting. It’s not about fighting and I never said anything about fighting or violence at all. It’s about having the stugots to say something to someone’s face. Because you don’t know what the consequences may be if you say something to someone’s face. So he wouldn’t ever be man enough to do it. Hiding behind a keyboard and knowing there are no consequences is easy. Anyone can do that. But do you think that jerkoff would say that to mine or anyone else’s face? I promise that dude has never called ANYONE a “pathetic moron “ to their face. And never would. That’s the point I’m making about meeting and saying it to my face. It’s not about fighting. It’s about being a man.

          • Arnie, I was man enough to call Reche Caldwell dumb to his face at a social gathering where he was acting like an idiot. Think I would do any different with Franks?? Apparently people like you and your little couple buddies on here apparently would be scared to say something to someone’s face that others must be scared too. Not all of us pee down our legs in a confrontation my friend. Working ten years face to face with literally some of the most violent and evil people in the world, as I have, will do that for you. I look in the eyes of people that your mullet wrapper paper just write stories about. You wouldn’t know anything about that

          • LT: Way to take the discussion from a 1 to Defcon 5 quick. When Sun sports staffers write or say something about players, coaches or athletic directors, we get the opportunity to see them again during the next media availability or in the course of doing our jobs. There’s been times coaches and ADs have threatened us. It comes with the territory. So, no, we don’t pee down our leg in a confrontation. My point is don’t call someone a name on here and not expect someone else to do the same to you, but then want me to silence them or block them from the site because they did. Except for some media types on here, I don’t know or communicate with a “couple buddies” on here. At times you bring up good points about the UF program and support your opinion with facts. But you can’t get all wound up if someone disagrees with it. I don’t know what’s so hard about being civil and respectful of others for those few on site who aren’t. I guess I’ll have to police this thing tighter. And, LT, how can one wrap mullet with a computer?

          • LT — if that’s where you’re coming from, I can identify since I have a background that includes forensics and corrections too, particularly with some infamous names you’d recognize as well. Now just switch gears — switch environments, that’s all. Don’t have to confront everyone even if they front you off first!

          • You got the right string, LT, but the wrong yo-yo. Wisconsin Gator is not the culprit you seek, that would be SwampyGator. Tampa only posts occasionally now under that new screen name and does not appear interested in stirring the pot these days, so you are pissing up a rope on that front.

            The rest of us are not your enemies — the majority anyway — so you can tone it down too. I’d suggest too that you don’t attack Arnold, although you probably have a point, since you’re not going to find an overall more fair moderator than him anywhere. You make good points and get into interesting discussions, bud…..don’t let the wailing of the rhetoric get you off course!

          • Hey Sly — at four days older than the dirt around here, how do you know I’m not Methuselah? 😀

            Nice screen picture…..fits perfectly! Man, between Jaws, Joe Shiver, and now you, I’ve got to get on the ball and see if I can do better than Rocky Marne — guess I’ll have to wait tho until my daughter visits again so she can learn me how all over.

  8. LDR is trying to build an audience as a commentator, he might well be the next jesse palmer, kevin carter, and many other really good commentators our program has produced.
    strictly speaking his comment wasnt anti franks, it was deleted when it got out of control quickly, and the ldr i follow is a true gator100% and no dummy. also, as he implied, there seemed to be even more empty seats against south carolina, a lot of people were down on franks, rightly or wrongly. this whole thing is being corrected by Franks really reaching down and proving to the fans that he is better than they think, which he did, which is the best thing for all of us, ldr included.
    and all but the best of us have said or thought something that didnt work out as planned. also, sometimes there gets to be comments used to fuel themselves, whether its social media, bulletin board, or some small slight no one else even saw. i guess so long as that stays within productive and healthy space, thats not necessarly a bad thing, but if a controversial comment is used as an excuse to do bad things, that is not good and not defensible.
    CDM’s point that social media is best used by professionals or just for entertainment is fair. ELon Musk, a near national hero, is in big trouble for getting a word wrong in a post. Building a brand through social media is for professionals and these kids are still amateurs.
    Anyway, lets hope this is all a big nothingburger. If Franks keeps making the lives of opposing defensive backs miserable things are going to be a lot different anyway, in fact, i think they are already different, all in one week.

  9. As much grief the fans have given to him, myself included, it probably felt good to him to give some back. You know get it off his shoulder. I say good for him, but now he has to back it up. After what I saw him do on saturday, it shows what kind of quarterback he could or can be. I hope this is the start of something good.

  10. Does Franks have the “it factor”? That’s the $60,000 question at a proud university with statues of three Heisman quarterbacks in front of its stadium. The Gators are not shy of talent. Hopefully after Saturday’s impressive comeback, recruiting will light up the future for a bright conclusion to Mullen’s first year.

    • I think the actual question, prairie, is will Franks ever get the “it” factor? He’s got a long leash, so Mullen may think so (and that’s all that really counts anyway). But the competition for his job will probably get better too, so time may actually run out for him.

    • prairie, that is the question, and I think it will be answered by Franks’ success, or lack thereof, in throwing the football. He deserves a lot of credit for running the ball hard on Saturday, but the passing must improve. You can win games against middle-of-the-road SEC teams by just running the ball, but you won’t win championships without a competent passer. You need only look as far as Bama to see that. They lost to Clemson, and were headed to defeat against UGA because of Hurts’ inability to throw the ball, but they were bailed out by Tua’s arm. I hope Franks, Trask, or one of the Joneses (Jones?) can become that competent passer, because while it’s nice to win 9 or 10 games with a run dominated offense, I don’t think it will get the Gators where they (and we) want to be.

    • You really should t try to use facts and logic on here. It’s not well received. And since Wisconsin Gator/ TampaGator already said Franks won the game and said if you don’t believe that then you are wrong, the it’s basically law on here. And if you don’t like it, Arnold Feleciano will put you in your place.

        • Gator 6. I’m pretty much just flat tired of trying to have logical conversations on here so I just don’t care to anymore. I’m going to just roam around here and make over the top comments on here like so many others. It seems to be what Feliciano defends so I’ll just join the crowd.

          • Oh balls — you do that and you’ll lose all credibility just like those who do that. Let the dead bury their own dead….just lose the edge and stay on target! Every thing doesn’t have to be a fight, sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield — just the way it is outside.

      • LT, I’ve agreed with much of what you’ve posted recently, especially about comparing CDM to Mac by looking at this season vs. last season. This year’s team has had advantages over last year’s team other than CDM. They didn’t start a redshirt freshman at QB, they didn’t open with a tough power 5 team, they didn’t lose a tune-up/recover-from-a-loss game to a hurricane, and they didn’t suffer a debilitating mass suspension that cost them their most productive running back and wide receiver just before the opener. In his first season, Mac did the same thing Mullen has done: take inherited players and win when the previous coach couldn’t win with them. That said, I do think CDM has done a very good job with Franks in trying to develop him. While Franks may not have won the game by himself on Saturday, his strong running made a major contribution to the victory. I agree that it wasn’t the smartest move to taunt your own fans when most of them probably were not booing, but you might want to consider a little more tact in the way you express it….or not.

        • Forgot to mention another obvious advantage of this year’s team, and that is they didn’t have to deal with the mid-season loss of their HC due to bizarre circumstances. Of course, Mac brought that on himself and the team with the unsubstantiated death threats claim.

  11. Franks’ biggest crime is that he’s Doug Johnson/Jeff Driskel and not Danny Wuerffel/Rex Grossman.
    In their SOPH seasons, Johnson’s QB rating was 135.0 and Driskel’s was 132.2. Franks’ is 134.8.
    Wuerffel was up at 151.3. Grossman 170.8.

    Since Franks can run effectively (with too many fumbles), he’s more of a Driskel. So the biggest difference I see between the 2018 Gators and the 2012 squad is the defense. 2012’s defense was elite. This year’s is not. If you want someone to blame, look at the other side of the ball and let Franks be what he is.

    • These are very interesting stats comparing Franks to some past QBs. Franks also had less QB coaching than Johnson or Driskel prior to arriving at UF. And it appears that he did not have great coaching before this year even at UF. This leads me to think that those who claim to know that Franks has reached his ceiling are not reliable judges. To be honest, I already doubt the insight of such anonymous claims, as contributions in forums such as this are, but this increases my sense that these so-called experts are unreliable guides.

    • I have to agree, 67…..he’s way too young and way too inexperienced yet to even be talking about “ceilings”. To speculate is one thing, to declare is yet another. That said, AfroMan provides some interesting stats and makes some interesting points above in his conclusion.

    • Thank you for the perspective through stats. Franks is comparable to Doug Johnson, who also had the big arm. His running style reminds me of Driskel. He is not the cerebral QB like Weurffel, who would release the ball before his receivers reached their intended spot. However, I disagree that we have not begun to see the ceiling for him. I do agree that he may have received poor coaching and development from high school through the former coaching under McElwain. However, he has been in the new system for almost a complete year. The question is how has he progressed through the season. It should be starting to slow down for him. He should begin to understand where the open receiver should be based on the defense’s look. While Franks’ arm talent is undeniable, I am beginning to see stalled progress on reading defenses. He still misses wide open receivers and throws into double or even triple coverage frequently. He rarely has consistent success throwing over the middle of the field. Occasionally he does throw a beautiful dart like to Swain in the Vandy game that you just have to sit back and say wow. In order for the Gators to be successful under Franks he needs to continue to put maximum effort into his running game like he did for USC. He needs to use that big body to punish defenders. Somebody earlier said it best, he needs to be a “winning” runner, not a “willing” runner.

      • While I agree with most of your assessment, what is your opinion on the qb at MSU. He has regressed immensely since Mullen left, and yet he has been in his new offense for a year too. I’m not sure any of us Monday morning QBs understand what all goes into being a great college qb.

        • I don’t follow MSU football so I don’t have a lot of facts or a strong opinion on his play this year. How many yards rushing does he have? How many yards passing? Based on a limited sample watching him play against Florida, Alabama, LSU and Kentucky, I would say Fitzgerald’s strength is his running, not his passing. I believe Joe Morehead may have originality designed his offense around asking Fitzgerald to pass more. However, starting in the Kentucky game he appeared to play to Fitzgerald’s strength and run more.

          Regardless, I trust Dan Mullen to know best when it comes to who plays and the strategy to win the game. He is already showing he is not the typical stubborn coach who doesn’t change strategy or players when it isn’t working. It is refreshing to hear the post-game on how he knows the definition of insanity. The proof is how Florida plays offense after halftime compared to how they start games. I also like how Mullen’s play calling is based on the strengths of his players.

          My comments arethat we may be beginning to see the ceiling on Franks based on his progress during the course of the season, and what Franks needs to do to maximize the upside of the team in general. He needs to play with emotion and use that big body to knock people down when he runs. Other QBs have had similar time/experience at other programs and shown more consistent progress in their development of reading defenses and improving their passing game. I am not saying that we have a better option or that Franks’ development was hurt by previous coaching.

  12. My feelings on Foley, Muschchamp, McElwain, etc. will never effect my being 100% Gator! I am 100% behind Mullen because he is our coach NOW. If we somehow win the last 2 games, and then win a January Bowl game, we will probably finish this season in the top 10. Hopefully that will lead to a top ranked recruiting class and lots of success in the future. And that should be something that all of us can agree on.
    Go Gators! Peel them taters this week 😁

  13. I am trying to start a thread on “Why Florida has not been elite team for the last 10 years?” Also, as a corollary, what is it going to take to bring Florida back to elite status as defined by being a consistent contender for SEC and National Championships. It is awaiting a moderator. Hopefully, it will be up soon. I would like to hear other opinions in a civilized manner without past prejudices/comments degrading the discussion into name calling. Was it the funk left by Urban Meyer, Foley’s coaching selection, the coaches themselves, resources provided by the Athletic Department or something else. Bring facts to support your argument!