Practice will help determine starter at QB, Mullen says

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Florida backup quarterback Kyle Trask looks downfield to make a pass in the second half Saturday against Missouri at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Feleipe Franks was jeered repeatedly throughout Florida’s 38-17 Homecoming loss Saturday to Missouri, with his rough night ending as Kyle Trask’s night began.

Trask would finish with a 10-for-18 line with 126 passing yards and a touchdown after entering the game with five minutes left in the third quarter. When all was said and done, Trask’s production had eclipsed that of Franks’ — in less time than the redshirt sophomore had, too.

For the second straight week, the Gators had brought in a different quarterback when the team seemingly struggled to catch fire.

And once again it was a signal-caller buried behind Franks on the depth chart who was sparking the UF offense.

After the game, coach Dan Mullen ignored any notion that a quarterback controversy was afoot. Instead, Mullen, who has frequently appeared to have his finger on the pulse of UF’s offense this season, indicated the insertion of Trask wasn’t a permanent shift.

“Same (plan) as it’s been all year. We’ll see. We weren’t moving the ball very well. I don’t blame a lot of that (on Feleipe). Feleipe missed a throw or two, but he’s also getting hit. We’ve got guys wide open, and I’m looking like ‘What’s going on?’ and then all the sudden the ball sails and I’ll jump on him and there he is with three guys being pulled off the top of him,” Mullen said. “We’ll see how they perform this week. If there’s a drastic change, we’ll make a change. If not, we’ll play with who’s going to give us the best chance to win.”

Those in attendance seemed to express more confidence in Trask, despite the result all but confirmed in the fourth quarter. Franks, who had been booed for much of the contest after completing just four of his first 14 passes, watched as Trask completed four of his first five passing attempts. Trask’s first drive ended in a seven-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hammond — UF’s lone passing touchdown of the afternoon.

Mullen repeated the claim, however, that the Gators would determine who starts in practice rather than rushing to make a decision in the heat of the moment. Ultimately, a personnel change at the quarterback position will demand scrutiny and raise questions — Mullen and the Gators understand the inquiries, and appear prepared for whichever outcome occurs.

“We were behind and I wanted to try and do something different, you know what I mean? What we were doing wasn’t working. What we were doing wasn’t working, right, and the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and hoping it works, there’s a change,” Mullen said. “We also put in Dameon Pierce on that drive, but Jordan Scarlett and (Lamical) Perine are still going to play too. So, we put in Dameon Pierce and run right down the field and score. So I just think that other position just gets a lot more attention obviously than the running back position.”

51 COMMENTS

  1. CDM is starting to sound like Coach Jim McElwain. What does practice have to do with anything at this point? You have to play who gives you the best chance to win the game, not who looks best in practice. In the early season, without game experiences to go on, you go off practice. Now, you go with your best option to win the game. Choose who that is and go with him.

    • I think Mullen was secretly plotting to lose this game on purpose. Now hear me out…if we had gone 10-2, we would be playing a bowl game against a very good team. If we go 9-3 or 8-4, we will play a team that we have better chances of beating. This will ensure that CDM’s first year bowl game will be victorious. This is the only logically determined conclusion that I could be at ease with. This makes sense to me and it paves the way for CDM to start his QB next season. I turned the game off after it was 14 – 3. I continued to record it, but after I saw the final score I deleted it. I am a GATOR fan, but this losing is too much for my getting old heart. So I think from now on – I will record the game and only watch it if we win. That will help keep my blood pressure down and keep me from looking for my nitro pills…LOL! GO GATORS!!!

      • That is the stupidist thing I think Ive ever read on here. If Mullen intentionally lost a game he should be fired. Any coach that would let his players down like that, hurting their careers in the long run, setting up his team to possibly lose more with the mindset that comes with, losing a game you should have won, wouldnt be worth anything as a coach and would have NO integrity! That is NOT our coach!

        • Daz – you must be young if I have to explain the meaning of what I wrote above. I will not explain it as I know it speaks for itself. I suggest you read the top six lines – several times if you must – until you can read between the lines. I will give you a hint. I wrote my statement in such a way as to keep from bashing any player while interjecting my style of humor. I would bet that you are quick to respond to all of the posts that you read without fully understanding what the post is all about. I will not dumb down my responses for anyone, so I am prepared to quip with anyone! GO GATORS!!!
          PS – look up the definition of QUIP.

          • 😉
            Ed — if you look at the time of night Daz is posting, you realize he must be on a caffiene rush to still be awake. At least in this old fart’s opinion, anyway. I don’t think he meant to be so abrasive, especially with you since you are consistently on target.

            To hell with the nitro — just keep passing the Lisinopril and HCTZ! Especially if we’ve got more games in store like the last one. 😢

    • I think Coach has let that QB Whisperer title cloud his judgement and has kept him from switching to someone else to take the job. It appears obvious to me that Felipe has had PLENTY of time to prove his worth and made the necessary adjustments to be a better than descent QB in this league. I personally don’t think he has what it takes, BUT as ALL of you know I’m not a coach of any kind . This is just my opinion, and I think its time for someone else to TRY. This is week 8 -9 whatever if it hasn’t sunk in yet, do we sacrifice the entire remainder of the season to find out if he’s going to get it? I hear what coach is saying about the O-line and they are NOT good but he has had time to throw and the results are the same over-throw ? Under-throw. Then the decision making, that shuttle pass when he and Skarlett (?) were going to the right and he could see the (2) defenders standing there waiting on the shuttle pass and he pitched it anyway. We can do better.

  2. Pardon my f word don’t block me bro but is this a f-**king joke ? Practice will determine starting qb ?? Is there a practice drill that simulate randomly fumbling without reason and staring at the dB to casually lob a free int at them??? Because I’ve long known what franks will do on gameday I’ve bwen since spring. Ball confident trask would win us more games cause I just highly doubt there is another qb on roster that’s as god awful as Felipe and turns ball over, franks is throwing for 100 yards a game it isn’t like he’s turning it over 3 x but also putting up 200+ yard passing days he’s throwing for 100 any d 1 qb can and should do that at minimum honestly what’s the point now though we can’t even go to a bcs bowl which we were in line to do just win again all against teams with no winning record without leaving state of Florida now it’s citrus bowl ceiling and I ain’t interested no more it’s over this season was once again a complete waste despite all the promise . These players wander around campus game week like it’s all just for fun u don’t see Sabans team acting like this talking bout how they thought easy win I’ve had it I’m not sure this program can even be saved anymore

  3. I’m not at practice and I’m not an elite football coach, so I can’t dispute what the coaching staff is seeing in practice. But I was in the Swamp this afternoon and I can tell you what I saw there…..Trask was more than up for the task and Franks was not. No ifs, ands, or buts. No excuses. Trask was an accurate passer and Franks was not.

    Trask may not be a “willing runner” but at this point in time I’m not sure why that matters. Franks is a willing runner but not an effective runner. Drew Lock ran twice I think and only as a change of pace when no one was expecting it. He didn’t need to be. His arm was all he needed.

    Kyle….. please have a good week in practice so that you can get the start and everyone can really see what you can (or can not?) do.

    • I trust CDM but hope his ego / pride / stubbornness isn’t skewing his judgement. I’m no expert either (far far from it) but I was at the game and noticed a few things too:

      1. The fan base and team were definitely energized by inserting Trask. A half empty stadium was louder for him than at any point for Franks. I’m not a proponent of booing your own team but Franks was going in reverse for most of the game.

      2. All the pressure that CDM said Franks was dealing with Trask dealt with too. He just handled it better…much better. Trask was running for his life out there behind a line that had seemingly quit.

      3. Secondly to above, he handled the pressure by making quick, decisive and correcs decisions with accurate throws that resulted in big gain after big gain.

      4. Trask may not win any foot races but he squares his shoulders and runs with intent. He won’t be confused with Tebow but I think he’ll be able to get some yards. Franks runs like a skittish dear and even my grandma knows he isn’t going to keep the ball on the speed option.

      I have been on Franks’ bandwagon all year because of my faith in CDM but I’m definitely starting to waiver after what I saw in person tonight.

    • Well said. But what really makes me mad, aside from the fact that I’ve been preaching the need to give Trask a shot all season, is that we could have been a really explosive offense all year, and beat Georgia and Missouri, imo, with a true passing threat from Trask to balance the running attack. A darn shame. I like Mullen, but his stubbornness really hurt us on this call. And the Franks loving fan base on this board has been a real pain in the you know what…Glad to see some are finally starting to see the light. Got Trask. Go Gators!

      • Ive been pointing out on here since last years spring game when Trask had 1 opportunity behind the #1 offense vs #2defense that Franks had been behind all game and couldnt do anything, Trask drove right down and scored just like in this game. since then i have repeated that over and over here, that he won that spring game yet Yellow teeth proclaimed Franks the winner and QB starter and the fawning sports writers here nodded in approval. We could have had 2 good years with Trask! A much more accurate passer. We dont need another runner, we have 3 good ones we need a passer!

  4. Trask outperformed Franks in the game. Franks looked pretty awful in two games. Coach Mullen is making excuses for Franks. Not good. You get the job done on game day or next man up. Simple. If you’re not improving, no time to keep messing around. Especially not if you’re going backwards. Not if you have decent options. Like you said coach, it’s crazy “to keep doing the same thing over and over if it’s not working.” So make the change.

  5. Coach Mullen needs to say we don’t have much talent at quarterback and we will try everyone in the damn game to see who is a winner. Sit Franks. We all know he can’t run. He can’t pass. He can’t read defenses. He can’t throw a catchable pass. Coach Mullen all of the alum at Florida groaned last year. Maybe you should study Franks film from last year. But if you must. Use Florida for the paycheck. Go with franks and in three years you will be fired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Franks has improved since last year but that isn’t saying much. His development this year has stalled. It appears he has reached his ceiling. It would be great to see more of Trask to begin evacuating him for next year. However as bad as Franks played, what the heck happened to the rest of the upperclassmen. Did Polite and Jefferson go into Witness Protection? I don’t recall a single mention of their names during the broadcast of Georgia or Mizzou. Zuniga was MIA. The senior laden O-Line played pathetic. The usually reliable running game was inconsistent at best. It’s time to flush out the remains of the McElwain era and start playing with the future.

    • I agree with the last sentence of your comments. We’ve talked for a long time on this forum about the culture change needed in this program and for the most part we all have agreed that it is a long, probably 3-4 year process to “flush” out the old culture and install a new one. Yes, there are obviously still a few players still on the roster who have the old McElwain mentality. Until they or their influence is gone, it will be an uphill battle to get TOTAL buy-in on how to win. Don’t give up CDM!!!

    • Mexigator…the defense was blown off the ball as was the offensive line. 11 was back to running out of his gaps…safeties in particular blew assignments. We got busted in the teeth in the trenches. I kept saying that they are “sneaky” physical…and for whatever reason we do not get up for these guys.

  7. The Yips?

    Watching Franks these past two weeks I keep thinking about Chuck Knoblauch. He was a very good player, but got the Yips and couldn’t throw with any accuracy. Franks looks to me like he’s got the yips. Even taking out plays where he was under a lot of pressure, when he had time and wide open receivers he hurled the ball over their heads or into the turf more regularly than he threw it to them. Danielson talked about how he thought Franks was aiming the ball, which suggests yips-like anxiety issues.

    Once an athlete gets the yips it is very hard for them to get out, and I am not sure anyone knows how to do it other than work on it day by day and maybe see a sports psychologist. Since anxiety and stress trigger the yips, it is very possible a player might throw well in practice where they don’t feel the same emotional pressure and then yip it up when they get in front of a stadium of people, not to mention TV cameras everywhere. So, the same guy who looks solid in practice can’t hit the side of a barn in a live game.

    I am not saying any of this to bash Franks, but only offering a possible explanation for what seems an inexplicable decay in his performance. As for the rest of the team, they could also probably use a sports psychologist, but not for the yips. They need it for the yops (You Only Play Selfishly).

    https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/5-worst-cases-of-yips-in-baseball3.htm

  8. If he starts Franks next week, we should realize that this whole coaching situation isn’t going to end well. The team has demonstrated that it can’t win a shoot out. It’s almost impossible to win without a positive turnover margin. It’s hard to score when they don’t start within 50 yards of the goal line.

    If Franks starts, CDM is conceding that he can’t develop the qbs on the roster because the guy he’s choosing can’t complete many passes 2 yards beyond the LOS and can’t read coverages. That’s even scarier considering CDM is definitely not an elite recruiter.

    I honestly think we have an endemic problem with our program with the season ending at the UGA game and the upperclassmen packing it in looking to the pros. We’ve lost a total of 6 games over the last 4 years before the UGA game. It doesn’t even matter if we beat UGA or not. The after results are pretty much the same. Upperclassmen teaching underclassmen bad traits. When you have juniors seriously leaving for the NFL and they haven’t done a thing at UF, I don’t think you can give them an option. Just say good luck and good bye. No option.

    • I absolutely believe we have the right coach. It was always going to take time to clean up the wreckage left behind by Captain Yellow Teeth, and that especially means the bad attitudes among some of the upper class men.

      Those toxic babies will be leaving due to graduation, and Mullen will be recruiting MEN with good work ethics who will come in to build a winning culture. As for the dead space you mention talking NFL even though they never did anything but stink it up in college– I agree with you. Good riddance. Don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out.

      Right now we have a team with too many thumb-sucking little babies. But as we get more and more real men, we will see more consistent play and WINS.

  9. What a lot lot doubt and upsetting about the loss. Look at Nebraska and UCLA and with new coaches having a lot of losses. I think we would do great if we only lost 3 games with first year coach Dan Mullin. He will get good recruits and our second season will be outstanding I predict. Hopefully he will let Trask run the offense for the rest of the season. He getting thrown in the game for the first time shows he is a very good QB. I think the team will reunite with his leadership. Against Missouri, the defense had no time to rest with Franks 3 and outs. All the commentators on TV have said there is a problem at QB and hopefully that will be resolved next week

  10. As I have been saying since before the start of the season,Emory Jones should be playing QB at Florida. It’s the logical call and I’m surprised that pretty much everyone else doesn’t see it this way.think about it. Franks has made it obviously clear that he is not a good QB , and I’m being nice here. Dan Mullen was brought in because of his ability to coach up QB’s . The QB whisperer if you will. His prototype qb is one that can run and throw , is very athletic etc. This was going to be a a year that he gets a pass regardless of the outcome as it’s year 1. He inherited Franks and Trask but he recruited Emory Jones because he posses the attributes that he looks for in a QB. So why the hell isn’t he in there playing and learning the position during Mullen’s free pass year? There simply is no excuse for it. If he’s such an incredible developer of raw talent why isn’t he doing so with Jones. Please don’t anybody say it has to do with red-shirting because that’s simply BS. If we can’t recruit better QB’s and are forced to live with what we have on the current roster for the next 4 years then Mullen won’t even be here by the end. The play calling was atrocious yesterday because the coach is trying to call plays around a guy that doesn’t fit his offensive philosophy. If Jones was the QB the entire offensive playbook would be different with RPO’s forcing the defense to account for the QB etc. At least we would be seeing the product that Mullen was brought in here to produce and not some adjustment to what he inherited. When Jones announced that he was not going to MSU and was following Mullen to UF I fully expected that he would be the starter from day 1 as there was really nothing to lose in doing so. What is the point of trying to force a square peg (franks) into a round hole (mullin’s offense)? is there anyone out there that thinks there is the slightest chance of developing a championship team with Franks as the QB? what happens this year wasn’t and isn’t important. Mullen could be showing all the potential high school QB’s what to expect from him and UF by having Jones in the game ,what the offense could look like if they were the future QB because even if Jones doesn’t pan out they could at least see the vision. Now the vision is the bottom of a septic tank.

    • There is a good reason most intelligent coaches dont start freshmen QB’s. There is a tremendous amount of information to learn and digest to play QB at this level. Throw a freshman out there who isnt ready and you can ruin him and his confidence. It was clear to all football intellects that when jones came in he didnt know what he was doing even after this long in the season and made mental errors in the few plays he ran. Put a guy like that in full time and soon he would just be running for his life because the game is just too fast for him since its clear he doesnt know the playbook yet. Plus it severely limits the plays a coach can call with a QB that doesnt know the playbook fully. By next year he will be a much different player, he will know the playbook and the speed of the game will have slowed down alot!

  11. Felipe Franks is not the answer and maybe the answer is not yet on the team. However, you have to have a spark on offense and Franks isn’t delivering. He has always had a problem seeing the plays develop and seeing the open receiver. Certainly we don’t have a great line and our backs at times can’t find the wide open hole instead running for 3 yards but the quarterback directs the offense.

    Regarding the selection of the quarterback this week, I agree with many that you have to go with who is performing best in a game not necessarily who practices the best. Practice is not against a great defense and there is no crowd or opposing coaching scheme to deal with. Spurrier recognized this and pulled guys quickly if he saw nothing happening. I think he did well with quarterbacks overall.

  12. Coach, give me a break! I have not been to practice, is Franks that much better than Trask? Come game day he looks like a high school QB trying to do what he is not ready to do yet! Hope the coaching staff can light a fire under the O line and the [use to be nasty] D line. If the seniors will not play go to next man up! Gators fight to the end no quitting!

  13. I saw three things in the game we could see coming games ago. First, Franks can’t thromany non-line drive type passes. Trask can and he did on that 30 yard completion. Second, our pash rush has been non-existent the last two games.And it has to be good for reason number three. Third, our secondary is overrated in terms of coverage. We have let guys run wide open all year long and I’ve just closed our eyes to it because we have made some big plays either sacking the quarterback or making an interception. We are a big play defense. But, when you get practitioners and technicians like From and Lock Who will not make many mistakes, you better cover. I saw that coming in the LSU game. I do not blame Mullen for giving Franks A chance to prove himself. The dude is 6’5″ tall and weighs 240 pounds I can throw the ball from one end of the field or the other.You have to work with him and give him a chance. He has gotten good coaching and been given a chance. He is just not that good and it is time to give another quarterback a chance. Missouri was a bad matchup for us. If we played them five times, we would probably lose at least four. We can talk about attitude and bad apples all we want, but we have to have guys in there who play better.we will and I have confidence in our coach.

  14. SOS once said he worried that his team had “peaked”. I think the LSU game we peaked and are a downward spiral. All this started at Vandy and has gotten worse since. I’ll give CDM a break and agree that several times(4 maybe5) Frank’s had to throw on the run or got hit as he threw it. The Oline was more pathetic than the Dline and CJ got burned a few times so no excuse with talent. The team as a whole looked flat and drained. Unsure what the real answer for the poor play was because this loss was NOT caused by 1 player. This game was lost by several players who underestimated a good UM team. Yes,I said good!! They lost to UGA and Bama, the other 2 losses came on last play of the game. Don’t be a fool and take anything away from UM. UF should have played their A game and instead thought they could whip a 4 loss team not thinking who they lost too. And please dont think USC will be a push over game too because they are pretty good too. Anyone who thinks our losses came at the hands of bad teams should quit watching football right now. Every post I have read makes me wonder if I’m reading and yes most of you are guilty, ALL of you were singing a different tune while we were winning!!! Yet when we lose your quick to jump ship and trash talk CDM. Everyone knew this is a transition year and it’s your own stupidity that made you believe we are better than we are!! Not trying to offend anyone but dam, STAND PROUD TO BE A GATOR!!!!!! GooooooooGators!!!!!

      • Daz – you missed the point again my friend. If you reread that post by Wisconsin Gator, you should be able to read that they are referring to those on here that were all cheers for the GATORS when we were winning, but are now jeering since the losing and blaming the same people on the team that they were cheering for before. You just misunderstood what they were trying to convey. You will gain more prospective if you were to expand your understanding and quit looking at things being either black or white. One of my favorite words in the English language is the word “variable.” There can be many variables involved in every situation in life, and it will help to be able to see the “gray area” in every issue. I am earnestly trying to help you and not bashing you. Just like my comment to you earlier. GO GATORS!!!