Andreu’s Answers: Big-production game by design

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Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) throws the ball during the annual Orange and Blue Spring Football Game on Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville April 13, 2019. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Before every game, veteran college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here are the answers from Saturday’s spring game:

1. Will quarterback Feleipe Franks’ strong spring be reflected in his play?

It most definitely was. Franks has had an outstanding spring and is clearly way ahead of where he was a year ago, and even last season. Not only has he grown comfortable in the offense, he’s also improved his decision making and accuracy. He was extremely sharp in leading the Orange to a 60-35 win, throwing for 327 yards and four touchdowns. And the lone negative on his stat line was intentional — the interception by former UF cornerback Lito Sheppard in the second half. Take that play away, and Franks completed 13 of his 17 pass attempts — and those four misses were not far off.

2. Who plays better, Kyle Trask or redshirt freshman Emory Jones?

The two were pretty even, but what separated them was one very bad decision by Trask, who threw an ill-advised pass in the flat that defensive back John Huggins intercepted and returned 80 yards for a touchdown early in the game. Other than that, Trask and Jones both played well. Trask threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while Jones threw for 117 yards and two scores and also had a 28-yard run. The competition for the No. 2 spot will carry over to preseason camp.

3. How big of a factor will all the inexperience among the offensive linemen be?

It really wasn’t much of a factor at all because the defenses were limited to a vanilla game plan that featured few blitzes and stunts. So, the young guys, including four true freshmen, did OK. Both lines gave the quarterbacks enough time to inflict a lot of damage in the passing game. But like coach Dan Mullen said after the game, the offensive front has a long way to go before it’s ready to start competing in the SEC.

4. Will any of the early enrollees stand out?

Four started the game: Ethan White and Kingsley Eguakun for the Orange and Michael Tarquin and Mohamoud Diabate for the Blue. But two who didn’t start — cornerback Chris Steele and linebacker Jesiah Pierre — seemed to stand out a little bit. Steele, who showed steady improvement throughout the spring, had a tackle and broke up two passes, while Pierre recovered a fumble. Offensive lineman Will Harrod also played. 

5. Can the offenses generate some explosive plays against defenses that likely will be limited in the number of blitzes and stunts?

This actually became the storyline of the game. The defense was limited to playing four basic coverages and the offense took full advantage of knowing which plays were going to work against certain looks. The result was a bounty of big, explosive plays. The Orange team, led by Franks, had passing plays of 69, 65, 61, 41 and 40, along with a 34-yard run by true freshman quarterback Jalon Jones. The Blue team, led by Trask and Jones, produced plays of 54, 35, 35, 26 and 18 yards. So, it was a big-play day — by design.

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

4 COMMENTS

  1. Too funny 6. I agree, the OL has work to do but I think they all have work to do. But last year we had guys hurt on the OL and that hurt us going into fall camp and season. While the defense scheme allowed the offense to shine (in the BIG 12 this is their MO) I saw the OL do some nice things that may have missed the block should be easy for coaching to fix. Timing, and reads. Time in the film room and working amongst themselves without coaches should help here. Pierre did well for a early enrollee.
    The OL should be coming together by season and barring any bad things happening hopefully be rolling by KY.
    We shouldn’t lose any of the first 5 games. Auburn will be a different animal this year as I think their HC’s tenuous stay will be on the line coming into the swamp. We should win this but they will be dangerous. LSU appears to be getting better with the hometown coach and they have homefield. They have the HFA and will be after to pay back. But I think we can beat them as well. I worry about SC as if we when the prior two this could be a trap/let down game for a young team that shouldn’t lose to SC. They also have a coach that would love to beat the team that fired him. If we survive unscathed by the Georgia game (highly possible) we will have some things going for us first being momentum. The team will have to check HUBRUS at the door and be on their A game. Regardless we won’t be a pushover and if they come in overconfident we could end their run. I like seeing “Low Down Dawg” fans leaving at half time. (10 years ago there was a young lady (Gator Student Fan) leaving talking to her cousin (UGA Student Fan) on the phone after the game. For anyone within earshot it was a crazy good conversation to hear. At least the side we heard. Then there is Vandy, MSU and FSU. Which we should win though lately MSU has had our number. But while I agree with some that have posted here we will at least match last years record we could do better. To the team I say stay focused on school, PT, learning the game. STAY OUT OF TROUBLE! We want the teams you beat to FEAR THE CHOMP!!!!

  2. so far this year, so good. now the time when guys sometimes drift off, etc. happens. you never know about an injury that will come, or a surprise of another sort on a bad day, not just for us, but for any of the competitive opponents we will face. good news is rare for the next few months, but in cdm we trust. go gators. and when we beat georgia next year, im for running up the score. south carolina too, so what if that results in them going and finding a better coach. and arkansas if we play them. and missouri i can live with just two or three touchdowns as a victory margin.

    • I like big scores, but I like winning even more — so I don’t really care as long as we win and crush opposing spirits in the process. I’m still thinking of something Gator65 said last year…..”They have no right to win, but win they do”.

      That said, I hope we beat Miami and FSU like red headed step children, and restore cave dwelling as an acceptable way of life at those two schools.