LEXINGTON, Ky. — Sometimes heroes are made of grit and moxie, of physical talent and a sharp mind.
Sometimes they are made of opportunity. And sometimes they are made of perseverance.
All of these apply to Florida’s newest hero today. He is Kyle Trask and if you had a bet that he would be the difference in another Florida win at Kentucky, you probably were working with pretty good odds.
The young man who told the transfer portal to get the heck out of his face and stayed at Florida when it didn’t seem like the cool thing to do had the game of his life on Saturday night.
It almost seems surreal to be sitting here in this press box again writing about how Florida again found a way to win a game again that Kentucky looked poised to win again.
Again being the operative word here.
The Wildcats forced Feleipe Franks into all kinds of mistakes and he struggled behind an offensive line that has neutralized Florida’s ground game.
Eventually, he was knocked out of the game, carted off with an air cast on his right leg and done for the season. It was one piece of an emotional night and continued a brutal year for SEC East quarterbacks not named Jake Fromm.
For all of the haters out there, the guys in this team love Franks. After the game, lineman Brett Heggie Tweeted out “That one was for you 13.”
Franks in the locker room, his season in a cast, singing the fight song with his teammates after the game makes you want to take back all of those mean things you said about him. Right?
But with Franks down and out, here came Trask. You might have expected Emory Jones, but Florida was going to have to get back in this game by throwing the ball.
And Trask was and is the guy.
Jones, according to Mullen, will get opportunities as well. Certainly, the dynamic of this team has changed drastically and perhaps the expectations.
But it is still a team that is 3-0 and when you saw Josh Hammond on that jet sweep break it first for the first down and then to the house, you got up off the couch, didn’t you?
For much of the game, it looked like a combination of this year’s Miami game (with the mistakes) and last year’s Kentucky game (losing both of the lines of scrimmage).
But somehow, Florida again overcame those mistakes and found a way to win a game. At Kentucky. Again.
The Gators made enough dumb mistakes to lose two games, but Kentucky trumped them, especially getting a late targeting penalty that kept a drive alive. (There were three in a game that should have been sponsored by Target.)
“Putting laundry on the field to dictate a game, it’s tough,” said Kentucky coach Mark Stoops. ‘What am I supposed to tell our guys. To get that call. That’s gotta change.”
Yeah, but …
You did miss a possible game-winning field goal wide right.
And you did go soft in the secondary to allow Trask to pick you apart.
But that’s a Kentucky problem. You want to talk about the Florida problem.
And there is a problem with all of the injuries.
“We need to get healthy,” Dan Mullen said.
And there is a problem with this team’s inability to run block.
And there is a problem with dumb penalties, including the usual pass interference penalty late in the game.
Yeah, but (again) …
These guys have a way of winning games. And by these guys I mean this coaching staff which has now overcome double-digit deficits three times in these last two seasons to win games.
And it’s a staff that has yet to lose a true road game at Florida.
Some of it is difficult to explain.
So much went so bad including the two awful Franks turnovers back when he was still able to walk. Or the missed Evan McPherson chip shot. And the two holding calls that negated a pair of Franks’ touchdown runs.
Yeah, but …