Achieving perfection is never an easy thing, especially in football, where there are so many variables and so many things can go wrong.
The Florida Gators showed Saturday that it can be done, though.
The Florida offense put together a perfect third quarter in the Gators’ 56-0 win over Vanderbilt.
On every play, the Gators either made a first down or scored a touchdown during a 21-point blitz. (The defense added a touchdown to make it a 28-point quarter).
In the quarter, the offense rolled up 216 total yards, nine first downs, averaged 24.0 yards a play, quarterback Kyle Trask was five-for-five for 149 yards and two touchdowns and No. 2 QB Emory Jones ran for 28 yards and a touchdown.
“I guess that’s how you want it to be, get a first down or a touchdown every play,” Trask said Monday. “I can’t really remember a particular game where it’s been like that. We were struggling at first (in the first half), but eventually we stuck to the game plan and things started clicking, and that’s how we drew it up.
“Most of them you want to try to score on every play. Coach (Dan) Mullen is a great coach. He does his best job to make sure he puts us in the best chance to succeed every single play.”
Mullen downplayed the role his play-calling played in the quarter, giving the credit instead to his players, the guys who made the first downs and scored the touchdowns.
“It was great execution,” Mullen said. “Came out and executed clean, and guys made plays. We talked about it at halftime. I thought we played really well in the first half. We kind of stopped ourselves with mistakes or an interception in the first half. I got on the guys. We didn’t need to change a whole lot. We just needed to finish. We seemed to finish every single play in the third quarter, not just the drives.
“We threw a hitch and made the guy miss and ran 60 yards. I can pat myself on the back, but that was our guys making plays more than the play calls. It was our guys executed and the guys making plays more than anything.”
Here’s a play-by-play look at the Gators’ perfect third quarter:
Trask 66-yard TD pass to Trevon Grimes.
Trask 36-yard pass to Tyrie Cleveland. First down.
Trask 15-yard TD pass to Kyle Pitts.
Kadarius Toney 26-yard run. First down.
Trask 12-yard pass to Van Jefferson. First down.
Lamical Perine 13-yard run. First down.
Emory Jones 15-yard run. First down.
Jones 13-yard TD run.
Trask 20-yard pass to Lucas Krull. First down.
This perfection came after an imperfect first half in which the Gators left 17 potential points on the field with two Trask interceptions and a missed 41-yard field goal attempt by Evan McPherson.
On UF’s first offensive play of the second half, Grimes took a short pass in the flat, stiff-armed a defender along the sideline and raced 66 yards for a touchdown. The Gators took off from there, unstoppable for the rest of the third quarter.
“During halftime Coach Mullen just came in and told us, ‘Look, we’re doing everything right. We’re just making little errors. Fix those little errors, and we’ll capitalize on everything we do,’ ” Grimes said. “He told us we needed to make a statement in this second half, and called a play and it was a touchdown. So that is a pretty big step.”
A big step toward perfection.