FINAL: Florida 48, Colorado State 10

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks is upended as he runs with the ball Saturday against Colorado State at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

First quarter

Evan McPherson hit a 24-yard field goal at the 10:48 mark of the first quarter to give UF a 3-0 lead.

The score was set up when Colorado State punter Ryan Stonehouse was snowed under by the Gators rush and fumbled when hit by James Houston IV. The ball was recovered at the 11 by Josh Hammond.

UF couldn’t do much offensively with the prime field position, bringing in the freshman kicker.

CSU came up short on its ensuing possession, going 11 plays to the UF 23, but Wyatt Bryan was wide right with a 41-yard field goal attempt at the 4:26 mark.

After picking up a first down with an 11-yard run, UF quarterback Feleipe Franks is intercepted by CSU cornerback V.J. Banks at the Rams 32.

Florida got the ball back at the 29 on the next play when CSU QB K.J. Carta-Samuels fumbled and defensive tackle Elijah Conliffe recovered.

Franks couldn’t move the Gators after a run and two incomplete passes to bring in McPherson, who kicked a 48-yard field goal for a 6-0 Florida lead at the 2:14 mark

Note: UF senior defensive lineman Cece Jefferson is in the lineup after sitting out on a two-game suspension because of academic issues. … Junior linebacker David Reese missed his third game due to injury. … 96 degrees at kickoff. Ties hottest game at Florida Field.

What went right: Basically only two things: the Gators’ punt-block team got on top of CSU punter Ryan Stonehouse and he fumbled, giving UF the ball on the 11; and a fumble recovery by defensive tackle Elijah Conliffe on the CSU 29. The only other positive was CSU missing a 41-yard field goal.

What went wrong: The Gators had to settle for Evan McPherson field goals — from 24 and 48 yards — after both of those turnovers. And there was much, much more than just that. Quarterback Feleipe Franks had a nightmare first quarter, completing zero passes for zero yards along with an interception. As a result, the offense went nowhere against a CSU defense that has struggled throughout the first part of the season. In his defense, Franks didn’t get much help. There was no push in the running game and the receivers were not getting open. As a result, the Gators had only one first down and 27 total yards.

Play of the quarter: The special teams caving in the CSU punt protection that led to the fumble and gave the Gators the ball on the Rams’ 11.

Trending: By the end of the quarter, the boo birds started coming out in The Swamp. Their boos were directed at Franks and the slumbering offense.

– Robbie Andreu

Colorado State    0

Florida                 6

Second quarter

Bryan again missed a field goal attempt for the Rams, this one from 53 yards, going wide left.

Scarlett scored on a 30-yard run to give UF a 13-0 lead at 11:49. The score capped a five-pay, 65-yard drive that was highlighted by a 24-yard pass from Franks to Van Jefferson to the CSU 30.

Franks connects with receiver Freddie Swain for an 18-yard TD pass for a 20-0 UF lead at the 6:24 mark to complete a six-play, 44-yard drive. Swain had a 22-yard punt return to put the Gators on the visitor’s side of the 50.

Tyrie Cleveland recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to give UF a 27-0 lead. Amari Burney blocked Stonehouse’s boot and the ball bounced into the end zone at the 4:02 mark.

Bryan booted a 53-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

What went right: In a reversal of the first, almost everything went right for the Gators in a near-flawless quarter. Tailback Jordan Scarlett finally found some daylight and went 30 yards for a touchdown. Franks threw an 18-yard strike to Freddie Swain for a touchdown and the punt block team blocked a punt (by true freshman Amari Burney) and recovered it in the end zone (by wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland) for a touchdown. At the same time the special teams and offense were making plays, the UF defense was sound against both the run and the pass and was never seriously threatened until a long kickoff return gave the Rams the ball on the Gator side of the field in the closing minutes of the half.

What went wrong: Almost nothing. The only real blemish was the 51-yard kickoff return given up that led to a Colorado State’s 53-yard field goal on the final play of the half to make it a 27-3 game.

Play of the quarter: The blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. It was a nice block by Burney and maybe an even better recovery by Cleveland in the back of the end zone before the ball went out of bounds.

Trending: The Rams have been a big comeback team in the second half this season, but they have their work cut out for them on the road against a UF team that seems to be growing strong as the game goes on.

– Robbie Andreu

Colorado State    0       3

Florida                 6     21

Third quarter

Carta-Samuels teamed with receiver Trey McBride for a 48-yard scoring pass play to cut the UF lead to 27-10 in the opening drive of the second half.

What went right: The Gators reverted to their first-quarter form on offense and basically did nothing. Plagued by penalties and inconsistent play along the offensive line, the Gators were shut out in the quarter and showing no signs of being able to consistently move the ball against what has been a struggling CSU defense.

What went wrong: Penalties crippled one drive late in the quarter when it looked like the offense was starting to wake up a little bit. Moral Stephens drew a 15-yard penalty for pulling a face mask and later in the drive the offense stalled thanks to a holding penalty on center Nick Buchanan. The defense also had some problems, mainly giving up a 48-yard touchdown pass to wide-open tight end Trey McBride that cut the UF lead to 27-10.

Play of the quarter: The Gators didn’t really have one. CSU did, the 48-yard TD pass.

Trending: The Florida defense is holding its own, but the offense seems to be heading nowhere, and the Gators probably need to score again against a CSU team noted for its fourth-quarter comebacks.

– Robbie Andreu

Colorado State    0       3     7

Florida                 6     21     0

Fourth quarter

Swain returned a Colorado State punt 85 yards for a touchdown to increase the Gators’ lead to 34-10 with 13:25 remaining in the game.

Franks connected with Jefferson for a 38-yard score to give the Gators a 41-10 lead at the 9:21 mark

The scoring series was set up when defensive end Jachai Polite stripped sacked Carta-Samuels and linebacker Vosean Joseph picked up the loose ball and returned it 20 yards to the UF 46. Three plays later, Franks found Jefferson jetting behind the CSU secondary for the score.

Freshman running back Dameon Pierce scored on a 68-yard run to put UF up 48-10 with 6:17 left in the game.

What went right: The Florida special teams put the exclamation point on a special performance when Freddie Swain brought The Swamp to life early in the quarter with a darting, cutting 85-yard punt return for a touchdown. It was the second TD of the game for the special teams, which also get credit for the Gators’ first three points of the game. Later in the quarter, the defense came up big, with Jachai Polite causing a sack/fumble that was returned 20 yards by Vosean Joseph. Three plays later, Franks threw a 38-yard TD pass to Van Jefferson on a go route to put the game out of reach. The Gators struck for another big play later in the quarter, with true freshman running back Dameon Pierce blasting through the middle of the line for a 68-yard TD run.

What went wrong: Other than the Franks-to-Jefferson touchdown, the offense continued to struggle with consistency. The big concern, just like in the first two games, was the lack of push in the running game.

Play of the quarter: Swain’s 85-yard punt return for a touchdown. The key came early in the return, when his blockers showed some restraint by not blocking at least two cover guys in the back.

Colorado State    0       3     7      0 — 10

Florida                 6     21     0    21 — 48


  1. They missed the bad snap that started the turnover. Franks looks OK some time, poor others. Play calling is bad, no throwing on first down, no protection at times, not that great of defense either. Disappointing.

      • I was there and there were a lot of empty seats. But I can tell you the heat was brutal. We got there early and got something to eat and went to our seats but had to retreat back into the concession area until the game started. Back to the concession at half time and got some ice and poured ice water over me and my grandson. We did stick it out until there was 1 minute left though. I think a lot of fans may have just stayed home and watched it on tv due to the 4 pm start time. I wish all the early games in the year would just be scheduled to be 7pm starts due to the heat. The SEC needs to take that into consideration. Older folks and little kids just cant take that kind of heat. It was the hottest game in Gator history. I think it did work in the Gators favor in the second half. Colorado State guys were clearly suffering from the heat and humidity. They just tried to run the clock out when they had it late in the fourth quarter. But I will say this it definitely does not help recruiting when recruits come to the game and see 20,000 empty seats. You don’t see that at Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Texas AM, etc. Gator fans like to complain a lot that we are not getting the best players. Those complainers need to step up and be true fans and show up and fill The Swamp and support the team. That actually might give the players some extra motivation to have the 12th man supporting the team and influence the five star guys to consider being Gators more.

          • Thanks Gator-6. It just ticks me off that all some fans due is complain and don’t come out to actually support the team in person. It might make a difference. True Gator fans support the team in all kinds of weather just like the alma mater says. I challenge all the nay sayers to show up for the next home game. Buy a ticket and come out and make it hard for the opposing offense to hear their audibles. It should not matter who the Gators are playing. Come out and show some love and maybe recruits will think wow this is a place I would love to play.

  2. This is Mullen’s scrub year. He can have a really bad year and it doesn’t really matter. I think he’d been better off telling all upperclassmen they were on 1 Semester probation when he came in and if they couldn’t prove they were winners and major contributors, they be given an unconditional release to start their future elsewhere. This team has been been pretty bad for 5 years(thankfully the SECe was awful too), so there is no player on the team other than incoming freshmen that don’t know what it takes to lose and is used to it. There are a lot of good athletes on this team but I’m not sure there are many football players that have been here for several years. We only have 1 decent/good linebacker and he hasn’t played yet this year. We have no safeties. You really have to give it to high school offensive players who still commit to UF. No way would I allow my son to play offense at UF based on what has happened over the years unless they had no other offers. We still don’t have a qb. Essentially our qb’s best skill is handing the ball off to the rb.

    • Right… good theory, but when you let 15 or more players walk, how do you replace all of them next year and make the team better? Hope all 25 recruits are ready to be “winners” as true freshmen? That would only set us back further.

  3. why the misery everyone? hopefully we can hold to win. our special teams have improved. so have the receivers. some of the defense is making turnovers. ok the rest of the guys need more time. were the gators. do you want to be something else? look at fsu, they have recruiting stars that some gators wish we had, but they have even farther to go than we do. I’m not saying to be blind to challenges ahead, but this is not an easy business. each year it gets harder because if you have an advantage, someone else will learn from it and improve too.

    • I’m sorry, I’m following twitter too while listening to the game on the radio today. you’d think we were the Cleveland browns with so much of the criticism. its a game to be won. just because the ole ball coach made it look easy don’t be fooled, all advantages are temporary and most gator games over 50 years have not been total dominance that people think we should have every game.

      • mveal…. I’m watching (no twitter for me….I’m too old and can’t handle the negativity) and I’m trying to be objective. I see lots of improvement in effort and technique from last week, I see a weak secondary, I see improved DL and LB play, I see the same Franks…. good arm, poor decisions, I see much improved special teams play from the past 9 years. All in all, more positive than negative. At this point I’d say we’ll still be out of our league against LSU, MSU, UGA, and SC. But, if Mullen can keep stressing all out effort, we may be able to hang in there and compete with UT, Vandy, Mizzou, Idaho, and Free Shoes.

        • Rog, I have no interest in being objective! my mom had the bedroom painted orange when I was a kid, and maybe i argued with her a little more than i should, but not about this! so I admit I see the world through orange colored glasses. I understand the blue colored glasses, but I’m just saying, I like the program and where its headed. I didn’t feel that way when champ was here.

          I like the finnish concept of Sisu, where you fight against the odds, you admit you may be losing, its awful tough for you, but you never stop squirming. you see something you don’t like in a force more powerful than you, just don’t give in to it, as long as you are right of course. to me, the gators under cdm are what’s right. and i believe our guys have a little sisu as well!

          • I think I mentioned once before that you had the coolest Gator mom on the planet, mveal. Sisu is all about Mullen and the Gators — we’ll get there!

          • I like those comments. And I agree that this is something that has been missing for a long time. If you saw the interview just after the first half with the SEC reporter, Coach Mullen was talking about that the team played well but still needed to dial it up in the relentless intensity department. Those weren’t his exact words but that was what he was trying to convey. He said they needed the “veins popping out of their neck” intensity. They showed more of that today. But they’ll have to show more in the weeks to come.

            Sisu…..I’ll have to look that up 🙂

          • rog i am in the school that has a good finish for these kids. i believe they will beat SCAR but i mostly really agree and like your comments and a lot of others. twitter was a bad idea on my part. now i admit the radio guys are homers, but they called it that the heat and humidity would cause Colorado State some problems, and I’m sure that had some impact in the 4th quarter. more work ahead for these kids. SISU is a finnish term but all sorts of nations have their version of the concept, so i don’t want to mislead you about this wonderful thing that only happens in scandanavia, and maybe i didn’t get the wording right of what i wanted to convey. absolutely you have to be realistic about the team and the work ahead. my belief is being a champion comes from battling hard in the face of reality with determination. these kids can start a process here that can be really good, but you don’t just get that because the newspaper says so. you do it the old fashioned way, you earn it. Tebow has said it, that the talent is there but the process is still early, at least that’s how i read his comments. this game required the players to have to fight to win, and they did. now we are going to need that next week, and then we can look at things the week after and then so on and i think CDM can get us there. but we have a lot of fighting to do it.
            6, thanks for the kind words about all gator moms, and me being sorta lucky but don’t forget we have the best fans, we have huge numbers of great gator moms out there, gator women of all categories, we do. that’s something special about being a gator. you see women, young and old, wearing the gator colors, and they just have that same grit, SISU or whatever you call it. that’s why i know we will get there. we have that base of support.

    • Good post. I am very happy with the defensive performance. Good bounce back after last week and against a good offense. Special teams are great. Offense is still inconsistent but showing improvement so that’s the goal.

  4. Reading these comments you would think the gators were getting killed. The special teams have been terrific, defense pretty good considering the situation with defensive backs, and the offense has been fair. You win two out of three and you win the game. Was Davis hurt badly? He left the game and have not seen him since.

  5. I’m totally disgusted with the half ass so called gator fans comments here. We’re playing with emotion today and the defense has stood up. The offense does have a ways to go but it’s not untypical for a team with a new coach take time. They will get there sooner rather than later. If you expect 85-0 games wake up. Actually after the first quarter Franks has looked pretty good. Either support our Gators or shut up. Nuff said

    • You shutup! People have the right to say whatever they want and if you dont like it go somewhere else! I enjoy reading all the coments and if I dont agree i make a comment but I never tell anybody they cant say what they think. Who died and made you god!

  6. Good win. Defense played well the Special teams did really well scoring 2 tds. AS good as Swain was today, he was actually the second gator in the end zone. LOL. Perspective, CSU beat Arky by 7 points last week. Arky is down to North Texas right now to 44-10. Is North Texas good?

    • No, I think this says that Arkansas is really bad. This CSU team is terrible. So, I would not read too much into this win. Frank is still too hesitant. I understand Dan Mullen giving him a chance to grow so I agree with keeping him in and letting get comfortable with the offense. But, what if Frank gets hurt? In any case, a lot will be riding on that Tennessee game. Lose that game and we could easily end up 3-5 after the Georgia game and with this team being fragile mentally, it’d be an uphill climb trying to get bowl eligible. Win the Tennessee game, and 7-5 looks well within reach and 8-4 would be a possibility. That said, beat Tennessee!!!!! Go Gators!!!

  7. Franks is not a leader…he wasn’t even singing the fight song at the end of the game. Just looking around? Then, they stated what I heard this week that he was whining during practice. He is not very good in his decisions. He has mouth that needs to be shut getting a penalty in the red zone!

  8. Way to go Gators! Some Gator fans will still SUFFER WINNING, but I am just damn happy the Gators didn’t fold up and quit. Franks went 0-6 at the start, but then went 8 of 9 with 2 T.D.s
    The special teams was special, again, for the most part. And the Gator ‘D’ FINALLY played in the backfield, and sacked and harassed the Q.B. Don’t get complacent Gators, it’s time to keep improving and winning.
    Tennessee will want Florida as badly as U.K. did, so… Get busy Gators! Chomp-on!

  9. We beat two teams called CSU who were out of their league against a SEC team. The true test is another SEC team, Tennessee which will be a good measure.
    Franks is still slow to react on passes or see open receivers. Someone suggested maybe he is really Tight End material and let Trask run the offense. I agree, do you ?

    • Pooky. NO. AND NO……OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Franks is no all-SEC QB, but he is the best QB Florida has right now. Trask is not starting for a reason. Same with Jones. And Franks can only throw a perfect fad pass to Lewis at the flag. He cannot fly through the air with the ball and hand it to Lewis. And no QB can throw a better pass than the one Franks threw to Jefferson. And I recall only one bad pass by Franks the entire game. He managed the game. Big win for the Gators. And major improvement with tackling. Now, get even better for the Vols.

      • Tampa right on. Best we’ve got right now. He’s moving faster than last year. A sign what good fishing can do. Still not fat enough for elite. But he’s improving and making decisions. What’s the game again just half second late committing. I almost actually think he’s second guessing what he’s seeing which could be that he never got that instruction from the last crew. Looked like they were almost figuring i it out. OL still made a few misses but it’s improving. They have to want it, they have to go take the win. GO GATORS!

    • Not yet, but very close. When Franks is hot, he’s hot…..when he’s not, he’s not. But getting better in the consistency department? I don’t really know, but I know Dan Mullen knows what he wants to see. Cody Alan was advocating for Trask to get in more just today…..I kind of think so too, but damned if I’m going to second guess the coach.

    • Pooky…. Coach Mullen sees his QB’s every day at practice. We don’t. He sees EVERYTHING we see and then some… a lot. He has no allegiance to Franks or Trask in that he didn’t recruit them to UF. He did recruit Emory Jones to UF. If Coach thinks Franks is the best guy to lead this team, then he has reasons. We need to trust that. Franks isn’t perfect, but I’ll bet you Trask or Jones wouldn’t be either. Franks has shown enough improvement to and appears “coachable” that we need to support him and Coach. Yes, his decision-making isn’t perfect, but dang, neither was mine at 19 years old.

  10. Who could stand to watch this decaying prigram play another HS quality team when LSU was displaying their mettle at Auburn at elite level. I was watching both games and the contrast could not be more striking. Gators light years away from elite team. I see little improvement from Mac and Muschamp. Enjoy the cupcake wins because this will be a season of serious beat downs from top teams.

  11. All you ppl talk about is how bad Franks played, especially early, but you know what he can’t throw it, catch it , and block for himself. He makes mistakes just like the rest of you idiots who criticize him, but at least he’s trying. If you ppl who are complaining so much were so smart/good you’d either be coaching or playing. So plz stick a rag in it.

  12. It’s a weird feeling when a 48-10 win isn’t satisfying. Florida outgained CSU thanks to DP’s 68-yd run, but gave up 22 1st downs and gained only 14. Specials teams and a better run defense carried the day. CSU should be a gimme given the talent difference. However, fans need to have patience with Dan Mullen and the team. After Florida’s train wreck last year along with having to learn a new offense and defense, it isn’t very realistic to expect to be an elite team this year. Playing better each week, playing with effort and making a decent bowl game (Gator Bowl?) would be a realistic goal and indicate progress in the program. The effort level overall was better than last week. Nebraska, FSU and Arkansas fans sure would have liked a 48-10 win.

  13. Nice win which should be enjoyed because without some significant improvement in all phases of the game it’s going to be a long long season. Excluding that school to the west of us the combined record of our remaining opponents is 20-3 with 6 of them being undefeated! Franks is still Franks. Our coach is a disciple of the coach who left our program a smoldering train wreck. UGA has the best team I’ve seen in the 60 years I’ve been following the Gators. Oh well I guess it could be worse….it could be 1979!

  14. Happy to see some real fans show up. You guys ought to read more of the daily expertise these sad-sacks regurgitate. It’s hard to tell which is more galling, a singular or plural first person pronoun said over and over ad nauseum. “I think we should…” Do they think they’re on the team when they say “we,” or a coach or (should be paid) TV commentator when they say “I?”
    Of course Monday Morning Quarterbacks are nothing new, but the availability of these sorts of “forums” has magnified the phenomenon to puke me status.
    I have always been proud to be a Gator fan. It’s about pride to be a native Floridian who loves his state and region. Falling in love every fall with every young man who had decided to become a Gator, from water boy to quarterback. Like Coach Spurrier says, Who wouldn’t want to be a Gator?
    Way back in the day Florida Field was sold out every game win or lose, cupcake or Shug Jordan’s nine-man line, Billy Cannon and the Chinese Bandits, or Arkansas State; it didn’t matter. And that was true through the decades until glorious winning spoiled the fans. Expectations and entltlement set in and now you read about empty seats and booing. Booing? Booing Franks? The kid gets up off his ass play after play, sucks it up and goes right back to the huddle. Wonder how many of these anonymous cowards would have the balls to face that kind of humiliation.
    Living here in Omaha, I have been exposed to what real college football fans are like again. These people have been hungry for a return to greatness since Tom Osborne’s last game. They bitch as much as the next person, but they fill up Memorial Stadium every game. The Huskers have lost to Colorado and Troy, and next week they go to Ann Arbor and their fans will be there too. And if the low-life Wolverines win by 50 points, they’ll come right back to Lincoln to cheer their youngsters on until the last down of the last game. And nobody boos–ever. I’m tempted to root for Nebraska, but then I wake up from another Tommy Frazier nightmare and come to my senses.
    When the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn, somebody said that the Dodgers had fans and the Yankees had customers. If you’ve ever been around an insufferable Michigan or Notre Dame customer, you know what I mean. And I’m afraid that’s what has happened to a large degree in Gainesville.
    If there is such a thing as a Gator Nation then these miscreants are the equivalent of draft dodgers who complain about incompetent generals.

  15. Great post Eugenio. The booing bothers me too. The fans never used to boo. I’m not sure when the booing raised it’s ugly head but I feel like knocking it right off it’s neck. I became a fan when we were 0-10 & 1 back in the last century, 1979 and we were proud of our team’s efforts and we stuck with them though thick and thin, which is what a fan should do.. Man if that happened now people would walk out of the stadium. What kind of fan is that? ENTITLEMENT is what it is and it sucks.