KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If there is one thing that is clear about the 2018 Florida football team, it is that Freddie Swain is the big-play receiver.
Last week it was a punt return for a touchdown and a TD catch. This week against Tennessee, Swain caught a pair of passes for 88 yards.
The second was something special.
As Feleipe Franks rolled to his right after the pocket broke down, Swain kept rolling with him.
“It was a good job by Freddie just getting open,” Franks said. “We talk all the time about the scramble rules. If I roll to my right, just go with me. He did a great job getting to the sidelines.”
Franks spotted Swain sprinting toward the right sideline alone. He launched a perfect pass and Swain turned quickly to stay in bounds.
Swain got a block and then sprinted toward paydirt. He finished it off with a dive to get into the end zone to finish off a 65-yard touchdown play and give Florida a 23-3 lead in the second quarter.
Florida went on to win 47-21 as Swain, from North Marion, continues to be a budding star.
“He’s much more confident,” said Florida coach Dan Mullen. “He’s making big plays and he’s becoming more confident doing so.”
Swain already has 193 receiving yards this season and four touchdowns, three of them receiving.
“He’s a hard working guy,” said Franks. “It’s just showing. It wasn’t something I wasn’t expecting because I see how hard he works.”
Mullen was happy with all of his receivers, even though they only had 10 catches, as Florida threw the ball just 19 times.
“Three touchdowns by our receivers,” Mullen beamed after the game pointing to the catches by Swain, Tyrie Cleveland and tight end R.J. Raymond. “And Feleipe broke his mark from last year.”
A year ago, Franks threw for nine touchdowns and lost his job three times. This year he already has thrown 12 touchdowns.
The one that really blew the game open was the one to Swain, where Franks pumped twice before scrambling to his right.
“He had to run and I just kept my play alive, kept my route on,” Swain said. “Great blocking downfield, that’s why I was able to score. He saw me streaking across the middle.”