Feleipe Franks was jeered repeatedly throughout Florida’s 38-17 Homecoming loss Saturday to Missouri, with his rough night ending as Kyle Trask’s night began.
Trask would finish with a 10-for-18 line with 126 passing yards and a touchdown after entering the game with five minutes left in the third quarter. When all was said and done, Trask’s production had eclipsed that of Franks’ — in less time than the redshirt sophomore had, too.
For the second straight week, the Gators had brought in a different quarterback when the team seemingly struggled to catch fire.
And once again it was a signal-caller buried behind Franks on the depth chart who was sparking the UF offense.
After the game, coach Dan Mullen ignored any notion that a quarterback controversy was afoot. Instead, Mullen, who has frequently appeared to have his finger on the pulse of UF’s offense this season, indicated the insertion of Trask wasn’t a permanent shift.
“Same (plan) as it’s been all year. We’ll see. We weren’t moving the ball very well. I don’t blame a lot of that (on Feleipe). Feleipe missed a throw or two, but he’s also getting hit. We’ve got guys wide open, and I’m looking like ‘What’s going on?’ and then all the sudden the ball sails and I’ll jump on him and there he is with three guys being pulled off the top of him,” Mullen said. “We’ll see how they perform this week. If there’s a drastic change, we’ll make a change. If not, we’ll play with who’s going to give us the best chance to win.”
Those in attendance seemed to express more confidence in Trask, despite the result all but confirmed in the fourth quarter. Franks, who had been booed for much of the contest after completing just four of his first 14 passes, watched as Trask completed four of his first five passing attempts. Trask’s first drive ended in a seven-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hammond — UF’s lone passing touchdown of the afternoon.
Mullen repeated the claim, however, that the Gators would determine who starts in practice rather than rushing to make a decision in the heat of the moment. Ultimately, a personnel change at the quarterback position will demand scrutiny and raise questions — Mullen and the Gators understand the inquiries, and appear prepared for whichever outcome occurs.
“We were behind and I wanted to try and do something different, you know what I mean? What we were doing wasn’t working. What we were doing wasn’t working, right, and the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and hoping it works, there’s a change,” Mullen said. “We also put in Dameon Pierce on that drive, but Jordan Scarlett and (Lamical) Perine are still going to play too. So, we put in Dameon Pierce and run right down the field and score. So I just think that other position just gets a lot more attention obviously than the running back position.”