Notebook: Detailed practice pays off in Franks’ record day

Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson is tackled after making a catch during the first half Saturday against UT Martin at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

On his 69-yard touchdown strike to Van Jefferson against UT-Martin on Saturday night, Florida quarterback Feleipe effectively worked through his progressions, looking off the safety and then finding Jefferson open behind the secondary.

“For him to look the safety off, come back, throw the deep ball to Van, just shows that he is making his reads,” senior wide receiver Josh Hammond said. “He is that guy who we look to to make those plays.

“UT-Martin plays a very exotic defense where they drop a bunch of guys, so he was going to have to be very sound with his eyes, looking guys off before he let balls go and he was able to do that. We were able to execute at a high level and he had a really good game.”

Franks completed 25 of 27 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns and set the school record for highest completion percentage in a game. Those numbers are evidence of the work he’s been putting in, Hammond said.

“He’s definitely come a long way since day one,” he said. “Coach Mullen works with him an endless amount of time to try to make sure that he perfects his craft, and Feleipe does a good job not taking anything for granted, not taking any moments for granted.

“He tries to continue to grow every single day as a player, as a person and that’s just one thing he continues to do. He’s going to come to work today and try to continue to get better and further himself. And as an offensive leader, continue to try to grow in the right way.”

Franks on the freshmen

Franks, who has been going against the UF defense since the start of preseason camp, seems pretty confident that the three true freshman cornerbacks will hold their own stepping in for injured starter CJ Henderson.

“I think that Marco (Wilson) and CJ do a good job of showing those guys the ropes and how they prepare,” Franks said. “It’s not easy when you first get to college to try and prepare for a game and all those other different things that are super challenging. I think they do a good job of setting an example and those guys just following. I think they’ll be very good and I think CJ and Marco will get them in the right place to be able to play every Saturday.”

Freshmen everywhere

Speaking of the young cornerbacks, Kaiir Elam, Jayson Hill and Chester Kimbrough were three of the 15 true freshmen who saw playing time in Saturday’s game.

The others were defensive end Khris Bogle, outside linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper, wide receiver Dionte Marks, linebacker Jesiah Pierre, outside linebacker Lloyd Summerall, offensive lineman Michael Tarquin, wide receiver Ja’Markis Weston, offensive lineman Ethan White, wide receiver Trent Whittemore, running back Nay’Quan Wright and tight end Keon Zipperer.

The only true freshmen who did not see playing time were offensive linemen Kingsley Eduakun, Will Harrod and Riley Simonds.

Assessing Jones, Trask

Backup quarterbacks Emory Jones and Kyle Trask both saw playing time Saturday and both accounted for a touchdown. Jones ran for a score and Trask threw for one.

“Yeah they did OK,” UF coach Dan Mullen said. “It was great to see them. I wanted to get them into the game, get them both into the game. They both got in with the ones at one point and did a good job right there.

“The benefit is you didn’t have to force-feed it. It was great to get them those reps because they’re a play away from being in there. They haven’t been in live situations in a little while so it’s good to get into that live situation and sort some things out.”



  1. Good insights, Robbie — thanks.

    So far, 52 views and 0 posts. Wonder if this one will go all day without a single post too, but even if it does it can’t eclipse the paltry number of posts on and after game day — certainly a new low after GatorSports ran off virtually all the old, loyal members.

  2. It could be the pay wall, or perhaps it’s because it’s hard to bash Franks after the great game he had. They would sound like idiots. Now if he had thrown a couple interceptions and Emory Jones had came in and played better, I’m sure the vocal fans and fringe talking heads would be all over the fan sites and podcasts calling for him to be benched if not lynched. I’m happy for Franks. He’s worked very hard and I’m rooting for him.

    • Not the ones I miss, Sly — there are a lot more of them than fair weather Gators, and I know you know who I’m talking about. Just glad you and a few other of those buds still pop up on here. And Jack, it may not be the price, but the way it was done — that still sticks in my craw too.

    • OK Sly, I’ll take up your challenge on analyzing Mr. Franks’ performance vs. lowly UT Martin.

      Let’s begin with the good news. Franks was 25 CMP of 27 ATT for 270 YDS, 2 TDs and 0 INT. That’s an impressive 92.6 completion percentage and 10 YD per pass average. If we stop right there, he’s in line for the Heisman watch.

      But (there’s always a BUT when discussing Franks,) if you subtract the 104 YDS on his 2 TD passes in the first half, his 6.6 YD average on his other 25 passes is mediocre at best. For contrast, Shelton Eppler at Northwestern State threw for 387 YDS and 3 TDs vs. that same UT Martin D the week before. For further contrast, Joe Burrow threw for 471 YDS and 4 TDs on the road at #9 Texas this week. Nobody will EVER confuse UT Martin for Texas!

      The problem for CDM is that Trask and Jones aren’t showing enough in practice to justify benching the starting QB, with all the locker room disruption THAT will bring. So, we’re stuck with Mr. Franks the balance of this season come what may, unless he get hurt, which for the record, I’m NOT rooting for.

      GO GATORS!!!

      • StL, here’s another challenge: explain how ESPN calculates its QBR. In the box score, Franks is at just over 96, which is better than both Trask and Jones. That makes sense. But Trask goes 4-5, for 40 yards and TD and gets a 95.2, while Jones goes 1-4 for 2 yards and no TD’s and gets a 95.4. What gives? Is a 16 yard TD run an adequate substitute for actually being able to throw the ball?

        • Joe, sadly the ESPN QBR calculation is proprietary. However, the 16 YD Jones TD run is “YUUUUGE” when factored into his 5 play sample (pass and run.)

          What bothers me greatly about Emory’s performance, was his 1 for 4 passing vs. a tired and/or 2nd string, FCS UT Martin secondary. Can you imagine how he might fare vs. fresh Auburn, LSU or UGA’s defenses? Yikes! 😱

          • Agreed. The ability to run is great, but the 1 for 4 is a concern. On the other hand, it is a small sample, and maybe he just had a few bad throws. But as you mention, the fact that it was against UTM under those conditions makes it a bigger concern. Hopefully he continues to progress and Franks stays solid. At this point, I think solid QB play is all we need.

      • StL… So you subtract Franks’ two touchdowns and ding him for the adjusted yards per attempt? Really? Shelton Eppler throws the ball 62 times over four quarters while Franks sits out Q4, and Eppler is the benchmark? Did you subtract Eppler’s two longest throws and adjust his yards per attempt? It may not be even half of FF’s. Trust me, I was yelling at the TV like everyone else on FF’s UM pick, but the guy had a good game last week. At least give him credit for getting the job done against a team that he was supposed to own.

        • PVB, I’m not trying to be some kind of troll. I’m dying to see excellent QB play again at UF. We just didn’t get THAT from Mr. Franks on Saturday. To make my case, my points were twofold:

          First, because he only dinks, dunks and throws an occasional bomb that he may or may not complete, Franks has NEVER thrown over 300 YDS in a game, not even vs. the likes of UTM. The 10-20 YD pass, especially between the hash marks, is something he rarely throws because all those moving bodies just “confuse” him. Even Shelton Eppler from Podunk U has thrown over 300 YDS in a game and he did it a week and a half ago… vs. UTM!

          Second, Franks’ performance vs. UTM didn’t even hold a candle to that of Joe Burrow, who CARRIED his team to a win… vs. Texas… on the road. Franks is highly unlikely to ever CARRY the Gators to a victory that way.

          As a loyal Gator, I fervently hope Mr. Franks proves me wrong.

          • God knows, I do too STL. As I said before, he has GOT to do it NOW. We cannot hope any longer, especially with the meat of our schedule upon us. If we do in fact take a step back in Year 2, as Mveal suggested might happen, I wonder what the root cause will be?