Growing up in Houston, quarterback Kyle Trask didn’t know much about the history of Florida football until he got here. He knew very little, if anything, about what a legend Steve Spurrier is. But he certainly was familiar with another Gator great QB.
“I didn’t necessarily grow up a Florida fan. I grew up in Houston, Texas, but I still was a huge (Tim) Tebow fan growing up,” Trask said Monday. “I wore number 15 in middle school because I wanted to be like Tebow. The first time I heard about Steve Spurrier was probably one of my first visits here, when I really learned about how special his name is around here. He’s got his Heisman Trophy out there and it was really crazy.”
Trask not only has gotten to know about Spurrier, he’s actually gotten to know him. Spurrier came down to the UF locker room after the Tennessee game to congratulate Trask on winning his first start, wearing Spurrier’s old UF number — 11.
“He came in the locker room very briefly and told me congratulations,” Trask said. “That was pretty special. He’s got a field named after him and a Heisman Trophy. Someone like that to tell you congratulations. … it was pretty special.”
On Saturday, Trask and his teammates will be wearing throwback uniforms against Auburn, the same style of uniforms the Gators wore during Spurrier’s playing days.
“They’re awesome,” Trask said. “I’ve seen a whole lot of pictures of old Gator photos and I think those are probably one of my favorites. I’m really excited to get to wear those on Saturday.”
Trask and the defense
Not that he probably has anything to do with it, but since Trask took over as the starter in the fourth quarter of the Kentucky game, the Florida defense has given up only three points over the last nine quarters.
“I was not aware of that,” Trask said. “But that’s a pretty cool stat.”
UF now leads the SEC in scoring defense, giving up an average of just 8.8 points a game. The Gators are third in total defense (281.2 yards a game).
With versatile slot receiver Kadarius Toney out with an injured shoulder, some other wide receivers have been asked to be willing runners in his stead. Senior Josh Hammond had a 76-yard run for a touchdown on a jet sweep late in the win over Kentucky.
“Probably like three weeks ago they told us they’d have to find someone else to do it because KT was down,” Hammond said. “So me and Jacob (Copeland) have kind of stepped into that role, taking the jet sweeps and trying to make the most that we can with it. But just showing it on film and having it as a threat definitely means a lot for a defense because they would have to respect it and put it on film. We just try to get the plays that we can and make the most of them when we have the opportunity.”
Hammond, Copeland and Van Jefferson combined for five carries for 13 yards against Townson last Saturday. More carries are sure to come for the wide receivers until Toney returns.
“Definitely can wrinkle up a lot of different things, just a lot of window dressing that maybe could actually give us the ball,” Hammond said. “It doesn’t just keep the defense on their toes of not knowing what to expect of the offense just because we have so many different guys that do so many different things. You never know really know what to expect.
“Van got a reverse last week, just throwing in a lot of different things for defenses to keep them on their toes because you never know when they’re going to do it. Within our room we have a lot of different guys that can do a lot of different things really well.”