Notebook: Coaching up Trask on ball security

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (11) fumbles the ball while being sacked in the first quarter Saturday against Auburn at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

Florida coach Dan Mullen and the offensive staff will have Kyle Trask working on his ball security in the pocket this week after losing three fumbles in the win over Auburn last Saturday.

“A lot of that comes from experience,” Mullen said. “The one thing you look at is not having played a lot in game situations. At practice, you don’t hit the quarterback. You stay off the quarterback. In those situations, just of understanding your pocket ball security, two hands on the ball, where you feel it you’re pulling it a little bit tighter. Just pocket ball security. That comes with experience of playing.”

Penalty free

The Florida defense not only played with great passion and toughness against the Tigers, it also played smart. In an intense game, the Gators had zero penalties on defense.

“I think it was huge for the guys to come out there, and it just comes down to how clean we played,” Mullen said. “One, the ability to get off the field. We didn’t play tons of plays. We created a bunch of three-and-outs. Obviously, defensively, you want to play the least number of snaps possible. You want to play the least number of snaps playing great defense. The discipline showed of our guys, their focus, the execution and how they executed. The game plan that Todd (Grantham) and the staff put in was great.”

Mullen on Burrow

Mullen, the quarterback whisperer, is impressed with LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who is putting up 300-yard passing games every week.

“He’ll be the best quarterback, obviously, we’ve seen so far this year,” he said. “He can make all the throws. He’s got experience. Playing in big games, that’s not new for him. He’s played in a bunch of big games.

“He’s got great skill players around him. You can see his trust in those guys to go make plays out there. And I think he’s just deceptively, really athletic. He can extend plays in the run game. If you’re going to give it to him, he’s going to take it. He’ll be a good challenge for our defense.”

Fourth-down Dan

In his time at UF, Mullen has shown a propensity for gambling on fourth down. His gamble Saturday — a fake punt by punter Tommy Townsend — failed badly and led to Auburn’s touchdown.

“Anytime you do that stuff if it works you’re a genius and if it doesn’t you’re an idiot,” he said. “The fake punt against Miami. What did you all think about that? Genius.”


  1. The only real knock on Trask thus far. He does need to clean that up. In general a fumble by the QB is worse than a pic because of the relative position on the field it usually takes place. Everything else he is doing is great.

    I think I owe an apology to Marco Wilson. Up until the Auburn game I have viewed him as a liability, a PI magnet. That changed with the Auburn game. Marco played great and was an integral part of the defensive effort that allowed us to win. Go Marco and Go Gators!

  2. Frankly, I thought the fake punt against Miami was stupid too. It was a stupid decision that worked out ok. Getting lucky on a stupid decision doesn’t make you smart. No genius about it. It was especially stupid in the Auburn game. It is about logic- odds of success vs failure, and risk vs. benefit. In that analysis, given that we were leading, and given that we were in bad field position, it was a totally stupid decision. Just to get one first down. It could have ended up costing us the game. It is one thing to do that when you are on their 40 yard line; it is another thing to try it when you are on your own 30 yard line. Totally stupid. I wish someone like Spurrier would pull him aside and explain that. One day it’s going to cost us a game.

    Other than that- great game and great coaching.

  3. Tired of hearing about trask and ball security. He was hit in seconds from his blind side while in the process of throwing and had the ball stripped, twice. he also There is nothing he could do about that. Neither time was he just sitting in the pocket, they were bam bam plays done by one of the best DT’s in the college game this year who WILL be playing on sundays. Our LT just got beat and didnt protect trasks blind side. The other fumble the Tight end failed to pick up the block and a defender came untouched from the right while Trask was turned to the left to throw so he didnt see him and it was also a bam bam play where he had no time and should not have expected a guy on him so fast. All 3 times it was a failure of protection, NOT a failure of the QB. None of these 3 plays was he holding the ball too long, all were where the defenders were on him so fast , twice from behind him and once from the side he had just turned from to quick pass, he didnt have a chance to react. In the Towson game he held the ball too long and got sacked and that was on him but that wasnt the case with Auburn.

    • Ball security is ball security, if a running back is running with the ball and someone misses a block and the ball gets stripped, would you say the same thing?

      What about the UK game where everyone was covered and he could have turned his back to the line of scrimmage moon-walked 15 yards before someone touched him. I think he is doing a great job but to ignore his ball security issues is a little on the Orange and Blue “Back Up QB” Side.

      Lastly, he can go down to the ground if he has the awareness and can feel the pocket pressure. He has been playing behind this line for awhile, he should know by now they aren’t the best at holding blocks.

  4. If you want to really stop fumbles by Trask, find a blind side tackle who doesn’t get beaten so easily by outside rushers. Forsythe may be the best that UF has, but they need to find someone better or Trask won’t get away with only a twisted ankle.