Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, who is recovering from a mild knee sprain, was limited at practice Monday, but was back at full speed Tuesday.
“We expect him to be full go again today,” UF coach Dan Mullen said on Wednesday’s SEC coaches’ teleconference.
Trask injured his knee in the first half against Auburn on Saturday, but returned and helped lead the Gators to a 24-13 victory. On Monday, he was wearing a compression sleeve and brace on his left knee and said the pain was starting to subside. “I feel good. I’ll be ready to go Saturday,” he said.
Following the win over then-No. 7 Auburn, Mullen has been named The Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week. The Gators have now won 10 consecutive games under Mullen, with another top-10 showdown looming Saturday at LSU.
“Coach Mullen has quickly restored the Florida program to national prominence,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “Coach Dodd would be proud of his ability to turn around the program in such a short amount of time, while also committed to excellence in the classroom and the community.”
Brown a beast
Florida offensive line coach John Hevesy had watched tape of dominant Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown. But seeing him in person last Saturday gave him a whole new perspective on just how good he is. Brown had a sack, recovered two fumbles and caused one. He returned his sack-fumble 42 yards before tripping himself up.
“Watching film, I knew he was a good player and he’s probably in the top two that I’ve seen in 15 years in this league,” Hevesy said. “His size, and as athletic as he is. He got that fumble and started running with it, I don’t know if anyone was catching him. Thank God for the 39-yard line. He tripped on it. Otherwise we weren’t catching him, which is how big and athletic that kid is.
“He did a great job. He did exactly what I knew he’d do. We combatted for about 75-80 percent of it, which is a lot of positive we got out of it, but there are still things we got to get better at knowing you played a great, big guy.
“It was good going into this week because you got the same thing (playing against LSU’s defensive front). They’ve got big guys over there, too. You’ve got to bend a little more, play a little lower in the legs, sit down, hunker down.”
Running game spark?
After doing nothing on the ground through the first three-plus quarters against Brown and the Tigers, the Gators finally made a big play in the running game, Lamical Perine’s 88-yard TD dash with 9:04 left in the game.
Could this be a breakthrough moment for the young and inexperienced offensive line?
“You know, Lamical’s run was great, which is the result of just us pounding and sticking with the run game,” senior center Nick Buchanan said. “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing and we’re going to keep leaning and grinding on people as an offensive line, and our backs are going to keep running hard and running through people and running around people. We’re going to see what happens with that.”
‘D’ getting it done
The Florida defense was close to flawless in its dominant performance against Auburn. The Gators had no penalties and only one busted assignment in pass coverage that led to a 46-yard reception.
“I’ll take a five yards offsides and not give up that big play,” Grantham said. “But as a general rule, we don’t want to give up first downs with penalties or easy-access yards that way. So, we do want to play clean. But being clean in both of those areas is a good thing. I always talk about making them earn it, go the long, hard way, and if you do that and don’t give up explosive plays, you have a chance to be hard to score on. That’s really what’s kind of happened this year.”