Before every game, veteran college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here’s Week 2:
1. Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks was benched in the second half of last year’s game. Will he atone? Or will he struggle against the ’Cats again.
He struggled at times, but this loss isn’t on Franks. It’s on both lines of scrimmage, which were dominated by Kentucky’s offensive and defensive fronts. Franks didn’t play great, but he got no help from the running game and was under duress for much of the night by the UK pass rush. Coach Dan Mullen said Franks never got rattled and only had a few bad reads. The one everyone will remember was his failure to see a wide-open Malik Davis on the go for two late in the fourth quarter that would have brought the Gators to within three.
2. Can the Gators generate some much-needed push up front in the running game?
We probably knew the answer to this a week ago. If you can’t run the ball against Charleston Southern, how can you expect to do it against an SEC defense? So, no, there was no push in the running game. The Gators have some talented backs, but if the line is inadequate, which this one obviously is, they’re not going to have a chance to give the offense any balance.
3. The UF defense held running back Benny Snell Jr. to less than 100 yards rushing last season. Can the Gators do it again?
Not even close. The defensive front could not get off blocks and Snell was able to consistently gut the Gators. When they appeared to have him contained, he’d break tackles and make plays on his own. He was the star of the game, rushing for 175 yards on 27 carries. He does have an adequate line — and the Gators now have big concerns about their run defense.
4. Who wins the matchup between the UK receivers and the UF defensive backs?
Any chance the Gators had of winning this match-up ended on UK’s second offensive play, when cornerback Marco Wilson went down with a season-ending knee injury. The secondary got burned on touchdown passes of 29 and 54 yards, the latter coming on a third-and-16. In defense of the DBs, they got zero help from their front, which generated almost no pass rush. When the Gators did bring some heat, they failed to contain Terry Wilson, who burned the defense with his ability to scramble.
5. Will the Florida tight ends be more involved in the offense?
A wide-open Moral Stephens caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, but other than that, the tight ends were no factor. They are supposed to be key component in the offense, but through the first two games, they have not been consistently targeted in the passing game.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.