Andreu’s Analysis: Long night in Knoxville

Tennessee mascot Smokey is seen in the first half of an NCAA college football game against UTEP Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Heading into the season, I believed that this Tennessee game would be crucial for the Gators because a win would keep the early momentum going for Dan Mullen in his rebuilding project. And a loss would, at least temporarily, stall it.

Now, after what happened two weeks ago in The Swamp with the devastating loss to Kentucky, this is a must-win game for Florida.

If the Gators fall to 0-2 and out of the Eastern Division race in September, the rest of the season could head south in a hurry. Looking at the rest of the SEC schedule (at Mississippi State, LSU, at Vanderbilt, Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina), it is conceivable that UF could end up going 0-8 in league play if the Gators don’t win Saturday night’s game.

Mullen talked this week about how this is going to be a fun challenge. What it really is is a scary one.

The Vols and Gators are two pretty evenly matched teams. Both have issues on offense and on the lines of scrimmage. Both have given up some big plays on defense and have appeared vulnerable.

The big difference is UT has a the home-field advantage. And it’s a big one. About 100,000 big.

When in doubt, go with the home team.

I just have a funny feeling that the Gators are going to make the Vols look good because of the shaky play on both lines of scrimmage. Lose the lines of scrimmage, lose the game. We saw it two weeks ago, we’ll see it again Saturday.

Prediction: Tennessee 20, Florida 9



  1. I really hope the team uses all these predictions against them as motivation. Hell even Chris Doering picked against them. The defensive players should probably go into hiding if they allow that pathetic offense to score 20 pts. 3 field goals is all you think we’re getting? Wow!

  2. I don’t think it’s that dire in Knoxville Saturday, although I certainly respect Robbie’s football acumen. But he’s right to bring up the bone of contention that we all know about and occasionally treat as a dead elephant in the middle of the room. We’ll see, but it may take more guts than this particular Gator team knows they have yet.

    • I posted this on another article but should have here instead:

      think this game is critical for us to win in not only determining the pecking order of the east but recruiting. We are already falling behind to “Alabama East” and can’t afford to lose to a team who has a first time head coach who was their 15th choice and just came off a dumpster fire, zero SEC win year. We have a long row to hoe just to be competitive with the Dawgs and don’t need to be trying to catch up with two teams in the east. We should be fine talent-wise but SHOULD have an overwhelming advantage at head coach. I love Mullen and was hoping he would one day be our HBC before we fired Chester Cheetos Teeth but losing to UT will make me more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

      I hope your much smarter than me and right 6!

  3. This game hinges on “gulp” Franks being able to make decisions faster and smarter early in the game than what he has shown in the past. Show of hands who thinks that will happen? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Trask leads Gators to 4th quarter TD. Not enough 20-10 Vols. Man I hate thinking that but that is what the product has been on the field so far. Please prove me wrong Gators. Everybody needs to step up their game including the coaching staff.

    • What I would like to see if for Mullen to get others on the offense involved, so that it is not all on Franks. A little bit of Toney, a bit of running from Peirce, those are the guys who can take the heat off Franks.

      • Pierce had a good play against the second team of a very poor team. If he were better than the other backs he would be in here. Can he pickup the blitzes and pass protect, can he run his routes? Why is it the guy sitting on the bench is always better than the starter in the fans mind.

        • Yeah, you’re right! The kid has no talent and can’t do anything except maybe gain yards and score touchdowns. A lot of good that’ll do us. He’ll wilt against an actual college team and they only put him in against 3rd stringers to make boobs like us think he may be something special. Why, he oughtta be carrying real players jocks, not pretending to to be one himself!

          But seriously, George, I know you didn’t say all that, but it would be great to get a chance to see him get a few more carries — the more we see, the more we can answer those questions!

      • And I think it will happen (getting others besides Franks involved). I don’t know what happened in the Kentucky game but I was stunned that Franks threw 38 times. That was not the plan that Mullen said he had for Franks — keep it simple for him and keep the pressure off him while you bring him on. I wondered if even the coaching staff got swept up in the hype after the first game and thought Franks was a lot further along than he was. Colorado State was more like what I expected for Franks (15 attempts) and I expect 15-20 attempts for the foreseeable future. The fact of the matter is, Franks can’t put it all on his shoulder and win games so the run game HAS to get going. So even if their are a lot of short gainers, I hope Mullen keeps pounding it and/or trying ways to get the ball to play-makers in space in the hopes of eventually making a run game happen.

  4. The Gator football program has been broken for 8+ years and it is only going to get WORSE before it gets better. Unfortunately, right now UF has a great Athletic program that happens to have a football team. Gator Fans that is the reality and the rebuilding process could take 4+ years before they are competing in the SEC east. I would be surprised if the gators win a conference game this year and this game against the VOLS is going to be UGLY!
    VOLS run for over 350 yards and pass for 250
    VOLS 45 Gators 17

  5. And yet, we hear nothing as to how this football program came to be at this level. We hear nothing about the previous administration lack of attention to detail and lack of pursuing and maintaining a tradition of a powerful football program at UF. We still here nothing about the current administration’s level of commitment and their time frame for re-building a once proud football program. Might want to put some other big money projects on hold and focus where the needs of biggest sport on campus is. Don’t hold onto a mistake because you spent a lot of time making it!

    And yet, this really could be a game Florida needs. The football team may really need a vacation from Gainesville. Get away and focus on team and focus on winning. Focus on coming out and just destroying an opponent from start to finish.

    And yet, Tennessee 21, Florida 17. Just don’t see anything in Florida’s performances so far that leads me to believe they’re in it to win it.

  6. Robbie is still bitter that the neighborhood kids were playing on his lawn back in 1990. Somebody teach this fella to smile a little. That’ll teach me to read his article while I’m enjoying my Friday lunch. I mean if you are gonna guess, maybe guess the Mighty Gators put up 10 pts; or is that too optimistic for ya. Go Gators! UF 27 UT 17. The whole team comes back from Knoxville and celebrates on Robbie’s lawn.

  7. I haven’t seen the Gators play a complete game so far this year and that’s what they’re going to need to win in Knoxville. The offense is what we thought it would be and the defense has a lot of trouble tackling. The only bright spot so far is that they haven’t blocked each other yet. Plus they’re going to be playing in front of a very hostile crowd. I hope I’m wrong but I have to go with the Orange Creamsicles by an embarrassing score.

  8. O Ye Of Little Faith – True Orange & Blue Gator Fans Know The Gators Will Be Up For This One (Rocky Top notwithstanding). If our O-line can just provide some pass protection and open several holes during this game for our running backs, I predict Gators win 27 – 23. GO GATORS!!!

  9. Debbie Downer please go away. Yes we are struggling and yes we have challenges, particularly the OLine. But I believe in Dan Mullen and I think we’ll all be surprised how quickly Mullen gets us back on track. Gators 17-10.

  10. Some have not watched Tennessee – being I live here I have… UHG they are going to be embarrassed even by a not great Gator team.

    Its a dumpster fire waiting to be exposed in Knoxville this year, the scores were very deceiving in their games against ETSU and UTEP. ETSU hurried the passer and tackled for loss more times than not against UT offensive line. Eventually turnovers and a few individual plays broke their undersized opponents. ETSU is in only its second or third year of football and play like it , equivalent to Junior college level ball or a freshman team so far.

    • Marshall, I live here too. And I agree. As much as we talk about the lack of Gator talent, UT is in an even more troublesome situation. This roster is not strong or deep. I don’t think either team is going to dominate. But I don’t see any reason why the Gators cannot win a game they really need to win.

  11. Man. Pat and Robbie…you sound like prophets of doom. So, the Gators came out flat against Kentucky. Like that’s some kind of tea-leaf indicator for dispair. It looked like Mullen and his staff failed to get them prepared to play a team they alway’s beat. Doubt that will happen against the Vols. The Gators have a fair share of talent, especially at the skill positions, although thin at db, and every reason to be on fire for an SEC road game, The coaches say they’ve been practicing hard and improving daily. The biggest unknown is whether or not any leaders will step up on both sides of the ball, especially at qb and lb. It’s too early in the season for all the pessimism. Go Gators!!!

  12. I have different reasons for thinking we win and maybe big. Tenn is constantly creating bad karma for themselves and the chickens are coming home to roost,…again like last year. The Lane Kiffen curse is still on them. And the way they treated Schiano last year with the rioting of the students ? They still have some penance to pay. They just don’t deserve to win. We have been good guys, albeit unskilled. We paid our dues for Mac already. Mullen is going to be good for us. This is Good v. Evil fellas and the good guys will win in the end.

  13. Man, such doom and gloom. I think both Robbie and Pat will be eating crow come Sunday morning, trying to explain how Florida romped. Peirce gets the start and does his best Emmitt Smith imitation. Toney scores on a jet sweep. Another blocked punt leads to a score and Franks looks like the reincarnation of Rex Grossman. All of this on top of a 53-yard field goal by Evan McPherson. Man I love Fridays in September. So easy to be optimistic. Gators 52-5!

    • David, I was tracking just fine and even getting really excited until you got to the ” Franks looks like the reincarnation of Rex Grossman ” part, at that point the eyes glazed over, the processors began smoking and the backup beepers started going off and I woke up in ICU ! In no portion of the known or unknown universe can I see or imagine Franks as the incarnation of Sexy Rexy , sorry, nada , kaput ! I’m just hoping that our O-line grew some coconut sized nads this week and we can pound the rock and find a groove with the ground game with a FEW play action passes sprinkled in at just the right times. I do of course hope that you are right and I am wrong about young Felipe.. GO GATOR !

    • David, I like your thinking. Sadly, there’s NOT enough of it around this program anymore. I do think Florida wins (the damn JET SWEEP is coming, it better be!). But to score 52, well, the Head Ball Coach will have to ”coach ’em up” to do that. But I totally dig your comment!

  14. I’m really pulling for Franks. There is such negativity on this site, I’m hoping he rises up and shows everyone. Don’t know why you folks root against him. He has great physical tools and is apparently a willing student. He’s the best we have. My only real criticism is the wind up, his release is too slow. Still, he’s our guy, let’s get behind him

    • I don’t see that much negativity here. Just lots of good discussion and opinions. And I don’t think anyone here “roots against” Franks. We’re Gator fans, why would we do that. But the reality is in the performance. And Franks performance to date (for many documented reasons) hasn’t been great. All the fans and posters here are wanting is to put the best QB on the field that will help this program in the long term. Many don’t think Franks is it. But if he turns out to be great…if he comes out Saturday and lights up Neyland, no one here will complain.

      Coach Mullen has his opinion on who’s best for this program and that is the only one that matters. And for now, he has chosen Franks. Whether I agree with that (I do) or not, I surely support Coach Mullen!!!

  15. MY OPINION: Pierce needs to get at LEAST 15 touches. He is the one back I have seen on the Gators with true,k game-changing ability, much like Percy Harvin had for 2 national titles. As for Franks, he’s completing 52.7 percent of his passes, one of the lowest for a starting QB in the country. He has not shown me much improvement. If he continues his weak showing, either put Trask in or give up on the season. Gators have game breakers. They just need to get them the ball. That’s my OPINION

      • You can’t deny the effort and explosiveness Pierce has, even on special teams. I like Scarlett but he doesn’t look the same at all. Didn’t see Scarlett making those plays on the second team of a bad team. Gotta give the “leading rusher” more than 3 carries and see what he can do.

  16. I don’t think either team is very good. It may be two of the worst three teams in the east duking it out. However I saw some of tenn play and I think UF is still better. I don’t think they will be able to run the ball and UF has looked vulnerable against the pass in the seams and deep and they don’t seem to attack them at all with Guaremtamo. Somehow UF wins an uglish game if they don’t turn the ball over. 20-9 UF!!!!!

  17. I haven’t watched Tennessee play, so I have to go by what others say about their problems. The Gators have problems, too, but I think that some of them have been exaggerated by fans and sports writers because no one is giving Kentucky any respect. Historically, KY is a poor team, so it’s hard to think of them as being much good now, but my sense is that they are ready to have a good season and surprise a few people. Not to the extent that they can challenge Georgia, but enough that they could end up number two in the SEC East. Their qb seems to have some impressive skills and they have a strong running game. This is to say that I do not think that the loss to KY means that the Gators are no good. The defense played very poorly in some ways (especially not staying in and taking care of gaps), but they were much more disciplined last Saturday. And Franks still struggles in some ways (with some improvement). Unless Tennessee is better than many here think, I like the Gators’ chances.

  18. I want to speak about something other than UF-UT this weekend. If we win, hooray, if we don’t, we are in a rebuilding stage that will take 3 or 4 years to do. HOW DID WE GET TO THIS STAGE IN THIS ONCE PROUD PROGRAM? Who’s fault is it? Why did it happen? Is there really a good excuse for it? Why are we EVER in a re-building mode? This isn’t Mullen’s fault, although I didn’t think we’d see a product like we saw when the Cats came to town. And by the way, Mullen was my first choice. Readers, we are living in a state that produces more blue chip players than anyone, sans Cali., and Tex. And I would argue we could hold our own with them. I have followed Gator football with faithfullness since the Woodruff days. When I say its been under achieving, that is being kind. With the exception of Spurrier and Meyer, we are always “Re-building”. Why? Why can’t we finally get “Re-built?” Why are so many blue-chips going elsewhere? Why are they even hesitating? We are the flagship University and should take a backseat to no one, FSU, and Miami notwithstanding. Well, you say, “We have to compete with FSU”, so what? What has happened to us? I have some reasons I’d like to share but I’d like to hear from you first. Feel free.

    • The fault for the state of Florida’s football program clearly lies with Jeremy Foley. First, he picked an inexperienced Bill Muschamp, and second he followed this bad choice by choosing Jim MacElwain. Given all that we heard about S&C and his general attitude towards the staff after MacElwain was fired, it is obvious that Foley did not properly investigate MacElwain before pulling the trigger. I can just imagine Saban licking his chops after Foley’s call to seek his opinion on MacElwain. Two bad choices in a row. It was also under Foley that Florida began to fall behind in the arms race that now defines college football. Florida should have had their indoor practice facility in 2010, 2012 at the latest. The football complex and other upgrades should already be constructed by now. Heck, Kentucky already has one. Now when you talk about the advent of the coaches behind the scene, the analyst, Florida is even further behind. Saban has masterfully used analyst to have new assistant coaches in waiting. It also allows their assistant oaches to focus more on recruiting. Ten years ago Florida and Alabama were even and battling for SEC supremacy. Foley’s decision to not keep up with Alabama’s spending is directly responsible for the fall of Florida and partially responsible for the rise of Alabama. Without a strong Florida Alabama was able to dominate the last 10 years. As much as Foley was responsible for the overall success of Florida’s athletic program, he is equally responsible for the demise of Florida football.

  19. Florida, on paper, has more talent than Tennessee. But that was true about Kentucky. But like Kentucky, it is a big deal that Tennessee’s QB (a true sophomore) is playing better than Florida’s QB (a redshirt sophomore). And I can only imagine that being the same on Saturday night. But I think special teams will again be the difference maker, unless Franks implodes again with a bunch of bad reads, late throws, and misses wide open receivers and throws into coverage instead (especially in the red zone). Somehow, this Florida team overcomes poor QB play and wins the game 31 to 21. The defense scores two TDs with a INT return and a fumble return in the first two quarters. McPherson makes his only FG attempt of the night, a 51 yarder at the end of the first half. One of the Florida RBs makes a long TD run. And the Florida defense creates a turnover deep in Tennessee territory and Franks manages to run for a score on 3rd and goal from the seven after picking up a dropped long snap and running free into the end zone on a broken play, but fumbles the ball going into the end zone. But replay shows he barely had crossed the line before fumbling the ball. The Gators come out alive in Rocky Top and with another smile on their faces. But Gator Nation is still not feeling good about things heading into Starkville. Go Gators. Just beat the Vols.

    • The gators may have more potential talent than KY but that potential has not been realized. Both OL and DL are soft. They are just not tough guys. I imagine that Mullen would love to have the DL he put together in Miss St.

  20. With all these predictions against us I feel like a lot of people have forgotten how bad Tennessee actually is. We should be able to win this game by 2 scores without a problem if we play good. And Kentucky is a lot better then people are giving them credit for. They have had the same coach for 6 years, they have shown improvement, they have an NFL running back, and their QB was ranked the number 1 junior college QB available.

  21. Pierce did break all of Herschel Walkers high school records. He hasn’t gotten much playing time yet, but when he got the ball at the end of the first game he had some nice runs, he had the touchdown run last week and he had the huge special teams hit on a kickoff (I can’t remember which game that was in). He was ranked the number 11 RB in the country coming out of high school. With his stats and high light tape I don’t know why he wasn’t a 5 star recruit and top 3 RB. I think he is the real deal when it’s all said and done. He’ll be in the NFL unless he has a serious injury.

  22. I posted this comment on Dooley picks… The problem is UF is saddled with a QB that looks like a NFL QB…great height (6′ 6″), strong arm, athletic and just looks the part…in reality he is a below average to average QB … at this point in his development …he is a QB that is just not consistent, he can’t seem to locate open receivers, he takes too long to throw the ball, he back peddles in the pocket or runs to the sidelines … he is certainly a QB that can, in any game, get his team beat by throwing interceptions or fumbling the ball at critical times and situations…he has a hard time making 3rd down conversions, which is essential in winning ball games…he’s just not accurate and will only complete 50 %+- of his passes most games … with that said…he has improved from last year by a great deal…but he is still making the same mistakes…but, he can beat any team he plays, if he has a good game, making good decisions and limits his mistakes…the problem is, you never know which Franks is going to show up…he will loses games we are suppose to win and then win games we are suppose to lose… It’s going to be a frustrating season with Franks …It is going to take at least a this year and next for him to develop… I do trust Mullen and his staff…But, I personally think it would take less time to develop Trask…Trask has a better vision of the field than Franks and throws a more accurate and catchable ball than Franks from what I’ve seen in practice …but, Franks sure looks the part…which, to me is the only reason he is starting over Trask.

    I really disagree with Robbie and Dooley and most of the comments on this site about our offensive line…they have done a very good job so far in pass protection…last year FRANKS was getting sacked 3-4 times a game…this year they have been sacked a total of 4 times through 3 games and a couple of those were due to bad snaps…Franks last year would sprint out pocket, towards the sidelines and either get sacked or run out of bounds for a loss…or back peddle past his blocking… and this year just about every time he has sprinted out of the pocket or back peddled… he has thrown an incomplete pass… or just plain missed seeing an open RW … he made the OL look worse than it really was. UF does have talent on the OL…I don’t care what anybody says…and as far as, the OL run blocking…I blame a lot on Scarlett technique of running into the line…Perine and M. Davis along with Pierce are different type of runners and are averaging well over 5 yds per carry…

    If UF played Kentucky 5 times… UF would win 4 of them…The defensive line and secondary lost that game…too many young linebackers and CB’s without experience on the field…younger guys will tend to play back a little too much… losing Wilson and not having Reese in the lineup hurt UF’s defense in a big way…an experienced Reese should really help these young LB’s this week…UF should get better each week…as confidence grows with these young LB’s and CB’s.

    UF does have more talent than UT and if Franks can limit his mistakes, which, I do think he will…once he settles down… UF should win this game by 20 points or so… PREDICTION : UF 42 UT 17

  23. Gators played a good Kentucky team and lost. Got beat up on both sides of the ball. Is there a chance that happens tomorrow, yes. There is also a chance that it doesn’t. Vegas seems to think Fl has something. Franks can come out hot tomorrow and light them up. That wouldn’t surprise me. He is due for a big one. Tenn isn’t Bama.Let’s say the lines play ok and Franks is decent, mix in a couple special teams plays and some good kicking, we might have something. We will be in this game.

  24. Against an average UT team, Gators need to get the ball to the playmakers. Not sure Franks has that ability yet. His 53.7 percent completion rate is last in SEC among starters. I have seen forced throws, and throws to a wide open receiver that missed by 5 yards. Mullen believes in him and he gets the big bucks to make these decisions. Tenn. will tell us if Franks is on the upswing or just doesn;t have it. If he doesn’t have it Saturday, it might be time to let Trask take the snaps. The season appears losr with Ut win.

  25. The offense is what most people fixate on and rightfully so. However, I had such high expectations for this season because I assumed our defense would be top 10 per usual and figured Mullen could get our offense to a respectable level in his first year. I NEVER would have guessed our defense would struggle the way they did against UK and if our offense doesn’t improve (which I think it has, just not as much as I had hoped, YET) then I’m at old lady level of worrying about our season. What I’m hoping is that UK is way better than anyone thought or even currently thinks and we go on to grow, get better and have a good season. It hinges on this Saturday however.

  26. I share in your assessment of this game Robbie. Better line play and home field advantage is more than enough to be the edge for UT. It is our special teams play that gives me some ray of hope for an upset.

    I disagree with you on the impact a loss would have on the season. Every week is a new week with this team.

  27. For all who deride Franks’ play, looking at this year, I do not think the comments are that accurate:

    1. Passing percentage – if you added back in the considerable amount of dropped passes that hit people right in the hands (especially backs and tight ends), his percentage would be in the 60’s.

    2. No, he doesn’t always throw a pretty ball, but if it is within one foot of your hands you should catch it. He has too often had to throw on the run even this year (thanks O-Line) and even then his passes are acceptable.

    3. When he runs the ball (not scrambling on a pass play) he has generally gained decent yardage. He certainly does not have the Tebow instinct and seem to abhor actual contact when he runs, but if he picks up a first down, I don’t care.

    Finally, with people calling to abandon the season and put the freshman Jones (who has looked lost when he has played) in to “get him ready,” how do you know that he will ever be better than Franks? Franks was also 4-star recruit just like Jones. Yes Jones is more in Mullen’s preferred mode of run/pass, but he is also not 6’6″ and I personally saw Franks run 70 yards like a Gazelle against A&M last year.

    So while all of you arm-chair head-coaches are sitting in your wing-back chairs smoking your pipes making sage decisions about your pretend roster on your iPads, please pause to consider that possibly our present coaching staff might have a modicum more insight into how each player plays, and a smidge more experience at coaching an actual team.

    Send your positive energy toward each player and our team and will them on to beat the Vols!

    • Pierre,
      Your on point. Dan Mullen is paid $6,000,000 per year. I don’t believe he would get that kind of money if he didn’t know how to run a program including evaluating talent. He took one of worst programs in FBS history and made it relevant. I have been preaching patience. Unfortunately, most gator fans have very little patience especially with the bad offense of the last two coaches. However, if your going to criticize the armchair quarterbacks on this site you are fighting a lost cause. This site exists for the benefit of the armchair quarterbacks out there.

      Coach Mullen believes Franks gives Florida the best chance to win now. If Florida doesn’t win today and Franks plays poorly, I wish Dan Mullen would give Trask more snaps so the fans can see for themselves if Trask is a better option. At least it would end the debate.

  28. Pierre, did you watch the interception throw Franks made when he tried to hit Hammond down the middle vs. CSU? That play defines the major issue Franks has a starting SEC QB and what he needs to improve on if he is ever going to be respected and feared as a QB in the SEC. Franks does not lack physical ability. His issue is a lack of an innate skill to seamlessly recognize the entire field and make a quick decision to throw or not to throw the ball to his primary receiver (also see the lack of a throw to RB Davis wide open in the end zone vs. Kentucky) and check to another open receiver and then the next one that is open in that progression. On the pass the Hammond, Franks released the ball about a second or a little more late and after Hammond’s initial separation from the defensive back. Franks saw Hammond soon enough to make a quick throw for a huge gain, but he doubted what he was seeing, hesitated, and then double pumped his right arm. That hesitation, due to a lack an innate skill to see and react to what is real, allowed the CSU corner to follow Franks eyes and movement and recover quickly to his left and intercept a pass that should have gone for a huge gain and likely a TD. The best QBs in the SEC would have hit that pass. Franks was intercepted. Nothing arm chair about that other than you should go back and look at that play so you understand the frustration most of us in Gator Nation feel concerning Franks play at QB. He is so skilled physically and yet so unskilled with his innate playing skills and execution. If he had the second part of that set of skills, Franks would likely be a Heisman candidate instead of a major question mark right now. Sadly, I am not sure he will ever have enough of the second skill set to become a consistently effective and winning SEC QB. The lasting direction he takes as a starting SEC QB, I believe, begins this weekend vs. Tennessee. If he plays poorly against the Vols and the offense struggles as a result, Mullen will be forced to consider Trask or Jones at the QB position. If Florida loses the game big with Franks and Franks does not play well, with Florida therefore and then being out of the SEC East title race, then I say go with the future at QB. And that is not Trask. It is most likely Jones for now. And maybe one of the two QB recruits on their way to Gainesville. Big game for Franks vs. Tennessee. As well as Florida for this year and in the future. A decision win for Florida and excellent play by Franks could effectively start the dominos to begin to fall toward Florida and Mullen both on the field and on the recruiting trail. A big loss, or even a close loss, could cause something less positive to happen. Fingers crossed.

    • Jones might be the future. However, if he isn’t ready maybe starting him damages him. He didn’t look ready in the few drives he got against Charleston Southern. Dan Mullen’s MO has been to sprinkle his freshman QBs into games to build their confidence instead of throwing them to the wolves. We should trust Dan Mullen and his track record of developing QBs. It might cause irreparable harm to start Jones against defenses the likes of MSU, LSU and Georgia. I acknowledge it’s hard to have patience when you see freshmen quarterbacks such as Tua and Fromm light it up their first year. However, their teams are good enough to allow their rapid development. This Gator team is not good enough to carry a freshman QB the same way.

  29. Tampa, good points, but please understand that nothing I said claimed that Franks was somehow awesome; he has not been. What I am saying is that going with Jones is equally a risk. The idea that ‘anyone would be better than this’ could be met by even deeper disappointment when we learn that despite his stars, Franks MIGHT actually be a better QB. I hope this is not the case, for I yearn for the days of yore when Florida was QBU.

    Not ignoring the multiple examples you have sighted – they are all valid, but we want the entire team to make strides and as CDM often says “learn how to win.” This does NOT center purely on the quarterback play. Your scenario may play out that Franks goes in the tank and is replaced in this game, possibly permanently, but if that happens you would see Trask at least for the next few games not Jones.

    Instead CDM should insert Jones for cameo appearances more often and let him have a throw or two. That is how CDM will get Jones ready.

    Let’s hope for all concerned that Fellipe has his best game ever, but I will not be holding my breath either. Instead, I want to see Pierce, Perine, and Scarlett pound the rock today and take the QB out of the equation today.