The Back Nine: Mullen keeping Franks as starter

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Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks looks to hand off the ball against LSU at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Oct. 7, 2017. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

The Back Nine comes at you after another Florida-Georgia game that left Gator fans feeling empty. My theory on why people party so much at tailgates at the WLOCP is that they know half of the fans are going to leave disappointed.

10. It was pretty clear at Dan Mullen’s Monday news conference that any noise in the system from fans who want to see the Gators go to a different quarterback is falling on deaf ears (if he hears it at all). Feleipe Franks has committed four turnovers in the last two starts. Florida overcame the first two and couldn’t on Saturday. I asked Mullen if the leash was any shorter on his starter. He said it isn’t. “We’ve just gotta secure the ball better,” he said. “Obviously, the fumble (against Georgia) was a bad play. But that’s everybody. I’m not going to bench our running back because he fumbled. We just gotta coach them better.” It seems like a long time ago that Florida was leading the nation in turnover margin. The Gators were plus-11 before the Vandy game, but they are now only at plus-6. Not only have the Gators lost six turnovers, but they have only picked up one in these last two games — an innocuous pick by Chauncey Gardner-Johnson with five seconds remaining at Vandy. Mullen also said Kyle Trask is still getting the second-team snaps and there is a package for Emory Jones similar to what he ran against the Bulldogs. Jones, he said, will play in “at least two more games this year” because of the new redshirt rule.

11. I have to admit I was surprised to see Florida ranked 13th in the latest AP poll, but I also get it. When I went to do my poll, I put Florida in at 17. And then as I went through it, I realized I couldn’t find 16 teams with better resumes because so many teams lost Saturday (I ended up putting UF 15th). While we didn’t have the monumental, ground-shaking upsets in college football, it wasn’t a good day for the teams outside the top five where 11 of the next 20 lost. If you look at the resumes, you get why Florida is ranked where it is. The Gators have two wins over teams ranked in the top 25, one of them who has a shot at the College Football Playoff. Very few teams can claim that. And both losses were to top 11 teams. That’s why Texas A&M is still ranked with three losses, all to teams currently ranked and two of them at No. 1 and No. 2.

12. This was a bit of a weird experience for me in Jacksonville — I missed “I Won’t Back Down.” I know that it’s been that way for half of Florida’s games this season with three on the road before Georgia, but that was the first time I was a little melancholy that it wasn’t blasting over the PA with fans singing it at the third quarter break and flashing their phones. It was last October that Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin called me to ask what I thought of the idea as a Tom Petty fan and I told him it was perfect. It’s become quite the special tradition, even if Florida has only one Power 5 win in home games since it started. There are even (unlicensed) T-shirts commemorating the song and it was also great to hear last weekend how his family was touched by the new tradition. “I haven’t had a chance to thank the University of Florida, but when you guys are singing at the end of the third quarter — we watched you from California the first time you did it and we just all cried,” Bruce Petty said last week. It gives me goosebumps every time. And we all get three more chances in the next three weeks with the Gators playing three straight home games. (Mullen on Monday talked about the “great challenge for the Gator Nation” this week, which is code for “we need you to be like you were for LSU”). It is funny how so many of Florida’s game day traditions have come over the last 13 years, first with Urban Meyer and then with Stricklin. Now if I can just get them to play Petty’s “Gainesville” and Drew Copeland’s “A Little Like Heaven” in the stadium before the games.

13. Kentucky’s magical win Saturday came because of a shaky-at-best pass interference call in the end and that allowed the Wildcats an untimed down. Not only that, but the game-winning touchdown looked like offensive pass interference. I guess the Wildcats were due a couple of breaks considering their history. I’ve always been a believer that you have to play around poor officiating (as Florida did on its six-play goal-line stand). But it’s hard to play around a bad call on the last two plays of the game. Even with their lofty ranking and stunning record, the Wildcats open up as 10-point underdogs to Georgia. If Kentucky avoids turnovers and plays within itself, I think they can win the game. By the way, Alabama is a 14-point favorite at LSU, the largest home underdog the Tigers have been since Rex Grossman and the Gators went to Tiger Stadium in 2001 (Florida won 44-15).

14. I have to admit I didn’t stay up for all of the epic 18-inning Boston-Los Angeles game Friday night/Saturday morning, but I saw every one of the Red Sox’s four wins in capturing the World Series. The best part was watching Alex Cora take the philosophy of trying to win the game he was playing at the time and not worrying about the next one. I saw a graphic on Twitter that someone who is a fan of Boston sports who is 16 years old has seen the teams in Beantown win 11 world championships in the four major sports. That’s impressive. The only negative is that we don’t have World Series games this week. And as great as Steve Pearce was in winning the MVP, I’d have been tempted to give the award to David Price, who gave up six hits and three runs in 13 innings of two starts. Am I the only person who thinks there should be a separate postseason MVP award for the player who is the best overall of all the playoff series combined? Maybe I am.

15. The game between the Rams and Packers on Sunday was a beauty and lived up to the hype (although it would have been better to see if Aaron Rodgers had a chance at the end instead of Ty Montgomery fumbling it away). What was most impressive was Todd Gurley going down on purpose when he could have scored a touchdown because he knew if he didn’t score the game would be over. That may have messed up some people in Vegas and fantasy owners, but that’s not what the game is about. Meanwhile the pro teams in our state are a combined 10-13 and all three of the Power Five college teams lost by a combined 122-41. Maybe it’s something in the water.

16. It has been a rough season for Becky Burleigh and her UF soccer team, but I watched every second of its SEC Tournament win over Auburn. I’m not sure I have ever seen a goalkeeper only allow one made shot on five penalty kicks, but the bigger story was that Florida got it to overtime despite playing with only 10 players the final 55 minutes because of a red card (it was deserved). Florida plays SEC champ Vandy today at 6 p.m. Well done, ladies.

17. The Tweet of the Week comes from ESPN personality Trey Wingo — “Jameis Winston has played 48 games in his NFL career. He’s thrown 50 interceptions and fumbled 21 times. 48 games… 71 turnovers. He is what he is and if you expect it to change at this point … that’s on you.” That’s dead on. It’s amazing to me that a quarterback who has played as many games as he has can still throw the ball up for grabs as often as he does.

18. So my headphones need this little connector to work with my iPhone and I can’t find it so that’s my excuse for not working out this week. Too bad because I have this great playlist:

• “Back Down” by Bob Moses.

• “Song About You” by Mike Posner.

• “Ohio” by Andrew McMahon and The Wilderness.

• “I Should Have Known” by JD and the Straight Shot.

• And for an old one, “Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots. Hard to believe that qualifies as an oldie, but it was 26 years ago.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

75 COMMENTS

  1. Franks is the best qb we have. We need him to play well to finish a potentially great season. I will be at the game Saturday and hope to see the stadium full. Go Gators!

    Always enjoys reading the Back Nine Pat. Thanks

    • Beg to differ on QB. He might throw the farthest, but his accuracy, timing, and reading of defenses and progressions is NOT the best on this team. You got Trask, Jones, even Toney. But a head coach and QB coach that were enamored with the big arm and athleticism. I get it, as we all were initially a couple years ago, until we all saw for ourselves why Mac had kept him behind Del Rio all that time. And Mullen hears all the QB wisperer talk, and sees a challenge in creating the next Prescott. I can see his position. I just hope Mullen doesn’t feel penned in by his initial instincts, because this offense could really take off with a halfway decent passing game. OL is coming on, running backs and receivers are looking solid.

      • Well ’84, this certainly has become a tad more perplexing as the season develops. I don’t think CDM feels penned in by his choice tho — what I do think is that there is a lot more to the Franks-Trask-Jones (and Toney) nexus from the inside coaching perspective than has been revealed to the rest of us. You’re in good company tho with that speculation, as Daz Wazell has expressed something similar with the concept of “coaching stubborness” (or more recently, messing up the QB progression for next season). Food for thought, although I still don’t buy it completely. I suspect that we’re just going to have to hunker down and trust the coaching staff here. You’ll surely get blasted for raising the question again, but hold your ground — it’ll all eventually come out in the wash!

      • I think that we as fans are looking through a different lens than coach, while we have been seeing the bad decisions and lack of field vision for 2+ years now ( it doesn’t matter who’s system your in, you can’t make that pick throw as a 3rd year QB, especially when there are open targets elsewhere ), Coach is viewing him as a 1st year starter in his system that he has publicly stated takes most QB’s 2-3 years to fully grasp. It’s easy to see why any QB coach would become enamored with Franks, half the QB’s in the league couldn’t make the TD throw he made in the start of the 2nd half. He has an elite arm and I’m betting that CDM is thinking like many of us that if he continues to improve his decision making and learn to see the whole field, the sky is the limit for him. The problem for us though is those are 2 BIG if’s and right now there aren’t any better options in their collective minds. I personally would love to see Trask get a chance. I do trust the coaches , but some guy’s just never shine until the bright lights are on them and you never know. But that’s just me. Young Jones made a beautiful throw on the long ball, but you could tell on the pitch decision that he’s not ready yet. Big picture, the arrow is pointing way up for us.

  2. Mullen is making the best rational decisions on who plays. There is little benefit to burning the redshirt on Emory when we have no chance of winning a title. The coaches see the players practice and not one coach has ever thought Trask should be the starter. Finish strong this year and then let’s see who wins the starting job next year.

    • What about the concept of burning the redshirt on Jones to get him ready to play next season so you can win a title then? I don’t think we will ever even win the East with Franks as the starter much less a real title. I’m not bashing Franks as much as just calling it how I see it.

      • If you are bashing Franks you must be an FSU troll, JUST KIDDING
        I agree with you it’s not bashing when you state what everyone else can see in plain sight, Franks is very limited at best and we won’t get too far with him at the helm.
        Having said that I don’t see the benefit in burning the RS with Jones, he can still play in 2 more games to gain experience and it looks like that is what’s going to happen.
        Go Gators!

      • I agree with you and a plan could have been to play him more earlier to see what he has, but at this point I do think you save the redshirt and as CO said…allow some scripted plays for him to get used to the live bullets in the SEC. I don’t have a problem with analyzing play…and like you guys feel his ceiling has been realized or may be close by. Good kid, strong arm, beloved teammate…all of that…and in fairness probably was not coached up by Nuss, but feel we will likely move on by next year.

        I believe the bowl game does count, btw

    • Agreed. Still, I would like to see Trask get some live action if even in mop up duty just to see what he’s got. Could it be that is why we haven’t seen him play at all? because he’s close enough to Franks in ability that coach doesn’t want the distraction of a ” QB controversy ” in the event that he did play well and all the “noise in the system” that it would create? I do wonder if that is the case, especially now that Franks has had a couple of turnover prone outings. I would like to see him get a quarter against Idaho as a reward for being a good sport as well as Jones getting a couple of series..

  3. Franks has done some nice things this season and fought hard. He did not have a great game against Georgia and I feel for him because I believe he wants very badly to do well for his team. But, next week is another week and a shot at redemption. UGA fans were calling for Fromm to be benched after the LSU game, and MSU fans turned against Fitzgerald– then they both had good games and everyone loves them again. It’s all part of being out there.

    I would just love to see these guys protect the ball. Teams have seen the careless ball handling and they will be trying for the strip because they know our guys are prone to get careless.

  4. I don’t think Mullen has much choice but to keep Franks as the starter. Really don’t think you can go backwards and simplify the offense and play calling for a true freshman to run the offense at this point in the season. I think Mullen should utilize Jones more and more as the season goes on and slowly phase out Franks. Franks is not the answer at qb for this team. He’s not a spread qb to begin with.

    • Probably so, LT — and also any further discussion of Trask is probably moot. I think from here on, we just get to the end of the season with the best record possible, win a good bowl game, and kick ass during the recruiting season. This is Year One.

      • Gator 6. I agree that Trask is probably an afterthought at this point but I don’t understand why it’s turned out that way. I said before the season that I thought trask should be the starter simply based on decision making alone. Franks just hasnt progressed as a decision maker. I know a lot of people say the coaches know best but how many times before, across the country, have we seen coaches resist going to the back up but when they finally do, the back up lights it up and the fans are saying “I told you so”? We have also seen just as many times the back up come in and lay an egg. My stance is, why not give him a shot? What’s the worst that could happen? He comes in, makes a bad decision, throws a pick, and you put Franks back in.

        • I’m with you on that — but here’s another scenario: What if Franks goes down with a season-ending injury? Who’s up? Do you burn the red shirt on Jones, who is probably still learning the system? Do you start Toney, who isn’t on the roster as a QB? Or do you go to Trask, who has (a) knowledge of the system and, (b) skill sets at the position?

        • Trask is best decision making? What do you base this statement on. If it is the spring game forget it. The QB’s were not even allowed to be touched. I imagine in practice Trash is not very good at decision making with guys hitting him in the mouth. I still do not understand this fascination with Trash. The guy did not start in H.S. and he was Mac’s choice and we know how well he was at making those choices.

          • That’s the part that’s very confusing to me George. I keep seeing people just outright claiming that Trask is better at this and obviously better at that, but how the heck is anyone so sure of that? When you’re throwing absolutes out there is when you’re going to get a lot of opposition. There isn’t a single person in the fan base, unless they’re around the team every second of the day, that knows for sure that Trask is great at anything.

          • George73 I’m basing my opinion on trask on both the spring game and what little bit of practice myself and others have gotten to see. Sure, trask doesn’t face a lot of pressure in the spring game and in practice because they limit hits on the qbs but, since that’s the case, how would anyone know how he would respond to pressure unless he actually plays in the game. When he has played, he’s looked good. But he hasn’t played much. Which is why he should get a shot. Give him a shot and if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t lost anything because Franks isn’t working out either. I just believe he deserves a shot.

        • LT there really hasn’t been a reason to start playing the flip flopping Qb game that’s going to kill Franks’ already fragile confidence. The loss to UK wasn’t his fault. He had his best career game passing up to that point. The defense lost that game. Up to the UGA game, he was 6-1 and showing gradual improvement with the occasional hiccup here and there, which is to be expected. Even in that game while he was struggling, he still managed to get it together and take the lead with a beautiful TD pass to Swain in the 3rd qtr, which gave no reason what so ever for Mullen to feel he suddenly needed to throw a guy in who hasn’t played significant minutes in years, especially against a top 5 team. Had he done that and failed, then the fans would’ve been criticizing the decision right and left. I would think, and this is only an assumption, that maybe Trask is showing in practice that he’s not a very willing runner and may be a little tentative when it comes to that aspect of the offense, and for Mullen’s offense to be successful, the defense has to think the QB could run, which opens things up. Trask doesn’t add anything that Franks doesn’t if you take that aspect of his game away. In fact the offense becomes more one dimensional. Mullen isn’t suddenly going to open up his playbook with a very green QB. He’d probably dial it back. Putting Jones in as a wrinkle to confuse their defense made sense with his multidimensional game. This team had everything in front of them with Franks at Qb, but unfortunately the lack of depth in the secondary was the biggest killer that finally caught up to them. There was no reason to flip flop up to this point and now there’s really no reason to give anyone other than Jones more reps as he’s the future. It’s pretty obvious now, that there’s no way with a second year Emory Jones and Jalon Jones coming it, that Trask will have a chance to start next season.

          • Nicely crafted, Joe — good points all. I’m a guy who would just like to see what Trask has in a real game — absent being able to see him practice — that’s the long and short of it. Certainly not willing to fall on my own sword over it though, or set myself on fire; maybe if Cody Alan is still attending practices, he can shed some light again.

          • Believe me, I’d like to see him play some simply to end all the Trask is amazing talk. Unfortunately I just don’t see it happening at this point.

          • Joe
            I’m just saying give the guy a shot. I feel like Mullen has scaled his offense back quite a bit to help Franks not make mistakes. That has made Franks look a little better in some games than he is because he’s not asked to do much. Do any of us have faith in Franks in a pressure moment in a clear passing situation. The middle of the Georgia game probably wouldn’t have been the best time to switch qbs but why not give Trask a shot at some point? Does anyone here think he doesn’t deserve a shot? When you practice hard, practice well, have been loyal to the program, and the starter is limited in his capabilities and is struggling, what player doesn’t deserve a shot? Why even keep showing up for practice if it’s becoming obvious you will never get to play? He’s been the good soldier, I think they should get him some meaningful snaps and see how he does.

        • Lt I think Frank’s is a practice warrior, far as we know he may look like Brady in practice. I wish I could see what Mullen see in him vs the other QBs. We base what we saw in the spring game, and Trask looked more like a QB, at least from my experience of watching Frank’s since his first spring game 3 seasons ago. It’s really no need to bench him at this point.

          • Jonzee
            I’m sure Franks has looked good in practice. But both Mullen and McElwain have said Trask legitimately pushed FRanks for the job. So I think he should get some real game time to see how he does. Wuerffel never looked like the best qb on the team in practice. Never. We always had a qb that had a stronger arm and looked better in practice. But Wuerffel was a gamer. Nobody handled the pressure like he could. When the blitz was on, Danny was money. But you never know that about a guy until he gets in the game. First it was Terry Dean that looked better in practice than Danny. When Dean was gone, it was Eric Kresser lighting it up. But none of them could be the gamer Danny was. I just think Trask deserves a shot at meaningful snaps and see how he does.

      • Way to go LT agree 110% Frank lover’s especially the one who said Trask not Trash didn’t play in high school he played behind a Qb who could run and throw it, the only thing Franks could do was throw it long and deep and no accuracy and run over guys smaller than himself, I think he should play wide reciever remember Cris Collingsworth turned out to be great for him.

    • Really great discussion on the merits of Franks and the other QB’s, guys. Not sure I can add anything of value, but I think if an improvement in the passing game is what you’re looking for, and I think it’s the missing element, Trask is probably a better option than Jones at this point. But as many have pointed out, we don’t have any way of knowing for sure until Trask gets a shot. It’ll probably take another loss for that to happen, so let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

  5. Coach Mullen greatly values experience in his system. For that reason, if Franks remains the starter for the rest of the season, it’s likely we’ll see him in that role next year. One thing to like about Franks is his grit, but as an athlete he frequently looks awkward instead of confident and on top of things. I keep telling myself that he just needs more time to develop, but sometimes I wonder, as talented as he sometimes appears to be, if he has an inate tendency to go into a funk and become mistake prone. Coach Mullen thinks Franks is the right man for the job. He believes that his starter has the ability to overcome shortcomings through coaching and hard work. I hope Mullen is successful in helping Franks grow out of his awkwardness and into a polished athlete. It will be a challenge.

      • Gator 6. I will have to politely disagree with that. At times on Saturday, the deer in the headlights look was exactly the feel I was getting from Franks. I think Mullen thought so to and he started going more conservative on the play calling because of it. I though Franks really regressed on Saturday. Hopefully things change this week because I promise everyone, Missouri is a very loseable game.

        • You bet it is, and if we go in there with anything less than relentless effort, they are very capable of knocking our little dingalings in the dirt. But the look I was referring to was seen frequently with Driskel and Harris — the, “Oh hell, what have I gotten myself into now” look of abject terror. I’ll never forget it…..and THAT look I have never seen once out of Felipe Franks. 🐊

          • Gator 6
            I’ll agree I haven’t seen that with Franks. What I have seen is a guy that at times seems lost when deciding on where to go with the ball and who actually seems overconfident in his abilities sometimes. I think at best Mullen can make him a serviceable qb. But really not much better than he already is. I’m looking forward to seeing the two jones compete for the job next year because, unlike some other fans, I don’t see Franks starting next year barring injuries to others.

        • LT & 6…Yeah, I saw a guy that lost his confidence and was playing tentative as a result. There are days when you just don’t have it, and this was the case for him vs UGA. We all know he will do at least 2 bonehead plays…but even completions were “off” if you get what I am saying….and he never rebounded.

  6. For the rest of this season, the focus needs to be on tightening the leaks and easing past the next four, winnable games. We know that with Franks as the starter, the 3 home games and trip to Hellahassee should result in a 10-2 season, a top 10 finish, and a nice bowl matchup. This, of course, only comes with no more injuries or suspensions to the DBs.

    10-2. So possible. Would not have seemed possible 365 days ago. But what seems possible 365 days from now?

    • Too funny but I feel exactly the opposite of what you said. We know that with Franks as the starter , the next 2 home games and the trip to Tallycrappy are not automatic wins. If he keeps averaging a pick and a fumble per game and keeps missing wide open guys then we can very well lose one or more of these 3 very winnable games. That would be a crying shame since with decent QB play the rest of the way, a 10 -2 season is within reach.

      • Well, it sure looks that way anyway, CO — are you suggesting rotating QBs in and out, depending on the game situation? I mean, you didn’t say that per se, but Jones does have two full game left before his red shirt is burned, despite his relative unfamiliarity with the system, Franks does have some definite strengths despite his apparent liabilities, and even Trask and/or Toney could contribute if needed.

        Now, recognizing you’re open minded, still don’t hear me advocate for all that. I’m just tossing it out there.

        • I’m getting exhausted on this site by the insanity. People who agree that Mullen is a smart, solid coach think he is somehow blind both to Franks’ limitations and to Trask’s and Jones’s under-utilized abilities. We can all see the issues with Franks. On that horrifying interception, he had the RB float a few yards downfield and then flash wide open. Just no peripheral vision. But I firmly believe that if Trask were even close to Franks in talent and smarts, he would be on the field. Jones csn use the rest of his redshirt eligibility to learn and give the D something to think about. But this is Franks’s offense, like it or not. It kills me that we don’t run any RB screens with our solid backfield, but Franks has no touch for such throws. However, Mullen still has time to work on safer patterns to avoid mistakes as much as possible.

          I’m betting the house that we win the next four games. Our talent measures up and our coaching crushes it.

          • Hey NWIA — I’ve said consistently that it’s CDM’s decision, and he no doubt knows a lot more behind the scenes that we don’t. But the question does get raised all the time, and it started me thinking about “what ifs”. So “what if” Franks goes down with an injury? Who’s first up? Who’s second up? Again, not advocating for anything, just an interesting question in the context of this particular debate. Come to think of it, also — what are the relative probabilities of success with either back up?

            BTW, I’m betting Gator65’s mortgage too that we win out! 😆

  7. I really do not understand the way Dooley talks about Mullen. Seems to be very critical. I remember all those years that he kept defending The Chump. He still talks about him in positive light. USC was supposed to be the 2nd best team in the east. If it had not been for the rain they would have lost to Missouri and they barely beat TN. The Chump will be gone form USC after one more year. No one expected the gators to even be in the top 25 this year, but they are there for now. There is only one guaranteed win out of the next 4 games. Franks is certainly not great but when looking at the choices he is what we have. Trying out a freshman just so he can get some experience and possibly losing the next 4 games is silly. Trask is a none factor and I wish those calling for him would get a life, if the guy were better than Franks he would be playing.

  8. As i watched the game I couldn’t hear it very well as i was watching it online they highlighted the touch down pass Franks threw to 16 whatever his name is forget right now, they put a cose up on his eyes again he was eyeing the reciever all the way georgia defender just missed that int by a step, vintage Franks and if this is the way CDM and BJ is going to coach the Gators are in trouble, being hard headed and stubborn when you see a guy is not doing the job and still leave him in and still start him I think this just might be another loss with Franks at the helm, he is just not good

    • Actually he looked left first before looking at Swain, which caused the safety to bite a little and opened the very small window that he threw a laser through. Had he been staring him down the whole way, then that defender would’ve picked it. I know you couldn’t hear it, but the announcers even pointed out how great it was that he looked the defender away to open that window. That’s one play in the game no one should criticize him for.

    • Jacob…how are we in trouble losing to a team with a higher ranking? This was a poor game…true, but Franks has played much better this year…and the play you speak of, he looked off the receiver beautifully. The rest of the game, he was off.

    • Spurrier would have rotated Franks and Trask a few games ago, Mullen will sprinkle in small doses of Jones but keep Franks as the #1 guy until the end of the season. Trask will transfer in the offseason and hopefully Jones will win the starting job for next year

      • That’s debatable. In 12 years of coaching the Gators, Spurrier only rotated 2 Qbs in 1 season in 1997, and that was more a result of having 2 Qbs who were very capable of running the offense equally as good. It allowed him to counsel the QBs in between plays without having to call timeouts. This gave him more control of the offense and kept him one step ahead of the defense, which we all know he thrived on. Other than that season, he pretty much stuck with one guy and only pulled them in games as punishment to prove a point or wake them up. No way in hell he would flip flop Qb’s if he’s not sure if a guy can run his offense properly.

        • Joe….if you mean rotating as in every play like 97…correct. Not sure if CO meant that vs both playing. SOS, however, also viewed the QB position like any other…if you are not playing well, you would see the bench. Now in 1993, recall he went back and forth with Dean and Wuerffel…and Dean actually played in the SEC title game. 1994 Dean was the Heisman leader until the Auburn game….then Wuerffel took the reigns from then on out. To your point, he never juggled with Eric Kresser (who was a damn good QB…but just the same class as Danny…and transferred to Marshall and won a title there in 1AA). Don’t forget the back and forth with Jesse Palmer and Rex Grossman, with Rex finally taking the full reigns in 2000…and in the 2001 season when he should have won the Heisman.

        • You imply Trask is not capable of running the O as “good” as Franks, sadly we don’t know if that’s the case. That is the whole gist of this argument, for all we know Trask could be better, or not, we just don’t know.
          Wish we did

  9. Most of the posters want Coach Mullen to replace our QB with a QB who is riding the bench! Why is the backup QB not in games? Could it be the coaching staff actually knows what they see in practice? Could it possibly be they know more and see more than the posters? The backup QB’s are always more popular than the QB who is playing! Get over it! Coach Mullen knows what he is doing! Be the fan pull for the team! Let the head football coach and the coaching staff coach! We are 6-2 enjoy the journey!

  10. If Franks could run like Jones, the offense would work as designed. The defense would not be able to key on the rbs if they had to worry more about the qb taking off with the ball. Franks is tough, but Jones is a natural runner. I wish they had let Jones stay in the game longer Saturday, because Franks was having a bad game. I hope they work him more into the game plans, even if Franks remains the starter..

    • Respectfully disagree, Prairiegator. The Gators need an improvement in the passing game, not the running game. There’s no way to know if Jones can provide that until he plays more. When the QB is the focal point of the running game, IMO, the game of football regresses to a 1940’s era style. Anyone wanting to see that style need only go down to the municipal field on Saturday morning and watch rec-league games. I may be alone, but on Saturday afternoons in major college football, I want to see QB’s who can stand in the pocket, move enough to buy extra time, find the open man, and deliver an accurate throw on time. Mobile QB’s improve the passing game and provide an added running threat, but when they take over the running game as well, the aesthetic of the game suffers.

        • I do agree the one pass Jones threw was on time and on target, and he may end up a much better passer than Franks. Maybe we’ll get a glimpse in the coming games. I guess it’s just my bias against seeing the QB doing everything. On the other hand, if CDM can turn the Gators into championship contenders with a running QB, I’ll get used to it.

  11. i know even less than you all, but the one thing i like, and believe, is that jones played well enough in practice to get in a big game, got a chance and did well. i know that may sound like captain obvious, but i am convinced players have been put in games by previous coaches that may not have been the best option we had. whether its recruiting promises, or poor judgment, or who knows, placating the fans. this was handled well by CDM imo. Jones earned his shot, did well, so he is feeling good about himself, or sure should. Franks now can see that jones is the real deal, but at the same time is being treated well by the coaches to put the best film he can for everyone to see and win games. there is now a better path towards elite success at the qb position than there has been since tebow left, with a minor exception to one game of will grier’s. if so, and i believe it is, i would chose that over beating Georgia, and make no mistake, i genuinely desire to beat georgia in every way possible.