Andreu's Answers: Gator defense falters badly, leading to unhappy homecoming for Trask
Before every Florida game, veteran college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here's Week 3:
Will the Texas A&M running game give the Aggies a chance to control the ball and the clock and keep the UF offense on the sideline for long periods of time?
The Aggies were having so much success throwing the football early in the game that they really didn't try to establish a ground game in the first half. But, in the second half, when it became obvious from the start that the Gators had no answer for running back Isaiah Spiller, A&M pounded the ball and the Gators offered only token resistance. Spiller ran over and through the Gators, finishing the game with 174 yards rushing and averaging 6.4 yards a carry. He's the main reason the Aggies won the battle of time of possession by a little more than nine minutes.
Can the Gators hit some explosive plays in the passing game?
The Gators did what they had to do on offense to win the game. They scored 38 points and made plenty of big, explosive plays in the passing that kept the A&M defense off balance for most of the day. The biggest explosive was the 37-yard touchdown strike from Kyle Trask to Kadarius Toney in the second half. The longest pass play was a 39-yard catch-and-run by running back Malik Davis, who unfortunately had the late fumble that led to the Aggies' winning field goal. Nay'Quan Wright and Trevon Grimes each had a reception of more than 20 yards, while Justin Shorter had an 18-yard reception. So, the Gators made enough big plays in the passing game.
Will it be a successful homecoming for quarterback Kyle Trask?
Statistically, it was. Trask had another big game, completing 23 of 32 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns. But this homecoming wasn't about statistics, it was about winning the game. And that didn't happen. So, even though he did his job, it was a homecoming spoiled for Trask and the members of his family who were in attendance.
How badly will A&M quarterback Kellen Mond hurt the Gators with his legs?
He didn't at all, because he didn't have to. He had all day to stand in the pocket, so there was never really any need for him to shift into scrambling mode. His legs were never required to make plays. As a result, he rushed for just 6 yards.
Can the Gators put steady pressure on Mond?
That would be a big no. The Gators tried stunts and blitzes in an attempt to dial up pressure, but it was to no avail. The defensive front never laid a hand on him in the pocket, and rarely even came close to him. Mond had all the time he needed to pick apart a struggling Florida secondary, and that's just what he did, completing 25 of 35 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns. The Gators had zero sacks and just four quarterback hurries, three by buck defensive end Brenton Cox.
— Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.
Who: LSU (1-2) vs. No. 9 Florida (2-1)
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850