Idaho was ready for a screen pass. It might not have been ready for what happened next.
Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks received the snap and faked the handoff to the running back.
Tight end Kyle Pitts ran a simple slant route at the same time and cut in front of his defender. That defender ignored Pitts and ran toward receiver Kadarius Toney, thinking he would make the stop on the screen.
He should’ve stayed with his man.
Franks hit Pitts square in the numbers and watched his teammate run the ball 52 yards to the end zone to put the Gators ahead 21-0.
It was more of the same from Franks and freshman quarterback Emory Jones, who combined for 399 yards and five touchdowns during Saturday’s 63-10 drubbing over Idaho at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
“We definitely did a good job today of just, you know, being ourselves and never getting too high or too low,” Franks said. “There’s a standard that we all gotta play at.”
Franks only played in the first half but was efficient in his time on the field. The redshirt sophomore completed 19 of his 27 attempts for 274 yards, the second-most he’s thrown for all season.
And it’s not like Franks threw nothing but screens and slants. He worked the ball downfield, finding receivers like Tyrie Cleveland and Van Jefferson for big gains.
Franks’ efficiency was palpable. He was responsible for 21 of UF’s 28 points in the first quarter. His first score came on a 17-yard run off a read option that he kept around left end.
Next was the slant to a grossly uncovered Pitts. Franks then found Jefferson on a 3-yard slant on the ensuing drive to put the Gators ahead by 28.
“We wanted to kind of be up-tempo and hit it… and they were giving us the throws, and we took them,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said. “It was good to get to execute that and for our guys to get the execution down and build some confidence in the program.”
Franks was in for two more drives after, both resulting in UF touchdowns. One was a Josh Hammond reverse for a 21-yard score. The other was a 34-yard post to Cleveland.
Mullen decided to play Jones after that drive with about four minutes left in the half.
“We didn’t know how it was going to play out, you know, and it was one of those … We hit a certain number,” Mullen said. “I was really pleased to get him in as early as we did and get him as many reps as we could because he is one play away from being in the game next week.”
While Jones didn’t put up the same numbers as Franks, the freshman arguably played just as well with what he was asked to do.
Jones completed 12 of his 16 passes, good for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball seven times for 19 yards.
His two touchdowns, an eight-yard screen to Hammond and a four-yard outlet pass to running back Dameon Pierce, extended Florida’s lead to 56-0.
“He's going to make plays,” Pierce said. “When adversity hits, he handles it very well. That's one thing I admire about Emory… According to me, my dog balled.”
Follow Jake Dreilinger on Twitter @DreilingerJake or contact him at email@example.com.
Quarterback Feleipe Franks finished his afternoon with 274 yards and three touchdowns on 19-for-27 passing in Florida's 63-10 win over Idaho.