I’m sorry, Feleipe Franks.
I’m sorry for knocking you while you’re down. You’re a good player who has tons of talent — intimidating physical size, formidable running ability, a rocket for an arm — and a bright future once that dislocated ankle heals. But…
Florida is a better team with Kyle Trask at quarterback.
There. I finally said it, as much as it pains me to do so. I didn’t want to rush to any conclusions, but five-plus games into the Trask era, I’ve seen enough.
The numbers speak for themselves. In two of those games, Trask has thrown for more than 284 yards, which is Franks’ career high. He already has 14 touchdowns (Franks had 24 in 13 games last year) and just four interceptions (Franks had three in just three games this season). He is completing over 67 percent of his passes. Franks completed just 58.4 percent last year.
The result? Despite averaging over 70 yards per game less than it did last year on the ground, the Gators have still managed to put up 32.4 points per game when Trask starts.
Two-time SEC Player of the Year and current ESPN College GameDay analyst David Pollack said it best when he was in Gainesville:
“The strength of Florida is their wide receiving corps,” he said. “(Trask) throws the ball better down the field. I think he’s got pocket presence more… His first reaction is throw, not run, so I think it fits the offense better with him at quarterback.”
Trask’s impact was immediate.
The Gators looked sluggish in their first two Power 5 games of the season. They scraped by a Miami team (currently last place in the ACC Coastal division) in Week 0. They trailed Kentucky (currently last place in the SEC East) 21-10 late in the third quarter when Franks’ fateful injury occurred.
Trask, of course, led Florida on a 19-0 run in the fourth quarter at UK. He then led the team to a 34-3 win over Tennessee, a 38-0 win over Towson, a 24-13 win over then-No. 7 Auburn and a 38-27 win over South Carolina.
His only slip up came when UF lost 42-28 against LSU (now No. 2), a game where Trask threw three touchdowns.
It’s impossible to know where the Gators would be if they hadn’t lost Franks, but it’s very possible they at least lose the Kentucky game.
Like I said, Franks is a good quarterback, but Trask’s accuracy makes Florida a better team with him on the field.
Follow Sam Campisano on Twitter @samcampisano. Contact him at [email protected]