It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out what the first question any Florida football beat reporter would ask head coach Dan Mullen throughout the week.
I made the decision before the Gators played Vanderbilt on Oct. 13 to start paying attention…
What’s the plan at quarterback going forward? Does Kyle Trask have a legitimate shot at getting his first ever start this week?
Mullen, in his usual style, made a face then gave the most generic answer that solved absolutely nothing and deflected blame on the team as a whole.
“I said we weren’t moving the ball well as a whole offense,” Mullen said. “There were a lot of problems beside the quarterback.”
Anyone with two eyes could see that the Gators needed a change at quarterback. Florida is well out of contention for the College Football Playoff, let alone the SEC Championship. So a change would have been a nice way to salvage fan support for the season, at least for those who have already given up on incumbent Feleipe Franks.
So the media, myself included, tried to play the situation as another battle with four games left on the schedule. Heck, I even asked center Nick Buchanan what both Franks’ and Trask’s strengths were.
In the end, though, we were trying to alter reality like Thanos does with the reality stone.
We were trying to make something out of nothing.
I’ll be blunt. Trask was never going to start over Franks this season.
Mullen implied that from the beginning of the week.
“Same as it’s been all year. We’ll see,” he said. “We’ll see how they perform this week. If there’s a drastic change, we’ll make a change. If not, we’ll play with who’s going to give us the best chance to win.”
Trask then got hurt at practice on Wednesday, solidifying Franks as the starter for the remainder of the season.
I feel for the guy. He could have ended up seeing substantial playing time this year if Franks continued his downward spiral into mediocrity. Trask would have had a huge opportunity to prove he could be the guy next year if he played well in practice.
We’ll never know.
It’s almost as if destiny wants Trask to remain a backup. He was one at Manvel High School, playing behind current Houston quarterback D’Eriq King. And he’s still one at UF.
I have a feeling he will remain that way as well.
Like I said, we will never know.
But it doesn’t matter.
Franks would have been the guy anyway, and now without any competition, he will remain Mullen’s quarterback going forward.
Jake Dreilinger is the assistant sports editor at the Alligator. Follow him on Twitter @DreilingerJake and contact him at [email protected].