Florida lost their starting quarterback, Felipe Franks, in the third game of the season, and it was probably the best thing to happen to their offense. Yup, you read that correctly.
Franks, though the entrenched starter, was not an accurate passer. His decision making was suspect, as well. And he played with such a chip on his shoulder that he directed his ire at his own fanbase. One could say he had a me-against-the-world mentality.
Take a look at UF at the beginning of the year with Franks under center.
Enter Kyle Trask. Trask is a 6’5” 239 lbs Junior from Texas, who plays like a Texas quarterback. He has a big arm, solid touch, and the testicular fortitude that has elevated this UF offense to an effective asset instead of a liability. They are 73rd in total offense averaging 405 yards per game and just over six yards per play.
Now take a look at the offense under Trask.
They have scored 33 touchdowns, putting them 53rd in scoring offense. They have turned the ball over 15 times, eight on fumbles and seven on interceptions. Franks accounts for three picks while Trask has thrown four- two against Tennessee that didn’t affect the game.
Dan Mullen has turned a rather inept offense into something that can contend in the Top Ten. They are competent- more than competent. In the Swamp, Trask has completed 70% of his passes. He is averaging just north of seven yards per attempt over the last month, and 11.9 yards per completion.
Like most teams, UF throws the ball most often between the 20’s. But unlike most teams, Mullen trusts Trask to throw the ball in the Red Zone. He’s thrown it 26 times for 11 touchdowns. That’s doing some things.
The receiving core doesn’t have a stand out wide receiver. The receptions are fairly evenly split between TE Kyle Pitts with 39 and WR’s Freddie Swain, Van Jefferson, and Trevon Grimes with 29, 29, and 23 respectively. Pitts and Swain have over 400 yards while Van Jefferson and Grimes are over 300 yards. Pitts and Jefferson have four touchdowns each and Swain has five.
On the ground Lamical Perine is RB1. He receives the lion’s share of carries with 107 on the season. He’s averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He runs primarily on the early downs. Of his 107 attempts only 12 have come on third or fourth down.
Of note, Trask is a big guy who can eat up yardage on a scramble, but he’s not fleet of foot. Mullen will bring in a Wild Cat formation with Freshman QB Emory Jones. He was the #5 dual threat QB, so he can throw it, and that keeps the defenses honest when he is in the game. But he is in the backfield to provide a more dynamic run option to the offense.
With either Trask or Jones, UF runs the ball on early downs using read options and the occasional jet sweep. Then they find the soft spot in the zone, usually behind the line backers and in front of the safeties (there’s a reason Pitts has so many receptions).
The difference between Franks and Trask is night and day in terms of efficacy and accuracy. They may shorten the game by snapping it around 10 on the play clock- which usually means a team may not have the horses, but they are efficient.
Mullen may be odd looking guy, and his recruiting classes may not be up to snuff with the rest of the conference (usually about 5th), and he may dance like an idiot, but he can run a program and make sure his offense is in the best position to win.