It was supposed to be easy, and it was. Still, the Gators 53-6 demolition of FCS Charleston Southern had to feel good. First year coach Dan Mullen has been rebuilding a bond with the students and alumni for months, and QB Feleipe Franks looked like the player Gator fans have been hoping to see with an explosive first half.
Early on, Franks got started when he swung this ball out to Trevon Grimes and Grimes (and the blocking) did the rest for the first score of the season:
A look back at the first #Gators touchdown of the season, with the call from Mick Hubert.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) September 2, 2018
It would be the first of a five touchdown first half barrage for the 6’6 red-shirt sophomore Franks, who looked comfortable and confident as every throw continued.
Look. Charleston Southern wasn’t much of a test.
They didn’t have a first down until a 70 yard run in the final minute of the first half. And, the Buccaneers finished with just nine first downs (against mostly Florida reserves in the second half) and six points.
Still, Franks was definitely under a microscope from many, as there has been much debate about how badly he really wanted to start this season. And, clearly, the Gators have other options to turn to, if needed.
In fact, backup Kyle Trask got some playing time in the second half and went a modest 3-3 through the air and even scrambled for a 13 yard touchdown.
However, Franks was in command in this one: firing four touchdown bullets in the second quarter alone. Two of those scores went to recently eligible transfer receiver Van Jefferson, who finished with four catches for 34 yards on the night.
Poor competition or not. He looked good.
As Franks told Gatorzone.com afterwards, “It’s not just me, it’s the whole team. We’ve got a bunch of guys who can really play, but we’re just scratching the surface of what we can be as a team,”
The good news is Florida’s early schedule, home games with with Kentucky and Colorado State followed by a their annual September showdown with Tennessee, is favorable.
And Franks and the offensive will get a chance to grow and get better.
Saturday was the start they all needed.
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