Gainesville, FL –– Florida rolled to an easy win over the Tennessee Volunteers Saturday afternoon. Kyle Trask completed 20 of his 28 pass attempts for 293 yards, two touchdowns, and a pair of interceptions in his first career start. It was a performance that gave Florida fans a glimpse of what a Trask-led offense can look like.
For the most part, Trask excelled in controlling the game. However, through much of the game Trask really wasn’t tested, as Tennessee operated out of a pretty bland defensive scheme. When the Vols did apply pressure, Trask seemed to try to force the play. Both of the redshirt junior signal caller’s interceptions were the result of Trask attempting to do too much because of pressure.
The only other knock on Trask’s performance would be that there were a couple opportunities for him to force the defense to account for him as a runner, that he didn’t take. One of them resulted in a sack that could have easily been a first down had he just decided to run. Otherwise, there wasn’t much that you could say he didn’t do well.
It is clear that Trask was extremely close to Franks in the quarterback competition. If the Gators are able to muster a consistent rushing attack, they can go really far with Trask at the helm.
In all, ten Gators recorded a pass reception on the way to a total of 313 receiving yards. Freddie Swain and Kyle Pitts each hauled in touchdown passes while racking up 67 yards and 62 yards, respectively.
It was Trevon Grimes who recorded the longest catch of the day, though, as he came back to bring in a slightly underthrown ball on the Gators opening drive. His 43 yard reception set up Kyle Pitts’ touchdown and helped set the tone for Florida’s 34-3 win.
The Gators defense disrupted everything the Volunteers aimed to do, as they camped out in Tennessee’s backfield all day. The four sacks and eight tackles for loss recorded by the Gators were absolutely influential in creating the three interceptions by Marco Wilson, Amari Burney, and Trey Dean III. When the Gators defensive line wasn’t in the backfield, they were smacking passes out of the air. Jonathan Greenard had three pass deflections by himself.
Although Dan Mullen made good on his promise to play both quarterbacks, Emory Jones was utilized sparingly at best. The future of the Gators offense completed 66% of his passes for 20 yards. He added an additional 5 yards with his legs. As the season progresses, I expect that Mullen will need to involve Jones to a greater extent, if for no other reason than a balanced run/pass attack.
The Volunteers were mostly a non-factor throughout the day, making a lot of mental errors and failing to really ever find a rhythm. True freshman quarterback seemed to provide a spark for the Vols offense, but even he completed just four of his eleven passes for a total of 44 yards. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt pulled him following an interception, a message I’m not sure he needed to send to his young quarterback.
The Gators outgained Tennessee 441 to 239, and dominated the time of possession. Over Dan Mullen’s two meetings with Tennessee, his Gators have outscored the Volunteers 81-24.
Jeremy Pruitt and his team will have a long trip back to Knoxville. They leave Gainesville with even more questions than they had when they arrived. Florida, on the other hand, continues to develop and remains undefeated. They host Towson next weekend, a final tuneup before they face Auburn on homecoming.