Photo by Nick Tre. Smith / Getty Images

The Florida Gators entered the 2020 season with national title expectations. After one game, those expectations appear justified.

Behind the arm of redshirt senior QB Kyle Trask, the Gators routed Mississippi in both team’s season opener on Saturday. Florida defeated the Rebels 51-35.

Trask finished the game 30-42 for 416 yards and six touchdowns. TE Kyle Pitts had a monster day, hauling in eight passes for 170 yard and four scores. In all, the Gators recorded 642 yards of total offense, a program record.

How It Happened:

The Gators struck first on a one yard score from Trask to Pitts. Pitts actually went back for the ball before bowling his way into the end zone.

The Rebels answered with a 7 play, 75 yard drive that resulted in a 46 yard pass from Matt Corral to Desmond Drummond.

The two teams traded scores in the first half until a 16 yard touchdown grab by Pitts with :05 left after a perfectly executed two-minute drill.

Florida struck first in the second half, on a 71 yard pass to a wide open Pitts. The Rebels once again rebounded, though. Possessing the ball for just 36 seconds, Ole Miss found the end zone with Jerrion Early slicing through for 18 yards.

Florida K Evan McPherson knocked down three straight field goals, including one from 55 yards away, to extend the lead to 44-21.

Both teams traded scores in the fourth quarter, with Ole Miss finding the end zone with :58 on the clock to reach a final score of 51-35.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Trask-Pitts connection is real.
  • Florida still has a ton of talent at WR.
  • Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis will likely split carries at RB.
  • Brenton Cox and Ventrell Miller are studs on defense.
  • The defensive backfield struggled mightily.

Team Stats:

  • Total Yards: 642
  • Passing Yards: 446
  • Rushing Yards: 196
  • Turnovers: 1
  • Turnovers Forced: 1
  • Total Plays: 74
  • TOP: 28:25
  • Sacks: 4

Individual Stats:

Passing

  • Trask: 30-42, 416 yards, 6 TD

Rushing

  • Toney: 2-55
  • Pierce: 9-54
  • Davis: 7-49

Receiving

  • Pitts: 8-170, 4 TD
  • Toney: 5-59, TD
  • Grimes: 3-64, TD

Defense

  • Miller: 15 tck, 2 TFL, 1 sack
  • Cox: 8 tck, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack
  • Dexter: 1 tck, 1 sack, 1 INT

The Ugly:

Florida lost starting safety Shawn Davis on Ole Miss’s first drive due to targeting. As a result (hopefully), the secondary struggled mightily. Former Florida commit Matt Corral threw for 395 yards. Rebels WR Elijah Moore (who should have attracted CB1 duties) had an excellent afternoon against the Florida secondary. Moore hauled in ten catches for 227 yards.

What’s next:

Florida will host South Carolina in their home opener. The Gamecocks will face Tennessee Saturday evening to kickoff their season.

The game is slated for a noon kickoff and will be televised on ESPN.

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