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Florida Football Quarterback Competition

The Orange and Blue debut did provide some clarity to Florida football fans, but new questions have arised. Florida’s coaches decided to have the first team offense face the second team defense, while the second-team offense faced the first-team defense. This created a slight discrepancy as to knowing  just how good the offense is going to be, but Gator fans seemed just as excited about seeing the new offensive plan.

Redshirt sophomore, Luke Del Rio made all the throws necessary to prove to be the leader under center for the Gators to close the spring. He was smooth in his connections and seemed very calm and collected for the handful of passes this offense didn’t see last year. Del Rio went 10-of-11 for 176 yards and threw two touchdowns in the Blue team’s 44-6 win over the Orange team. The son of Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, posted a 285.3 passer rating. UF scored on all four of his drives, including his touchdown passes to tightend DeAndre Goolsby and wider receiver Dre Massey. His first attempt was a 46-yard completion to C.J. Worton with his only incomplete pass was a throw-away pass when pressure came.

As a whole, the Blue offense totaled 333 yards. This performance was against the second team defense, but the offensive line looked fully functional and more consistent on Friday night. Running lanes opened up and quarterbacks had time to throw. The walk-on redshirt sophomore entered the spring with an edge because of his experience in coach Jim McElwain’s system, and McElwain said he leaves spring with the lead, too.

University of Florida’s other leading quarterback contender, Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby, was sacked three times and finished 8-of-11 for 79 yards.

Kyle Trask was 4-for-7 for 63 yards and zero touchdowns. Trask showed promise for the Gator future with a strong arm and accurate completions; his pocket presence set him apart from the other early-enrollee Feleipe Franks. Franks on the other hand, looked like an early enrollee playing against a loaded defense. The four-star freshman threw three interceptions in his first three drives. Franks was sacked by sophomore defensive lineman Keivonnis Davis on his first play and defensive back Duke Dawson also returned a Franks interception for a touchdown. Franks is considered a raw talent but his performance suggests the future is still a year or two away.

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