Five weeks into the season, the Florida Gators football team finds itself with a 4-1 record and a Top 25 ranking. The defense and special teams units have been leading the way and helping propel the Gators to three straight wins.
Despite a low-scoring result against ranked Mississippi State last weekend, the Feleipe Franks-led offense held its own and helped Florida earn back-to-back SEC road victories for the first time since 2012.
Franks And The Game Plan
Now in his second season in a starting role, Franks has had time to grow as a leader and play in different environments. Saturday’s road trip to Starkville, Mississippi, provided a new hostile environment for the young quarterback to experience and navigate. While the 13-6 score isn’t flashy, Franks threw for 219 yards, completing 22 of 31 passes and tossing just one interception, under the buzz of cowbells.
Head coach Dan Mullen said Franks has improved the most at digesting the game plan. He shared his thoughts on how much better he’s been doing in that area.
Part of that is being more diligent in the way he studies film and approaches a game plan. He said continuing to grow as a quarterback gives him energy to go to practice and get better as a player.
Feleipe Franks said he is taking film study much more seriously, that it energizes him to come to football offices each day so there are no surprises on Saturdays.
— Edgar Thompson (@osgators) October 1, 2018
With those road games and hostile environments in the rear view, Franks said he’s learned more about the team than anything the past couple of weeks. He touched on the team’s composure and focusing on the task at hand.
Spreading The Ball Around On Offense
Though the defense shined during Saturday’s game, the offense played an efficient game and did enough to give Florida another road win. The Gators put up 357 total yards and went 5-for-14 on third down, and Franks tossed the ball to 12 different receivers. He thinks Florida has a top receiving core and credits them for putting in the work on and off the field.
Junior wide receiver Josh Hammond, one of Franks’ many targets on Saturday, said he’s excited for Franks and that the work he put in over the summer and in camp is showing.
Preparing To Host LSU
The last time the Gators welcomed the Tigers to the Swamp it ended in a one-point loss and the start of a five-game losing streak for Florida. This year, the Gators and Tigers are ranked, and both sides also come in with notable winning streaks. LSU is 5-0 to start the season, while Florida is 4-1 and on a three-game winning streak.
Franks said it helped to have played a physical team last weekend. He also said the best thing about the SEC is how they play a better team each week.
LSU is one of the top teams in the nation and comes in averaging 33.8 points per game and 396.6 total yards per game. The Tigers also have signature wins over ranked teams in Miami and Auburn. Florida is averaging 35.4 points per game and has one win over a ranked opponent this season.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.