The Florida Gators last home game of the football season turned out to be exactly what they had planned; a blowout. The Gators defeated the Idaho Vandals 63-10 this afternoon. With this blowout and an early lead in the game, Florida was able to pull out their starters and showcase their younger talent.
Florida coach Dan Mullen says that allowing these young players to get into the game provided them with good teaching moments.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) November 17, 2018
The Quarterback Position
Florida fans saw three different quarterbacks behind center today.
Red shirt sophomore quarterback Feleipe Franks started for the Gators and played most of the first half. Franks competed 19 of 27 attempts for 274 yards and three touchdowns. This is Franks’ fifth 200-yard passing game of the year and he played less than half the game.
True freshman quarterback Emory Jones replaced Franks and came in for the Gators with 3:53 left on the clock in the first half. Jones played the majority of the second half being replaced with just under two minutes left in the game. This was the most action he has seen all season. Jones showcased his ability and arm today, completing 12 of 16 attempts for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
Jones’ first throw of the game was right on target and down the field to tight end Kyle Pitts, who unfortunately couldn’t catch a well thrown ball. Within this first possession, Jones led the Gators 76 yards for a touchdown with the score coming on a TD throw; this was Jones’ first career touchdown pass as a Gator.
Jones also rushed for 15 yards on seven carries.
Mullen was very happy with how early Jones was able to get into the game. He said there’s a good chance he will play again next Saturday.
Mullen was happy with Jones’ performance today and believes there’s a lot Jones can build off of from this game.
Red shirt sophomore Nick Sproles also played under center today; he replaced Jones with just under two minutes left in the game.
Different Faces on the Field
In today’s domination over Idaho, 15 true freshmen played for the Gators.
Running back Dameon Pierce saw the field today and rushed for 77 yards on 13 carries while also catching a four yard touchdown pass. Tight end Kyle Pitts had one reception in the game, a 52 yard touchdown pass, the first of Pitt’s career.
Nothing better than scoring your first career touchdown in The Swamp 🙌 pic.twitter.com/zShNfxlvYV
— Florida Gators Football (@GatorsFB) November 17, 2018
Wide receiver Jacob Copeland stepped out onto the field for the first time today as well; he had one 16-yard reception and a 15-yard run. Red shirt freshman linebacker Ventrell Miller returned an interception for an 82-yard touchdown, his first career pick six. There were a lot of new faces on the offensive at well. Richard Gouraige, Griffin McDowell, and Chris Bleich all made an appearance on the offensive line.
Overall, Mullen was happy with everyone’s performance in the Swamp today.
“I’m certainly always going to try to find ways to improve. But certainly the day went really well,” Mullen said.