“Welcome to Death Valley — where opponents’ dreams come to die.”
That was LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron’s message to viewers when ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi interviewed him ahead of the Tigers’ top-10 matchup with the Florida Gators on Saturday.
Classic Coach O. “Welcome to Death Valley where opponents dreams come to die”. pic.twitter.com/43RiFsyVP1
— Gary Fields (@gtfields) October 13, 2019
While the Gators didn’t escape the battle on the bayou with a win, their dreams are far from dead. And with Dan Mullen, an offensive-minded genius, leading redshirt junior quarterback, Kyle Trask, the Gator offense is no longer nightmarish like we saw when *other* coaches led the Florida Gators.
And typically, aside from the coaching, the offensive success weighs on the guy taking snaps — the quarterback.
Dan Mullen is good at coaching quarterbacks. We know this. He posts a resume that includes guys like Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott — and by the looks of it, that storied resume will soon tack on another name.
Etch Kyle Trask’s name onto that list
By now, I’m sure we all know of Kyle’s story. The story of the Texas native who never started a varsity football game in high school. The story of the redshirt junior who never once considered leaving the University of Florida–despite rarely seeing the playing field. The story of the 6’4″, 240 pound who gracefully led the Gators to defeat Kentucky after Feleipe Franks was injured. The stories go on and on.
The opportunity to lead the Gators to a come-from-behind win over Kentucky was all Trask needed.
Trask’s story really vamped up when he led the Gators to a big victory 24-13 victory over Auburn in The Swamp. During the outing, Trask posted 234 yards on a 19-for-31 performance.
But after Saturday night, it’s clear that there is still so much to Kyle Trask’s story that is yet to be written. And for once, Trask is the penman.
A game under the lights of Tiger Stadium is no cake walk for opposing teams — but the atmosphere can be especially difficult for quarterbacks.
Trask’s biggest test of his football career came on Saturday in front of over 101,000 crazed fans — most of whom were rooting for the LSU Tigers. Despite all of the factors, Trask never skipped a beat.
After trading punts to start the game, Joe Burrow and the Tigers drove 66 yards down the field on just two plays to put LSU up 7-0 in the first quarter. However, Trask and the Florida offense knotted the game up at 7 apiece after Trask found Trevon Grimes in the endzone for a five yard passing score. The Gators’ scoring drive lasted 6:21 on 12 plays that stretched 75 yards.
This was just the beginning.
Two drives later, the Gators produced another long drive. Matching the 75 yard distance, Trask and the Gators scored on 13 plays and 6:56.
Through the entire game, the Gators produced a total of four long and timely drives — something Trask says gives him and the team confidence.
For three and a half quarters, the Gators and the Tigers went shot for shot — matching each other’s scores.
At the end of the day, it was a pair of injuries on the defense and two stalled drives in the red zone that thorned the Gators’ side.
Nonetheless, numbers prevailed…
Trask finished the night 23-39 with 310 yards. A stat line that most quarterbacks would be thrilled to have. Let alone a stat line in Death Valley. Trask topped it all off with three touchdown passes and one interception.
Trask’s third touchdown against the Tigers was a little more significant at second glance. For the first time since Tim Tebow, a Florida QB tossed three touchdowns on the road against a top-10 opponent.
Looking ahead, the story that Trask is writing for himself is growing to be even greater than initially anticipated.
No longer is Kyle Trask the kid who never started a high school game. Now, Kyle Trask is the kid who starts for the Florida Gators. And his performance on Saturday solidified Dan Mullen’s decision to call his number.
This is Kyle Trask’s story now. We’re just reading it.