Rapid Reaction: Florida rallies for wild win over Kentucky after losing Feleipe Franks
Feleipe Franks was knocked out, but Kyle Trask made sure the Gators moved on.
Trailing 21-10 late in the 3rd quarter, Trask replaced an injured Franks and engineered an unlikely comeback, allowing Florida to escape with a wild 29-21 victory over Kentucky on Saturday night at Kroger Field. The Gators clinched it when Chance Poore’s 35-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right in the final minute.
It certainly didn’t look good when Franks injured his ankle when he was gang-tackled on a 4th-and-2 play near midfield. He stayed down and eventually was carted off, his right ankle in a boot. Announcers speculated Franks’ season was over. It certainly seemed logical the game was, too.
But Trask made some throws on his first drive and the Gators scored when he pitched to Lamical Perine for a short TD run to pull within 21-16.
His second drive ended with a punt, but the Gators picked off Sawyer Smith for the second time.
Trask’s next throw drew a pass interference, giving Florida a 1st-and-10 at midfield. A targeting call pushed Florida to Kentucky’s 36. His next pass hit Kyle Pitts, who rumbled to the Kentucky 6-yard line. He scored the go-ahead TD on a designed run. His 2-point try failed, but Florida led 22-21, its first lead since the first quarter.
After Poore’s miss, Josh Hammond put the finishing touches on the Cats with a 76-yard touchdown run.
Kentucky will have to wait to enjoy another winning streak against Florida.
How much longer is anybody’s guess.
The last time Kentucky won 2 consecutive games against the Gators was 1976 and 1977. Kentucky’s win last year at The Swamp ended the 31-game losing streak in the series and gave the Cats a chance to match their feat from 42 years prior.
It wasn’t easy. Florida committed turnovers and trailed 14-7. Lamical Perine and the running game were a non-factor. They lost Franks, again, maybe for the season.
But in Kyle Trask, they might have found something in the process.