Rapid Reaction: Kyle Trask outduels Feleipe Franks as Florida dominates Arkansas
Even if you only count the first half of Saturday’s game, Kyle Trask did more than enough to add to his Heisman case.
The Florida quarterback passed for 5 touchdowns by halftime against Arkansas. He added a 6th TD pass after the break as the Gators rolled to a 63-35 victory.
Florida (5-1) moved the ball seemingly at will in the first half. Arkansas only stopped the No. 6 Gators from scoring on one drive in the first two quarters, and even that came after a missed facemask penalty that would have kept the drive alive.
Arkansas answered Trask’s first touchdown pass, a 9-yard toss to Trevon Grimes, but little else. The Hogs (3-4) responded with Feleipe Franks hitting Mike Woods in stride for a 47-yard score to even things at 7. That was the last time Arkansas didn’t trail.
Trask showed the country why he is consistently in conversations as the country’s best player. After a turnover on downs, he orchestrated touchdowns on the ensuing 4 drives to send Florida into the locker room up 35-14.
Trask finished the game 23-of-29 for 356 yards and 6 touchdowns. He now has 28 TDs in 6 games — an SEC record through the first 6 games of a season.
Arkansas came out of halftime ready to fight.
The Hogs came back from 13 down against Tennessee the week prior, so no one was ready to count them out even after a rough first half. When the Razorbacks scored on their first drive of the second half, a 12-yard run from Rakeem Boyd, the game seemed up for grabs.
Arkansas’ defense then came up with a stop and provide even more hope of a potential comeback. Then it was the Gators’ defense’s turn to come up clutch. They forced a 3-and-out to set up another scoring drive led by Trask and finished off at the goal line by running back Emory Jones.
The Gators added a scoop-and-score defensive TD to make it 56-21.
Franks hit Woods again for a long TD, this time Woods accounting for most of the 82 yards after the catch, to make it 56-28.
Jones threw a TD pass to Xavier Henderson to account for Florida’s final points.
The game marked Franks’ return to Gainesville. He finished 15-for-19 for 250 yards and 2 TDs.
Arkansas was also without coach Sam Pittman, who contracted COVID-19 earlier this week. In his place, defensive coordinator Barry Odom served as interim head coach.
Florida has a matchup with winless Vanderbilt next week. Arkansas is set to face LSU, though the Tigers postponed their game against Alabama this past weekend because of positive COVID-19 tests. The status of that game will be one to monitor heading into this week.