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Florida Football

Instant Analysis: Blowout Victory

September 7, 2019
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The Florida Gators (2-0) kicked off their home schedule on the right note, defeating the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks 45-0. It wasn’t the prettiest of starts, but the Gators got things rolling on both sides of the ball on their way to the expected blowout. Not only did Florida’s regulars make their fair-share of plays, the Gators were also able to get reps for a number of underclassmen.

It Was Over When: Florida couldn’t find the end zone at all in the first quarter, but the Skyhawks couldn’t hold much longer and eventually started to crack. Van Jefferson beat them for a big 69-yard score in the air to get the ball rolling. Then Franks floated a pass over the defense to Tyrie Cleveland for the score and the Gators never looked back.

They Stole the Show: After a somewhat mediocre showing against Miami, Feleipe Franks came out with a purpose Saturday. Franks fished to the tone of 25-for-27 passing for 270 yards and two scores. With a completion percentage of 92.5%, Franks marks the second highest single-game completion rate in program history. He completed his first 15 passes and was just three completions away for the most consecutive in game, which Chris Leak holds at 17 in a row.

Franks also impressed in ways outside the box score. He looked calm, cool and collected all night in the pocket, granted he was given the time. Franks also rolled out to his left very well and completed multiple passes when moving to his weaker side. That’s been an area of struggle during Franks’ career, but he seemed to have it figured out Saturday night.

Defensively, it was another standout performance for defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga. The senior tallied 1.5 sacks on his way to another disruptive game.

Shawn Davis also impressed filling in as the starter for injured safety Jaewon Taylor. Davis led the Gators with 6 tackles and was flying around the field all game. Should Davis continue to play like this, one of the starting safety spots might be his to lose.

The Stats Don’t Lie: After struggling in Week 0, the Gators needed to get their ground attack going and they did just that. On top of that, their run-defense was also very stout.

The Gators controlled the game on the ground, outgaining UT-Martin 231-to-54 running the football. They didn’t break off the big run, but Florida showed they can still control games with their ground attack and that the front-seven can do more than just rush the passer.

Oh What a Play: The Swamp was waiting to erupt on a big play and it sure did when Feleipe Franks found Van Jefferson for a 69-yard touchdown. Franks had all the time in the world in the pocket to survey his options and found Jefferson running a deep post through the UT-Martin defense. Trusting his arm, Franks launched one that traveled 44-yards through the air before landing right in Jefferson’s hands. With the offense struggling before that play, it was a much-needed boost and a great way to score their first touchdown of the season in The Swamp.

These Matchups Proved Key: Florida’s stacked group of wide receivers was just too much for UT-Martin to handle defensively. The Gators pass-catchers were seemingly open all night and were no match for the Skyhawks defensive backs. 11 different Gators caught a pass Saturday night, led by Trevon Grines who caught five passes and Van Jefferson, who caught four for 94 yards and a score.

Up Next: The Gators will kick-off their conference slate of games, as they travel to Lexington to face the Kentucky Wildcats. It will be a night-cap from Kroger Field, with kick scheduled for 7 p.m.

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