Florida football hosts Towson on Saturday in Gainesville. Here are your three keys to a Florida win over Towson.
By Matt Zemek
The Florida Gators know their schedule will become nasty and difficult before too long. Auburn is looming. So is LSU. So is Georgia. Those are three of the Gators’ next four opponents after this Saturday’s game against Towson. What happens against the Towson Tigers won’t determine the trajectory or the shape of the season, but this is one last chance for Dan Mullen to be a mad scientist and experiment with offensive approaches which might give the Gators a chance to be competitive against the best teams on their 2019 schedule.
Key 1 – The task for Trask
Kyle Trask was a backup for a reason. You saw why against Tennessee, with multiple interceptions in a less-than-airtight performance. This is not a criticism of Trask, merely a reflection of the reality that he wasn’t the best quarterback on Florida’s roster heading into this season. Feleipe Franks was that guy… and since Franks was far from his best, that magnifies the limitations evident in Trask’s game.
If this is a final dress rehearsal for the toughest stretch on Florida’s schedule, Mullen needs to make it count. He needs to see what kinds of throws Trask can and cannot make. He needs to consider rotating quarterbacks in this game or using a wildcat formation in which a running back plays quarterback and reads the defense. Trask needs to get a lot of chances to throw the ball. He also needs to be tested with an aggressive game plan.
It is usually the case that a veteran quarterback should not be given advanced plays in a cupcake game. Keeping the playbook vanilla and uncomplicated is normally the right play… but with Trask in need of further development in a relatively short period of time, the Gators need to load him up with complicated tasks and see if he can handle the workload.
No, that’s not how games against Towson should be handled in most years… but this isn’t “most years.”
Key 2 – Eliminate the giveaways
This is not just turnovers, but penalties and generally sloppy play. Everyone in Gainesville knows this: If Florida continues to play ragged and uneven football, it will get punished by Auburn, LSU and Georgia. If UF wants to have a realistic chance of beating even ONE of those teams, let alone two or three, it can’t continue along this road. Tennessee is a horrible team which could not make Florida pay for its sins.
Future Gator opponents are more than good enough to punish Florida for lapses and slip-ups.
Key 3 – Empty the bench
In this final week before the toughest stretch of Florida’s season, it is definitely time to work within the four-game redshirt rule and give players lower on the depth chart more snaps – partly to rest the starters before the Auburn-LSU back-to-back gauntlet, and partly to see (at the end of September) how much players have evolved after one month of the season. This game, being scheduled now, is meant to give the Gators a breather. It is a setting in which playing more players and learning more about the roster are essential needs for Mullen and his staff.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.
This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis
|Game||First Looks||3 Keys|
|Ole Miss vs. Alabama||Bama / Ole Miss||Preview||Bama 59, Ole Miss 31||Stats|
|Texas A&M vs. Arkansas||Arkansas / A&M||Arky / A&M||Preview||A&M 31, Arky 27||Stats|
|Mississippi State vs. Auburn||Auburn / MSU||MSU||Preview||Auburn 56, MSU 23||Stats|
|Towson vs. Florida||Towson||Florida||Preview||Florida 38, Towson 0||Stats|
|Kentucky vs. South Carolina||USC / UK||USC||Preview||USC 24, UK 7||Stats|
|N Illinois vs. Vanderbilt||UNI||Vandy||Preview||Vandy 24, NIU 18||Stats|