Florida takes down Arkansas, 63-35 to reach 5-1 overall
Six more TD’s by Trask lead victory over Franks, Razorbacks
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Only six games into the season, we’re running out of superlatives to describe the play of Kyle Trask. Florida’s senior quarterback threw six more touchdown passes to set an SEC record with 28 in the first six games of a season as Florida took down visiting Arkansas and former Gator quarterback Feleipe Franks, 63-35 on Saturday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida improves to 5-1 overall while Arkansas drops to 3-4.
Trask led the Gators to a decisive 28-point second quarter and threw five of his six touchdowns in the first half on 18 of 22 passing for 285 yards. He finished the night 23 of 29 for 356 yards. Trask’s 28 touchdown passes have all come against SEC competition. The 63 points scored are Florida’s most against a conference opponent since 2008.
Florida received the opening kickoff and immediately marched downfield, covering 75 yards on 14 plays and nearly half the first quarter. Trask connected with Trevon Grimes for a nine-yard touchdown to make it 7-0. The Gators demonstrated nice offensive balance on the drive, calling nine runs and five passes against the SEC’s 13th-ranked rushing defense.
Franks answered quickly on the opening Arkansas drive, hitting Mike Woods for a 47-yard touchdown on the team’s fifth play from scrimmage. The Razorbacks tied the game, 7-7 after a possession of one minute, 33 seconds. Franks was five-for-five in the opening quarter.
Florida’s second series of the game was halted at the Razorback 16 yard line, when the Gators' second fourth down attempt failed as Trask threw incomplete.
Arkansas then failed on its own fourth down conversion at midfield to start the second quarter, giving Florida prime field position. Trask and Grimes made the Razorbacks pay, hooking up for their second touchdown of the half, a 23-yard strike on 3rd and 11 to make it 14-7 Florida.
Following a punt by the Razorbacks, Florida receivers made outstanding catches on back to back snaps. Trask found a backpedaling Xzavier Henderson for a gain of 43 yards. On the very next play, Trask threw to the end zone where Justin Shorter made a leaping catch near the sideline for his third touchdown of the season. Florida led, 21-7.
The Razorbacks responded in just one play, an 83-yard touchdown run by Trelon Smith that cut the Arkansas deficit to 21-14.
The Gators made quick work of the Razorback defense again, scoring twice more in the final 4:33 of the half. Trask found Jacob Copeland for a 33 yard touchdown that made it 28-14, and then Trask’s fifth touchdown pass of the half went to tight end Keon Zipperer in the back of the end zone with 17 seconds left until the half.
In the third quarter, the teams exchanged rushing touchdowns with Emory Jones scoring for the first time this season for Florida on a one-yard run. Florida led, 42-21 and by the end of three quarters had rushed 35 times for 141 yards.
In the fourth quarter, the Gators added three more scores. Trask connected with Zipperer again for the quarterback’s sixth touchdown pass of the night. Then on the next Razorback series, Zachary Carter returned a fumble 35 yards for a score, making it 56-21. Jones completed the game at quarterback for Florida and fired a touchdown pass of his own to Xzavier Henderson to finish the Gator scoring. It was Henderson’s first career touchdown.
Franks finished the game 15 of 19 for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his return to Gainesville, including another long touchdown pass to Woods in the fourth quarter. Franks made 24 career starts at Florida before transferring to Arkansas in the off-season.
*Florida’s 593 total yards were the most given up by Arkansas this season.
*Gator star tight end Kyle Pitts did not play and earlier on Saturday, Dan Mullen told SEC Nation that he could also be held out next week after taking a hit to the head versus Georgia.
*Attendance at the game was announced at 16,116.
*Dameon Pierce rushed for a season-high 69 yards on 12 carries.
*Florida travels to Nashville, Tennessee next Saturday to face 0-6 Vanderbilt.
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