Film Room: Taking a closer look at Franks and Del Rio

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In this article:
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* Notebook: Players on the sideline saw Swain open

* Notebook: McElwain updates Franks, Toney and Webb

* Former Player Feedback: 10 Rutledge Observations

* With offense sputtering, McElwain goes back to Del Rio

* Nine Florida football players facing charges

* Monday Jim McElwain press conference blog

* Recruit Reaction: Florida finds a way to win

* GET TWO MONTHS OF FREE ACCESS TO INSIDE THE GATORS

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Despite leaping to 20th in the latest coaches’ poll after a stunning 28-27 comeback victory against the Kentucky Wildcats in Week 5 of the college football season, the Florida Gators have their hands full with on-and-off-field drama.

Head coach Jim McElwain has enough on his plate with a quarterback controversy that he’s created by flipping back and forth between three signal-callers in as many games, let alone dealing with the nine players charged with third-degree felonies. McElwain created his own waves when he announced to ESPN’s Paul Finebaum that redshirt junior quarterback Luke Del Rio will be taking over as starter against Vanderbilt this week.

Though McElwain showed confidence by naming redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks the starter again for their Tennessee and Kentucky match-ups, all it took was another inconsistent half for him to turn to Del Rio.

But was it the right decision?

I turned to the tape to see what spurred the choice and whether it was justified, starting with Franks and then moving to new starter Del Rio.

Though during his post game press conference McElwain shot down the notion that the playbook opened up when Del Rio entered the game, the tape said differently.

The Gators’ offense had a conservative approach with Franks, relying on their running game and horizontal passing game to open potential passing windows downfield. Of Franks’ 11 none-throwaway attempts, five were screens, and just one of the other six traveled more than 10 yards downfield.

McElwain didn’t trust him to bear more responsibility than the basics, but did try to instill confidence in him and his receivers for later.

FRANKS TO POWELL

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Towards the end of the first quarter, Florida was faced with a manageable third and four situation near mid-field. The Gators went empty back after Brandon Powell motioned into the slot to be matched up with the near-side linebacker. On a quick flat route, the linebacker quickly diagnosed and chased Powell. Franks’ role was predetermined as a three-step drop and release. We can see receiver Josh Hammond start to take on the corner as a blocker by running what is essentially a 'pick route' in anticipation of the reception.

Even though who the pass was going to was predetermined, Franks’ eyes never leave Powell to at least cause the defense to pause somewhat. However, that wasn’t what caused the pass to be tipped at the catch point. On this timing pass, Franks released the throw just a tad late after Powell turned. More damaging was his placement on such a tight window. Instead of leading Powell away from the defender, the throw was high and towards the back shoulder of Powell, allowing the linebacker to have a near interception and block Powell’s line of sight. This play needed precision, and Franks failed on the connection.

The next two examples that likely led to his benching were the result of mental errors instead of physical ones.

ONE OF FRANKS FEW PLAY ACTION PASS ATTEMPTS

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