USA Today Sports Images
Florida held the 2017 edition of its Orange & Blue Debut on Friday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium - the second straight year UF's spring game has been at night.
Friday’s contest, which had the Orange team (starters on offense and defense) and Blue team of second-teamers square off, ended with a 31-0 victory for the Orange squad.
Instant Analysis now takes a closer look at how Florida's spring game went.
THUMBS UP: Feleipe Franks’ poise as compared to how he looked last spring was definitely a big step in the right direction. He was definitely the standout at quarterback Friday night. Antonio Callaway was also impressive, making some impressive grabs while leaping over a defender on one play as he drew cheers. Quarterback Kadarius Toney’s rushing ability was also a bonus, as he was able to break free for some impressive runs in the fourth quarter.
THUMBS DOWN: Mark Thompson’s ball security – he fumbled once again Friday – was one of the lowlights of the night. Also, Kyle Trask’s performance wasn’t the most encouraging. Sure, he played against the first-team defense for most of the night and led the first-string offense to a touchdown against the 2’s on one trip, but Trask looked flustered in the pocket and made a number of bad throws. He finished with a combined 66 yards and an interception on 6-of-15 passing. What was also worthy of a thumbs down was just the overall intensity of the game. It seemed like there was a lack of fire throughout, and just an overall laidback approach by both units at times.
FIVE WHO STOOD OUT
1. Quarterback Feleipe Franks: Although he played primarily against the 2’s, Franks finished with 119 yards and a touchdown on 8-of-14 passing Friday night. Despite a couple of inaccurate throws and some drops by receivers, a confident Franks remained calm and collected running the offense. He helped the Orange team to three scoring drives in the first half, two going for touchdowns. There’s not much question as to which quarterback looked the best Friday.
2. Wide receiver Antonio Callaway: Callaway continued his impressive spring with an encouraging performance Friday night. He finished with 51 yards and a touchdown on three grabs, looking like the clear-cut leader at wideout in the process.
3. Running back Jordan Scarlett: Scarlett continued to shed tackles and showcase good change of direction. He finished with 39 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
4. Quarterback Kadarius Toney: Toney’s playmaking ability was on display in the fourth quarter, as he rushed for 74 yards on five carries and went 3-of-5 passing overall for 24 yards and a touchdown. The Gators have a fascinating weapon in Toney moving forward.
5. Cornerback Duke Dawson: Dawson looked comfortable in a full-time role at corner, finishing with two tackles, a pass breakup that led to an interception for Vosean Joseph, and a fumble recovery.
FIVE NOTABLE PLAYS
1. Franks to Hammond for 46 yards: On the fourth play of the opening drive on 1st and 10, Franks showcased his arm talent with a 46-yard completion to wideout Joshua Hammond down the right sideline. Working out of play action, Franks connected with Hammond, who found separation against cornerback McArthur Burnett and made the haul. The pass set the Orange team up at the Blue 18.
2. Callaway’s 16-yard touchdown catch: Franks capped off a three-play, 22-yard drive that lasted 44 seconds with a 16-yard touchdown pass to a Callaway, who took advantage of poor coverage from two walk-on defensive backs. With Franks’ first touchdown pass of the night, the Orange squad took a 17-0 lead with 1:03 left in the first half.
3. Vosean Joseph’s interception on a Trask pass: Working with the second-team offense, Kyle Trask led his team into the opposing 40 but threw a poorly placed pass into a crowd of defensive backs. Dawson tipped the ball, as Joseph logged the interception and returned it for 13 yards.
4. Zuniga’s first-quarter sack on Trask: Near the end of the first quarter, Zuniga blew past the edge and forced Trask to fumble the ball, as he would recover. Zuniga’s sack went for a loss of 9 yards and played a big part in putting the second-team offense into a difficult spot on that drive.
5. Toney’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass: On a wild scramble on 1st and goal, freshman quarterback Kadarius Toney rolled out to his left and eventually connected with walk-on wideout Tucker Nordman for a 9-yard touchdown. The scored lifted the Orange team to a 31-0 lead.
PLAYERS WHO DID NOT PARTICIPATE FRIDAY NIGHT:
--QB Luke Del Rio (two shoulder surgeries)
--WR Freddie Swain (shoulder)
--WR Rick Wells (knee)
--TE Kalif Jackson (hamstring)
--OL Antonio Riles (torn ACL)
--OL Kavaris Harkless (knee)
--DE Jordan Sherit (knee)
--LB David Reese (wrist)
--S Jeawon Taylor (shoulder)
--S Quincy Lenton (foot)
--LB James Houston (torn ACL)
Tune back in later tonight, over the weekend and into next week as we recap the game as well as the rest of Florida's 2017 spring practices with notebooks, offensive and defensive observations, film analysis, player and positional reviews and much more.
Thank you for reading this Inside the Gators article. To discuss it, please visit the Alligator Alley Forum.