Feleipe Franks Benched, Luke Del Rio To Start For Florida: What Does It All Mean?
After a rocky start for the Florida offense, Luke Del Rio will take over for Feleipe Franks against Vanderbilt. What does it all mean?
Really? Luke Del Rio is the answer, Florida?
Really? The 9-of-14, 74-yard, one touchdown, one pick fill-in moment at Kentucky sparked something? Okay, it was a game-winning throw in the final seconds, but is he the one who’ll carry the program to where it needs to be?
The Gator offense isn’t working. It’s 127th in the nation in first downs, the passing game is pedestrian – to be kind – and the running game isn’t moving, partly because no one respects the downfield passing possibilities.
Florida is 112th in the nation in total offense and is two semi-miraculous plays away from being 0-3.
Apparently, it’s Feleipe Franks’ fault.
He got pulled from the Kentucky game after hitting 7-of-12 passes for 85 yards and a score. On the year, he hasn’t been bad, completing 61% of his throws for 372 yards and three scores with a pick and a really, really, really amazing game-winner.
Nevermind that the offense is still without its one great receiver (Antonio Callaway) and top running back (Jordan Scarlett), and forget that Franks was thrown to the wolves against a Michigan defense that’s currently No. 1 in the country, a strong Kentucky D, and Tennessee in a pressure-packed game. Head coach Jim McElwain is making the change before Vanderbilt, anyway.
Is he replacing Franks with the dynamic upside of Malik Zaire, who transferred to Florida to add a steady veteran to go along with the potential pizzazz? Nope.
The Luke Del Rio era is back.
Instead of going with the longview opportunity of developing Franks – who clearly has the tools and talent, but needs time and help around him – McElwain is going with the guy who hit 57% of his passes last year with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions before getting hurt.
Does Del Rio offer any mobility? No. Can he make all the mediocre receivers around him better? Not really. Is he going to help an O line that’s allowed 12 sacks in the three games? Maybe, if he’s able to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry.
But what’s the goal here, Florida?
Do you think Del Rio is the quarterback who can lead the way to the SEC title and College Football Playoff? Or is he the guy who could be just good enough to get you to the SEC title game, and blown out by Alabama?
Is Franks potentially the guy you win with because you have him on the field, and your quarterback is better than the other team’s guy? That’s where the Northern Colorado cancellation is a killer – Franks needed the at-bats, and he still does.