Florida Team News

Former Gators TE Ben Troupe: UF must be ‘willing to live and die’ with Franks

Florida comes into Saturday with serious issues on offense following a 17-16 loss to LSU in which the  passing game left a lot to be desired. Former UF All-American tight end Ben Troupe was on 1010XL Jax Sports Radio in Jacksonville this week talking about the team’s offensive struggles and giving his opinion on the job that head coach Jim McElwain is doing.

Troupe says current Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks has potential, but he’s limited by tentative play-calling and possibly a lack of confidence from the offensive staff.

“If they start opening up the play-calling and let him throw the ball down the field, I think he will
do well,” Troupe said. “But when you go into a situation not knowing, based on how I’m playing, is the coach going to keep me in, it can be tough.

“I think Feleipe could definitely be the Gator quarterback for now and in the future, but you have to be willing to live and die with him. I think the coaches need to let him understand that he can make mistakes.

“You have to put him in the position to make plays and I don’t think he has been in that position
because the play-calling really hurts him in his growth process. I do like Franks and I like what I
have seen from him. He has a big arm, but you need to put him in position to make plays.”

RELATED: Gator offense can’t be “fixed,” it must be “changed.”

Entering Saturday’s game with Texas A&M in Gainesville, Troupe feels the offense isn’t taking advantage of Franks’ abilities.

“I just see a lack of scheme and a lack of play-calling,” Troupe told 1010XL. “I understand that they want to establish the run on offense, but if you look at the fact that they can’t generate any type of rhythm in the passing game, it’s easy to predict what they are going to do.

“You have to have balance on offense and right now outside of the screen game and outside of the one long pass at the end of the Tennessee game, I don’t see much in the passing game to scare the defense, or even keep them honest.”

Troupe, who played at Florida from 2000-2003, earned All-American honors his senior year after hauling in 39 catches for 638 yards and five touchdowns. He would go on to be drafted in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans.

“Being a former Gator player and now a Gator fan, we expect to win every game regardless of who we are playing,” Troupe said. “If you look at the fact that we are still looking for a consistent quarterback to play at a high level and we are still trying to find our identity, as Gators we go on what you didn’t do, not what you have done.”

He believes that McElwain is getting used to the roller-coaster ride that comes with being the coach in Gainesville.

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