Dan Mullen’s rebuild not as far along as thought; Gators hammered 38-17 at home by Mizzou

Florida Gators

All week-long Florida fans were wanting to know how this team would respond after the loss to Georgia last weekend. The answer: terribly.

Florida was embarrassed in Gainesville on homecoming by the Missouri Tigers, losing 38-17. That score does not do justice to how one-sided this game felt at times.

There is plenty of blame to go around on the Florida roster for the loss, but all of it will be overshadowed this week by the talk of a quarterback controversy. Dan Mullen benched Feleipe Franks late in the third-quarter and with good reason.

Franks, who struggled last week against Georgia, was nothing short of miserable Saturday against the Tigers. He missed open receivers down the field on the rare occasions when he actually threw the ball down the field.

The dinking and dunking that Franks continues to execute with this Gator offense is not working, and many Gator made both Mullen and Franks aware of their frustration with the offense, a chorus of boos raining down from the stands in The Swamp.

Mullen had to pull Franks not only because the offense has stalled under his lead, but just as importantly because it appears Franks has lost the confidence he played with early in the season.

Gone is the fire Franks exhibited against LSU. Gone are the daggers Franks was throwing against Tennessee. In their place, the ineffective Franks of 2017. This performance by Franks looked an awful lot like performances of last year for Franks which is a scary thought for Gator fans moving forward.

Speaking of moving forward, the question surrounding the Gator Nation this week is what will Mullen do with his quarterback job now as Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks visit next Saturday.

For many, the answer is an obvious one: start Kyle Trask.

Trask relieved Franks on Saturday and although the outcome had already been decided – you could argue Missouri was playing soft, prevent-style defense – Trask was able to move the ball and put points on the board. Those are two things that Franks, for the most part, has been unable to do in the past eight quarters.

While the Florida quarterback was a mess on Saturday, the Missouri quarterback was a thing of beauty. Drew Lock was terrific, carving up the Gators defense for 250 yards and three touchdowns, completing 75 percent of his throws. If you want to know what happens when good quarterback play faces bad quarterback play, just re-watch Florida and Missouri.

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