How to ‘fix’ Florida’s offense? Feleipe Franks needs to let it fly

Feleipe Franks
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports

So now what? How does Florida pick up the pieces after the 33-17 shellacking at the hands of Michigan?

How does the offense regroup after totaling just 192 yards and scoring only three points – none after the first drive of the game?

I think that choice is easy. Return to your big-armed starting quarterback and let it rip. I mean, no-holds-barred, get vertical and let it fly with a bit of reckless abandon. Redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks, the clear starter, needs reps. More than that, he needs throws. There is no better time for that than this week against FCS opponent Northern Colorado, which may be the last time in a long while that you can control the circumstances.

RELATED: You want to know why the Florida offense is so bad? It’s the play-calling

Franks had some jittery moments against the Wolverines, which was to be expected. He tripped twice, at least once on one of his offensive linemen. He fumbled the ball away while trying to scramble for a first down. But he played well. In fact, probably a good bit better than you realized. Certainly better than I realized.

He finished 5-of-9 for 75 yards. No touchdowns or picks. To get a better idea of how those numbers really played out, I went back and looked at each of the nine throws – and I’m not sure he made a bad throw all day. That’s right, a redshirt freshman playing in his first game in a tense, nationally televised, nationally hyped game, was on the money virtually every throw. Now some were safe throws. And there were only nine, which is the biggest problem. But he was on the mark on almost every one of them.

The nine passes:

1. Complete. Straight dropback, perfectly thrown go route to well-covered Josh Hammond on the right sideline, caught it for 34-yard gain.
2. Incomplete. Naked bootleg, rollout, nothing there, wisely threw it away.
3. Complete. Wide receiver screen to Tyrie Cleveland. Easy throw; Cleveland gained 2 yards.
4. Complete. Another wide receiver screen, this one to Dre Massey. Another easy throw, 2 yards.
5. Incomplete. Straight dropback, long corner route to well-covered Freddie Swain. Barely overthrown to where only Swain could catch it.
6. Complete. Short hitch to Swain, possibly a checkdown, right on the money for a 6-yard gain.
7. Complete. Long go route along right sideline to Cleveland. Underthrown, but to where Cleveland could come back and fight for it. Which he did. A 31-yard gain.
8. Incomplete. Go route along left sideline to well-covered Swain. Perfect throw, knocked away at last minute by cornerback in good coverage position.
9. Incomplete. Naked bootleg, corner route intended for Hammond while on the run. Again, well-covered and knocked away, but on the money.

Basically every throw was a perfect spiral. He zipped the wide receiver screens and the hitch. He showed delicate touch on the longer throws. Most notably, he was extremely accurate.

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