Saturday’s Orange and Blue Game brought celebrations out of the Gators’ football team.
A Feleipe Franks eight-yard touchdown pass to receiver Van Jefferson in the second quarter ended with their group, Team Orange, forming a circle in the endzone to play duck, duck, goose.
The score and celebration were part of the highest-scoring game in Orange and Blue history, as Team Orange topped Team Blue 60-35 in Florida’s annual spring game.
UF coach Dan Mullen wasted no time giving the announced crowd of 39,476 a show.
With Team Orange on the field for the first play of the game, Kadarius Toney hit Franks on a reverse for a 40-yard gain.
Franks capped the seven-play, 65-yard opening drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Toney in the endzone.
Franks led the Florida quarterbacks with 327 yards on 13 for 18 passing and four touchdowns.
He looked the most comfortable out of the QBs, displaying the improvements in accuracy and decision making he’s made during his second year in Mullen’s system.
“That’s what you’ve seen out of him this spring,” Mullen said. “Making good decisions, more comfortable in the offense, getting the different reads, knowing where to go with the ball and using the offense to make plays. Instead of just trying to execute it, knowing when to make plays, and he’s able to do that. It’s good to see him do that in a game setting, if not just what he’s done through spring.”
Most of Franks’ yards went to wideout Trevon Grimes, who set a spring game record with a team-high 195 yards and two touchdowns on four catches.
“I give all the glory to the coaches … all of them they’ve helped me,” Grimes said. “They stay on me every day, even when I have a bad practice, they stay on me. They hold me to a high standard. It shows on the field when we come out here. If I have a bad practice, Feleipe will pull me aside and talk to me. Having teammates and coaches like that helps me when it comes to game time. It makes it easy.”
It was a big day for most of Florida’s receivers, however. In addition to Grimes, Freddie Swain and Tyrie Cleveland also hauled in two touchdown passes.
Quarterback Kyle Trask also threw the ball well, finishing 11 of 16 with 209 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Freshman quarterback Emory Jones showed his mobility with 38 rushing yards on six carries to lead the blue team on the ground. He had trouble connecting with his receivers, overthrowing them at times and finishing just 6 for 13 passing. He still recorded 117 yards through the air.
Despite an offensive showing that saw over 700 yards passing, the offensive line remains a concern and still needs depth, and even though it was a mostly vanilla defensive outing, busted coverages from both secondaries resulted in wide open touchdowns for the UF receivers.
Still, Mullen accomplished one of his primary goals for Saturday’s game.
“Our players work hard. We push them,” he said. “We demand a lot out of them in the offseason program and at practices. We let today be more of a celebration where they can have fun in front of their friends and family and all our fans.”