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Gator quarterbacks go through growing pains in first scrimmage

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And now, for your latest report on the progress of the Florida Gators‘ quarterbacks:

Eh.

Freshman Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask both sputtered a bit during the Gators’ first scrimmage, leaving fans to wonder if either will be able to beat out incumbent Luke Del Rio when fall practices begin. An interception in the end zone particularly bothered coach Jim McElwain.

The Gators have been searching for a solid quarterback after being 79th and 86th in the country the last two seasons.

“Both quarterbacks had some real explosive throws, and yet, I think our sense of urgency needs to pick up a little bit at that position,” McElwain said. “We got sloppy with the ball in the read area a couple of times. We’ve got to learn from those things and understand the importance of what we need to do down there.”

McElwain said Franks and Trask were efficient with their deep throws, but had problems hitting open receivers over the middle.

“They did a great job throwing the deep balls, and we missed some intermediate seam throws,” he said. “I thought that was good by the defense in their disguise and what they rolled to. Our pre-snap was good. We missed some seams, inside seams that we should have been able to hit.

“Then we came back and corrected on Saturday. It was good to see. I was disappointed we threw an interception in the red area. That can’t happen, absolutely not, so we’ve got to learn from that. Good play from the defense, but obviously we can’t do that — take away points. We have to do better at that.”

McElwain said he was happy with how well the offense moved the ball with both quarterbacks.

“Our production was actually pretty good in comparison to the past.” he said. “Had some drops. Uncharacteristic. I thought the receivers had drops in big situations, some third-down deals that we needed to execute down in the red area. We’ve got to pick that piece up a little bit.”

Overall, McElwain seemed satisfied with the Gators’ scrimmage.

“There were some really, really good performances and things that stood out, both good and bad,” he said. “Yet, it was the first time I’ve kind of seen them fight through. They played hard throughout the scrimmage.

The Florida spring game is April 7.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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