Florida & Franks Flourish on Senior Day

GAINESVILLE-- On Senior Day Quarterback Feleipe Franks threw three touchdown passes in the first half, leading the Florida Gators (8-3) to a 63-10 win over the Idaho Vandals.  The Gators led the game from beginning to end, scoring just six seconds into the game.

With the Vandals (4-6) starting from their own 25 after the touchback on the opening kickoff, quarterback Mason Petrino was intercepted by Gators safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson at the 26 & the junior returned the pick into the endzone for the score.

After the pick six, Idaho went three & out on the next possession.  And with Florida taking over in Idaho territory, the Gators put up the second touchdown on the scoreboard after Franks faked a hand-off, then ran it in from 17 yards out.

Trailing 14-0 the Vandals went three & out again.  And this time it took two plays for the Gators to change the scoreboard.  On second down, Franks hit Kyle Pitts in stride & the tight end ran 52 yards untouched into the endzone for the third touchdown of the first quarter.  But that didn't end the first quarter scoring for Florida because Franks hit wide receiver Van Jefferson for a two yard touchdown pass, ending a Gators 10 play 73 yard drive.

Florida ended the first quarter with 11 first downs & 221 total yards.  And after a lengthy drive by Idaho that ended with a turnover on downs, Florida scored for the first time in the second quarter.  The Gators capped a six play 69 yard drive on a 21 yard run by wide receiver Josh Hammond.  And after the Vandals finally got a chance to get on the scoreboard but missed a 42 yard field goal, the Gators made it 42-0 when Franks threw his third touchdown pass of the half, this one a 34 yard touchdown to wide receiver Tyrie Celeveland.  

After leading the offense to five scoring touchdowns in the first half & throwing for 274 yards, Franks was replaced by freshman Emory Jones.  And Jones on his first drive of the game, threw his first career touchdown pass, an eight yard completion to Hammond.

Florida ended the first half with 430 total yards, 22 first downs & converted three of five opportunities on third down.  And after fumbling on their first possession of the second half, Jones led Florida to their first scoring drive of the second half.  On the 50 yard scoring drive, Jones completed four straight passes, the last one a four yard touchdown pass to running back Dameon Pierce.

Idaho avoided the shutout when Coffey made good on a 38 yard field goal, his second attempt of the game.  But after third quarter ended, the Gators added another pick six when linebacker Ventrell Miller intercepted Petrino again & rambled 82 yards for the score.

The Vandals ended the scoring in the game when Petrino found wide receiver Jeff Cotton for a 12 yard touchdown completion.

Florida looks for their third straight win next Saturday when they head to Tallahassee to take on Florida State in both teams final regular season game.  Coverage begins on 620 WDAE at 9am with kickoff set for noon.

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