No. 17 Florida sticks with QB Franks after lopsided loss
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — No. 17 Florida is sticking with quarterback Feleipe Franks after a lackluster performance in the season opener.
Coach Jim McElwain made the announcement Monday, two days after pulling Franks and replacing him with Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire.
“We’ll go back with Feleipe,” McElwain said. “That was kind of the plan. I think both guys did some (good) things, some things they’d like back.”
Franks completed 5 of 9 passes for 75 yards in a 33-17 loss to 11th-ranked Michigan in Arlington, Texas. The redshirt freshman fumbled twice and was sacked once. McElwain benched him early in the third quarter, but praised him for making his first career start away from home and against one of college football’s top programs.
“I thought he handled it well,” McElwain said. “He’s going to be a good player.”
Franks made a few nice throws, but seemed mostly overwhelmed. It didn’t help that Florida’s offensive line got manhandled for the second time in as many games against Michigan. The Gators finished 192 total yards, the program’s fewest since a loss to Alabama in the 2015 Southeastern Conference title game.
Zaire completed 9 of 17 passes for 106 yards and was sacked five times.
“We just felt he gave us an opportunity there to maybe get out of some of the trouble that we were in,” McElwain said. “But, no, this is going to be one of those things that we go and we get better at, and looking forward to getting back home and playing this one.”
The Gators host Northern Colorado (1-0) on Saturday night.