By LARRY VAUGHT
A lot of Kentucky fans feel optimistic about UK’s chances to beat No. 9 Florida Saturday night in Lexington — something UK has not done since 1986 —because of their lack of belief in Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks.
He’s coming off a 25-for-27 performance against Tennessee-Martin and has completed 77.8 percent of his passes this year and is averaging 9.7 yards per pass attempt.
He also proved last year he could win games on the road as he led the Gators to victories at Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida State and No. 23 Mississippi State in a 13-6 defensive slugfest.
Franks will also likely be without Florida’s top running threat, Kadarius Toney, because of a wrist/arm injury. Toney was the Gators’ main threat for Wildcat packages, jet sweeps and even a receiver pass plays. Translation: He’s the same for Florida as Lynn Bowden is for Kentucky.
But Stoops warned Monday that Florida coach Dan Mullen always does a “great job” with his quarterbacks thanks to his “friendly system” that simplifies things for them.
“Even though they’re spread out and can definitely get the ball down the field, they like taking their shots and getting the ball down the field. But it comes from a physical presence. They always want to have a physicality about them, and that opens things down the field, and Feleipe looks very, very good,” Stoops said.
“He looks very comfortable. Second year, you know, starting with Dan being there, and he has a big arm, that’s for sure.”