The Florida Gators were struggling against the Kentucky Wildcats. The ninth-ranked Gators were 9.5-point favorites heading into Lexington despite losing the 2018 meeting in Gainesville between these SEC East rivals. The 2019 edition was supposed to be redemption for Dan Mullen’s team with College Football Playoff hopes.
But on a 4th-and-1 in the third quarter, Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks dropped back to pass, looking to overcome the 11-point deficit his team faced. When the play broke down, the Gators starting quarterback tried using his 6-foot-6 frame to run for the first down.
Then, one of the hardest plays to watch in football took place.
Kentucky defensive end Calvin Taylor Jr. — listed at 6-foot-9 and 310 pounds — dragged Franks down from behind, short of the line to gain. In doing so, Franks’ right ankle rolled up underneath the pile. After seeing this play, many in Gator Nation fear this ugly moment could be the end of Feleipe Franks’ 2019 season.
Feleipe Franks Injury Video
It’s too early to know what the diagnosis is, but trainers tended to Franks for several minutes before putting his leg in an air cast and carting him off the field. Prior to this right leg injury, Franks was 12-of-17 for 174 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also had eight carries for 23 yards.
Coach Dan Mullen turned to redshirt junior Kyle Trask, who attempted just five career passes before Saturday night, to relieve Franks.
Florida ultimately went on to beat Kentucky at Kroger Field, 29-21. After Franks went down, an inspired Gators team rattled off 12 unanswered points with touchdown runs by Lamical Perine and Trask, who also finished the game 9-of-13 passing.
With under a minute to play, Kentucky kicker Chance Poore missed a go-ahead 35-yard field goal wide right.
As UF was running out the clock, Josh Hammond broke free for a 76-yard touchdown that put the nail in the coffin. Florida moved to 3-0 on the young season and will host the Tennessee Volunteers on September 21.
Immediately after the game, Dan Mullen confirmed what everyone feared when Franks went down.
“They feel pretty certain that there was a break with the dislocation and he’ll be done for the season,” Mullen said.
Going forward, Kyle Trask will take over as Florida’s starting QB the rest of the season.