GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Feleipe Franks passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns — all in the first half — and No. 15 Florida ran up 600 total yards to rout overmatched Idaho 63-10 on Saturday
Florida (8-3) rolled to a 49-0 lead at halftime. Gators defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown on the first play to start the onslaught. Four touchdown drives took less than two minutes and the longest of the seven first-half scoring drives came in 2:24.
Franks completed 19 of 27 passes and led the Gators to a 42-0 lead before he was lifted with 5:22 left in the second quarter. His effort was in sharp contrast from his last two outings, both at home, when he drew boos for inconsistent play.
“It doesn’t really matter to me what people think about how I played,” the redshirt sophomore said. “That’s what I have coaches for. So you know, that’s the only thing that matters to me, what they think. I don’t think it was trying to bounce back, or I don’t think it was none of that. I think it was just keeping your head down and keep on moving.trying to be the best you can be each and every day. That’s what I’m going to continue to do not only in football but throughout life.”
Freshman Emory Jones, in just his third game this season, played all but two minutes the rest of the game. His first college TD pass was an 8-yarder to Josh Hammond to close the scoring in the first half. Jones finished 12-of-16 for 125 yards and two scores.
Florida argeted for Jones to get extensive work. He’ll now be able to play in one of the two remaining games and still maintain his eligibility for a red-shirt season.
“I was really pleased to get him in as early as we did and get him as many reps as we could because he is one play away from being in the game next week — he can be in the second play of the game next week,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said. “And now he’s got a little bit more experience on gameday in there, running the show by himself, not just with a small package — having to run the whole offense.”
Idaho (4-7) avoided a shutout when Cade Coffee connected on a 38-yard field goal in the third quarter and on a 12-yard pass from Mason Petrino to Jeff Cotton with 1:47 left in the game.
“Obviously we got our butts kicked,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “There were guys that gave great effort today, guys I think that will go back and watch the tape and be proud of themselves.”
Idaho: It was a disappointing season for the Vandals who were a preseason pick to finish fourth (coaches) or fifth (media) in the Big Sky Conference. They were 0-6 in conference play, and were outscored by an average of 51.7 to 18.2.
Florida: The Gators likely would secure a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl with a victory at Florida State next week. It would cap an impressive first season under coach Dan Mullen, who inherited a 4-7 team with holes on both sides of the ball.
Florida is unlikely to move up unless other teams ranked higher fall.
Idaho: Season complete. Hosts Western State Colorado on Sept. 5 in 2019 opener.
Florida: Plays next Saturday at rival Florida State, which has won five in a row in the series.