Florida football has found its stars! The Gators were always going to be a good team in 2020, but with Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts leading the offense, anything is possible.
The Gators took the opening weekend of the SEC by storm with their offensive fireworks against Ole Miss on Saturday afternoon. The two leading men were Trask and Pitts who combined for some superb numbers. Both Kyles were dominant in their season debut and look to have Florida ready to compete for an SEC, and potentially a National, Championship.
Kyle Pitts is a monster at the tight end position
When Kyle Pitts took over as the starting TE, he found an immediate connection with Feleipe Franks and then Kyle Trask. The Florida football star led all tight ends in the SEC last season with 54 receptions and 654 receiving yards, while his five receiving touchdowns were third in the SEC among TEs.
After his dominant performance in 2019, Pitts shot up NFL Draft rankings. Most analysts had Pitts as a first-round prospect and the number one tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft entering the season. If his debut performance in 2020 is any indication, that might actually be underselling him.
Pitts dominated Ole Miss to the tune of eight receptions for 170 yards and four touchdowns. It’s not about the dominant stats, but rather how he put them up. Pitts beat Ole Miss in every possible way.
On his first touchdown, Pitts motioned into the backfield before releasing out into the flat for a one-yard receiving score. This is a play that only works if Ole Miss buys that Pitts is moving into the h-back position to block. If he doesn’t have a complete TE skill set this play call doesn’t work, but he does and it did.
His second touchdown showed off his ability on contested catches. Ole Miss tried to bottle up Pitts by double-teaming him in the red zone, but a perfect pass by Kyle Trask gave him a chance. Pitts showed off excellent body control and went low and behind him to make a catch that split the coverage.
He then showed off his presence in the vertical passing game on his third touchdown. He split the seams and beat the Ole Miss safety deep for a 71-yard touchdown. This touchdown demonstrated Pitts has the speed to be a matchup nightmare for safeties and linebackers.
His fourth touchdown may have been the best of the lot. Trask threw a 50-50 ball up to Pitts in double coverage in the end zone, and Pitts ripped it away from the two Ole Miss defenders. Out-jumping and out-muscling the two defenders in coverage to cap off a flat out dominant performance highlighted that Pitts can beat a defense in every way you would look for a tight end to win.
Kyle Trask sets the tone for 2020
When Feleipe Franke broke his ankle in 2019 many wrote off the Gators. Kyle Trask was coming in to replace him and he’d never really seen the field. He had limited experience in three games, but little else. He put those worries to rest quickly.
Trask put together a strong 2020, completing 66.9% of his passes for 2,941 yards 25 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. That season caught the eyes of talent evaluators. While Trask didn’t come into the season as a big name in the 2021 NFL Draft, most see him as a mid-to-late round quarterback with upside. After his astonishing start to the year against Ole Miss, that view could be set to change.
Trask was handed the reins to the Florida football program in 2020, and he is making head coach Dan Mullen look like a genius for choosing him over Franks.
Trask shredded Ole Miss through the air to kick off the 2020 football season for Florida. He was 30-of-42 for 416 yards and six touchdowns. Trask’s favorite target was Pitts, but he wasn’t the only pass-catcher to get in on the action. He completed passes to 11 different Gators and three different players caught touchdowns.
The top three quarterbacks for the 2021 NFL Draft seem set, but Trask has a chance to be the fourth name off the board. If he keeps dominating in the SEC as he did in his 2020 debut, who knows what might happen
Florida’s Kyle-to-Kyle connection could set both up to hear their name early in the 2021 NFL Draft
The Kyle-to-Kyle connection is a strong one. Trask and Pitts have now played together in 11 games and the pair have combined for 720 yards and nine touchdowns. It’s easy to say that Trask and Pitts is the best quarterback and tight end combination in the NCAA right now. The Kyle-to-Kyle connection is only going to get stronger as the season goes on, and could mean both see their draft stock rise throughout the season.
Florida football has some elite offensive stars in Trask and Pitts. Look for Dan Mullen to try to ride his newfound stars all the way to a National Championship.