Let’s start with some gratitude. From that day in March when the SEC called it quits until the moment Evan McPherson’s talented toe lifted the football through the end zone at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford Saturday, just a tick or two past noon, college football fans had been living in purgatory. This is never good, especially when your hopes and dreams are living just right outside The Gates of Purgatory. Finally, those gates were reopened for Florida Gator fans to relish the 2020 K2K Connection.
In these Worst of Times, Gator fans are quite possibly about to bear witness to The Best of Times as we've seen by the latest polls as Florida vaulted to No. 3. And then there's K2K. Trust me, I’ve seen just about all the best passing-receiving tandems in modern football history, and the Trask-to-Pitts combination has the potential to become No. 1. This covers everything from the All-American combos of Spurrier-to-Casey, Reaves-to-Alvarez, Wuerffel-to-Anthony & Hillard, Wuerffel-to-Doering and Tebow-to-whomever. And I’ve loved covering them all.
I can hear all you naysayers now: “Really, Buddy, you idiot! They’ve played one game in 2020!”
K2K! It was a 6-touchdown day for Kyle Trash, 4 of them to Kyle Pitts.
Don’t get me into numbers. It’s the eye test for me over six decade of covering Gator football I’m leaning on. And yes, my eyesight remains 20/20 after all the years. So that’s my resume’.
I saw enough last year and now I’ve seen K2K at another level -- where they are and where they are going -- with flashes of unlimited potential. On Saturday I saw the four touchdown passes, huge chunk yardage, etc. More importantly, I also saw the adjustments and adaptability that both Trask and Pitts applied in-game and the way K2K flourishes in the Dan Mullen offense. Best ever? Give us a few more games to see how people like Will Muschamp, Kirby Smart and the defensive illuminati of the SEC devise their schemes after getting more Trask-Pitts film.
Let’s press pause right here and go back to the premise of Gratitude first. Right now we just need to be thankful that we’ve got football again. After midnight Saturday, that “Whoosh” you heard was a big sigh of relief from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey when the seventh and final league game between Texas A&M and Vanderbilt had ended, the Aggies finally pulling it out 17-12. (And BTW, that guy who some picked as the best preseason QB, Kellen Mond, threw for 189 yards and one touchdown.)
Speaking of Gratitude: This one’s for Greg Sankey, who had the cojones to zig whenever everybody else zagged – without whom we’d be watching major league baseball and the NBA over the weekend.
Sankey’s boldness begat SEC football 2020, which begat Dan Mullen, which begat K2K. Finally the non-believers are starting to believe in the Gospel of Trask which we have been preaching for a year -- along with my visionary Bubba Ennis after he brought me around to it -- and finally they are also starting to believe in this hybrid tight end, who had eight catches for 170 yards and 4 touchdowns, helping Florida down Ole Miss 51-35. (UF notes: “Only two other players in UF school history have racked up 4 touchdowns in a game: Ike Hilliard against Tennessee in 1995 and Jack Jackson vs. New Mexico State in 1994. It was the first time a tight end had racked up 4 touchdowns in an SEC game since 1999, according to ESPN.”)
I’m just going to go ahead and take credit for the “Kyle-to-Kyle Connection” tag which I conjured up last year. His dad and I, Michael Trask, have been using it for a while and over the weekend Mr. Trask had the idea of shortening it to K2K, which I heartily endorse. Fewer letters to type! It will be my go-to reference this season.
And now a word about Dan Mullen: Don’t think for a moment he’s not already thinking about how SEC defenses are going to attack K2K. Trask’s six-touchdown day is circled in red. But you know what? Mullen already has a little something for them, including Toney and Grimes and Copeland and Henderson and Shorter and Whittemore and Davis – and stuff you have not yet even seen. The pieces are set on the checkerboard. Mullen is ready for chess.
And, oh yeah, just in case you’re not buying in today, how would you like to be Ed Orgeron or Lincoln Riley or one of those guys who has to explain how they lost? Poised there as the No. 3 team in the nation, all Mullen has to do is explain how his team is going to get better and beat South Carolina in The Swamp Saturday to go 2-0. I couldn't imagine that without the courage of Sankey this would never have happened.
Enjoy living with Gratitude. And save your grousing about Todd Grantham’s defense for another day.