Florida Gators Rout Towson; Now Must Reach New Level

This is where the rubber meets the road, it’s time to find it or grind it, everything matters from here on out…and any other number of cliches one can think to describe the turn the No. 9 Florida Gators season is taking after a 38-0 win over the Towson Tigers.

The Gators pitched their second shutout in five games, the first time that feat has been accomplished since 2012. If you remember, that season the Gators had a Top 5 defense and entered the postseason No. 3 in the BCS rankings.

The Gators offense put up 422 total yards, the fourth straight game of doing so, matching a run in the 2018 season of 400+ total yard in each of the last four games. Quarterback Kyle Trask (18-20, 188 yards, two touchdowns; one rushing touchdown) and tight end Kyle Pitts (four receptions, 28 yards, two touchdowns) have found a connection that is working more often than not.

Florida has scored 24+ points in nine straight games and quarterback Kyle Trask went 15-15 to start the game, tying back to three completions at the end of his play against the Tennessee Vols last week, to set a new school record of 18 straight completions. This breaks the previous record of 17 set by Chris Leak in 2005.

But is it enough? The Gators have a gauntlet of a stretch approaching beginning with a date next Saturday with No. 7 Auburn Tigers and then a trip to Baton Rouge to meet No. 4 LSU. Oh yea and don’t forget the November 2 Cocktail Party showdown with No. 3 Georgia (all rankings subject to change).

Is giving up 17 first downs to a FCS opponent and only rushing for 160 yards against that same opponent going to stand the test of the SEC? This was the Gators last chance to work out those kinks before beginning the games were one mistake can mean a loss. So was it enough? Are they ready to go to the next level?

"We're certainly going to find out next week, aren't we,” quipped head coach Dan Mullen following the win.

"I thought we played solid. You know, first half we didn't do a good job getting off the field. That's something we've got to get better at. Even for the day, we gave up 8-of-15 third-down conversions on the day and didn't do a great job of getting off the field in the first half. They had a good plan, though, well-executed. They did a good job slowing the game down. We wanted to get a lot of plays in, try to play with some tempo. We only had 60 plays in the game.”

“It was little things like different fronts we were getting so we had to get everybody on the same page and executing,” said Trask of the 17-0 first half.