Kyle Trask was a backup quarterback until the the Gators traveled to Lexington in the second game of the 2019 season. With three games left in the 2020 regular season, Trask is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
Florida trailed 21-10 with less than 20 minutes of football remaining when Feleipe Franks went down with a season-ending knee injury. A tale as old as time, backup quarterback Kyle Trask entered the game and completed his first four passes en route to a touchdown-scoring drive. He finished the game 9-of-13 for 126 yards to help No. 9 Florida come from behind to win 29-21 at Kroger Field.
“Well I don’t think anybody knew exactly what you were going to get from Kyle, but the plays that you saw him play prior, you knew he was a pretty good football player,” Mark Stoops said on Wednesday’s SEC Teleconference. “I don’t think anybody knew that he was going to be a Heisman Trophy candidate. He certainly proved it that day and everyday since.”
This season Trask has completed more than 70% of his passes for 2,554 yards, throwing 31 touchdown passes and only three interceptions in seven games. He’s been incredible, thanks in part to a loaded arsenal of weapons at wide receiver.
Kadarius Toney is the most targeted wideout, hauling in 42 receptions out of the slot. Trevon Grimes, a 6-foot-4 outside receiver, is averaging just shy of 16 yards per reception. Tight end Kyle Pitts is in another stratosphere as one of the most impressive pass-catchers college football has seen in years. He’ll return to play UK after missing two games. To say Kentucky’s defense will be challenged this Saturday is an understatement.
“It’s a team effort,” Stoops said. “For us to be successful we have to play very well as a team: offense, defense and special teams. Florida is extremely explosive. Kyle (Trask) is playing at a very high level. He has unbelievable targets with Pitts coming back this week and of course Toney. Heck outside, their outside receivers are playing exceptionally well also. It’s up to us. It’s our preparation and how we play because we know they’re a handful, but you gotta get out there and execute your defense as well.”
Even if Kentucky’s defense is at their best, Florida will find a way to score points. Their lowest output in 2020 is 38 points. If Kentucky can’t score touchdowns and force turnovers, Kyle Trask could have fun against the team that paved his way into national prominence.