The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC Weekend Rewind: Week 3

35 days ago
Brandon Zimmerman | SEC Network

Dan Mullen took his right hand and slapped the chest of quarterback Kyle Trask, a wave of both pride and emotion rolling over the Florida coach.

"You don't see this much, huh," Mullen told ESPN's Molly McGrath after Trask replaced injured quarterback Feleipe Franks and orchestrated a come-from-behind 29-21 win at Kentucky on Saturday. "It's a tragedy in college football. You don't see guys like him grow, learn and develop, believe in their school. Everybody transfer here, transfer there. Wait for your opportunity to come and take advantage of it."

This wasn't exactly the scale of Jalen Hurts waiting for his turn, and leading Alabama from behind to win the 2018 SEC Championship Game.

But Trask became the latest poster boy for quarterbacks staying at a school after being unable to win the starting job, and waiting your turn. Why? Because he could have easily left as a grad transfer after being unable to take the starting job from Franks.

Trask came to Florida under then head coach Jim McElwain in 2016. He redshirted his first season, then missed the following season with an injury sustained in preseason.

Trask saw his first substantial action when he replaced a struggling Franks in Florida's loss to Missouri late last season. It appeared as though he would finally get his shot the following week against South Carolina. However, Trask would suffer a season-ending injury in practice that week.

Franks returned to the starting role, closed out the season strong, then again held off Trask in preseason camp this year.

Now that Franks is out for the season with a dislocated ankle, it appears Trask is in position to be the starter for an undefeated Gators team with everything in front of them.

How Florida handles its quarterback situation, though, remains to be seen. Mullen said Saturday night he still plans to play redshirt freshman Emory Jones as well.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES FOR KENTUCKY: Meanwhile, Kentucky has to feel sick about wasting another big lead to Florida.

Kentucky has led Florida by 10 points or more entering the fourth quarter in the last two meetings in Lexington, and lost both. Each time to the Gators' backup QB.

It has become Kentucky's version of Georgia vs. Alabama.

In 2017, Luke Del Rio came off the bench for a struggling Franks and led Florida back from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit in a 28-27 Florida win.

"It's tough," Kentucky running back A.J. Rose said. "You're up in the fourth quarter and then not walking away with the W, it's pretty hurtful."

GEORGIA'S SEASON STARTS NOW: Are we finally ready to see the real 2019 Georgia Bulldogs? After what was essentially a three-game preseason for the Bulldogs, Notre Dame comes to Athens this week to give Georgia its first true test of the season.

Coach Kirby Smart repeatedly deflected questions about Notre Dame all last week and his team appeared focused on the task at hand in a 55-0 blowout of Arkansas State. Smart, however, was finally ready to talk about the Irish after Saturday's win.

"We've played in a lot of big games, we've got a lot of kids in that team room that have played in big football games," Smart said. "So they're not going to be intimidated by that."

So what have we learned about Georgia after it has beaten Vanderbilt, Murray State and Arkansas State by an aggregate score of 148-23? The Bulldogs' run game is dynamic, and the loss of its top five receivers from last season has been eased by the dynamic play of freshmen George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock.

Georgia has also seen its pass rush become much more dynamic. The Dawgs have 12 sacks through three games after finishing 12th in the SEC with 24 sacks in 14 games last season.

ALABAMA'S RUNNING GAME STILL MISSING: Alabama rushed for 76 yards on Saturday, its fewest since rushing for 66 in a 14-13 win over Arkansas in 2014. And the Tide still hung 47 on South Carolina thanks to a record-setting passing day by Tua Tagovailoa.

Is that cause for concern for Alabama? Nick Saban said after Saturday's win he'd like to see his team have more balance.

"I don't think you can totally depend on (the passing game)," Saban said. "I think last year we got to where we were so good (passing), we didn't do other things well. And when we played other teams at the end, we couldn't do enough other things to be effective."

EXTRA POINTS: LSU has scored 165 points this season, its second-most through first three games of a season in school history. In 1930, the Tigers had 232 points through their first three games. ... Ole Miss running back Jerrion Ealy, the No. 3 RB in the 2019 recruiting class, broke Dexter McCluster's school record for all-purpose yards by a freshman in a game with 273 on Saturday. ... Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead said freshman Garrett Shrader has surpassed Keytaon Thompson as the number two quarterback on the team, which is of significance with starter Tommy Stevens still hobbled by an injured shoulder. The Bulldogs host Kentucky on Saturday.