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Florida vs. Texas A&M, Game Thread: Deep in the heart

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Florida’s high-flying offense descends on its QB’s home turf. Can the Gators keep soaring?

NCAA Football: Florida at Mississippi Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

One of the things that I like best about college basketball is that it is intentionally sentimental about players who spend their entire eligibility in the sport. It’s obviously illogical for those players to do that — or even, for some players, to stay for even three years — because of how the industry is set up, but if a player makes it through an entire career with one team, you can reliably presume that he or she is going to be celebrated by his or her team — even, sometimes, with games scheduled near a player’s hometown that serve as homecomings of a sort. (Florida scheduling a road trip to New Hampshire for Matt Bonner’s senior year is a prime example of this.)

It’s much stranger for that to happen in football. But it’s exactly what Kyle Trask is getting on this Saturday at Texas A&M (noon, ESPN or WatchESPN).

Trask grew up in Manvel, a suburb of Houston that is itself southeast of the city that is southeast of College Station, but closer to Texas A&M than any other major college football program. And he became a prospect at a time when A&M would have made sense as a destination — if, of course, he had been a prospect that any FBS program other than Florida had given any consideration to during his recruitment. He could’ve ended up with the Aggies as an afterthought in a class and backed up a highly-touted prospect as a coaching staff departed, maybe getting his chance if injury and/or inefficiency beset that starter.

He didn’t, of course — but that’s exactly what he did at Florida, becoming the beckoned-for backup when Feleipe Franks struggled and then the savior spot starter when Franks got seriously injured early in the 2019 season. The storybook narrative of the kid biding his time (or taking it to get better) is Trask’s reality; the detail that got switched out of the original script, though, is that he chose a new home, away from the one he didn’t pick.

Today, Trask has a chance to add another chapter to his remarkable tale, one that seems pointed toward Heisman Trophy contention and a national championship chase. It’s a great story, and one well worth celebrating.

He just has to get the Gators out of the heart of Texas unscathed.

Here are 25 predictions for Florida’s visit to Texas A&M.

  1. Florida will score first.
  2. Texas A&M will score in the first quarter.
  3. Kyle Trask will complete a pass to Kyle Pitts in the first quarter.
  4. Trask will complete multiple passes of more than 30 yards.
  5. Trask will throw for more than 250 yards.
  6. Florida will have at least one receiver make six or more catches.
  7. Malik Davis will lead Florida running backs in touches.
  8. Kadarius Toney will have at least seven touches.
  9. Dameon Pierce will score at least one rushing touchdown.
  10. Emory Jones will take fewer than five snaps before garbage time.
  11. Florida’s offense will commit no turnovers.
  12. Florida’s defense will force a three-and-out in the first quarter.
  13. Florida will give up at least 10 points in the first half.
  14. Ventrell Miller will lead Florida in tackles.
  15. Florida will record at least three sacks.
  16. Florida will allow at least one pass play of more than 50 yards.
  17. A Florida defensive back will record an interception.
  18. A Florida safety will record at least eight tackles.
  19. Florida will force more than one turnover.
  20. Florida will have a positive turnover margin.
  21. Florida will not have a return of 25 yards.
  22. Florida will score at least 35 points.
  23. Florida will allow at least 21 points.
  24. Florida will not trail.
  25. Florida will defeat Texas A&M, 41-24, and begin its 2020 season 3-0.