In a season that has seen a tremendous amount of offensive success from the Florida Gators, all eyes of improvement have been laid upon Todd Grantham’s defense.
As a result, this series on weekly X-Factor has been rather limited to discussing defensive players knowing what the offense is capable of.
However, returning from a break that saw Florida go absent from all in-person team activities since the 12th of October, the necessity for the offense to continue their dominant reign gives us a reason to turn the attention to the offense.
Already averaging 464 yards and 42.3 points per game through three contests, the Gators have put up historic numbers in school on the offensive side of the ball.
Coming in as the best offense since 2001, statistically, quarterback Kyle Trask and company have been running roughshod over college football, exceeding expectations and inserting his name into the early Heisman Trophy race.
Despite the current success, a two-week hiatus is not an ideal situation for any team to endure, especially one that has been involved in three shootouts to this point in the year.
In continuation of the game preview that expresses concerns for starting slow, offensive leadership will be a must early on while the Gators attempt to find their rhythm.
Even being held to a field goal or two, the biggest worry is that the defense is unable to contain the Tiger's slowly-paced offensive attack.
With the increased emphasis on starting quickly and the presence of leadership to ensure that fast start, this week’s Florida Gators X-Factor is Kyle Trask.
Completing 71.8% of his passes for just under 1,000 total passing yards, with 14 touchdowns compared to just one interception on the year, Trask will have his fair share of opportunities to make plays against a suspect Missouri secondary.
Getting his first taste of real game action against Missouri in the Swamp in 2018 in relief of then quarterback Feleipe Franks, Trask is no stranger to being called into action despite being out of the spotlight for quite some time.
“I think that was a huge moment for me, honestly," Trask recalled of the game this week. "...previously I hadn’t played in, really any meaningful snaps against any meaningful opponents, so I think that was just a good experience to have under my belt, that I can play at this level and compete with an SEC opponent. Moving forward I think that did a lot for my confidence.”
Trask's performance in that game had the coaching staff ready to trot him out onto the field as a starter for the next contest.
However, during the week in practice, an injury that took place delayed the Texas native from getting his opportunity as Gators starting quarterback.
Receiving his shot when Franks went down against Kentucky last season, Trask took the opportunity and ran, lifting the Gators to a comeback victory in a hostile environment on the road.
Indicative of the player he has grown into, Trask is an individual always up for a challenge. And a challenge is exactly what he’ll get this Saturday.
That experience of staying game ready despite times of trial and off-time gives this offense a player well-suited to take control early on in Gainesville.
Rallying the troops and picking up where they last left off will be Trask’s responsibility, along with the obvious duties that come with possibly the most important position on the field.
The only question left to ask: Is Trask up for the task?