How Kyle Pitts has emerged as a key offensive piece for Florida football

By Michael Phillips
October 2, 2019
How Kyle Pitts has emerged as a key offensive piece for Florida football
Football

Image Credit: Twitter / GatorsFB

Who would have thought by Week 6 that the most dynamic offensive duo the No. 10 Florida Gators are presenting each week consists of redshirt junior Kyle Trask and sophomore Kyle Pitts? Since Trask has taken over behind center, the efficiency and effectiveness of this connection is something something that the Gators (5-0, 2-0 SEC) have not seen from a quarterback and tight end in the better part of a decade.

At the beginning of the season, Pitts had three catches to his name. Trask was the backup QB. Yet here we are with Trask entering his third week as the starter with Pitts as Florida’s most reliable pass-catching threat.

The #Kyle2Kyle connection, as our Adam Silverstein has termed it on Twitter, has been made eight times for 90 yards and three touchdowns. That gives Pitts the most receptions and third-most total yards in those games along with the most touchdowns this season among Florida’s pass catchers.

“[Pitts is] a tough matchup on people at tight end,” head coach Dan Mullen said following the win over Towson. “You’re starting to see him now really get comfortable within the offense. Kyle, he runs routes, and the mismatch, he can cause problems when you try to create. As always, we try to create matchups across the board, and he can cause some of those issues.”

Many forget that Pitts was a key member of the Class of 2018 for the Gators. A four-star prospect ranked among the top 200 prospects in the country, he was the No. 5 tight end in the nation and entered college listed at nearly 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds. At the time of his recruitment, Pitts was looked at as a prospect who could finally end UF’s long-term production drought at tight end.

Trask had been biding his time waiting for an opportunity to showcase his skills. With nothing but time to learn the offense in two seasons under Mullen behind classmate Feleipe Franks, the signal caller feels confident with his reads and decisive when choosing to call Pitts’ number.

So when Trask sees that 6-foot-6 tight end — who runs routes better than half the receivers, can use his size to block out defenders like a center grabs a rebound, and has a crazy catch radius — running free, it does not take long to know where to put the ball. 

“He’s a great player and a great athlete to have on your team,” Trask said of Pitts. “Any time you see him out there with a matchup, you just have to get it out there in front of him.”

Pitts is the type of weapon every quarterback craves. When the offensive line breaks down and the quarterback needs to find someone quickly, there’s often no better option than a big, sure-handed tight end. The size and strength means, even if they are covered, they still have an opportunity to make a play on the ball. Plus, most tight end routes are in close proximity to the quarterback and not far down the field. 

That’s why Pitts has become both a fantastic safety valve for Trask and a first-down machine. Last year, you saw glimpses of what Pitts could do in limited action. Now, he has moved on from learning the offense to understanding it and is able to react and play at full speed. 

“I would say it changed drastically because last year I was kind of, I mean, I knew [the playbook], but I didn’t know it like the back of my hand. So this year, I really took the time to study hard, which I feel makes me play more loosely and confident,” Pitts said.

As Florida prepares for its toughest test yet in No. 7 Auburn (5-0, 2-0 SEC) and its daunting defensive front, the #Kyle2Kyle connection may present itself as a unique fact of the Gators offense that can rocket them to an upset on Saturday afternoon at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

2 Comments

  1. Leeroy Collins says:

    SO R SHORT PASSING GAME TO WR,TE SHOULD SLOW DOWN THE RUSH! IF WE JUST RUN ON OUTSIDE INSTEAD OF THE MIDDLE! WE MIGHT HAVE A RUNNING GAME! I BELIEVE THAT HE HASN’T USED CLEMENTS ENOUGH,JUST LOOK WHAT HE DOES WHEN HE HAS A LITTLE SPACE HIS ACCELERATION IS BEST OF ALL RUNNING BACKS COACH KNOX NEEDS TO LOOK AT HIS TAPES AGAIN AND AGAIN! IT REALLY CAUGHT MY ATTENTION! GO GATORS!

  2. Leeroy Collins says:

    ALSO NEED TO KEEP NUMBER 9 IN THE BACKFIELD HIS BLOCKING IS FAR SUPERIOR TO ANYONE ON OFFENSE PERIOD! SO WHAT THE PROBLEM USING HIM AS U DID PROBLEM CHILD ! HIS PRESENCE WILL MAKE A USED BIG DEAL ON OFFENSE PERIOD! STOP BEING SO TIMID GO FOR IT READ COACH LOMBARDI POSTER! OVER,AND OVER! COACH H MULLEN I BELIEVE Q IS DO YOU BELIEVE? THAT HOW YOU MAKE A PROGRAM OVER THE TOP! PUT THE HAMMER DOWN! PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I BELIEVE IN YOU! BUT STOP THINKING LIKE A TIMID OFFENSE GURU GO FOR GUSTO PLEASE JUST PUT YOUR EGO ASIDE JUST WALK AROUND OR PICK UP PHONE GO MEET IN PRIVATE OUT OF THE WAY AREA TO TALK TURKEY REALLY ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW MUCH DOES HE SEE WHAT OR HOW YOUR STRATEGY NEEDS TO IMPROVE OR CHANGE IN YOUR THINKING PLEASE MAKE THE CALL! OR MAYBE MEET ON A GOLF COURSE! REACH OUT YOU WILL BE GLAD TO PICK HIS EXPERIENCE,STRENGTH,AND HOPE GOD BLESSINGS TO YOU AND FAMILY MEMBERS 🙏

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