GAINESVILLE — No. 11 Florida could be without its most dynamic playmaker when it opens Southeastern Conference play at Kentucky.
The Gators lost elusive receiver Kadarius Toney during a 45-0 victory over lower-division Tennessee-Martin on Saturday night. Toney took a hit on his left arm late in the first quarter, walked off the field in pain and eventually headed to the locker room for tests.
Coach Dan Mullen said Toney’s injury will be “checked out a little bit more,” not exactly promising news for Florida.
The Gators also lost speedy cornerback CJ Henderson in the first half against the Skyhawks (1-1), but Mullen said he has a “slight ankle sprain.”
Henderson tweaked his left ankle while covering a receiver in the second quarter, limped into the locker room and later returned to the sideline wearing a walking boot and using crutches.
Florida barely missed either of them against UT Martin, which fell to 0-10 against SEC teams and failed to cover the 44 1/2-point spread. But the Gators know being without either standout in league play would be a crushing blow.
“It’s got to crank up about 10 notches getting into SEC play, especially going on the road,” Mullen said.
Feleipe Franks completed 25 of 27 passes, including 15 straight to start the game, for 270 yards and two touchdowns. He dropped in beautiful TD passes to Van Jefferson and Tyrie Cleveland, but he also was again slow through his progressions.
“I’m nowhere near perfect,” Franks said. “I just try to keep progressing. ... At the end of the day, we’ve got two wins under our belt. I’m happy with that.”
Lamical Perine ran for 51 yards and a score. Fellow running back Malik Davis, who missed most of 2018 because of a knee injury, scored for the first time in nearly two years.
The defense picked up where it left off against rival Miami , finishing with five sacks and holding the Skyhawks to 194 yards.
The Gators visit Kentucky on Saturday. The Wildcats ended a 31-game losing streak in the series last year.