Gainesville, FL –– Dan Mullen held his weekly press conference on Monday and touched on several topics, including Feleipe Franks’ progression, LSU’s defense, the stadium atmosphere, and the 2008 championship team. Mullen opened the day with an injury update.
“Nothing new to report. We had no injuries Saturday so whatever the status was last week, it’s the same as last week.”
SEC Nation has announced that they will be in Gainesville for the game between fifth ranked LSU and the twenty-second ranked Gators. Not only will Tim Tebow be in town for the show, he will also be joining the rest of the 2008 national championship team to celebrate the ten year anniversary of Florida’s last national football championship. During the ceremony, the university will also unveil the latest stadium renovation, Tebow’s name added to the ring of honor.
After last weekend’s statement win, Mullen was asked about the development of Florida’s defense. Mullen expressed, “I like the steps that we’re taking defensively, right now.”
“The scout offensive line has done a great job. Our scout team is giving better looks and our practice is getting more physical and you’re starting to see the results of that with our guys being able to be more physical out there on Saturday.”
“One of the areas [Franks has] grown the most is understanding the game plan from week to week.”
-Dan Mullen describes where QB Feleipe Franks has developed most this season.
Asked about what area QB Feleipe Franks has improved the most in, Mullen was quick to answer, “One of the areas he’s grown the most is understanding the game plan from week to week because it changes. Even running the same play, we might want to run it a little bit differently from one week to the next. I think he’s grown and starting to understand that.”
Mullen also offered a glimpse into what Franks is still learning. “Like any quarterback ever, getting through multiple progressions standing in the pocket. That’s a process now. That is a long process of, not just going from one to two but going from one to two to three. And then, if you get really good, going from one to two, three, four, and five.”
Florida will be facing a very physical opponent this Saturday and one with a lot of speed. LSU and Florida have long debated which of them is the real “DBU” and Mullen commented specifically on their talented secondary when speaking of game preparations for the cross divisional rival.
“They have excellent guys that can play man coverage. One of the things for our guys coming in, our guys had a lot of good work in that again, so when you go through training camp, you have C.J. [Henderson] and Marco [Wilson] and you’re going against some great corners.”
Mullen added, “They’re going to give you some one on one match ups and you’re going to have to find a way to win some one on one match ups out there on the perimeter.”
It’s no secret that the Swamp has lost some of its luster over the past decade. With the often difficult to watch product that has graced Steve Spurrier-Florida Field, the fans have not been as eager to sell out the Swamp. With a renewed commitment to renovation from the athletic department and a rennaisance of what Gators football once was, the atmosphere is beginning to return to its once feared status.
Dan Mullen remembers what it was like from his days as an offensive coordinator in Gainesville and has worked passionately to reinvigorate the fan base. He feels that it begins with the student body.
“I expect it to look like that [what it looked like during his previous tenure]. I expect it to not be an open seat anywhere in the Swamp. I expect to see people on their feet. A great challenge, it should be fun for our student body. It’s a great challenge out there because I think if you look in college football, student bodies set the tempo and really set the atmosphere for everybody else out there.”
The Gators will host LSU at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville on Saturday, Oct. 6. The game will be broadcast live on CBS at 3:30 EST.