Florida head football coach Dan Mullen addressed the media on Monday as the Gators prepare to face in-state rival Florida State on Saturday.
Mullen opened the presser discussing the health of his team.
He explained that several players missed practice last week due to illness, but that overall the team is “pretty healthy.”
Mullen noted that DB Amari Burney could play this week and is “way ahead of schedule.” The head coach also said DE Jabari Zuniga is cleared to play.
On the senior class
Mullen was asked to reflect on the senior class, to which he praised their ability to buy into the new coaching staff.
When asked if Jonathan Greenard is an All-American, the head coach answered, “yes” and that he believes the stats back that up.
When asked about LB David Reese’s leadership, Mullen said, he’s a “hardworker who bought in. He shows up every day to be his best. Most important, though, “everybody on the team respects him.”
Mullen explained that Senior Day is emotional. “Seeing where guys have come been and how far there come” can be emotional.
Lack of running game
When asked how difficult it is to call plays with no running game, Mullen cooly replied, “pretty easy. Call other plays. There are so many plays and so little time.”
Mullen also joked that his team has excellent balance, “we throw equally to all our receivers.”
Success at home
“To be successful in the conference you have to be able to win at home…it has a lot more to do with our fanbase.
Our fans have as much to do with us going undefeated at home as our players.”
Importance of FSU game
When asked about the importance of the Florida State game from a recruiting standpoint, Mullen responded, “I don’t know about recruiting effect, but taste in your mouth effect is huge.” He then went on to explain that it’s a neighbor to neighbor rival, not just a state vs state rivalry.
The presser ended in lighter fashion as Mullen was asked if he’s ever lost to a Florida team other than the Gators. His 5-0 record against Florida State and 2-0 mark against Miami were noted.
Mullen pointed out that he lost to an up-and-coming USF team in a bowl game while an assistant at Bowling Green (the Bulls won 29-7).
When asked if his record against Florida schools means anything to him, he quickly answered, “I love to win.”
Florida looks to complete a ten win regular season against Florida State on Saturday at 7:30 PM.
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