Mullen on Monday: 'Richardson healthy, Jones will start'

Nov 15, 2021 | 0 comments

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On Monday, Dan Mullen met with the media to recap Saturday’s comeback win over Samford and preview this weekend’s game against Missouri. 

Here are the main takeaways.

  • On playing in the cold weather on Saturday in Columbia, Mo., Mullen noted that they’re playing in the afternoon, so it won’t be as cold, but the time change could be a challenge. “Anytime playing a road game in the SEC is a challenge, too,” he added.
  • Mullen was asked if he was coaching for his job this weekend. He doesn’t think so, but he reiterated that coaching in the SEC is a challenge every week. “This is my 13th year as a head coach in the SEC is a challenge, this week is no different than last week or the week before,” he said. “You are always expected to perform in this league.”
  • Last season’s 41-17 win over the Tigers came with a fight that broke out just before halftime after quarterback Kyle Trask took a late hit. “I don’t see how that will roll into this game to be honest,” Mullen said. He said it was between a few players, and they made it worse than it needed to be.
  • Mullen talked about his relationship with Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz. “I’ve known him a long time,” he said. During the SEC Media Days, Drinkwitz said that he hoped it would snow when the Gators rolled into town, but that Mullen was going to complain either way. “He’s got some personality,” Mullen said laughing. “He’s got some funny little one-liners.” He explained the first time he met Drinkwitz was when he was under Gus Malzahn while Malzahn was a high school coach. “I got a lot of respect for him,” Mullen said. He concluded that if he took a shot back at Missouri, they would understand that it is all in good fun.
  • Reiterating his statement from last week, Mullen said that he and athletic director Scott Stricklin have a great working relationship and “… understanding of identifying problems and what are the solutions to try and fix them.”
  • Today, it was revealed that former Gator corner Elijah Blades removed his name from the transfer portal. Blades, a graduate transfer from Texas A&M, was dismissed from the team on Oct. 10. Mullen was asked if there were any chance Blades would return to the team. “I don’t think so. I haven’t spoken to him recently about that,” Mullen said. “I spoke to his dad. I was trying to help him out in every way possible for the future.” Mullen said he hadn’t gotten that far in thinking about Blades possibly returning to the team.
  • After the win on Saturday, a video showing the team dancing and celebrating in the locker room was posted, causing criticism from fans for celebrating a close win over a team they should have comfortably won against. “I’ve never won a game that wasn’t worth celebrating. I’ve never celebrated a loss,” Mullen said. He noted that he has never celebrated a moral victory and that he will always celebrate a victory. “If we win 3-2 this week, we’ll be dancing in that locker room. And if we win 70-52, we’ll be dancing in that locker room and celebrating.” He added that the players work way too hard to not celebrate a win.
  • Mullen extended his previous statement and talked about winning as a whole. “Winning is so fun. Football is such an unbelievable team sport,” he said. “If you’ve never experienced winning a football game as part of a team, you’re missing out on one of life’s great experiences,” Mullen added that it’s a shame not all people have gotten to experience it.
  • Mullen spent a bulk of the press conference talking about changing the narrative of the season. “I don’t write the narrative,” he said. “The narrative is we won. We had every right to pack it in, we’re losing, and then we came back and dominated the second half.” Mullen said the narrative is Emory Jones breaking Florida’s all-time record for yards in a game with 550 total yards. “I don’t know if there’s a bigger narrative.” Mullen believes that is the biggest narrative since Tim Tebow was on campus. He was then asked if he understood that the record was broken against Samford, rather than a big program. “Ok. That’s your narrative,” he explained. “Your narrative is your narrative… our narrative is we won the game.”
  • Jones accounted for 550 total yards, which set the all-time record for yards in a game at Florida. He was 18 passing yards short of Tim Tebow’s all-time passing yards in a game record. His six touchdown passes were tied for the second-most in a game in school history. Mullen noted that it was huge for Emory to be able to consistently perform at a high level on Saturday. Mullen talked about guys needing to go out and make plays rather than waiting for plays to happen. With the defense and special teams struggling, Jones took control and made plays for the offense. "It was huge, and it kept us going. I certainly think that's one of the things I'm talking about," he said. “You just go perform and make plays, that will elevate the rest of the team." He noted how hard and impressive it is to have your name sit at the top of Florida's record books because of the talented players who have come through the program.
  • Mullen revealed quarterback Anthony Richardson was fully recovered from his leg injury, but that Jones would remain the starter. Richardson hurt his knee on Friday, Nov. 5, the day before the South Carolina game attempting a dance move at the team hotel. Mullen reiterated that they would continue to play Jones as the starter, but that Richardson is completely healthy, and they will continue to play him in packages. When asked about Anthony Richardson being Emory Jones' most vocal supporter he said, “This shows what being on a team can be like.”


Joseph Munroe and Cam Parker contributed to this report


WCC: Updates on everything Dan Mullen had to say can be seen HERE.

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