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Florida Football

Mullen: Pleased with second half, but lots to improve upon

September 8, 2019
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As expected, the No. 11 Gators (2-0) easily defeated FCS foe UT Martin, 45-0, Saturday night in the Swamp.

At his postgame presser, coach Dan Mullen discussed Feleipe Franks’ performance, injuries, the play of the offensive line and more.

Here are the highlights.

  • While there are still a lot of things for his team to improve, he pointed out that winning is hard, and 50 percent of teams go home with a loss every Saturday. He credited the fans for staying for the entire game despite the lopsided score.
  • He said UT Martin did a nice job of mixing up their looks and confusing UF’s offense in the first half.
  • Feleipe Franks completed 15 passes in a row to start the game, the second longest streak in school history. Mullen said he did a great job of not forcing things and taking what the defense gave him.
  • He said Franks probably missed a throw or two down the field, but he did a good job of scanning the entire field and taking the check-down when needed. He mentioned that as being the one area where Franks has grown the most since this time last season.
  • "We have a lot to clean up off of this game. It's hard to peak and motivate yourself. Are you giving maximum effort every day?"
  • Mullen said the effort’s “got to crank up 10 notches” when SEC play begins next weekend at Kentucky.
  • He said CJ Henderson’s injury is believed to be just a sprained ankle. He didn’t offer any specifics on Kadarius Toney’s injury, but his tone suggested that it might be more serious. He’ll update us on Monday once the official diagnoses have been made.
  • While the Hail Mary pass on the final play of the first half fell incomplete, he said he was pleased that they were able to get the snap off in that situation. The clock ran from :02 as soon as the referee’s whistle blew, so they needed to have urgency.
  • Mullen on playing younger guys: "I wanted guys rolling throughout the game." He said he wanted to roll them through throughout the game and not just once the game was at hand in the fourth quarter, and he felt like they accomplished that.
  • On UF’s honoring of the late Mr. Two Bits, George Edmondson: "The thing that makes college football so fun is tradition.” He compared it to the cowbells at Mississippi State. Fans of other teams might not understand it, but Edmonson meant the world to Gator Nation.
  • He said they have a bunch of guys that they want to give touches to, and Jacob Copeland is one of them. He’s got some things to improve, but he liked what he saw from him on Saturday night.
  • When it was pointed out to him that they struggled to run a little bit in the first half, he said he thought that had a little bit to do with them not running a lot of plays. That was also an issue against Miami, so that’ll be an emphasis moving forward.
  • Mullen said the offensive line gave Franks plenty of time to throw, but the key is for the younger guys to learn how to take in-game coaching and adjust quicker. He thought they were a bit slower with their adjustments than he wanted them to be.
  • Apparently, he chewed out the team at halftime. “It wasn't a super-friendly halftime.” He was pleased with their response in the second half.
  • Mullen said Kaiir Elam made a great play on his interception, and he hopes it serves as a confidence-booster for him.

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