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Florida Football

Listen, Read & Watch: Yet another disappointing loss

November 20, 2021
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Head coach Dan Mullen along and defensive lineman Antonio Valentino faced the media following an underwhelming, overtime loss at Missouri.

Here are the main takeaways.

Dan Mullen

  • “You know just way too many mental mistakes and opportunities to make plays we didn’t make in critical moments of the game. I think that is our 7th straight loss in one-possession games and that’s on us coaches, gotta create the mental toughness for the guys to make sure we have the right guys in the right position to make the play when the games on the line.” Mullen mentioned to the media, “and we haven’t been able to do that and expressed how disappointing the loss was.
  • When asked if it’s just one game and where do you go from here Mullen responded with, “Well I mean you know Florida football program is going to be here a long time, so it’s not about 1 game it’s about getting the program better.”
  • On the 1:04 left in the game and considering a field goal: “We were and on the first play we called a draw and our running back slipped and fell backwards. We had a great look for it, but when he slipped and fell that kind of slowed us down there.”
  • On the defensive run game: “It was solid at times and not solid at times you know I thought we contained the guy for most if the night, but still gave up 146 rushing yards to their running back.” “Overall, it was ok.”
  • When asked about his future with the team Mullen said, “We had meetings last week about what direction we need to go in the future with assistant coaches and who we are going to bring in here, and what our candidates are for the future.
  • The media brought up if Mullen considered going to Anthony Richardson at all he responded with, “Anthony’s been banged up and had more injuries at practice this week, so he was limited in his opportunities and ability to practice, so uh no.”
  • On his emotional state: “Obviously disappointed right there you put a lot of work in and another close game we didn’t find a way to pull out here in the end. It’s obviously disappointing we doubled the penalties and almost tripled the yards in penalties at critical moments in the game.”
  • Mullen mentioned to the media how the team wasn’t able to score down in the redzone and not create any turnovers on defense, and the kicking game. When asked about what he saw on the last play he responded with, “well we got lined up we had the call and we had a timeout available, so I said hey you know are we ready for what they are going to do out of that formation and they said yes,” Mullen said. “We felt we had it defended we had a guy right in the quarterback’s face and obviously we weren’t able to make the play and blew the coverage.”
  • On the inconsistent play: “We have to be mentally tougher and as the coaches, we gotta make sure that we are mentally tougher that way in our preparation.”
  • When Mullen was asked if he wanted to be at UF: “Yeah, I love being the coach of the Gators’ we are out there giving it everything we have every single week. Guys come out they work and it’s pretty unfortunate it’s a play here or there, but that’s on us to make sure our guys are prepared to make that one more play.”
  • When asked if the fan base has unfairly turned on the team Mullen responded with, “I mean fans can do whatever they want, I’ll be perfectly honest with you, I know maybe you guys get it or you guys have a lot of that stuff when I walk around, everybody I see is very supportive. I mean we do that long walk where we walk to practice every day and everybody, I see is extremely positive and supportive. I see that from a lot of our fans, I think you know they love the Gators’ they wanna win, we wanna win. You know I think they see a team that goes out there and gives really good effort.”

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Antonio Valentino

  • In a tough season that has fractured the Gators and fans alike, it was unity that Antonio Valentino preached above all else. “Coach C-Rob [Christian Robinson] always says play as one. I think we did that tonight. Obviously, we’re backed into a corner the majority of the season and you got two options when you are in the corner: You either die in the corner or you fight out. Valentino said that the Gators are still in the corner, granted with an opportunity to fight out of it against FSU.
  • I wouldn’t have come to the University of Florida if I didn’t believe in coach Mullen,” Valentino said in response to questions of Mullen’s lost opportunity to rally his team with a win at Missouri. “He talked to us after the game about attention to detail and how serious everything has to be taken, not that everyone isn’t taking everything seriously, but when it comes to being a Florida Gator and playing to that championship-caliber and expectation the details have to be extremely important.
  • Valentino credited Missouri’s Tyler Badie as a player who made the Gators defense pay at the slightest sight of an open seam. “He had two explosive runs early in the third quarter, that was it. You watch this guy’s film; you give him a seam and he’s going to make you pay for it. A couple times he found a seam, he got the yards he was capable of getting,” Valentino said.
  • Badie carried the ball in the two plays it took him and the Tigers’ to reach the Gator endzone in overtime. “I still think defensively we did our job. I think we came out there, didn’t let the pressure get to us. So, we just tried to go out there and execute,” Valentino said. Badie ended the night with 146 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

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FLORIDA-MISSOURI HIGHLIGHTS

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Rafael de los Santos and Joseph Munroe contributed to this report

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

Listen, Read & Watch: Yet another disappointing loss

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