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Florida Football

The Bounce Back

October 29, 2018
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It was a quite bus ride home as the No. 13 Florida Gators traveled the 70 miles from TIAA Bank Field back to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium after falling to No. 6 Georgia 36-17 in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, slightly skewing their record to 6-2, 4-2 SEC.

“I think a lot of guys were upset from the loss,” explains receiver Josh Hammond of the trip home.

“Some guys you know watched the film and went over it. Just tried to watch the film, see the mistakes we made and kinda get over it and put it in the past. And other guys kinda just stayed to themselves, just you know upset about the loss.”

Now at the beginning of a new week, the Gators are back home and find themselves back in a position that they’ve only been in once before during this season.

“Our first loss of the season, I think we handled it really well, then we started handling success pretty well and now we want to see how we have to handle this adversity moving forward,” questions head coach Dan Mullen.

"I think the big challenge for us is, any time, after every game, win or lose, it's how you respond and continue to go during the season. So it'll be interesting to see now.”

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Quarterback Feleipe Franks, who had an interception and a fumble along with two touchdowns, says that the mistakes he made are easier to see after a loss but that at the bottom of the pit you know which way to look.

“It’s easy to say, like, when you’re having success, it’s easy for everybody to be happy and I don’t really need to do this, that or the other. It’s easy for everybody for everybody to say, it’s easy for you to get complacent and be like, OK, I’m doing this well, I don’t have to work … just like ball security.

“At the beginning of the season, I’d never had a fumble or anything like that and it’s easy to get complacent with that kind of stuff when you’re at practice, kind of like when you’re going through ball drills not to hold it high and tight and not do that stuff, and I had another fumble so it’s one of those things I just go to continue to work on. Coach Johnson and them are doing a great job of helping me with that stuff. It’s never easy when you’re going through your highs and lows. We just got to keep working.”

After the Kentucky loss, there was a quick shift in the Gators attitude which helped lead to a five game win streak. The loss on Saturday to Georgia hit much harder as it took them out of the running for the SEC Championship and brought a quick trip to the Cinderella run the team seemed to be on past the midway point of the season. Many guys could be seen getting emotional after the loss but Mullen assured after the game that the locker room was excited to get back to practice and fix what went wrong.

When it comes to handling those emotions, the psychology of a competitor, Mullen says it depends on where the mindset of the team is at, at the given time.

“It goes to kind of a gut feeling. There’s not a playbook for it. It’s a feel for how the season is going, the team’s going, the attitude of the team and where we’re at. I think a lot of the guys, this is all our first years, I think we handled the first loss excellent.

“Everybody was here for the meeting this morning, ready to go. I want to see, I got to see how they respond out in practice a little bit. I always think there’s two ways to respond—the bad one is you have the ‘woe is me’ attitude and the other one is kinda like, you know, annoyed that that happened and I can’t wait to get out there to go fix it. I hope we’re the second with this one.  We certainly were with the first one and I hope we are with the second [loss].”

Franks says the lessons from the loss are tough but can be beneficial growing pains for a rebuilding team.

“I mean, we’re sitting at 6-2 right now, so it’s, like I said, those 2 games that we had were definitely winnable games. And we know, we all know how good of a team we are at every position, and we’ve just had mistakes, including me, just you know that we always want to have back. So it’ll put us in a better position to win the bigger games, and, so, you can’t dwell on it too much. You just have to move on to next week, just finish up the season strong. We have a chance to have a really good, really good record.”

To make all of that happen though starts on Monday, the beginning of a new week and the chance to add another chapter to the redemption story being written by the Florida Gators.

Says defensive lineman Kyree Campbell, “The attitude is to go out and have a great practice today. Be physical. The way we handle this loss is going to determine the rest of the season. So everybody is expected to come out today and have one of the best practices of the season."

The Bounce Back

698 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by Gators51
Romeg8r
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If they handle this the right way 10-2 is very possible
Gators51
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Let's go gators!!! 10-2 would be awesome!!
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