The Florida Gators are coming off a bye and will close out the regular season against in-state rival Florida State. They look to defeat the Seminoles at home for the first time since 2009 and build on last season’s win at Doak Campbell Stadium.
In his press conference on Monday, Coach Dan Mullen discussed the rivalry, Senior Day and what it takes to win at home.
A Big Game
In his time coaching at Florida, both during the Urban Meyer era and the present, Mullen has never lost to the Seminoles. Regardless of this success, the significance of the game is not lost on him.
“You wanna finish off the year with a win,” Mullen said. “And obviously, in state, you wanna finish off the year with a win. When you have in-state rivals like this, it is such a big deal.”
Sentimental Senior Day
With a plethora of seniors playing their last game in The Swamp on Saturday, Mullen said it’s always emotional to see how much his players have grown.
“You have the two aspects of the emotion,” he said. “I showed up and had an idea of how I want the program should be, and these guys believed in me. That’s a really special deal, emotionally. I also get to look at them and say I know how far these guys have come. And that’s emotional.”
One of those departing seniors is David Reese II.
Mullen gushed about the linebacker’s work ethic.
“I think everybody respects that,” Mullen continued. “Here’s a guy that, everyday, shows up and gives you everything he has and has had a lot of success throughout his career: made a lot of tackles, put up really good numbers for us. And I think everybody on the team really respects him for that.”
Pack The Swamp
The Gators are undefeated at home so far this season. To continue that streak, Mullen said it will take more than just the team and the staff.
“If you look at how the stadium’s been this year, the excitement, the energy within the stadium for our home games has been awesome,” Mullen said. “As a result of that, we’ve won and hopefully the same thing continues.
“I think our fans would have as much to do with us going undefeated at home as the players and the coaches.”