On Wednesday, Gator football head coach Dan Mullen spoke to the press for the first time since Saturday’s 49-42 loss against LSU. He spoke about the quarterback position, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s (unchanging for now) status and the team’s rare inconsistencies.
As far as encouragement for fans after the loss to move to 4-3 and unranked, Mullen said the program is heading in a good direction with the attitudes of the team.
Mullen Talks Quarterbacks
Mullen declared he will stick with playing two quarterbacks. He said he hasn’t made a decision on the starting quarterback. Regardless, even if he had written the script, he wouldn’t share the first play of the game.
While the head coach didn’t say who will start, this answer does mark a shift. In the past, he always said Jones will start.
The fourth-year head coach didn’t say, however, if he’d feel comfortable handing off the keys to Richardson if Jones doesn’t pan out in the upcoming games. Instead, Mullen says he’s seen improvement from both quarterbacks throughout the season.
Emory Jones went 12-for-19 with 161 yards and one touchdown. Anthony Richardson, who put together an explosive second-half performance after taking over for Jones, had three touchdowns. He went for 10-for-16 after starting out 0-for-3, with 167 yards. Both quarterbacks threw two interceptions.
Mullen on Grantham’s Status
The Gator defense allowed 321 yards of rushing from the Tigers. Tyron Davis-Price even broke the LSU school record. Simultaneously, Grantham’s contract expires at the end of the year. Some people question if Grantham should be fired in the middle of the season.
Mullen said he doesn’t study his coaching staffs’ contracts. Furthermore, he said he thinks the appropriate time to evaluate coaches is when the season ends.
Right now, the team is focused on its game against Georgia on October 30th. Additionally, coaches like Grantham are on the road recruiting during the by week.
The head coach acknowledged drastic inconsistency has been a big issue for the Gators.
On the road against Kentucky, Florida committed 15 penalties. On Saturday in Baton Rouge, they committed none but threw four interceptions. Hopefully, Mullen said, the quarterbacks will throw zero interceptions the next game.
Though Mullen didn’t mention it in the press conference, several top Florida commits have announced they are no longer planning to attend UF.
Four-star linebacker Shemar James was the highest-ranked Florida commit for the class of 2022. Now, this Gator recruiting class will have no recruits in the top 100.
RESPECT MY DECISION pic.twitter.com/d5LEuxdmKl
— shemar.james (@shemar0524) October 20, 2021
Florida now slides to 18th in the 247Sports Composite team rankings.
The Gators will kickoff against No. 1 Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida on October 30 at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.