Florida head coach Dan Mullen reacts during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Mullen was given several more chances Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, to walk back bizarre comments about wanting to pack 90,000 screaming fans inside Florida Field during the coronavirus pandemic. He declined each of them, brushing aside criticism and insisting he's focused on defending national champion LSU. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

Coach Dan Mullen Talks South Carolina Game, Need for Competitive Mindset

Florida football’s head coach Dan Mullen did not have much to say after the team’s loss against to Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. Coach Mullen didn’t give much on Monday afternoon in possibly one of the shortest press conferences he has ever had.

In Coach Mullen’s postgame interview, he took accountability for the three losses in the past four games.

“I’m not where we want to be in this point of the season. There’s a mindset that we need to go change and fix. As a head coach, the mindset falls on me. In this final third of the season that’s on me to get this fixed. I certainly plan on doing that, on changing where we’re at right now and creating some positive energy. It may feel like the rope is slipping, but I won’t let go and I know the guys won’t let go either,” Coach Mullen said after losing to Georgia.

Looking Ahead at South Carolina

These words were promising to Gator Nation, but Coach Mullen did not have much to say Monday afternoon. The Gators are now 4-4, and so are the South Carolina Gamecocks- the team’s next competitor.

Coach Mullen was asked about his biggest concern with the program right now. “We gotta go find a way to win this week; beating South Carolina, that would probably be the biggest concern right now. We’ve got a good South Carolina team, a road game, a night game in the SEC so we’ve got to go win that game.”

Addressing Concerns

Anthony Richardson started as quarterback on Saturday until an injury-what people think might be a concussion- that forced him to sit out the rest of the game. “We’ll see,” said Coach Mullen when asked about Richardson’s status.

Coach Mullen was also asked if the Gators needed a different approach in recruiting, something that he clearly did not want to talk about. Florida is currently ranked 35th in the country for recruiting.

“We’re in the season right now, we’ll do recruiting after the season – when it gets to recruiting time we can talk about recruiting,” said Coach Mullen. “Next question,” said Coach Mullen, before the Zoom moderator cut off the reporter.

Coach Mullen was asked about “noise in the system” or criticism and concerns raised by Gator fans. “We have to live in the reality world, not the perception world. These guys are 18-, 19-, 20-year-old kids. I try to pay a little bit of attention, you know. I don’t pay much attention to it personally because I’m focused on how we’re getting better, but I pay enough so that I know what our guys have to deal with. We’ll go address it, but then we get back to reality and discuss what we did well and what we did poorly.”

Coach Mullen explained how there are about six inches between a pat on the back and a kick in the rear end, especially in the SEC. They try to block out to noise that comes from fans and the media.

Addressing inconsistencies in both games and practices is important and something they are trying to figure out as a team, Mullen said.

“If you don’t want to compete, don’t show up. I’m going to be in South Carolina next week, and we’ll be there with a team that’s going to be ready to go compete. If guys don’t want to compete, we won’t put them on the trip,” Coach Mullen said.

Coach Mullen highlighted the importance of having a competitive attitude, especially during this time of the season considering these circumstances.

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