Dan Mullen left the cowbells in Starkville, but continued the tradition of bringing a fancy pair of shoes to SEC Media Days as the new head coach of the Florida Gators. Mullen returns to Gainesville a decade after winning a National Title as Florida’s offensive coordinator.
The Best Thing Dan Mullen Said — Mullen can be quite a dork when he busts out a new pair of shoes each year, but you cannot deny his ability to mold quarterbacks into stars.
“We won’t change our philosophy, but we’ll change what we do.
“One of my first meetings with the quarterbacks, I wanted to sit down, and I told them, I said, you may have watched — if you watched Mississippi State film from last year, that’s not the exact offense we’re going to run. We’re going to put you in position to be successful.
“One from the things I wanted to do in spring, I said we’re going to put a lot of different things in, we’re going to throw a lot of different things at you. I want you to go as hard as you can. I don’t care if you’re good at it or not good at it. You do it, and at the end of spring we’ll evaluate what you do well, and moving forward we’re going to go and put you in a position to be successful.
“And I think that really changed the mind set of the quarterbacks in the room. Because there’s not a specific way to do it. Every quarterback I’ve had, they are all different shapes and sizes and different talent and skill sets.
“To be honest with you, our job as coaches is to put them in position to be successful.”
The Best Thing Dan Mullen Said (Out of Context) — “You can sit there and slam all you want; it’s not going to work.”
Florida’s Scariest Player — The uncovered wide receiver and the running quarterback.
All jokes aside, Emory Jones has the making of a Cat killer. You’ve seen this scenario play out before. Feleipe Franks will likely earn the starting job, then as the Gators’ offense struggles and Kentucky takes an early lead in The Swamp, Mullen will make the switch to the running quarterback (one who was a high school all-american a year ago) who will inevitably look like the second coming of Michael Vick against the UK defense.
Will He Just Graduate Already? — CeCe Jefferson has been terrorizing Kentucky quarterbacks since the Jerry Claiborne roamed the sidelines. The All-SEC pass rusher is back, and so is running back Jordan Scarlett. A 1,000-yard rusher in 2016, Scarlett returns to action after a season-long credit card swiping suspension.
Same Face, New Place — Remember the name Van Jefferson? He represented Ole Miss at last year’s SEC Media Days. Last November in Lexington he caught 5 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Thanks to a change in transfer rules, he’ll play right away in Gainesville and ease the loss of Antonio Callaway.
On the other side of the football, Todd Grantham is calling the shots. This will be the fourth different team Kentucky has faced with Grantham as the opposing defensive coordinator. Grantham’s most memorable performance against Kentucky was that time Stephen Johnson loved this shit.
Good News for UK — Playing Florida in September is always a disadvantage, but it actually plays into UK’s favor this year. Mullen will still be figuring out his team in game two, and it’s night game so it will only be about 85 degrees instead of 127.
Bad News for UK — It’s been give or take 7,893,457 days since the last time Kentucky beat Florida. Even though the Cats get the Gators in just the second game of Dan Mullen’s Florida tenure, Mullen is awfully good at beating Kentucky in just about any setting. He was at 8-1 vs. UK as Miss. State’s head coach with a 15.4 average margin of victory.
Fear Factor — 9.99999999999999999999999
The Gators only won four games last year, thanks to McElwain’s ineptitude and affinity for sharks. They also had some of their best players suspended, many of which will return to give Mullen a deep roster.
This game is terrifying because if Kentucky can’t snap The Streak this year, in the blink of an eye it will be a 50-game losing streak. It’s not just because it’s Florida. After all, it took a 51-yarder as time expired to give the Cats their only victory over Mullen, and that was at Mississippi State. If Mullen can do what he did in Starkville, I don’t want to imagine what he can do in Gainesville.
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