Gators first to sepak at SEC Media Days
Mullen, players have glass half-full view of 2021 season
HOOVER, Ala. (WCJB) -47 days from now, Florida football kicks off the 2021 campaign at home against Florida Atlantic. But before the Gators run through the tunnel, head coach Dan Mullen and company provided some perspective on the upcoming season on Monday to get SEC Media Days underway.
Florida enters a new season with a team full of question marks. The Gator offense averaged over 500 yards and 40 points per game last season but lost quarterback Kyle Trask, plus playmakers Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney, and Trevon Grimes. Defensively, Florida allowed 30 points per game a year ago. But despite these challenges, Mullen believes the Gators have all the pieces needed to be one of the best teams in the country.
“Even though you look at all the production that leaves, if you do look at what returns it’s not a zero,” said Mullen. “Obviously there huge numbers walking out the door, but we rotate a lot of guys that have experience. So it’s not like there’s zero experience returning.”
Linebacker Ventrell Miller is also optimistic that the defense will turn things around. Miller led the Gators with 52 solo tackles last season.
“The young guys are stepping up,” said Miller. “I’m pretty sure they’ve been waiting for these opportunities to go out and showcase what they can do versus the best in the SEC.”
Senior defensive lineman Zachary Carter led the Gators with five sacks last season and is locked in on team goals.
“I’ve seen guys working harder than ever this year,” said Carter. “I think it’s a good thing we have that chip on our shoulder this year. We want people to be surprised this year.”
A big early test for the Gators comes in the SEC opener at home against defending national champion Alabama on Sept. 18.
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