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Gator football team addresses mistakes made in Kentucky loss

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -For the first time since 2003, the Gator football team has dropped two of its first three SEC games. Florida fell to 1-2 in conference play following Saturday’s sloppy 20-13 loss to Kentucky. Players and coaches have spent a lot of time self evaluating but are now turning the page to focus on the team’s next game, Saturday at home versus Vanderbilt.

Against Kentucky, Florida lost a game in which the opponent converted only one third down, reached the red zone only once, and whose quarterback completed 7 of 17 passes. It primarily comes down to self-inflicted wounds. The Gators committed 15 penalties, threw an interception, and had a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown.

Head coach Dan Mullen knows that on-field discipline begins with the team being coached properly.

“I take it personally, it’s on me, it’s my responsibility as the coach with everything when you go perform and make the mistakes that we made,” said Mullen. “When something happens you can’t change it. It is what it is, you can’t change it. So let’s look at what happened, let’s look at what was good, what was bad, how are we fixing it to improve it.”

The Gator defense has shown steady improvement, despite allowing a 41-yard wide receiver screen pass that went for a touchdown on Saturday. Florida yielded just 224 yards of offense in the game.

“Number one, I like our guys, I’ve said that from day one,” said defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. “I like our character, I like our work ethic, and I like the way we embrace each other on explosive plays that we make.”

With two SEC losses already, it will be difficult for Florida to rally and win the Eastern Division. Grantham isn’t giving up hope.

“Seasons are long, and during the season it’s always about getting better every game,” said Grantham. “It’s about getting yourself better, making our team better and continuing to do that.”

Both of Florida’s next two games will be noon kickoffs. In addition to this Saturday’s homecoming game, the SEC also announced on Monday that the Florida-LSU game on Oct. 16 will also start at noon.

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