Moving on from Mullen: Greg Knox to coach season finale vs. FSU

Florida 5-6 a season after reaching SEC Title Game
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:57 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -At the end of the day, the Gators are a football team that hasn’t won the close ones, and lost as many times in the last 11 games as it did in the previous 35 games. It led to the firing of Dan Mullen with a game remaining in the 2021 season.

The Gators press on towards Saturday’s regular season finale against Florida State. Bowl eligibility is at stake for both 5-6 teams.

Scott Stricklin’s search for Mullen’s successor might dominate the chatter of Gator Nation this week, but for the time being, there is football left. Special Teams Coordinator and Running Backs Coach Greg Knox will lead the team on an interim basis, while Garrick McGee will have play calling responsibilities on offense and Christian Robinson on defense.

A season after reaching the SEC Championship Game, no one can blame the Gators for being a little shell shocked at their precipitous fall.

“We’re just not making that one play,” said Knox regarding Florida’s 2-6 SEC record. “Dan had said earlier guys are like ‘I’m hoping someone makes the play instead of I’m going to make the play.’ It’s not a talent issue, it’s an attention to detail issue.”

Senior defensive lineman Zachary Carter said some players took the news of Mullen’s dismissal hard.

“That’s who got them to the University of Florida, so it’s emotional,” said Carter. “It was kind of quiet but you could just tell things were sad. It was a sad day.”

Florida demonstrated promise early in the season, getting off to a 3-1 start with the one defeat being a two-point loss to defending national champion Alabama. Florida regressed and dropped all of its SEC road games.

“After that Bama game, it showed we can play with anyone in the country,” said senior running back Dameon Pierce. “Did I ever expect this? No, I don’t think anybody did, it was one of those things like, we had great game plans, we just couldn’t seem to find our groove this year.”

As Stricklin’s search for a new coach begins, another UF recruit in the 2022 class has decommitted. Isaiah Bond, a wide receiver from Buford, Georgia, announced on social media he is re-opening his recruitment. ESPN ranks Bond 108th overall in this year’s class. On Sunday, Ocala defensive back Jamarrien Burt also tweeted that he is decommitting from UF.

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