Dan Mullen wants Florida football to be fun again. He showed that Saturday – Miami Herald
Florida’s orange team beat Florida’s blue team, 35-30, on Saturday in the school’s annual spring game, but the score and the results don’t matter.
The game was riddled with questionable calls, questionable personnel groupings and questionable quarterback runs that probably should have been marked down long before they actually were. Statistics were skewed by a couple of touchdown passes to former Gators who appeared from the sidelines — uncovered, of course — just in time to make scoring grabs. And because of the game’s new format — a player draft that took place on Friday — UF’s first-team offense never faced its first-team defense.
All of that made it difficult to gauge much of anything beyond standout individual performances. That’s exactly how first-year UF head coach Dan Mullen wanted it.
“I’m gonna have fun,” he said. “Life’s too short. We’re gonna have fun.”
If there was one overarching observation to be made from Saturday’s spring game, it’s that one of Mullen’s main goals is to give a football-starved fan base something to cheer about. That means scoring points and playing hard-hitting defense, sure, but it also means allowing for more player expression.
Under former coach Jim McElwain, spring games and regular season games alike felt sterile. No touchdown celebrations, little excitement and small personality. Mullen reversed all of that.
Whether it was players wearing sleeves and sweatbands, 1990s UF standouts Lawrence Wright and Travis McGriff catching touchdown passes, Feleipe Franks punting a ball into the stadium’s second deck following a long touchdown run or players celebrating a score with a game of duck-duck-goose, the message was clear.
Mullen wants to make Florida football fun again, both by playing better and having a good time doing it. He he lived that truth before an announced crowd of 53,015.
One celebration perhaps