Trick plays have had a huge role in No. 14 Florida’s back-to-back upsets of SEC opponents.
First, there was the “Kodak” double pass that lifted the Gators to a 13-6 win at then-No. 23 Mississippi State. The next week, coach Dan Mullen dialed up a throwback to quarterback Feleipe Franks on the go-ahead touchdown drive against then-No. 5 LSU.
Mullen shed a bit of light on his use of trick plays during Wednesday’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, saying he has “libraries” of them waiting to go. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see No. 14 Florida (5-1, 3-1 SEC) roll out another trick play against Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-2) on Saturday.
Here’s everything Mullen said during Wednesday’s teleconference.
On running trick plays, will you be less likely to run them now after doing so back-to-back weeks?
- No, it doesn’t have any effect on us one way or another.
On QB Feleipe Franks and his development:
- I think he’s worked to learn our offense and learned to be a good decision-maker on the field. I continue to see him grow in that one. Playing quarterback is about processing information and the more you do that, the better you get at that. … That doesn’t mean he won’t make mistakes or bad decisions, but he has better answers for what they are doing and why.
On the OL play against Vandy:
- Any time you go on the road in this league, offensive line play is critical. … Any time you are on the road, you want to establish a run game. That makes you much more successful.
How often do you practice trick plays?
- We carry four or five a game and we practice them all the time. … This week we let them know which ones we are thinking of using and we practice them that week. … Sometimes we carry them over and we practice them week after week.
How many total do you have?
- If you give me a pen, I can probably draw a 1,000. We have libraries of them.
On losing to Kentucky and beating LSU, how do you handle the up and down nature of that?
- The players are not insulated; the coaches are, though. It’s never as bad as you think; it’s never as good as you think. It’s never because of a trick play you ran or didn’t run. It’s never as good as it seems; it’s never as bad as it seems. … It’s about getting the players to know why they lost. … If you tell them they are terrible, they think they are terrible; if you tell them they are great, they think they are great. … We try to keep them level-headed. … If you can focus on that, you can have a successful season.
On Oklahoma-Wake Forest firing their defensive coordinators:
- I think it can be a huge challenge. I can’t imagine doing that without a set plan.