Dan Mullen explains why he ran fake punt on first offensive series
The Florida Gators escaped with a 24-20 win over rival Miami Saturday night, but it wasn’t pretty.
The Gators offense committed four turnovers and only recorded 52 rushing yards on the night. However, one of the bright spots for the Gators was finishing 4-4 on fourth downs. All four of those conversions were crucial throughout the game.
Perhaps the most crucial came on the first offensive series of the game inside the Gators own 30 yard-line. Punter Tommy Townsend showed off his speed on the fourth and two conversion running for a first down.
FIRST FAKE PUNT OF THE SEASON! pic.twitter.com/EW1tjGqrHg
— ESPN (@espn) August 24, 2019
On the very next play, quarterback Feleipe Franks hit receiver Kadarius Toney for a 66-yard touchdown. In back-to-back plays, Florida had momentum and the lead.
Kadarius Toney takes it 66 yards to the 🏡 pic.twitter.com/bmx5x7wLzE
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) August 24, 2019
Following the game, Mullen was asked about the gutsy call on the first possession, via Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.
#Gators coach Dan Mullen says he planned to fake the first punt no matter what, told the team and practiced it thru camp.
“What if you were inside your own 5?”
Mullen: “Well, I might have thought about it inside the 10.”
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 25, 2019
Mullen expounded on his aggressiveness on fourth down during his post-game press conference.
“You know what? There were situations and within the game that we felt,” Mullen said. “And you know, we thought we had a good play call and we had veteran players and so I didn’t mind putting the ball in their hands to let them go make those plays and they were able to do it. I didn’t think any of them — I mean, they kind of seem high risk but, for us, we felt pretty good with those calls and there wasn’t any question or doubt in what we were going to do.”