Very few prognosticators believed Florida would be competing for the SEC East title in the first year of the Dan Mullen era. While the Gators didn’t end up finishing in the top two of the East standings by season’s end, the team did have an opportunity to finish the season in Atlanta had they found a way to beat Georgia in Jacksonville.
Somewhat predictably, the Gators dropped the Missouri game after falling to Georgia in Jacksonville. That was a tough loss for Florida fans but they can proudly point to the team’s impressive three-game winning streak to end the season over South Carolina, Idaho and Florida State.
Immediately after Florida ended the program’s five-year losing streak to Florida State, Mullen was interviewed by ESPN college football analyst Tom Luginbill on the field from Tallahassee.
“Two great schools, so much history in the game,” Mullen said. “We’re going to go celebrate with our great fans, our great fans that came out here and do everything the right way. They did a great job.”
Luginbill then asked Mullen to respond how his team rebounded from the two-game losing streak late in the season.
“I’m pleased with how we worked, pleased with how we worked down the stretch,” Mullen answered. “We had that tough loss in a big game, competing for a championship against Georgia. We let them beat us twice. I hate saying that, because it takes away from Missouri — that’s a hell of a football team — but we didn’t come out. After that, we responded unbelievable well.”
With the win on Saturday, Florida finishes the season with a 9-3 regular season mark.