April 20, 2024

How Dan Mullen is establishing a winning culture back at Florida

Florida players celebrate after the Peach Bowl NCAA college football game against Michigan, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Atlanta. Florida won 41-15. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The former Mississippi State coach has the Gators a year ahead of schedule and the team has clinched their first 10-win season since 2015.

Will Muschamp could never find a play-maker at the quarterback position and Jim McElwain’s teams always crumbled toward the end of the season. However, Mullen’s Gators finished off the 2018 season on a four-game win streak, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished at the program since Tim Tebow was behind center.

It’s not hard to be successful at a place like Florida. After all, it’s the speed state with great weather and top notch facilities to lure in big-name recruits. Mullen has had no problems so far in that area and the Gators had a solid class for the early signing period.

Defense continues to be the strength of the team as the program transitions from coach to coach. The key aspect that’s different about Florida with Mullen is the fact that he’s a quarterback-friendly coach. That position has been a liability for the program since Urban Meyer left Gainesville. Mullen is bringing more stability to the position.

Feleipe Franks had a solid sophomore season, throwing for 23 touchdowns and rushing for six more scores. The Gators’ offense caught fire during their four-game win streak and averaged 45 points per game during that span. Florida’s defense hasn’t been no slouch either, allowing only 13 points per game during the last three contests.

Mullen did what McElwain couldn’t and that’s beat Michigan. The Gators flat-out creamed the Wolverines and very few people gave them the chance to win that game. Naysayers could argue that Michigan was without three of their star players or that they didn’t want to be there. Still, Florida won a New Years Six Bowl in Mullen’s first season and the program now has plenty momentum heading into the February signing period.

The 46-year old coach has a ton of experience and success in the SEC and surprisingly, he’s not a Nick Saban protege’. Mullen turned Mississippi State into a consistent winner and that wasn’t easy by any means. The players seem to be adapting nicely to what he’s trying to establish at Florida. Being a former Offensive Coordinator for the Gators helps him understand the tradition and the fans.

Florida dropped two home games this season so the next step for Mullen is to get the Swamp back to being one of the most intimidating venues in all of College Football. He also has to beat Georgia. The Bulldogs are currently the beasts of the SEC East and the only team that stands in the way of Florida getting to the SEC Championship next year.

NFL teams has even showed interest in Mullen services, but as for now he’s rocking with the Gators. Look out for Florida next season, and if you aren’t Gator friendly, than you’re Gator bait!