WATCH: Florida coach Dan Mullen says ‘I’m frustrated’ after loss to Georgia
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dan Mullen said there are plenty of things Florida would do differently if they could get a second chance at Georgia.
But the Gators will have to wait another year after the Bulldogs handled them from start to finish on Saturday at TIAA Bank Field, the scoreboard finally resting at 24-17.
“A lot of things that we’d do a little differently, everybody probably would, coaches, players, everybody, you know, and that’s as you look at it,” Mullen said. “You look at the game, the margin for error is small, and it’s easy to look back and say, ‘boy I would have liked to fix that, liked to fix this for us’, you know.”
Much was made of the coaching matchup between Mullen and Kirby Smart, with some suggesting the Gators’ head coach gave his team an edge.
But Georgia was 12 of 18 converting on third downs, and smothered the Florida run game, allowing just 21 yards on 19 attempts, and Smart is now 3-0 against Mullen.
Mullen said the Bulldogs’ second quarter touchdown — a 3-yard pass from Jake Fromm to Dominick Blaylock was key — as it lifted the Bulldogs to a 10-0 lead and altered Florida’s offensive plans.
“I think, they scored that touchdown to take the lead was a big, I think that was the biggest play of the game right there,” Mullen said. “I think we thought we were off the field on third down, and they got sent back down.”
Indeed, Lawrence Cager made a miraculous grab on third-and-6 from the Florida 22 to sustain the drive.
Mullen said “they (Georgia) didn’t do anything” special to stop the run, “we fell behind early, you know, and so we were throwing a little bit more.”
Mullen did give praise to Jake Fromm and the Bulldogs offensive line. Florida entered the game leading the SEC in sacks (29), but the Gators weren’t able to get to Fromm.
“Yeah I thought he did a good job, you know,” Mullen said. “Give their O-line credit, they did a good job of not allowing pressure.
“We tried, we mixed up different looks.”
Mullen made it clear Florida isn’t conceding anything, even though Georgia is in the driver’s seat in the Eastern Division.
“The East still hasn’t been decided, like I said, a bunch of football left,” Mullen said. “Unfortunately we don’t control our own destiny anymore, which is frustrating.”
Mullen said it was just that kind of night.
“I’m frustrated,” Mullen said, “because like I said, there’s all little things you can point out.”