Florida’s Dan Mullen Is Hoping To Avoid The ‘Shock’ Of Tennessee’s Tempo

Coach Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators prepare for an upcoming visit from Tennessee after a close loss to No. 1 Alabama. The Gators rushed for over 230 yards against the Tide and are hoping to snag their first SEC win of the season on Saturday.

Mullen has had the opportunity to use two quarterbacks in the first two games of the season. Unfortunately for the Gators, Anthony Richardson suffered a hamstring injury during the South Florida game, which kept him off the field against Alabama. Dan Mullen updated the status of Richardson on Wednesday.

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“Yeah, you know, I mean, he’s looking good. We haven’t really opened him up a whole lot. It is a little bit similar to last week that we’re going to do a MRI and see where he’s at and do a full test on Friday to give him the maximum time to get to 100 percent.”

Mullen added, “We’ve done more at practice with him this week than we did last week even of opening him up some, but we haven’t gotten him on a full sprint yet. I feel, I would think he’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”

The Gators’ defense will also face a change in tempo, as the Vols like to play at warp speed, trying to catch them sleeping, especially on a few downfield shots. So Dan Mullen has warned his team not to be caught off-guard by how fast this Tennessee team likes to go.

“What we can’t do is be shocked by the speed of that once the game starts. How fast they’re going to snap the ball. How fast they’re going to get up there and run plays, and how fast we have to get the call, get lined up and be ready to go execute.”

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Which quarterback will start for Tennessee has been on the minds of fans in Knoxville all week. Joe Milton continues to work his way back from an injury, but the Vols have relied on Hendon Hooker to lead them the past two games. How this situation plays out on Saturday, only Josh Heupel knows.

Dan Mullen says he’s preparing for both quarterbacks, and he knows this duo can be “dangerous.”

“They are good runners when they have the quarterbacks runs call or the zone-read calls when they pull it. But to the me, the thing that makes them dangerous, what I see, is their ability to extend plays. Their ability when the play breaks down a little bit, their ability to go create something special beyond that and make something happen out there on the field and the explosiveness they’ve been able to do getting outside the offense and creating on their own.”

The Gators cannot afford to take the Vols lightly, especially since they are trying to keep pace with Georgia and they already have one SEC loss.

A lot of things make this matchup on Saturday intriguing, but the QB decisions for both teams are at the top of my list.

OutKick’s gambling guru Arky Shea has some data-driven recommendations for this weekend’s games. You’ll want to check this out.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.


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  1. IMO Tennessee is not ready to match talent with a team like Florida yet. They couldn’t stop Pitt’s offense, UF is way more talented than Pitt, and it’s in the Swamp. Could they pull a miracle upset? It’s remotely possible, but more likely Florida wins by 2-3 TD unless the turn it over 3-4 times. UT needs FAR better line play on both sides of the ball to compete with this caliber team. Not there yet.

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