Even though the Gators are locked out of a bowl game and stuck with a losing season, there’s still one thing to play for, UF interim head coach Randy Shannon said.
“Pride,” he said. “Being a Gator, that’s what it’s all about. Being a Gator. Having pride in what you do. Pride as a football team. Pride to represent this university and pride of being something that’s special.
“These guys, we’ve got two games left. We’ve got two home games coming off a two-game skid on the road. Now it’s an opportunity to come back home and get the fans back into it, get this place back into it and keep moving forward.”
The players have vowed to keep playing hard. The coaches plan to keep coaching hard.
Even though Shannon and the rest of the staff could be out of jobs at the end of the season, they’re not looking past these two remaining games, Shannon said.
“We’re professionals. It’s our job,” Shannon said. “I just went out recruiting this morning. I mean is that my job to go out and recruit? Yes, it’s my job to go out and recruit because you’re still a part of this university. You can’t think about the future, you’ve got to think about what your job is now. In each and every one of these staff members, only thing we’re worrying about is coaching this football team and recruiting for this football team. That’s the business that we’re in.
“We know that at some point in time you will get fired and that’s when you become a real true coach, when you get fired. So, you move on, you do your job. Now, you can sit back and not do your job. Now you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do. This staff has done a great job of just coaching, recruiting and doing what’s best for this university. Whatever happens after that happens.”
Junior defensive end Taven Bryan has dominated at times this season, but the coaches are pushing him to do it on a more consistent basis.
“He’s playing at a high level, but we expect more out of him,” Shannon said. “We expect him to be more dominant than what he’s doing. I mean, he’s dominated some games this year. We want him to be consistent. And he knows he can be that person.
“Be that type of player that can take over a game. And we want that from him, and he wants it from himself. And we’re going demand it from him. We want more from him.”
A happy Hurricane
A former player and head coach at Miami, Shannon was asked what he thought of the Hurricanes’ 41-8 beatdown of Notre Dame on Saturday night.
“Didn’t watch it,” he said. “I was excited for the program because I’m an alumnus, you know, beating Notre Dame. They’re doing a great job. Mark Richt, great job what he’s doing. He’s an alumnus of the university. Me and Mark know each other, we talk every now and then. I’m happy for him and that program.”