UF notebook: Any suspensions would be announced Saturday, Mullen says

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Florida coach Dan Mullen. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Rumors and speculation about possible Florida player suspensions for the opener against Miami will not be answered or verified before Saturday.

“If we have any, like we always do, that’d be something we’d announce on Saturday before the game,” UF coach Dan Mullen said Monday.

Suspensions or not, the Gators should enter the game healthy.

Mullen said other than the players who are out for the season, there are no injuries to report for Saturday’s game.

“Injury-wise we expect everybody to play that didn’t have the season-ending injuries,” Mullen said. “But besides those, we’re healthy coming out of training camp, we’re expecting everybody to practice today.”

Checking his list

It’s the week of the opener, so the period of paranoia has begun for Mullen.

“I’m always paranoid this week and like, ‘All right, do I have my list?’ ” he said. “Everything, my checklist of things is normal. I got paranoid one year and wrote a checklist of everything that has to happen where I just check to make sure I have everything possible that could ever happen in a game or what to do. I have my whistle, what pen do I have with me?

“I check everything. What’s that like, the dream you wake up and you’re not where you need to be and you’re in your underwear and you just can’t seem to get to where you’re supposed to be? Right? It’s a nightmare and it freaks you out, so I try to make sure I never get myself in that situation.”

Top-10 team

It’s official now: the Gators are a consensus top-10 team entering the season after drawing the No. 8 spot in the Associated Press poll that was released Monday. UF is also eighth in the coaches’ poll that came out earlier this month.

Florida is one of six SEC teams in the Top 25, joining Alabama (2), Georgia (3), LSU (6), Texas A&M (12) and Auburn (16).

Rivalry. What rivalry?

Longtime supporters of the two teams may cringe at this, but senior wide receiver Josh Hammond does not consider Florida-Miami to be a rivalry game. And he grew up in South Florida.

“Not really,” he said. “When I think of a rivalry I think of the teams we play every year — LSU, Florida State. I consider those rivalry games. Being that Miami’s in the state of Florida and the only other Power-5 team with Florida State in the state of Florida, we can treat it like a rivalry game.

“Because now we finally get a chance to play all the teams in the state of Florida that technically compete for the state and I think that will be a big thing for us just to play for the state of Florida and try to come out with a win and prove that.”

Scouting the Hogs

In preparation for Saturday’s game, Florida’s defensive players have been studying tape of some past Arkansas games. Arkansas is where Dan Enos was the offensive coordinator for three years (2015-17) before being hired to fill the same role at UM by new coach Manny Diaz.

“That’s mostly what we have been watching, when he was at Arkansas, especially with (UF safeties) coach (Ron) English,” junior safety Donovan Stiner said. “Just so we can get a good feel about their offensive scheme and things like that. We also watch a little bit of Miami just so we can see a little of their personnel and see how their players are.”

For the UF defensive backs, one player who jumps off the screen is UM wide receiver Jeff Thomas.

“He’s just an explosive guy, very fast,” sophomore cornerback Marco Wilson said. “He can make spectacular catches. I’ve seen a couple bad balls thrown to him and he still made the catch, and he did pretty well vs. LSU, and they have some decent DBs. He’s a very fast guy, athletic, so that’s something we need to watch out for on Saturday.”

29 COMMENTS

  1. I just read that Manny got a tutorial on the game from none other than Jimmy Johnson. Well good….we’ll see your little Johnson and raise you a Steve Spurrier!

    In other game news, since I’m off my beloved premium cigars for alleged medical reasons and by order of both my 12 year old family physician and more directly the lovely Gator-3, I received special permission to purchase one each 6.5×60 La Flor Dominica Double Ligero or one each Oliva 6×60 Serie V for the game. Repairing excitedly to the Ft Hood PX cigar shop today, I was bummed out to discover that they had neither in singles. Disaster! Eschewing the Cohiba brand as is my custom, and absent any Monte Christo’s, I did save the day by getting a solitary Alex Bradley MAXX Freak instead, at least being of the proper ring gauge and length necessary for an all day sucker required for a day of Gator football. BRING ON THE CHOMP!

    • G-6, I always love reading your little forays into the weird and fascinating world of Texas living and how you manage to work them into the world of college football and our Fightin’ Gators. Light up your chosen stogie before the game this Saturday, and I hope you will have occasion to light up another (victory!) cigar at the conclusion. As one who was born and raised in south Florida, any time we play the ‘Canes makes me reach for the bottle of antacids. Call it the curse of the infamous “Gator Flop”.

      • Hey Dan…..it’s always good to be in Texas, but even better to be a Gator. Throw away your antacids this time around, because I figure Miami’s going to need all the supply they can get!

        I told my wife, that would be the lovely Gator-3, of course, that I would only have the one cigar Saturday. But then, I didn’t exactly tell her that I have an Oliva Nub 4×60 hidden away in the gun safe, safely tucked away in a small travel humidor, for exactly the reason you stated: CELEBRATION! I just have to somehow manage to stay up past midnight if I can, ORF that I am…..since technically, that would be a different day. Church doesn’t start till 1030 anyway. 😈

    • You know 6, I hadn’t thought about a stogie during the game, but being that’s it’s a 4 o’clock start out here, I believe I just might join you. I’ve been saving a few from The Land of Fidel; a nice Romep y Julieta Churchill will go real nice with some tasty Kaiyo Japanese whisky. I will drown out the bitter rancid taste of Ibis roadkill.

      • I’ll send you a bottle of Salt Lick BBQ sauce from Texas, Al…..goes especially well with Ibis, as it was developed expressly for road kill!

        I hear the Japanese are making a pretty good Vodka now, ever try it? If you got any R&J Habanas in that mix, which it sounds like you do, in the old days when I was stationed in Germany those went real well with Russian Vodka straight from the freezer.

    • Whoa! La Flor Dominica Double Ligeros are serious cigars! I smoked one once and had to sit down – I was the proverbial green. My poison is an Illusione 88, a robusto that is full bodied but significantly lighter than the Double Ligero. An excellent prop for some cold white wine and some freshly caught fish. More importantly: Gators 42-14, or thereabouts. Bring it on.

      • Yeah, I know what you mean, KGB…..you probably smoked a 4.5 Robusto, which makes even me dizzy since it’s a shorter smoke and thus less room for that wonderful ligero to cool down a tad. But in the longer cigar, it’s a joy to behold — try it out. Now something akin to the Illusione that will surely make your tentacles tighten with ectstacy, but less pricey while still a premium, is the Diesel. Only place I ever found them tho was Cigars International.
        I think 42-14 sounds about right, roughly the Peach Bowl.

    • I once passed out in the surf on Isla Mujeres, drinking copious amounts of Dos XX and smoking a Cuban cigar, and tho I do not remember its name, it did take me three+ hours to smoke that sucker down to a soggy stogie.

      Thank God it was nighttime, as Senior Sol es mas fuerte en el verano, y no quería quemarme con el sol.

      However, I have not smoked a cigar since, as I was an infrequent puffer and that one cigar has stayed with me for the past 11 years.

      Ganja, on the other hand, is quite the smokey treat.

      I have to live up to my 70s upbringing and my 4-20 b-day from time to time. Got to bang a doggone bong from time to time.

      I will throw 41 to 17 at the dart board, GATORS! And just to be slightly contrary. Wouldn’t want you to think I was a follower. 😉

  2. I find the first quote by CDM interesting …. “If we have any, like we always do, that’d be something we’d announce on Saturday before the game,” UF coach Dan Mullen said Monday.

    Does “like we always do” mean, like of course we always have suspensions ….. or does it mean like our policy is to announce suspensions, if any, on game day. Big difference if your word sleuthing your way through these articles, looking for hidden meaning 🙂

  3. I don’t place belief in dreams as a predictor of reality, but CDM’s dream reminded me that I had an odd dream about this football season. I have no clue why, but my dream was about the LSU and Ole Miss game. LSU was awful. Now I want to see if it comes true.

    • Sorry jhubb but the Gator coaching staff did not assign a #45 to any of the players on the current roster, so you definitely are not a player but maybe a playah? Name your source if you aren’t a journalist, lawyer or law enforcement.

      CDM said he would name any suspended players Saturday, and I believe him over you, no offense or, perhaps a little.

      If he does announce two d-linemen are suspended, then I will make amends.

      Jaws is correct, nevertheless. CDM and his staff will field the players who have earned the right and privilege to play in this unique game, and any player undisciplined enough to be suspended for this game begs an examine of their character, or lack thereof, as the case may be.

      As I posted several days ago, coach Norman Dale benched a basketball player, and when one of the last five ball players eligible to play fouled out, he kept the kid on the bench because he didn’t earn the privilege of playing when he eschewed Dale’s instructions, so Dale told the refs he would play with four on five. My team is on the floor.

      Team sports include the coaching staff, and CDM’s team will be on the gridiron. I bet he has a contingency plan because 17 -23 is the new 14-years old in far too many cases.

      Good thing that Hickory basketball player’s coach was Norman Dale and not Little Bill Daggett.