Dan Mullen on Monday described the quarterback play in last Friday’s scrimmage as “OK.” The same apparently can be said of the Gators’ overall performance.
It was just OK.
“The thing I didn’t like in the scrimmage, it was very herky-jerky. It wasn’t great football to me,” Mullen said. “Offense, there’s a lot of mistakes and you’re seeing three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out, 90-yard touchdown, three-and-out, three-and-out, 50-yard touchdown.
“That goes offensively and defensively, right there. When you see good football, you see execution on both sides of the ball and some playmaking. (We need) cleaner execution on both sides of the ball.”
Mullen did praise the players for their overall effort.
“Our guys play hard,” he said. “When I talk about playing with great effort, they really try to buy into that and pay attention to that, of how to go hard. That’s to me the most important thing.
“If you go hard, we can teach you how to play football. If we’re constantly spending all our time saying, ‘Run faster, go harder, finish the play,’ I’m not coaching you about where you step, where your hand placement was and where your technique was. So I was pleased with that.”
Mullen said there’s a chance junior wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland will return to practice in some capacity this week. He has been sidelined since injuring his hamstring in the first practice.
“We’re hoping this week he should be back and able to do some stuff,” Mullen said. “With the hamstring, I think he’s had that issue in the past so it’s something we’re not going to force on him.”
Sophomore defensive end Antonneous Clayton, who saw considerable playing time with the No. 1 defense, played with relentless effort on the scrimmage, but that effort was misguided at times, Mullen said.
“I thought he did a good job,” Mullen said. “What I loved is that he played really hard, which I would rather that, than not play hard. But, he’s got to learn to play harder the right way.
“He had some really good plays and some really bad, bad plays because he just kind of recklessly got himself out of position and out of control and regularly gave up some really big plays.
“There’s give and take, but I know it’s rather that way with players. I would say, ‘You just keep going hard, don’t slow down. Now just learn to go hard the right way all the time and not out of control sometimes.’ ”