Daily Football Fix: UF in need of Mullen’s QB touch

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow talks to quarterbacks coach Dan Mullen before the Gators' game vs. Hawaii on Aug. 30, 2008. [File]

Florida’s trend of struggling on offense actually started taking root before Tim Tebow left after the 2009 season. It started with Dan Mullen’s departure for Mississippi State after the Gators won the national championship in 2008.

Once Mullen was out of the mix, there was almost an immediate inconsistent quality about the Florida offense, and it only kept moving in that direction over the years that have followed. Even Tebow struggled a little bit in his senior year.

After he was gone, well, we all know what’s happened. The Gators have been on an eight-year run of slumping quarterback play. The hope is that Mullen, who has a great track record for developing quarterbacks, will start reversing the trend this season.

And, boy, has it ever been an ugly, and at times inept, run by the Florida quarterbacks dating back to the 2010 season.

Over the last eight seasons, the Gators have averaged 200 or more yards passing a game in a season only twice. And they’ve had only one 300-yard passing game, by Luke Del Rio against Kentucky in 2016.

Since 2010, UF has averaged just 183.6 passing yards a game, while averaging only 13.1 touchdowns per season to go with 11 interceptions per year.

So, as the Gators prepare to launch the Mullen era — and maybe are about to start a more consistent QB trend — here’s a look at how unproductive the Gators have been in the passing game since 2010:

Year        Yards passing per game      TDs per season     INTs per season

2010            184.3                                 12                            12

2011            185.7                                 13                            13

2012            146.3                                 13                              5

2013             170.9                                11                              9

2014             179.9                                18                             14

2015             207.1                                20                             10

2016            215.8                                18                               15

2017            179.5                                10                               10



  1. No doubt. But, that also marked the beginning of Florida’s offensive decline in general. It was more than “just” the QB.

    I just read another article someplace that scoffed at the Gators being ranked #17 in some pre-season poll. In fact, scoffed is too light of a word—it was more like, “mocked” or “ridiculed”. All I can say is, laugh now before you run out of time since you’ll eat those words in the fall.

      • No, maybe not Mac’s, but still much improved and ranked at the end of the season. Anything more would be icing on the cakes. and who knows? As Willgator says, win the ones we’re supposed to and a couple that we’re not…….

    • Gator-6, I like the laugh now before you run out of time, I believe that to. If you look at the last eight years the problems could be traced back to the QB’s and how they were coached. I think coached is the right word because we had talented QB’s but the coaching and play calling has been horrible and it affected everyone offensively and on defense. I believe if Mullen is who we hope he is the Gators might not win the SEC or even the East but they will look and play much better than in the past which is all I’m asking for right now.

      • Roger that, Robert. I can’t help but believe that had Mullen come back in 2011, the last 7 years would’ve turned out differently. Not that Muschamp was that awful–he just seemed to totally focus on Defense and thus left the Offense in other hands. That didn’t work out too well, obviously, as fine of an SEC head coach as he may in fact turn out to be. Then came the “fraudulent” years under Mac, where I’m convinced there was no QB coaching going on at all and the OL fell apart too. And yet (insert smiling face here), the personnel were there the whole time…..despite play calling that left us bewildered more often than not.

        I think you’re completely right tho…some ups and downs next year, but a recognizable Gator team finally, and it will keep getting better each year until we’re back.

  2. It’s a lot more than QB. I guess you didn’t pay attention to Spurrier saying that recently, referring to Florida’s and LSU struggles on offense. As for Mullen’s departure, I think that’s hogwash if you think that’s the reason Florida’s offense declined. Percy Harvin, arguably the most dynamic player in college football, leaving made a much bigger difference than Mullen.
    I, for one, do “scoff”, laugh, or whatever other term you want to insert, at Florida being ranked 17th. I think Florida’s still a mediocre team with very little talent. Not only does QB suck, wjhoever gets trotted out there, but, the guys around him are mediocre. The offensive line sucks, at least that’s what I saw the last time they played a real game. The RBs are average, at best. Again based on the last game they played, with the mediocre Perine being UF’s starter. The Wrs are as mediocre as they come. None have done squat, minus the occasional, very occasional, spurts from a guy like Cleveland, who is invisible mowst of the time. The ballyhooed transfers include a guy who was benched after the third game at Ole Miss last year and a guy who may have left Ohio State because he wasn’t good enough to get on the field.
    As Spurrier said, it’s more than the QB. LSU had a QB drafted by the NFL last year, and they still sucked on offense.
    No, I’m taking the under, 7.5 wins projection for UF, and laugh all the way to the bank. That means that finishing 17th is poppycock.

    • As sure as the sun rises in the east every morning, we have boyfriend showing up in various personalities to crap on our summer fluff pieces. He seems to feel he has to harsh the Gator mellow daily. His straw man involves a bunch of Gators expecting a National Championship next year. I have yet to find one of these mythical Gator fans. He just doesn’t get that Gator expectations are modest yet hopeful. Bizarre dude.

      • He is without a doubt, on a incomprehensible level, the lamest cat to ever post. Bonafide weirdo. His alter ego bf is another prize we now have to deal with every year. The only positive is I get to point out to my FSU homeys how lame their fanbase is on a continuum thanks to this weirdo. Who does this?

    • ‘”Scoff” on this, and then pray tell, choke on it!
      3 Nat’l titles: 1996, 2006, 2008.
      National finalist 1 (1995).
      S.E.C. titles: 8 (1990-on the field, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2006, 2008).
      SEC East Division titles : 12 (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2016).
      Florida’s Heisman winners: 3 (Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, Tim Tebow).
      Florida’s consensus All-Americans: 32.
      Florida has had at least 1 player selected in every N.F.L. Draft since 1952.
      In the last ten years, Florida ranks 3rd for most drafted in the N.F.L., only behind ‘Bama and Ohio State.
      And so this amazing and storied program, FLORIDA FOOTBALL, must be WHY you come here daily, type crap, and then feign responses from die-hard Gator fans.
      And for the record: The University of Florida is going to have ”more than 7 wins” this fall… period!
      Name the FIVE games that Florida Football will lose this year… you can’t name them!
      And if you’re an honorable person, you’ll come back here in Dec. of this year and say how you were ”wrong.”
      But, personally, I hope you choke 1st!

  3. TheTebowCurse….ummm the offense did decline after Mullen left and it wasn’t all b/c Percy went to the league. Percy didn’t even play a full football season at Florida b/c of injuries and headaches but in his absence the offense was still rolling when he was out. It went down when Adazzio took over, it was so bad at one point they tried to implement a hurry offense.

  4. The LSU qb only threw a couple of interceptions all year. He was better than you may think. Point is the game is different for every one in comparison to ten years ago. NFL too.
    If the gators are 17 I will be pleased but we need long term success. If Mullen develops players that have the traits to win bigger down the road that is what we need right now imo. I’m looking forward to seeing that happen asap.

    • 100%, WE have had very little to NO offensive line to perform on an elite SEC level since the “Golden Days”. Until w get some VERY consistent O-Line play our Offense will continue to suffer. I have always thought we needed better recruiting of the best O-linemen IN this state. We almost always get 2nd, 3rd dibs on the best of the best in the state when it comes to O-linemen. I believe the best we have gotten is Martez Ivie, who has not really been what he was projected to be. Also we thought that he would draw other top notched O-linemen and that hasn’t happened either. We need better O-linemen to make anyone’s offense to work, again this year we have lost ALL of the best of the best in this state to the outside.

  5. Oline will be much stronger and have their wind this year, further the Offense did collapse with Mullens departure, Mullen coaching the offense is capable of much more good and improvement than many think. He was my choice following Urban but it made sense for him to let things develop a bit to ride in down the road. Gator fans are the worst on our coaches. Drove Spurrier out?! and Gave Urban heart trouble! We got what we desrved these last few years
    IMHO… I just hope we give coach Mullen the time he needs, respect when needed or deserved, and patience.

    • Agree with most everything you say Marshall. But I’d caution you in the belief that Gator fans are the worst on coaches. Folks in Knoxville and Athens and many other locales are pretty harsh in their own right.

      • i now live near knoxville they are the most patient and gullible fans in the world when it comes to coaches. they just finally realized how bad its been. Yes Fulmer was unjustified but the crop of coaches since then were met with optimiism year after year as “rebuilding” tho I tried to point out year after year after year what they had in reality with dooley and buttchug Jones

        • Maybe my tenure here just doesn’t go back far enough (10 yrs in K Town) but since I’ve been here I’ve heard constant grumbling…..first they forced out Phil… and Lane (who did a very nice coaching job in one year) took the wind out of the sails when he left overnight….but there was constant grumbling about Dooley (he made no friends in the state with HS coaches or on campus). Butch was given a pass after all the upheaval but by year four it started falling apart. The AD situation…oh my, constant grumbling about Mike Hamilton, Bama Dave Hart, John Currie. I’d say that if you want to characterize these fans as patient or gullible it would only be because everyone knows who pulls the strings at UTK and it is fairly futile to go against that family. Sorry guys, now back to Gator Football 🙂

          • Those are all good points Rog and the AD situation as Mick would say “OHHHH MYYYY!!!” I think being a little north of the heart of Ktown may have been the difference I was constantly having to listen too. We are just outside of Knoxville radio range to thankfully.

  6. Tebowcurse, Jefferson caught 7 passes in games 4 and 5 for Ole Miss, which was after catching 25 passes in games 1 through 3. He did miss games 6 & 7 due to injury, but caught over 40 passes for the year. Those are some kind of really good “benched” stats.

  7. And as far as Grimes is concerned, Tebowtroll, he was a freshman at Ohio State last year and did make it onto the field and was in the WR rotation for Meyer before leaving the team early to be with his family in South Florida because of a family medical concern (and why he transferred to Florida despite having a bright future at OSU). Again, caught manipulating the truth to serve your trolling purpose,

  8. The fact we have people loyal to other schools disguised as Gator fans who rag on Florida is not only hilarious, but actually flattering. It means they are envious and desperate. I don’t blame them. Florida is the BEST all around school in the country, hands down. The location in the vacation capital of the country.The best beaches in America within a 1.5 hour drive either east or west. The college town atmosphere. One of the top ranked universities, public or private , in the U.S. and certainly one of the best nationally and internationally as a public institution. Winning the all around sports trophy in the SEC year after year after year. Being really the best school consistently all around in sports nationally every year if you exclude polo, crochet and synchronized swimming from Stanford’s repertoire. National championships in football, basketball and baseball.If I went to Georgia or FSU, I’d be pissed too. And if I went to Tenn, I would be looking for a high bridge to throw my mule off every time Fla wins a NC in some sport every 2-3 months. Personally, I’m going broke over all the championship pennants, jerseys, T-shirts and caps I have to buy every year. There’s got to be a mutual fund for Gator championship gear out there somewhere.

  9. Hey, do you notice the taller guy to the left? He’s only been an NFL starter for seven years, played in three Pro Bowls, and started a Super Bowl. Apparently, he has had no urge to play minor league baseball.