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Gators notebook: Mullen going mum on injuries

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
First-year Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, left, and Florida coach Dan Mullen chat at midfield last Saturday before their game in Oxford.

There will be no more injury reports or updates coming from Florida coach Dan Mullen for the rest of the football season due to the uncertainty from week to week concerning COVID-19 and other possible issues.

 Mullen made the reveal Wednesday when he was asked on the SEC coaches teleconference if No. 2 quarterback Emory Jones, who was spotted on campus earlier this week with a brace or cast on his hand, will be available for Saturday’s game.

 “Everybody should be available Saturday,” Mullen said. “I shouldn’t say that. I have no idea who’s available because we have another COVID test coming up and we have other stuff. Because of that unique situation, I will not talk about injuries for the rest of the season.”

 UF had multiple players miss the opener last week at Ole Miss. Some were held out for injuries, others for unspecified reasons.

Calling all Gators

 Mullen continues to urge UF fans to buy up the remaining tickets for Saturday’s game in The Swamp. Capacity is 17,000 and there are still tickets available.

 “There’s still tickets available for all Gator fans that want to come see us,” he said. “Any Gator fans who want to come can come see their Gators play, kind of feel normal, get in The Swamp on a beautiful afternoon for some fall football.”

 UF announced two weeks ago that tickets are available for every home game for season ticket holders on a first-come, first-serve basis. Mullen said he thinks some fans might be confused about whether they qualify to purchase tickets.

 “I think people just don’t know,” he said. “I’m trying to get the word out. Call the ticket office. They’re still available.”

 Mullen wants all available seats filled Saturday.

 “If we have 17,000 in the stadium, I think they will make enough noise to make it difficult on South Carolina,” he said. “But also the players. They feed off the energy of the crowd. The more people we have there, the more our players will feed off the energy of their home crowd.”

Spikes pumps up Miller

 Former UF All-American middle linebacker Brandon Spikes paid quite a compliment to linebacker Ventrell Miller on Twitter after Saturday’s win, posting that Miller is going to be a better No. 51 at Florida than he was.

 “Definitely honored,” said Miller, who recorded 15 tackles against Ole Miss and was named the SEC defensive player of the week. “I know some of the guys sent it to me and what was said, definitely an honor that he felt that way. So, definitely good for me.”

 Miller said he met Spikes last season and has seen numerous highlights of his UF career, including his monster hit against Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno early in the 2008 UF-UGA game.

 “Yeah, he actually was coming to the games last year, so he used to coach us up on the sidelines and stuff like that,” Miller said. “So it was definitely good for him to send that to me. Music to my ears.

 “That highlight reel play of him and Knowshon Moreno, I saw that’s what they were comparing my hit to. That’s something they have around The Swamp, just playing. They have those videos of the old Gator greats in the locker room just playing. You get a chance to see what the old Gator greats were doing.”

Opting out, then in

 Senior wide receiver Trevon Grimes was one of the players who opted out of the first week of preseason practice in August. He explained why after Tuesday’s practice.

 “Being a leader of the receiver group, I felt like it was my duty to make sure that we were in the best situation, being put in the best situation,” he said. “I felt like I wanted to make sure the protocols and everything were set up correctly for me to go back out there due to the fact that I didn't want to go out there in a situation where the unknown was unknown.

 “So, once the protocols were put in place and everything was put in order, me and the other two that sat out, we were back the next day and got rockin' and rollin' and now we have a game under our belt and we're excited about it."