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Gators notebook: Offensive, defensive players sticking together

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
UF players say they win or lose as a team. That there is no finger-pointing following the loss at Texas A&M on Saturday.

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask said the Gators aren’t going to be playing the blame game in the wake of Saturday's loss to Texas A&M, a game where the defense melted down and the offense had a turnover that led to the winning field goal on the last play of the game.

 “The last thing you want to do is finger point,” Trask said Monday. “You’re still on the same team. The game on Saturday’s was a game that we should have won. Just a few plays decided it. If we just play clean football there at the end, we’re 3-0 right now.

 “We’re just going to reflect on the game and how we can keep improving. It’s just going to make us stronger and better.”

 Trask said there’s no feeling among the offensive players that the Gators need to score on every possession in order to win games.

 “If that’s how you feel, you end up pointing fingers at each other and that’s not how our team is,” he said. “It was either a win or a loss in the column as a team, together.

 “Our goal is to score on every single drive. It doesn’t have anything to do with how (our defense) is performing. We don’t want to just play good enough to win. We want to play to our standards. If we score on every single drive, we’ll beat anybody we play.”

Happy/sad day for Mullen

 Sunday was an emotional roller coaster for UF coach Dan Mullen following his former quarterbacks in the NFL.

 One, Alex Smith, capped off his remarkable comeback from a devastating leg injury and was back on the field, playing for the Washington Football Club.

 Another, Dak Prescott, saw his season end with the Dallas Cowboys when he sustained a dislocated ankle against the New York Giants.

 “I’m in meetings and all of a sudden my phone’s blowing up,” Mullen said. “Finally I pick up my phone after meetings and see that Alex Smith’s back on the field, which, you know, a very emotional deal. To see him back out there, knowing everything that he’s been through, knowing the fight, the battle that he’s been through.

 “A special moment for him, his family, for everybody. Probably one of the great comeback stories in NFL history, in sports history, coming back from an injury like that. I thought that was so special.”

 Less than an hour later, Mullen’s phone rang again, bringing him the news about Prescott. 

 “You see it and right away you know,” he said. “Unfortunately, I’ve seen a couple of those before. We sent him messages and stuff and our prayers are with him out there. 

 “Despite everything else we had going on, the emotional day of seeing the roller coaster of both of those two guys, guys who are former players that you care about, you love so much. For them and their families and everybody to have to go through that, it was a pretty crazy day.” 

Swamp under the lights

 The Gators will be playing their first night game in The Swamp against Missouri on Oct. 24, the SEC announced Monday.

 The game will be either at 7 p.m. on ESPN or 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network. UF will find out after Saturday’s game against LSU.

One last look at Kyle

 Even though the Gators lost Saturday, Trask will carry away some good memories of playing at Kyle Field. It was the Texas native’s first game playing in the stadium his parents, big Aggie fans, named him after.

 “I don’t necessarily know where it rates all time, but it was definitely a pretty cool experience to play in that stadium that I’ve been to plenty of times growing up, and just to play in front of all my family members that were there to watch me,” Trask said. “Obviously, it’s not the result we were looking for, but in terms of the experience, I think it was a pretty cool place to play.”