Ebene News – United States – Mullen: impoverished Gators could have skipped the bowl

Oklahoma dismantles Florida in the Cotton Bowl 55-20, racking up seven touchdowns and 684 yards of offense and forcing Gators quarterback Kyle Trask into three interceptions (2:40)

Florida coach Dan Mullen said his team could have chosen not to play at Wednesday night’s Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic based on player availability, but chose anyway because the players wanted to compete

Following a 55-20 blowout loss to No 6 Oklahoma, Mullen said his exhausted roster would have allowed the No 7 Gators to skip the game

“With the number of people absent for the game, we were actually under the number,” said Mullen “We had the numbers not to play the game

Added Mullen: “I give our guys credit. Our young guys wanted to go play this game, and they wanted to have that experience and wanted to be on this stage”

On Tuesday, Mullen estimated he would have 60 fellows available The SEC this season set a minimum threshold of 53 fellows for participation in the game, but teams could choose to play even if they did not reach that number There were also minimums at three key positions: quarterbacks (one), defensive linemen (four) and offensive linemen (seven)

“I kind of saw – I don’t know, maybe it is wrong – that it wasn’t the 2020 football team you saw,” Mullen said of the Gators , who finished 8-4 after losing their final three games “There were 25 guys missing from the 2020 football team tonight It was kind of a kick-start for us for the future, an opportunity for young people to play”

Mullen added: “The last game the 2020 team played was 11 days [in the SEC Championship]”

Among the missing Gators were several starters Their top three receivers – Kadarius Toney, Trevon Grimes and Jacob Copeland – were all out, as was all-star tight end Kyle Pitts Grimes, Pitts and Toney opted out of the game as they prepared for the NFL Draft, and Copeland was out because he tested positive for COVID-19 The Gators were also without four defensive starters

Missing catch-catchers had a significant impact on quarterback Kyle Trask, Heisman Trophy finalist The senior threw three interceptions, a season-high and failed to throw a touchdown after entering the game with 43 to his credit His completion percentage (571%) was also a low season Sophomore quarterback Emory Jones also saw significant playing time in the game, attempting 16 passes and rushing 10 times for 60 yards and a score

Oklahoma (9-2) dominated Florida, finishing with 684 yards, including 435 rushing Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said they had decided “we were going to be a team on a mission” and “we wanted to make a statement about how we were playing”

Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey said, “We saw the [Gators] churns We didn’t really care who was pulling out and who was staying for this game We were ready to roll and play it anyway no matter who it was We are just happy that they showed up and gave us a chance to play “

The Sooners also said they were aware of comments Florida linebacker James Houston made last week, calling Oklahoma a “good game” but “not at our level.Oklahoma first-year wide receiver Marvin Mims said, “It definitely fueled the fire a bit,” and Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler tweeted after the game, “It was a good match “

“I would be lying if I said we didn’t see what our opponent said,” Rattler said later “We went over there and just did our job, performed, focused on what we had to do as a group and we came out on top “

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Ebene News – United States – Mullen: Depleted Gators Could’ve Sautéed

Source: https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/30627836/florida-dan-mullen-says-depleted-gators-opted-not-play-cotton-bowl