Florida’s Dan Mullen says depleted Gators could Have opted to Not play Cotton Bowl

Florida trainer Dan Mullen said his group might have chosen not to play Wednesday night’s Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic predicated on participant accessibility but decided to anyway since the players needed to compete.

Adhering to a 55-20 blowout reduction into No. 6 Oklahoma, Mullen said his inaugural roster could have let the No. 7 Gators to bypass the match.

“With the number of individuals which were outside for the match, we had been beneath amounts really,” Mullen said. “We had the amounts not to play the match.

… Our young men wanted to play that match, and they wanted to find that experience and wished to be on this point.”

On Tuesday, Mullen estimated he could have 60 scholarship players out there. The SEC this year established a minimum threshold of 53 scholarship players for sport involvement, but teams may choose to play even when they did not match this amount.

Mullen didn’t specify whether the Gators were beneath the minimal at a particular position.

“I sort of seen — I do not know, perhaps this is incorrect — which was not the 2020 soccer team which you watched,” Mullen said of the Gators, who ended 8-4 after dropping his final few games. “You will find 25 men missing the 2020 soccer team out there anyhow. This was sort of a kick-start for us to the long run, a chance for the young men to play”

Mullen added: “The final match the 2020 team played 11 days back [from the SEC championship].”

One of the lost Gators were multiple novices. Grimes, Pitts, and Toney chose from this match as they prepare the NFL draft, and Copeland was outside since he tested positive for COVID-19. The Gators were without four defensive starters.

The senior threw a season-high few interceptions and didn’t throw a touchdown after coming to the match with 43 for his charge. Sophomore quarterback Emory Jones also saw substantial playing time at the match, trying 16 moves and rushing 10 times for 60 yards and a score.

Sooners coach Lincoln Riley stated that they chose”we were likely to become a group on a mission,” and”we wanted to make a statement with the manner that we played.”

Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey stated, “We watched that the [Gators’] opt-outs. We did not care that had been picking out and that had been remaining for this particular match. We’re prepared to roll up and move out there and play with them anyway, regardless of what it was. We are just happy they showed up and gave us an opportunity to play”

The Sooners also stated they were conscious of the remarks Florida linebacker James Houston made last week, speaking to Oklahoma as”a fantastic matchup” however”not on our level.” Oklahoma freshman wide receiver Marvin Mims stated, “It certainly fueled the fire just a little bit,” and Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler tweeted following the match, “It turned out to be a fantastic matchup.”

“I would be lying if I said we did not see exactly what our competitor said,” Rattler afterward said. “We went out there and did our job executed, concentrated on what we needed to perform as a team and came out at the top”