Gators coach Dan Mullen had the opportunity to walk back or even double down on the comments he made following Florida’s 41-38 upset loss to Texas A&M about filling up The Swamp.
But after a weekend of thinking about it, here’s what he really wants you to know: He’s getting ready for LSU.
After he was asked if he had discussed packing the stadium with Athletic Director Scott Stricklin, Mullen responded, “No, I’ve been worried about trying to beat LSU.”
When asked if he regretted his comments about packing 90,000 people into Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, he continued with the same rhetoric.
“Yeah, I’ve been preparing for LSU. But, I mean, I’ll be honest, if you look at what we’ve been able to do, the safety precautions we have that our players have followed, our coaches follow, our staff follows, I think we’re a model of safety of what we’ve been doing during this period.”
Mullen added that he wasn’t aware of the backlash as well.
“No, I’ve been on LSU,” he said.
Mullen’s comments stemmed from dealing with a 25% capacity crowd at Kyle Field on Saturday, saying that it felt like “50,000 people behind our bench going crazy.”
“The crowd was certainly a factor in the game,” he said. “I know our governor passed that rule… hopefully, the UF administration decides to let us pack The Swamp against LSU — 100% — because that crowd was certainly a factor in the game. I certainly hope our administration follows the governor.”
Mullen was referring to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision last week to allow stadiums to operate at full capacity.
However, there are currently no plans to increase The Swamp’s capacity for Saturday’s game against LSU, per UF President Kent Fuchs. The stadium is capped at a capacity of 17,000, or around 20%. Approximately 15,000 fans attended the home opener against South Carolina.
The state of Florida has reported over 3,400 cases in the last seven days, the fourth-most of any state, according to The New York Times. Alachua County has had 383 cases in the past week as well.
Contact Brendan Farrell at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Bfarrell727.