Notebook: Gators look to bounce back after loss to Georgia

The Florida Gators came up seven points short last week against the Georgia Bulldogs. With the loss, Florida no longer controls its own destiny and now needs to win all of its games and have Georgia lose two of their final three SEC games the rest of the way.
This week the Gators are back in the Swamp for the first time since beating Auburn back on October 5. Here are the highlights from Dan Mullen’s Monday press conference.

Jeremiah Moon suffered a foot injury to the same foot he broke during an offseason workout. The broken foot caused Moon to miss all of spring camp but he returned for fall camp and has had a productive season. Moon will miss the rest of the regular season.
Amari Burney has a sprained knee and is listed as “doubtful” this weekend against Vanderbilt. When pressed Mullen said he expects to get Burney back this week but that he expects Burney to recover and play again this year.

SEC Officiating
There were several missed or blown calls last week against Georgia. Mullen is still waiting for an answer on one in particular.

Each week every coach will put together clips of plays they thought weren’t ruled on correctly in a game and director of officiating Steve Shaw’s office gets back to the coaches in a timely fashion. Most of the time it’s a call or missed call from an on-field official. On the play, ruled a catch by Lawrence Cager, was immediately called for a review. In that instance, there is an official at SEC headquarters that reviews the play and gives the final call to the officials on the field.

“I have tremendous respect for our officials. And I think our officials do a heck of a job on the field. You know what, everybody knows that … and they have one of the toughest jobs, right? Because, listen, both fan bases don’t like them after a game usually, right? Everybody is mad at those guys for something and, you know, they make mistakes during the course of the game, the on-the-field guys. And I’ve been in this league long enough that I understand all of that,” Mullen said. “I talk to the guys; I make mistakes, players make mistakes, they do, that stuff happens. But I’ve not gotten any word. We’ve asked. You’d have to ask them, right …. that decision was made in Birmingham on that play so I’ve asked, I haven’t heard of anything from them. I guess you’d have to ask what their motive is for that, making the decision the way they did — in Birmingham. That had nothing to do with on-the-field officials.”

What needs to happen to get to Atlanta
“We have a lot to play for.”

I won’t attribute that quote to anyone in particular because you’ll hear it from every Gator player or coach that speaks this week.

Losing to Georgia kicked Florida out of the driver’s seat but not out of the car altogether.

To win the SEC East and get to Atlanta, Florida needs Georgia to lose two of these three games: Missouri, at Auburn or Texas A&M. The Gators need to win their final two SEC games (Vanderbilt and Missouri). If that happens the Gators will go to the SEC Championship game. If it doesn’t they won’t. Plain and simple.

Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC