UF beginning transition to game prep after second scrimmage


GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida finished its second and final scrimmage of fall camp on Sunday night, and coach Dan Mullen is preparing his team to begin the transition this week into game-planning for the season opener against Florida Atlantic.

As camp winds down, that means players that have been getting reps throughout camp but are further down the depth chart will begin taking part on the scout team. Last night's glimpse at the full team operating in the Swamp afforded UF's coaches their final preview of the team in a live setting.

"Any time you go in the stadium it's a different mindset," Mullen said. "There's pride that you take with playing every time you step foot on the field in the Swamp, so that's really the biggest mindset of what we do.

"Scrimmage-wise you kind of stay off and let the guys play. You get into scrimmage situations you want to see how guys can handle, how they translate everything we've learned into a game situation."

With game week approaching, Mullen was even more scant on player specifics or details from the team's scrimmage than normal.

What he did provided was limited to a few individual units that earned a decent share of work in the team's final scrimmage. One of those units was on special teams.

"I thought all the punters punted really well yesterday," Mullen said. "That was a really good, positive thing I would say. We did the scrimmage a little bit differently and treated it like a scrimmage. So any time there was a punt situation, instead of the drive ending and you flip sides of the field, you actually punted. You didn’t punt at the beginning or end. Every punter that came on the field -- we had three different punters come on the field -- all of them did a good job of flipping field position. I thought that was pretty good."

Florida's scrimmage didn't involve many of the veterans for very long. With less than two weeks to go until the first game, the scrimmage was more about ironing out who some of the key backups will be.

Mullen wanted to get a pulse on the guys who are ready for a handful of snaps per game rather than getting the guys who will get the bulk of the reps additional work.

"I thought guys played hard," Mullen said. "The effort and the energy our guys played with, I was pretty pleased with that. And especially handling the situation. Like I said, when you start pulling a lot of the older guys out early, young guys have the opportunity to go step up and there’s a lot of guys who put themselves in a position showing they’re ready to go play."

Fans will start to find out who those players are in less than two weeks in the Swamp.

For this week, Florida will begin the process of transitioning from fall camp to game week prep. The team will have off this weekend to rest and recuperate.

"Today is a helmets-only special situation day," Mullen said. "Tomorrow is a little more third-down oriented situationally, then a red-zone situation, then a wrap-up and touch on everything situation. Thursday, make sure we’ve hit everything and then Friday morning we do kind of our mock game walk-through. So it’s all very situational, preparing and changing the mindset from installation and all of that into make sure everything’s applied for games."

Overall, though, Mullen emerged from the second scrimmage relatively happy.

"Pretty pleased how the scrimmage went," the fourth-year UF coach said. "We stayed healthy, for the most part, and so just going to continue to build and prepare and get ready for kicking off the season here in 12 days."