Former Florida quarterback Austin Appleby joined “XL Primetime” on 1010XL Radio in Jacksonville to talk about the Gators loss to Georgia.
“The fought really hard, that is what jumped out to me,” Appleby told 1010XL. “If you would have been told previously that this team would be 6-2 at this point with a win over LSU, I think we would have taken that in a heartbeat.
“I also think if you said we would be able to compete and almost go wire-to-wire with a really good Georgia team, I think everybody would have been on board with that in year one under Dan Mullen.
“Those guys did not quit. Those guys played their tails off, I think they just got worn down a little bit late. I think there are a lot more positives that got pulled from the game on Saturday than negatives for sure. This group is going to do nothing, but grow from it.”
Appleby was teammates with Feleipe Franks in Gainesville in 2016 and gave his thoughts on Franks and the Gator quarterback position moving forward.
“Feleipe wasn’t brought here thinking he was going to be a runner, and in Coach Mullen’s system you have to be a willing runner,” Appleby said. “Obviously, comparing him to Tim Tebow or expecting him to be anything like that, is probably not realistic, but a couple weeks ago he ran as hard as you could ask him to run against a good LSU team. He is willing, but I wouldn’t say he is chomping at the bit to do so.
“He is a quarterback first and foremost, but in order to run Coach Mullen’s offense at the highest level, you have to be a willing runner and be able to get those hidden yards in the run game.”
This Gator team won four games in 2017. They are noticeably improved in 2018; Appleby was asked to give his opinion as to why that is.
“When a new coach comes in, there is kind of a shock and awe type of effect,” Appleby said. “When a new coach comes in there is a new culture that gets instilled. Everybody sits up a little straighter in their chairs. Everybody makes sure they are on time to workouts because in a lot of ways, it’s a clean slate for a lot of guys.
“When a new coach comes in with a new scheme, you start over. There is a renewed sense of energy that gets put into the program from the players.
“I’m hoping that the mindset that was instilled will maintain once that shock and awe starts to wear off a little bit. We will find out if it is a legit culture change that is maintained and built upon through the years.
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