Only question now for Gators: how far can Dan Mullen take them in Year 1?

Dan Mullen

Oh, what a difference a month makes; 28 little days. Back on Sept. 8, the Gators lost to Kentucky breaking a 31-game winning streak over the Wildcats.

There was worry. There was trepidation. There was concern throughout Gator Nation that Dan Mullen may not be the right man for the head coaching job in Gainesville.

After the events in Gainesville on Saturday between Florida and LSU, that thought has been erased completely. Florida beat No. 5 LSU 27-19 in a contest where the Gators beat the Tigers at their own game.

It was a tough, physical, defensive slugfest. More times than not that favors the boys from the bayou. Not on this day.

Florida’s offensive and defensive lines were just as tough as LSU’s and in many instances, tougher.

The Gators offensive line blew LSU off the ball repeatedly, totaling 215 rushing yards against one of the nation’s elite defenses. Lamical Perine led the way for the Gators with 85-yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. His biggest runs came in the fourth-quarter when the Gators were able to move the ball and eat up the clock.

Florida’s offensive line did to LSU what the Tigers are used to doing to their opponents. They simply wore them down in the fourth-quarter.

On defense, once again, the Gators pass rush was exceptional. Florida sacked LSU QB Joe Burrow five times and harassed him all game.

Mullen and his staff have been preaching toughness since arriving at Florida and that toughness was on full display Saturday. Florida won the game by beating LSU at the line of scrimmage, which not many would have believed coming in.

The defensive play of the game was turned in by sophomore corner Brad Stewart. The New Orleans native intercepted Burrow late in the fourth-quarter and ran it back for a score.

How’s that for a story? A New Orleans native makes a play like that against his home-state Tigers. It would be hard to even make up.

In Florida’s win over Mississippi State last week, Florida proved to the SEC that Mullen has the arrow pointing in the right direction. Florida’s win over previously unbeaten LSU proves to the entire country that in only six games, Mullen has the Gators back on the national radar.

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