Dan Mullen says he hopes the Gators get another shot at Alabama

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Florida mounted an impressive comeback on Saturday to make its game against Alabama competitive. The Crimson Tide led 21-3 in the first quarter, but the Gators fought all the way back and even had a chance to tie it with a late two-point conversion.

But they couldn’t convert, and UA survived one of its closest regular-season scares in a long while.

After the game, Dan Mullen said that his team is getting closer and that he hopes Florida will have another shot at Alabama in the SEC Championship in December.

“Where we’re headed as a program, I want a team that can compete for championships on a consistent basis,” Mullen said, according to ESPN’s Andrea Adelson. “To do that you’re going to have to beat Alabama. Last year it was six points. This year it was two. Hopefully, we get one more shot at them and get an opportunity to compete for another championship as we move forward. That’s where we want to be in our program, and that’s how our guys prepare.”

If UF is going to get that second shot at Alabama, it will almost certainly require an upset of Georgia, who currently ranks No. 2 and will, in all likelihood, be undefeated heading into the Oct. 30 matchup. But Florida now also can’t afford any more slipups after suffering its first loss of the season.

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That’s why Mullen said the team is putting a major emphasis on coming out strong against Tennessee next week.

“We need to build off this,” Mullen said. “I know people think this is crazy, but next week becomes an even bigger game. This [Alabama] game has no effect on our Eastern Conference record. We control everything we want to do still for the rest of the season.”

Quarterback Emory Jones, who had some tough moments but ultimately played pretty well against Alabama, said that the team has a lot of confidence moving forward despite coming off a loss.

“We definitely feel confident,” Jones said. “That’s the main thing we’re talking about was just winning out the rest of the season, and just winning the East so we get the chance to maybe meet those guys again.”

Florida lost by six to Alabama last year and two this year. If that trend continues, perhaps an SEC Championship rematch will be the time Mullen finally earns a win over the Tide after 11 failed tries.

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