Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene.
Mullen is feeling some heat from fans.
It was a glorious start for Florida head coach Dan Mullen in nearly three full years at the helm of the program, given the Gators entered last year’s home game against LSU 33-6 under Mullen.
All of a sudden, the roof has caved in and Mullen is starting to feel some serious heat from outraged fans.
Following a lopsided 34-7 loss to Georgia in Jacksonville on Saturday, the Gators fell to 4-4 this year and are now 4-7 in their last 11 games.
Mullen especially drew some ire on social media with his response to a question about the talent gap between Georgia and his Florida program.
“We won last year and they won this year,” Mullen said. “That’s what it is.”
The good news for the Gators is that the schedule lightens up the rest of the year, with road games at South Carolina and Missouri and home games against Samford and Florida State to finish off the ledger before bowl season.
An 8-4 finish might be enough to get some fans off Mullen’s back, but make no mistake, the honeymoon is certainly over.
Is Manny Diaz doing enough to save his job?
Speaking of coaches on the hot seat, Miami head coach Manny Diaz had been practically sitting in a seat on fire following a 2-4 start.
But lo and behold, the Hurricanes have shown some life and might be saving Diaz’s job in the process.
There’s still plenty of season left to figure out if that’s the case, but Miami knocked off its second straight ranked opponent, winning 38-34 at No. 17 Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The Hurricanes all of a sudden could be staring at a rousing finish, given the rest of the schedule features winnable games at home against Georgia Tech, at Florida State, at home against Virginia Tech and at Duke.
Would an 8-4 record be enough to please the higher-ups at Miami? Time will tell.
Even Tom Brady is, gasp, human.
The situation seemed perfectly set up for another game-winning scoring drive to be engineered by Tom Brady.
Down 29-27 to New Orleans late in the fourth quarter, many probably figured Tampa Bay had the game in the bag because Brady was taking the field with 1:41 remaining, one timeout and in need of only a field goal for a victory.
After all, how many times has Brady led similar game-winning drives with less time and more field needed to cover?
But alas, even Brady proved he was human, throwing an interception that was returned by the Saints for a touchdown to seal what was a 36-27 win for New Orleans.
As a result, the NFC South race got much tighter, with New Orleans pulling within just a half game of the Buccaneers for first place.