GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Dan Mullen will do whatever it takes to pack the Swamp again, even if it’s well outside his job description or comfort level.
“If they want to give me a mic pregame, I’ll go sing or do a little dance routine,” Mullen joked Monday. “Whatever we need if it’ll help people come. I’ll do what we need.”
Rather than fine-tune his vocal cords, Mullen will push his 11th-ranked team to improve its performance after Saturday’s close-call against Alabama. Rival Tennessee is up next at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
Mullen want fans are to play a big role again after a virtuoso effort during a 31-29 loss to the top-ranked Crimson Tide at sold-out Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
“All the Gator fans need to go maybe get some warm tea and lemon, make sure their throats are refreshed,” Mullen said. “We need an even more raucous environment to continue to give the home-field advantage. I think you saw the effect that had on the game last week.”
With a reported crowd of 90,887 on hand, the Gators fought back from an 18-point deficit, pushed around the defending champions at the line scrimmage and had a chance for an upset as a two-touchdown underdog.
“The Swamp ... it’s real,” quarterback Emory Jones said. “That’s why a lot of guys come to the school to do. They come to the school to come play a top team in The Swamp. The fans definitely help us out a lot.
“It’s something we love and feed off of. We love to play in that environment.”
Jones also noted the confusion the crowd causes for opponents.
Alabama, now winners of 17 straight, suffered four false-start penalties and a delay of game as the din from the crowd rained down on coach Nick Saban’s team.