The Florida Gators ended their 2018 season with a convincing 41-15 win over Michigan. It was the first win for Florida over Michigan in school history.
Tate Casey played tight end for the Gators from 2005-2008 and now works as the Florida sideline reporter on the Gator Sports IMG Network.
Casey joined “XL Primetime” on 1010XL to look back on the victory.
“It was a big game and I think a lot of guys came in with a chip on their shoulders and were trying to win this one for the seniors,” Casey told 1010XL. “Going into this game, knowing what it could do for the program moving forward, it’s just a big win all the way around.”
Casey says this win for Florida over Michigan puts a stamp on a successful first year with Dan Mullen as head coach.
“You put an exclamation point on a great first-year for Dan Mullen,” Casey said. “So, right now, Florida is trending upward and I think going into the off-season – and Dan Mullen has made this known – these guys are going to have to expect the hardest off-season workout program that they have experienced in their college careers.”
Casey was asked, in his opinion, what changed with Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks between the struggles he had vs. both Georgia and Missouri to the success he had in wins over South Carolina, Florida State and Michigan.
“I think he started riding a bit of confidence,” Casey said. “When you really look back and walk into that South Carolina game, I want to say he kind of felt the pressure of Kyle Trask and Gator fans have always been vocal about their quarterbacks. I think for him, he had a bigger chip on his shoulder going into that game and getting past that game really did a lot for him.
“I think the Florida State game also really did a lot for him in terms of confidence and just the way he played throughout the game. He wasn’t afraid to get a little more vocal with his teammates.
“I don’t think Gator fans are talking to much right now about the quarterback situation at Florida.”
Finally, Casey was asked about the impact moving forward of juniors Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Jachai Polite and Vosean Joseph all deciding to forgo their senior seasons and enter the NFL Draft.
“We have so much young talent on defense that I’m not as concerned on that side of the ball,” Casey said. “You’re going to have a lot of defensive backs and linebackers to pick from next year assuming everyone stays healthy. I’m really excited to see what the development process looks like as we go forward this off-season.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)