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Florida's Dan Mullen grilled on Gators' direction, future of Todd Grantham

Florida is mired in a 2-6 stretch in its last 8 games vs Power 5 competition, and defense has been severely lagging in that stretch.

It has been less than 10 months since Dan Mullen steered his Florida program to an Southeastern Conference Championship game berth and subsequent appearance in the New Year's Six Cotton Bowl.

Yet both those games were losses, as was the 2020 regular-season finale against LSU, and since then, Florida has added additional losses this season to Alabama, Kentucky and – again – LSU, which a day after it defeated the Gators fired Ed Orgeron.

So Wednesday, as Mullen made his standard weekly appearance on the SEC coaches' teleconference, Mullen promptly was greeted as a coach whose program has lost six of its last eight games against Power 5 competition.

Questions ranged from the Gators' quarterback situation – incumbent Emory Jones; freshman phenom Anthony Richardson – to if Mullen had made any staff changes.

“No,” Mullen said flatly on the call.

Particularly on the defensive side of the ball, Florida's struggles are impossible to ignore. The Gators have allowed 258 points in those last eight games against Power 5 foes – 244 points once the games against rebuilding Tennessee and Vanderbilt – the two wins – are removed.

Regardless, that's an average of 32.25 points-per-game during this downturn. And Mullen was asked directly if he had started to look for a replacement to much-maligned Gators defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, whose contract at Florida expires in January 2022 and carries a salary of approximately $1.8 million.

“Right now we're getting ready to play Georgia, to be honest with you,” Mullen said on the call. “I haven't looked at all of our coaches' contracts.

“I'm sure we have a bunch of contracts up at some point and that's something that we look at after the season when it's more appropriate to do those things.”