Florida-Samford 2021 Football Postgame Notes & Quotes

2021 Florida Football Postgame Notes 

Florida 70, Samford 52 

November 13, 2021 

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Fla. 

Emory Jones’ Historic Day Powers Gators to Victory in Highest-Scoring Game in the History of The Swamp Emory Jones finished with the most total offensive yards (passing + rushing) by a Gator in program  history today (550 yards). 

o Jones passed for 464 yards and added another 86 yards rushing. 

o Jones broke Tim Tebow’s record of 533 yards of total offense set against Cincinnati in 2009. • Jones’ seven-total touchdowns (six passing, one rushing) today tied the Florida program record. o Tim Tebow (vs. South Carolina, 2007), Doug Johnson (vs. Central Michigan, 1997), Danny  Wuerffel (vs. Tennessee, 1995) and Terry Dean (vs. New Mexico State, 1994) all accounted  for seven total touchdowns in a single game. 

• Jones’ 464 yards passing is tied for the fourth most in a single game in program history. • Jones’ six touchdown passes is tied for the third most of any Gators quarterback in program history. o Jones is the first Gator to throw six touchdown passes in a game since Kyle Trask  accomplished the feat vs. Arkansas on Nov. 14, 2020. 

o Jones is the seventh Gator to ever throw six touchdown passes in a game. 

• Jones threw for 300-plus yards for the first time in his career today, setting career highs with 464 yards passing, six touchdown passes and an 82.4% completion percentage. 

o Jones’ 82.4% completion percentage is the fifth-highest by a Gators QB in the last 25 years. o Jones is Florida’s first 300-yard passer this season and first since Kyle Trask threw for 408  yards vs. Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 19, 2020. 

o Jones broke his previous career high of 273 passing yards (vs. Vanderbilt, Oct. 9, 2021). o Jones threw touchdown passes to five different receivers (Gamble, Davis, Wright, Weston,  Pierce). 

o By default, today also represents Jones’ first-career 400-yard passing game. 

o Jones surpassed 2,000 passing yards on the season with his 464-yard performance through  the air today. 

o Jones recorded his fifth-career 200-yard passing game today (all in 2021). 

o Jones was 8-for-8 for 128 yards, one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown on  Florida’s first-three drives of the game, translating to a 275.7 quarterback rating. 

• Jones is the first Gator in the last 25 years to pass for 350-plus yards and rush for 80-plus yards in the  same game. 

• Florida’s 717 total yards ranks second all-time in program history. 

o The Gators totaled 774 yards vs. West Texas State in 1982. 

• The 122 combined points scored by both teams today is the most in a Florida football game in 108  years and the second-most combined points in program history (most in the history of Ben Hill Griffin  Stadium). 

o Florida defeated Florida Southern, 144-0, in the 1913 season opener (Oct. 6. 1913). • Florida’s 70 points is the team’s most since scoring 70 vs. Citadel on Nov. 22, 2008 and is tied for the program’s fifth-highest total since 1980. 

Gators Offense 

• With 717 total yards today vs. Samford, Florida’s 4,924 yards this season is the program’s second most through 10 games in the last 20 seasons, trailing only the 2020 campaign (5,135). o This is Florida’s sixth-highest total through 10 games dating back to 1965. 

• Florida now has 2,276 total rushing yards this season following today’s 253-yard showing on the  ground, which is the program’s second-highest total (2009: 2,306) through 10 games since 1990. o This is Florida’s eighth-highest rushing total through 10 games dating back to 1965. • With today’s performance, Florida has now out-gained their opponent in nine of ten games this  season.

• Florida amassed 400-plus total yards for the 17th time in its last 20 games including 30 of the last 39 contests. 

o Today’s game is the 32nd time Florida amassed 400-plus total yards in Mullen’s 48 games  as head coach – seven more than the program’s total of 25 400-yard outings from the 88  games comprising the 2011-17 seasons. 

• This is the 12th time in Florida’s last 23 games that the Gators totaled 500-plus yards. o Florida posted its 18th game of 500-plus total yards in Dan Mullen’s 48 games as head  coach – four more games than the team’s combined total of 14 games from the 115  games comprising the 2009-17 seasons. 

• This is the second time this season Florida has eclipsed 600 total yards of offense. o Florida totaled 666 yards in Week 2 at South Florida. 

• Florida posted its fifth game of 200-plus rushing yards in 10 games this season. 

o This marks Florida’s 18th 200-plus yard rushing game in 48 games under Mullen. • The Gators have now rushed for 100-plus yards in nine of ten games this season. o Florida has rushed for 100-plus yards in 38 of Mullen’s 48 games as head coach. • This is the 22nd time Florida has reached 300 passing yards under Mullen (48 games), two more  than its total of 20 from the 168 games comprising its 2005-17 seasons. 

o This is Florida’s third 300-yard passing game of 2021. 

o This is the first time this season that Florida has had a 300-yard passer, as each of the  previous two instances came from combined performances. 

• Today marks the sixth time in Mullen’s tenure that UF scored 50 points, which is one more 50-point  game than the program totaled in 101 games during the 2010-17 seasons (five). 

o This is Florida’s first 50-point performance in 16 games and first of the 2021 season. o The Gators last totaled 50 points on Nov. 14, 2020 with a 63-35 home win over Arkansas. • Florida scored 40 points for the 19th time under Mullen and for the fourth time in 10 games this  season, which is seven-more 40-point games than the Gators accumulated from the 2010-17  seasons combined (101 games played). 

o UF had 12 40-point outings in 101 games from 2010-17. 

• The Gators scored 30-plus points for the 32nd time in 48 games under Mullen, including scoring 30- plus in 19 of the team’s last 24 games. 

• Florida’s 382 yards in the first half today marked the team’s highest of the season while UF’s 35  points is tied for the team’s most in a half this season (35 at USF, Sept. 11, 2021). 

• Tight end Kemore Gamble set a new career high in single-game receiving yards in just two catches  on Florida’s first-two drives of the game, catching two passes for a combined 73 yards and  breaking his previous career high of 66 yards receiving (at Vanderbilt, Nov. 21, 2020). 

o Gamble finished with a career-high 122 receiving yards and also tied his career high with  two receiving touchdowns. 

o Gamble’s 46-yard reception from quarterback Emory Jones in the first quarter marked the  longest reception of his career. 

• Wide receiver Ja’Markis Weston caught his first-career touchdown with a nine-yard touchdown  grab from Jones in the first quarter to tie the game up at 14-14. 

o This was Weston’s fifth catch of the season and the sixth of his career. 

• Running back Dameon Pierce had three total touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) today to  bring his season total to 13 touchdowns. 

o Pierce entered the game tied-for-third in the SEC with 10 total touchdowns. 

• Running back Nay’Quan Wright caught his first-career touchdown with a 45-yard touchdown  reception in the second quarter  

• Running back Malik Davis’ 48-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter marked the longest  reception of his career. 

Gators Defense 

• Entering the game ranked sixth in the SEC and tied-for-36th nationally with 23.0 sacks this season  (2.56 per game), the Gators recorded two sacks vs. Samford to bring their season total to 25. o Florida’s 146 sacks since Mullen’s debut 2018 season rank first in the SEC and fourth nationally – trailing only Clemson (178), Pittsburgh (165) and Ohio State (149).  

o Florida ranked tied-for-14th in the FBS and second in the SEC with 34 sacks last season.

• With one takeaway vs. Samford, Florida’s defense has now produced 75 turnovers since Mullen’s  debut in 2018, which ranks fourth in the SEC and tied-for-21st in the FBS. 

• Defensive lineman Zachary Carter eclipsed the 100-career tackle threshold with four tackles in  today’s game. 

o Carter entered the matchup with 97 career tackles and now has 101 for his career. • Carter recorded 0.5 sacks and 0.5 TFLs today to bring his season totals to 6.5 sacks and 9.0 TFLs. o Carter entered the game ranking tied-for-fourth in the SEC with 6.0 sacks and tied-for-fifth  in the conference with 8.5 TFLs. 

• Linebacker Mohamoud Diabate had seven tackles to bring his season total to a team-leading 81. o Diabate entered today’s game ranking tied-for-third overall in the SEC and tied-for-first  among juniors with 74 tackles this season. 

• Linebacker Scooby Williams recorded his first-career tackle in the first quarter, seeing game action  in his third-career game and for the first time since Week 3 vs. Alabama. 

• Defensive lineman Gervon Dexter registered his first-career pass breakup in the game. o Dexter also added six tackles and 0.5 sacks. 

• Defensive back Rashad Torrence recorded nine tackles in the first half and finished with a team leading 12 tackles (five solo) in the game. 

• Safety Mordecai McDaniel logged his first-career interception, picking off Samford quarterback  Liam Welch in the third quarter. 

Florida Special Teams 

Jeremy Crawshaw punted twice for an average of 33.5 yards including a long punt of 53 yards  while placing his only other punt inside the 20-yard line. 

Chris Howard was a perfect 10-for-10 in extra points today. 

Explosive Plays (20) 

Malik Davis (from Emory Jones): 16-yard reception, first quarter 

Kemore Gamble (from Jones): 27-yard reception, first quarter 

Kemore Gamble (from Jones): 46-yard reception, first quarter 

Nay’Quan Wright: 22-yard rush, second quarter 

Emory Jones: 31-yard touchdown rush, second quarter 

Malik Davis: 18-yard rush, second quarter 

Dameon Pierce: 27-yard rush, second quarter 

Justin Shorter (from Jones): 33-yard reception, second quarter 

Dameon Pierce: 11-yard rush, second quarter 

Emory Jones: 17-yard rush, second quarter 

Nay’Quan Wright: 45-yard touchdown reception, second quarter 

Kemore Gamble: 16-yard reception, third quarter 

Malik Davis (from Jones): 48-yard touchdown reception, third quarter 

Dameon Pierce (from Jones): 26-yard reception, third quarter 

Justin Shorter (from Jones): 15-yard reception, third quarter 

Justin Shorter (from Jones): 15-yard reception, third quarter 

Xzavier Henderson (from Jones): 17-yard reception, fourth quarter 

Emory Jones: 24-yard rush, fourth quarter 

Kemore Gamble (from Jones): 18-yard touchdown reception, fourth quarter 

Dameon Pierce: 24-yard rushing touchdown, fourth quarter 

Series Updates  

• Today’s game represented the third all-time meeting between Florida and Samford (first since 1922) including the second time the two teams have faced off in Gainesville. 

o This was Florida’s first game against an FCS opponent in over two years, since defeating  Towson, 38-0, on Sept. 28, 2019. 

• With today’s win, Florida improves to 3-0 against Samford and 2-0 against the Bulldogs in Gainesville. o This is UF’s first win over the Bulldogs in 99 years (since 1922). 

• UF HC Dan Mullen rises to 2-0 against Samford head coach Chris Hatcher.

o Mullen defeated Hatcher’s Bulldogs, 56-41, in 2016 when Mullen was the head coach at  Mississippi State. 

• The Gators improve to 5-0 against FCS opponents under Mullen. 

o Florida has won those five games by a combined score of 269-68, putting the average  spread at 40.2 points. 

• Florida has now outscored Samford by a combined margin of 161-52 across the three all-time  meetings. 

• Florida improves to 21-1 against FCS programs dating back to 1981. 

• UF has racked up 400-plus yards in 14 of its 16 games against FCS schools dating back to 1996. • Florida has totaled 400-plus yards while passing for 200-plus yards in six-straight games vs. FCS  opponents since 2014. 


UF has scored in 420-consecutive games — which is an NCAA record. 

o The Gators broke Michigan’s record of 365-consecutive games (1984-2014) against LSU on  Oct. 7, 2017. 

o The next-closest active streak belongs to TCU, as the Horned Frogs have scored in 364- straight contests. 

• Despite having 12 penalties today, Florida has finished with fewer than 10 penalties in 40 of its last  42 games. 

• Florida Game Captains: #6 Zachary Carter, #20 Malik Davis, #51 Ventrell Miller • Samford won the toss and elected to receive; Florida defended the south end zone. • Attendance: 70,098

2021 Florida Football Postgame Quotes 

Dan Mullen, Florida Head Coach 

Florida 70, Samford 52 

November 13, 2021 

Opening statement… 

“First, I’m really proud of our guys. It was good to see them celebrating and getting a win. A lot of  things didn’t go our way today and a lot of things went the other way for us. But, finding the way and  making some plays as the game went on… I’m just really proud of our guys. They did a great job  today. We haven’t been home in a really long time and it was great to see [the fans] out there supporting us.” 

On the first half defensive performance… 

“One, you have to give [Samford] some credit. They are a team who is going to score points and  throw the ball all over the place within their style. The biggest one, if there is disappointment in some  of our guys, are the opportunities to make plays that they didn’t make. You know, there were a  couple of missed tackles, a couple opportunities for sacks that we didn’t make, we ended up with  penalties… We have to get that cleaned up. If you look at it, they had three judgement penalties,  but guys have to be in the position to go and make the plays. That part was disappointing. But, the  guys are going to look at it, start to build confidence and say, ‘I’m right there. All I have to do is go  get the ball.’ They just have to finish with confidence.” 

On scoring 70 points on offense… 

“I’m an offensive guy, so I love scoring points. Obviously, I don’t love giving up points, but love scoring  points. Offensively, we needed guys to step up and guys to execute, and I think we did that today. I  think our guys came out and executed. It ended up being a little shootout back-and-forth, and our  offense kept responding and making plays.” 

On how Mike Sollenne and Christian Robinson handled their new transitions… “I thought they handled it really well. I met with them a couple times and told them to relax and be  themselves. You have a great opportunity, so go take advantage of it. Don’t go out there and try to  do too much… Just be you. I just thought the two young guys today were really excited for that  opportunity. They enjoyed it and found a way to win.” 

2021 Florida Football Postgame Quotes 

Florida Student-Athletes 

Florida 70, Samford 52 

November 13, 2021 

#32 Mordecai McDaniel II, Sophomore, Defensive Back  

On what he saw for the interception… 

“I saw on the interception, coach said stay high, stay over top of every route. You may not ever  know if it’s going to be a tip and luckily it was a tip this time and I was in the right position at the right  time to make the play.”  

On the impact that interception made for the defense…  

“Before the game even started coach said your mindset should be “I should go out there and make  the play” not you should wait on somebody else to go out there, so going out there I kept myself  prepared. Like even on the sideline keeping my guys juiced up. When my time was called I went out  there and made the play. For the defense, I want to say that gave the defense a little bit more juice  because they see the young guy turn up. So, when they see a young guy turn up it’s going to turn up  the rest of the guys.”  

On young guys not getting as much of an opportunity…  

“No not necessarily, just because like we’re around each other in practice. We all want to win, that’s  the end result goal, so we’re all trying to make each other better at the end of the day. So, if it’s our  time to go onto the field, we know what we expect from each other because we prepared in  practice for that.”  

On how Samford’s offense played…  

“Their offense came out just as hard as any other offense. We just have to respond as a defense  collectively and make it seem like they’re not as good as the other offense because if we’re not  responding it’s going to look like they’re just as good as Alabama.”  

On what happened in the first half…  

“First half, I saw it in the first drive and I was just looking at the guys standing on the sidelines saying  we need to wake up, get our juice going. Pre-game we turned up but we need to be turned up  when it comes to fitting in the runs, fitting in pass-protection all that.” 

#5 Emory Jones, Redshirt Junior, Quarterback 

On keeping the team in the game… 

“Just get guys together and just let them know that we have to go score every drive. That’s what we  planned on doing anyways. Just keeping that mindset and just trying to be on attack every drive and  going out there and executing. It worked out for us.” 

On Kemore Gamble’s Performance… 

“He’s just working his tail off. Seeing it all pay off for him, especially with everything he’s going through  right now, it was hard for him, but he’s definitely excited for me and him. I know he’s happy with his  performance. I’m definitely proud of him.” 

On his mindset at halftime… 

“We just have to go out there and execute and keep putting points on the board. I mean we had  to at that time of the game. I was telling them, we get the ball back, so we just have to go and set  the tone and go out there and score and that’s what we did. Everything worked out for us.”

#4 Kemore Gamble, Redshirt Senior, Tight End 

On Emory’s season … 

“He’s had ups and downs this whole season. He’s fighting and he’s grown a lot. I think he’s been  handling it well.” 

On keeping focus during the season… 

“It’s been hard trying to ignore that Mom’s been the ICU for two months, so knowing she’s not going  to be able to watch the games and stuff like that. My mind has been focusing on football and talking  to my step-dad, my dad, my auntie. All of them have been behind me trying to motivate me and  come to games.” 

On getting to celebrate a win… 

“It feels good to have that excitement in the locker room, knowing that we won.” 

On staying connected to family… 

“They’ll call me every other day or text me every day. My oldest brother and my auntie will come to  a game.  

On what the team has been saying to him… 

“They haven’t been trying to bring it up. They try to keep my mind away from stuff, and just hang out  with me.  

On impact of outside noise on Emory… 

“It’s very challenging to hear all the noise outside, fans and stuff. Messages, dms, I know it’s hard. I  know it’s hard because I get it sometimes and I think he’s handling it well.”

#4 Justin Shorter, Redshirt Junior, Wide Receiver 

On Emory’s performance and faith he has in him… 

“He’s been doing that since camp, ever since last year. Ever since I’ve seen him he’s been making  throws and making plays like that. Really been a true leader and you’re definitely starting to see it.  He’s obviously taken strides and next year he’s going to keep on taking strides. I feel like our team  really needs to focus up and bond again this summer to keep on getting better.” 

On what the team can take from this performance… 

“It was awesome to see the team on the same page throughout the whole game except for maybe  two or three drives. Going into next game, were going to watch the film and were going to see what  we can do and hopefully next game we can have the same mindset and take it play by play.” 

On respecting this win… 

“The last few games we weren’t happy with how we played at all. So, winning is the main goal of the  whole season. Every single time that we win we should be dancing and having fun. It’s very hard to  win and especially in the SEC.”

#11 Mohamoud Diabate, Junior, Linebacker 

On how they were able to pull off a nice comeback win…  

“Slow start, but going into halftime we were going to get fired up and come out and finish the game.  We are happy that was able to happen.” 

On what the team can take from this performance… 

“It was awesome to see the team on the same page throughout the whole game except for maybe  two or three drives. Going into next game, were going to watch the film and were going to see what  we can do and hopefully next game we can have the same mindset and take it play by play.” 

On getting used to the new defensive coordinator…  

“I feel like we were comfortable with him. We were getting the calls earlier and getting them on time.  They were more simple calls, so really it comes down to players going out there and doing their job.” 

On what the overall message was going into halftime  

“I don’t care who we are playing, you have a name on your back and a logo on your helmet. You  have to represent that logo and that name with everything you can. Whether you are playing  Samford or any other university. You just go out there and you play.”

#27 Damien Pierce, Senior, Running Back 

What did you think about what you were able to contribute… 

“I just try to help anyway I can. The running backs had a good day today. There are guys who were  ready to make a play and expect to make a play; and are very detailed while doing it.” 

Thoughts on fans asking for you to get more touches and how to make that happen… “I am perfect with my role on this team. I am going to contribute anyway I can. When I am on the  field, I am going to play my heart out and that’s all I can give you.” 

Thoughts in the locker room at halftime when, what did you see/hear … 

“I definitely felt the change in the locker room from previous weeks. In previous weeks I felt like  sometimes the internal leadership wasn’t there. You can see guys were fed up and you can see that  it is starting to click for them. A lot of the guys in the locker room stepped up and they motivated  guys on the field. That really led us to handle business today especially in the 2nd half.” 

Reflecting on your time as a Gator… 

The game of football it teaches you so many things, not just about football but about life. There are  going to be many things that I learned here at the University of Florida that are going to stick with me  as man, that I want to install into my children hopefully one day. (If I get lucky enough to get a girl,  you know I ain’t cute.) All of the relationships I made here and all of the memories I made are  definitely going to be in my heart and I am going to miss it when its gone.”

2021 Florida Football Postgame Quotes 

Chris Hatcher, Samford Head Coach 

Florida 70, Samford 52 

November 13, 2021 

On how your guys fought today… 

“Well, sure I am. We came out with a little chip on our shoulder like we talked about all week. Had  some really good drives to start the ball game offensively. Defense got a couple stops there in the first  half. Third quarter, they go down and score and then after the turnover they just got all the  momentum. We started to come back and then got the touchdown called back and had to settle  for a field goal and the game got a little out of hand right there at the very, very end. But I’m proud  of our team. Getting beat is no consolation for us and we really came here expecting to win the ball  game. But our guys fought. Had some great individual performances. Montrell Washington, I said it a  halftime, he’s one of the best in the FCS today he showed he can play on the biggest stage. Really  proud of Liam Welch. He played a tremendous game as well. We’ve been here before, been really  close before in these types of games and it would be nice if we could finish one. But our effort and  the way we played was outstanding and we just came out short there in the end.” 

On about your team’s offensive performance … 

“We really had a good game plan coming in to protect the passer. Sometimes in these games that’s  where you get beat, up in the trenches. It’s hard to protect. We did some things that we hadn’t really  done a whole lot of as far holding some guys in to protect. I thought Liam was sharp. Missed a few  early in the game but was sharp most of the day. We were efficient in our run game. We scored a lot  of points, but we gave up a lot of points as well.” 

On your message to the team heading into the final week of your season … 

“We been a resilient team all year. We’ve had four defeats by a total of 17 points. Each week this  group always bounces back and probably bounce back better than I do after these types of  ballgames. We’ve got about an eight hour bus ride home, got a lot of guys beat up so we’ll heal up  and get ready for the finale next week.”