A fight broke out just before halftime in the Florida vs. Missouri SEC game on Saturday.
The squabble started after Florida QB Kyle Trask took a late-hit from a Missouri defender during a Hail Mary attempt at the end of the half. Tensions escalated from there, with both teams leaving the sidelines for a contentious midfield meeting.
Amidst the fracus, Gators head coach Dan Mullen scrambled out onto the field and started to antagonize opposing players and officials. After finally returning to the locker room, he came back out still fired up and gestured for Gators fans in the stands to up their energy.
Most fans though Mullen's actions were out-of-line and unprofessional. But one media personality disagreed.
FOX Sports analyst Reggie Bush said that he loved Mullen's defense of his players amidst the chaos on Saturday. The former USC running back claimed he would've responded the same way if put into the same situation.
“That was a dirty hit,” Bush said. “And he took a running start too, he was watching Trask the whole time, hit him right in the face. I loved the way Dan Mullen responds like this because this shows me Dan Mullen cares about his players. Obviously we never want to see it get to this point with a fight, but these players had every right to respond like this."
“You hit our quarterback in the face like this, you’re gonna catch hell from us. If that happened to Matt Leinart at USC, we would’ve responded the same way.”
Bush's defense of Mullen might be well-intentioned but it mostly just sounds tone-deaf. When the Florida head coach walked back out of the locker room, he seemingly tried to use the awful event to pump up the home crowd, which is pretty low, regardless of his intentions.
Florida and Missouri released a joint statement on Sunday morning, apologizing for the incident and its escalation. But more punishments are expected to come after three players were ejected.
No. 8 Florida returns to play next Saturday against No. 5 Georgia in Athens.