Gus Malzahn defends Marlon Davidson after Dan Mullen’s ‘dirty’ accusation
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask suffered an injury during Saturday’s win over Auburn that initially looked like it could be devastating, and Gators head coach Dan Mullen felt it was the result of a dirty play. His counterpart Gus Malzahn couldn’t disagree more.
Trask sprained his MCL when his knee was hit awkwardly by Auburn defensive end Marlon Davidson early in the second quarter. Davidson was fighting through a block and appeared to be held before he barreled into Trask’s leg.
— Sports ON Tap (@SONTHighlights) October 5, 2019
Trask left the field to undergo tests, and he was fortunately able to return to the game after being diagnosed with an MCL sprain. As Mullen headed to the locker room at halftime of his team’s 24-13 win, he called the hit from Davidson a “dirty play.”
“He’s going to come back. I think he has a light sprain to his MCL,” Mullen said. “Hopefully, the (SEC) tries to keep quarterbacks safe from dirty plays.”
Replays showed that Davidson was actually being dragged down by an offensive player and probably could not control where he landed. He said after the game that he would never try to injure an opponent and always tries to play within the rules, and Malzahn enthusiastically defended his player.
Gus Malzahn on Dan Mullen's comments: "Marlon is not a dirty player. Marlon is one of the best football players in our league. He's probably one of the classiest, if not the classiest, in our league."
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) October 6, 2019
Mullen admitted after the game that he did not think Davidson intentionally went at Trask’s knee, but he said there are reasons rules prohibit low hits on the quarterback. In that situation, however, it didn’t appear there was anything Davidson could have done to avoid it. That play was far more unfortunate than dirty.