Jordan McPherson/SEC Country
Randy Shannon earned his first win as Florida interim coach Saturday against UAB.

WATCH: Randy Shannon reflects on his first win as Florida interim coach

Ryan Young

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After taking the Florida football team on the road for two tough SEC losses following his promotion to interim head coach, Randy Shannon enjoyed his first victory in the role Saturday back in The Swamp.

Florida’s 36-7 win against Alabama-Birmingham snapped a five-game losing streak and gave the Gators their first win since Sept. 30.

Here’s what Shannon said after the game (with full video below):

RELATED: As fans await coaching hire, Gators made The Swamp fun again for a day

  • “It was a big game for us coming back home, a lot of excitement, a lot of emotion from these guys. Really proud of this football team and the players on this football team and this coaching staff because they did a tremendous job of just never quitting. We went through the whole ordeal and they came out tonight, we started off three points and then three points, we nickel and dimed and finally the second half we started scoring touchdowns. Really worked hard on the red zone offense scoring touchdown, and we did a great job of that. Our run game, offensively, really kicked in tonight. I think the running backs and offensive line did a tremendous job of running the football and getting big plays for us to put us in situations to score the touchdowns.”

  • “Defensively, we caused turnovers. Got sacks and we caused turnovers and stopped the run game. That was the one biggest emphasis that was going to try to get done today because Alabama-Birmingham, when I was at Arkansas in 2014, there was the same guys that played. Those seniors on that team were the guys that we played when I was back at Arkansas. You knew those guys would be veteran guys, you knew they was going to play hard, but I think as a defense we went out and controlled the football game dramatically.”

  • On the loyal fans who showed up Saturday: “It was awesome to get a win at home. That was the most important thing. You come back off of a month out and you come back and you get a home game win; the fans was there, the crowd was there. You know, this is the one thing I always say is unique about Florida. No matter what happens, the fans are the fans are the fans. They going to support you no matter what because they are the fans, and this is the one place that I’ve been at that’s not a fickle fan that go when you just win. They’re always going to be supporting. I think the crowd tonight did a tremendous job; the student section and everybody who supported us and helped us be where we was at tonight.”

  • On QB Feleipe Franks: “He did a nice job tonight. He did a nice job tonight. You know, our receivers dropped a lot of footballs. I will say that ahead of time, they dropped a lot of footballs and those footballs can be demoralizing to the quarterback. But he stayed poised and he made some other throws and they made some nice catches [later in the game].”

  • On the defensive turnovers forced: “It was big because we work, believe it or not, every week we work on turnovers more than any place I’ve ever been, trying to create turnovers, stripping the ball and turnover circuit every day and trying to just create turnovers. And it came for us tonight and just keep coming the last two weeks, and we’re going to continue to work on that next week because next week we have to create more turnovers to give us field position and give us a chance to do some things offensively.”

  • On having so many players injured/suspended: “You know, it’s not tough, because being in the NFL, it was like an NFL roster. You’ve got to manage an NFL roster. So, this week, the last two weeks, we’ve been managing an NFL roster. This program looking ahead is unbelievable because there’s so much young talent on this football team that this program will never be second fiddle to nobody. We just have to keep adding on. The talent is here if you look at the whole entire team. Besides Brandon Powell, who’s playing right now, I don’t think, him and [DeAndre] Goolsby’s the only two seniors on offense. That should tell you a lot. Lot of juniors on the offensive line, lot of juniors at receiver. You take a defense, you start up front, I don’t think we have a senior if I’m not mistaken, on the defensive line. We’ve got two juniors, three juniors, the rest of them true freshmen. You start looking at the linebackers, they’re all true sophomores; you look in the secondary, besides Duke Dawson, everyone else is true freshmen or true sophomores. So, there’s a lot of young talent on this team. They’ve won some games here. We’ve played great defense; they’ve scored some points. So, the talent is here and it’s going to be great for this university.”

  • What does that mean for the future? “It’s great to play young people because once you get in the thick of things and playing, then next year it’ll be even better. You’re not regressing trying to see if, well, I don’t know if he played any reps. These guys are all playing. I’m telling you, do you realize this is the only team I’ve been on that our punt team, punt team, our punt team, consists of true freshmen and true sophomores. Never heard of that. That’s the most important part of special teams is your punting. Our kickoff team is basically, besides Chauncey [Gardner] and Duke [Dawson] switching off, is all freshmen. Freshmen and sophomores. That should tell you something about this program, because we’ve got a lot of young guys playing, it’s going to be tremendous for this program.”

  • On getting ready for Florida State: “You know what, it’s about us. It’s about us, no matter who your opponent is, it’s got to be about us. Being locked in and tuned into what we’re trying to get done; we can’t make it a personal battle. I’ll tell you, bad things happen when your feelings get involved. Most people make bad decisions when there’s feelings. But if you go about choices and the right frame of mind, you make great decisions. We can’t make this a feelings situation where it’s personal because it’s Florida-Florida State. It’s got to be about us as a football team representing this Gator Nation, doing the things we need to get done.”

  • Has that game lost its luster with both teams struggling: “Never. Never. It never takes away. OK, it’s a 12 noon game, which station? Which station we on next week. ESPN, right? It’s never going to take the luster away. That’s always going to be one of the pivotal games in college football. It’s a long rivalry; it’s the state. Between two schools — and I don’t mean to say this in the wrong way — but one school was an all-boys school, one school was an all girls school. So, it’s a lot of rivalry going on in this game. So, it’s going to be a great game.”

  • On safety Chauncey Gardner Jr.’s turnaround: “Well, it’s just about getting the mindset right. He started off in camp doing well in tackling. He started off not doing very good in the tackling phase; we had to put him through a tackling circuit every week until he get back his, what we call his craft. And now his craft is really stepping up, but we hype on it more than anything else with him in practice. He’s kind of like the so-called leader in the backend, but you can never let Chauncey feel like he’s the leader, to be honest with you. Because Chauncey is great when he’s tuned in. When Chauncey’s like everywhere and dancing and everything else, there’s no telling what Chauncey’s going to call on defense. So, we’ve got to keep him kind of settled down and focused. Some players play better that way, and that’s what Chauncey is.”

  • On his own future with a coaching change: “Never thought about it. Not even close. You know one thing I’m worried about? It’s my job I’ve got right now. You know why? Because it’s the best job I ever had. You know why it’s the best job I ever had? Because it’s the only job I have. One thing that people always remember in coaching: never look ahead, look at the job you have. When you start looking ahead, you’re going to lose out on something because the only job I’m worried about is the job I have right now.”

  • Has he talked to AD Scott Stricklin: “About the job I have now? Yeah, about the one I have now, yeah. This is the only job I worry about. Fellas, that’s me. I’m not a guy worrying about a whole bunch of other things. I only worry about one thing: It’s the job I have now. Like I tell the guys, ‘You know the best team I ever coached?’ Everybody’s going to say ‘the University of Miami football team.’ ‘No, the guys in that locker room.’ Because they’re the only guys I have. I don’t think about the past, think about the present. I’m thinking about the now. Best job I’ve got right now is the interim head coach at Florida and I love it. That’s all I’ve got to worry about.”