The Gator Country Podcast brings you the latest episode where we break down the Florida Gators big win over Ole Miss on Saturday night in front of a sold out crowd in the Swamp.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre review how the Florida Gators dominated Ole Miss, plus what made the offense click against a very good Rebels defense on Saturday.
Andrew and Nick also revisit their break out players that they predicted on Friday’s podcast, plus they take a quick look ahead to the Missouri game.
Andrew: Hello, Gator Country. It is a glorious Sunday. The Gators are 5-0. Putting the nation on an alert. Jim McElwain has put the Gators back on the map. It is once again very, very good news in Gainesville after a shellacking of the Ole Miss Rebels. Nick, you and I, we have a little crow to eat, but I’m not going to lie, this is the best crow I’ll ever eat. 38-10. I should have not let you influence my pick last week. I am blaming you for letting me pick against the Gators last week. So it’s all your fault, all your fault, but wow is all I can say. Wow.
Nick: Yeah. You can probably tell from my hoarse voice that I’ve been eating my crow, and it’s left me with very little voice left. That was some game last night, and I think that we both said that Florida would have to play pretty close to perfect to even beat Ole Miss. They played perfect, but they didn’t come close to beating Ole Miss. They dominated from start to finish. Dominated on offense, defense, special teams. Remember, punters are people too.
Had a chance to talk with Chad Wilson after the game, and we both agreed that Johnny Townsend punt following Florida’s 3 and out to start the game flipped the field. The defense comes on. They respond. They answer. The tone was set right there. Florida just punched Ole Miss in the mouth from the very first drive, second drive of the game. Put their foot on their throat and never let up. That was an impressive performance, and it’s got me drinking the Jim McElwain and the Florida Gator Kool-Aid right now. These guys are for real.
Andrew: Let me show you this stat real quick. Four sacks for the Gators, 11 tackles for loss, 5 quarterback hits. Five quarterback hits. That’s a lot. That’s a good amount.
Nick: I know we talked that Ole Miss was missing some offensive linemen, but we both agreed that that’s a good offensive line. That’s just saying more about Florida that they were able to get in there and affect Chad Kelly the way that they were, because that was no pushover line that they were going up against.
Andrew: No. This is no pushover line. The thing that’s scary is it’s Cece. It’s Bullard. It’s Brantley. Brantley may not get the stats. Let me look here real quick. Brantley, 2 tackles, a half a sack, and a half a tackle for loss. That is underestimating the influence he made multiple times. He was just driving the center from Ole Miss in the back field to where it was almost where the center was going to make the sack on Chad Kelly, and then don’t forget Jonathan Bullard. Holy cow was he making some money. McCallister, holy cow, he is playing ball. Cece Jefferson is playing some mean football. Bryan Cox is playing some mean football. Taven Bryan and Joey Ivie both had really good games.
This defensive line is the best I have seen this defensive line yet. That is over the Easley time, the Sharrif Floyd time. This is everybody on the line making impact, defensive tackle, defensive end. Chad Kelly seriously looked like he was playing behind the Florida offensive line last year, because he literally had no time to throw his 5 yard out routes.
Nick: Yeah. You really can’t say enough. Caleb Brantley kind of is doing the dirty work, but like you said, moving the line. When you talk about line play both offensive line and defensive line want to move the line of scrimmage. The offensive line wants to move it forward. The defensive line wants to move it backwards.
Andrew: Creating a new line.
Nick: Yes, and Florida’s defensive line is consistently, no matter who they’re playing, resetting the line of scrimmage and resetting it into the back field. That helps everybody. That helps the secondary, which doesn’t need much help, because they’re talented. It helps the linebackers. It starts up front with the pressure and the chaos that Florida’s defensive line is being able to create. You can’t say enough about those guys, and really everyone.
Nick: Taven Bryan, Jordan Sherit, everybody. There’s about 10 guys deep on the defensive line, Alex McCallister, that are getting involved and making an impact. To have a line that deep and that much production I think we knew that Florida, at least their starting four, maybe five guys, were going to be talented and would be good. I don’t think anybody expected how well. We thought they would be good, but I don’t think anyone expected how good this defensive line and how deep this defensive line is.
Andrew: I think you can make an argument right now that Jonathan Bullard might be playing the best defensive end in the country. I mean I’ve watched a lot of games, seen some things. I don’t know if there is a player in the country right now that is being as disruptive. Someone said to me on Twitter last night, they said, if you just watch the game and you take away the jerseys Bullard had the impact everyone thought Nkemdiche would. You laugh at that, and say, he’s not Nkemdiche, but he did. He has that dominance out there that is crazy.
I want to go to this real quick. I told you last week. You argued with me in the chat room. You argued with me on this podcast, and you’re eating crow for this, big boy. 33 rushing attempts for 69 yards for Ole Miss. I want you to pay me some respect and tell me I was right. Ole Miss was not going to rush the ball.
Nick: Both teams shut down the running game. Florida shut down Ole Miss’s running game. Obviously they get into a situation where they’re going to have to pass a little more, but Florida’s got sack yardage in there.
Andrew: I haven’t heard it yet, Nick. I want to hear you say, Andrew, you were right. They did not rush the ball against the Gators. I want to hear it.
Nick: You were right. They did not rush the ball against the Gators. Chad Kelly had 15 attempts and led the team with a 2.7 yard per carry average. Jaylen Walton, 9 attempts for 23. Florida shut down the run. What I really liked to see was Ole Miss came in with the game plan that everybody will have against Florida, which is make Florida one dimensional. Stop the run. Make Will Grier beat us.
Andrew: Guess what? He did.
Nick: 24 of 29 for 271 yards and 4 touchdowns. They wanted to make Will Grier beat them, and that’s exactly what Will Grier did.
Andrew: Here’s the deal. This is I think what was impressive to me. I know Kelvin Taylor’s looking at 27 carries, 83 yards, 3.1. You look at that, and you say, that’s not very good. No, it’s not. Here’s what happened. Kelvin Taylor made Ole Miss still respect the run enough that they weren’t able to drop eight guys. Then, here’s the funny thing, when they did drop eight guys Grier was smart enough to find the open pockets. McGee, he just deeked and dunked all night long to McGee, and McGee was making plays all night long. It was really good.
Let me say this. This is probably the thing that impressed me the most about Will Grier. I know we’re hopping around in so many different directions. Hope you guys can stay with us. The thing that impressed me with Grier the most was this. I said from day one, and, Nick, you’re my witness, Will Grier was better in the pocket than he had showed in the ECU game. He did that. The post to Demarcus Robinson was probably the biggest thing that he’ll show all year long. Nkemdiche’s getting in his face. Grier stood in and took a lick, but made a good pass. The hot route to Brandon Powell on his long, what was it? About a 70 yarder? 77 yard touchdown pass on his long one. It was a hot route that he called Brandon Powell. He stood in the pocket, hit Powell. Boom. It was there.
You and I talked about this on Friday. The key to Will Grier’s game was going to be could he find the hot routes. Could he find the guys that he needed to go when they were blitzing? He did. Very well so, he did. You look at 24 for 29. I know two passes that were dropped that should have been 26 for 29, and he’s looking at even better rating overall. Once again, props to Will Grier. He stood in. If he had the flu or not had the flu, he stood in, took his shots, played big boy football.
Then props to the offensive line. Offensive line, you and I have both been very critical of the offensive line, but for the most part the offensive line played pretty good football.
Nick: Yeah. That’s really a hats off to a couple people here. Mike Summers, first and foremost, for coaching them up, but Doug Nussmeyer and Mike Summers came up with a very good scheme to really go and nullify, take Robert Nkemdiche out of the game. Robert Nkemdiche had 1 tackle in the game, and this is a kid that’s a Top 10 pick in the NFL draft.
Andrew: I don’t know if he was disruptive on many other plays. The disruptive play on the post, but besides that I don’t remember him being in the back field too often.
Nick: No. Really Florida’s offensive line did a very good job of scheming, making sure that there were two guys with hands on Nkemdiche on every snap. They did a good job sliding guys down, making Nkemdiche run sideline to sideline. To me it was very telling when the camera finds Nkemdiche on the sideline, and he’s sucking wind. He is tired out there, and my thought was, Florida has just taken him out of this game, and he looks tired right now. I don’t even think we were at half time yet, and he looked tired.
Andrew: Yeah. He was sucking wind big time. Then it was kind of ironic, because the last few years you’ve known Florida’s defense to get tired, but Florida went on what, a 17 play drive? Am I accurate there, Nick? 17 play drive in that 2nd quarter? The 2nd quarter that ate up a crap load of time.
Nick: Florida had a 13 play drive.
Andrew: 13 play drive.
Nick: 13 play drive that went 91 yards.
Andrew: That was just dinking and dunking, and Ole Miss was sucking gas big time in that one. Here’s the thing. You and I were both very critical of Kelvin Taylor last year as well in his pass blocking, but he stepped up in his pass blocking, a lot better pass blocking. Ivey played well at left guard when he was in there as well. Thurman did pretty good at center. I am still very wondering what’s going on with Cameron Dillard. Some bad snaps in the game, but overall I thought he blocked well.
Then the tight ends. These guys don’t get enough props for their blocking, but Goolsby and McGee blocked their tails off the other day, and I thought it was something that we haven’t see a ton of out of those two guys, but those two guys did a really good job of setting the edge on toss plays, setting the edge on some play action passes as well. Once again, play action is there all day long for the Gators.
I have to say this as well. I was very critical of the play calling last week, but this play calling this week was prepared to a tee overall and executed very well. As you said, hats off all around for just a great game plan, great coaching. Miss 26 guys and you still put in a game plan like that? That’s incredible.
Nick: Another thing is hats off to the coaches for the game plan. Florida coached circles around Ole Miss last night, but you could have the best game plan in the world, you still have to go out and execute it. Florida, credit to their players, nobody outside of their locker room expected them to win. I don’t even know if the Florida players expected to dominate a game like that. Maybe they did. Really hats off to them for going out, trusting the coaching staff, and executing that game plan.
The players loved the last coaching staff. T. Rob, Muschamp, they loved those guys. I get a overall sense that while the players love this coaching staff that there’s a deeper level, a deeper sense of trust. Every player talks to that point where we just trust the coaches, what they’re telling us will work. We put 100% of our trust in that, work on it all week. There’s no second guessing anything right now. Florida’s playing confident.
They’re unselfish. That is another thing that’s standing out to me. Antonio Callaway had a pancake block on Brandon Powell’s touchdown returning the favor from last week. Ahmad Fulwood had a block on that. We have a picture in our photo gallery. Jalen Tabor’s dumped on his head. Jarrad Davis is running full speed trying to block for Vernon Hargreaves on his interception. Right now Florida is playing like a family, and that’s something that’s always talked about, but they’re playing like you would play for a brother. It’s fun to see.
Andrew: It’s contagious. The thing is it’s tough to explain here, but you and I could talk about something, and I can talk to a point and sell you on that point. You could do the same to me. When Jim McElwain speaks it is almost like this guy does know what he’s talking about. You and I talked several times about the past, and it was like, did they really know what they were talking about? It was always something, and I hate to say this, but dumb. We’ll get it fixed. We’ll get it fixed only works so much. Jim McElwain says, they suck. He’ll tell you straight up they suck, and it gets fixed. I think that that’s what it is. It’s contagious to where it is.
Overall, you look at it, eight receivers caught passes. It was nothing, I don’t want to say spectacular. I don’t want to say it was not spectacular, because it was, but it’s not like there was a hard game plan. It was simple game plan that was executed well, but it was guys blocking. It’s almost like flag football. Flag football can only do so much, but you need those guys to help get in the way of other guys. You can’t block in flag football, but get in the way, and that’s exactly what it was last night. Brandon Powell getting the big block for Callaway against Tennessee, then Callaway returning the favor there. Fulwood getting a couple big blocks there. McGee and Goolsby getting good blocks. It’s a game plan that all works together, and last night it was like they were in timing, in sync.
Again, I can’t say it enough. It really is great to see an offense that can move the ball. In the past couple games, years, you always thought, when’s the next screw up going to be? What’s the next pick going to be? Last night I never really had that feeling. I felt like Will was in control of the game from an offensive standpoint. I felt like he knew what he wanted to do from the quarterback position, and that he was able to dictate what he was going to do. That’s something I don’t think we’ve seen since really Tebow at quarterback.
Nick: I felt like Ole Miss, if they could have gotten points before half time, before Will Grier leads that 4 minute drive, I felt like if they could have gotten points at half time then getting the ball back at half time, maybe they could’ve gotten back into it. To me, Ole Miss waved the white flag when they chose to kick a field goal on that first drive coming out of half time. So they come out, get the ball, put together a fantastic drive. What was it, 19 plays? 19 plays, 70 yards. Great tackle by Antonio Morrison in the back field on 3rd and goal, and they go for a field goal. What you do there is at that point you were in a four possession game, kicking the field goal makes it a three possession game, if you go for two every single time. Kicking a field goal is not saying, we’re in this. It’s not saying, we’re still actively trying to win this football game.
Andrew: No confidence.
Nick: You’re telling me you don’t want to go for it on the 1 yard line, 2 yard line, and then say our land shark defense, which looked more like a land shark soup defense yesterday. We don’t trust our defense to not let Florida go 98 yards. If I’m a head coach, I’m going for that, and I like my chances with that defense, with my defense, to stop Florida backed up into their own end zone.
Nick: To me that was when Ole Miss waved the white flag, said it’s not our night. Hat tip to the Gators, we’re just going to try to get out of here healthy.
Andrew: We just got our ass kicked. Let’s just be honest. Sorry, kids, but that’s exactly what happened. I don’t know if it was Butch Jones or Mark Richt coaching that team, but that was embarrassing.
Let’s go to defense real quick. Props to you, you were talking big about Quincy Wilson and Jalen Tabor covering Treadwell. It happened a lot in the game, but I’ve got to point out Jalen Tabor. Marcell Harris didn’t play safety, may stay there. So Tabor went to the dime linebacker and was all over the freaking field. Treadwell on a screen pass he read that as quick like he knew it was coming and had been told what was coming, and plowed Treadwell before he caught the ball almost. It was great play by Tabor playing there, and then Maye and Keanu played really good. Keanu probably has the hit stick of the year so far. Quincy Wilson played really good football. Vern played good football, as always. Tabor played good ball. Duke Dawson got in there a little bit, missed a few tackles, but still got in there and played okay.
Overall, you and I talked about this. We said there was no shutting down Treadwell, just contain him. Five catches, 42 yards, that’s about as shutting him down as you’re going to get for that. Kelly 26 with 40 overall, and a lot of those were in scarp yardage. Geoff Collins and that defensive staff deserve some major props, because that was a good football game.
Then, we haven’t even talked about it, National Defensive Player of the Week, Antonio Morrison. Man, Morrison might have played his best game as a Gator last night.
Nick: They actually updated the stats. Morrison was originally credited for 13 half tackles. The updated stats give him 16 tackles, 5 solo, 11 assists, that one half sack that we talked about before, 3.5 tackles for a loss. He played great, and I’m going to eat crow here again. I said because of Ole Miss’s passing attack Florida would be in the dime more, which they were. I thought that would take Antonio Morrison out of the game, because Jarrad Davis has been the linebacker in that package, nope. Eating crow. Antonio Morrison, very impressive game. I think I might agree with you that that could be his best game, if not up there with his best games, since he’s been at Florida.
Andrew: It may not be his best game stat wise. I don’t remember. I can’t keep track of that. As far as, he had that Bullard kind of game where it was just like every play was 3 was in on the tackle, 3 forced the tackle inside, or 3 makes the sack. He was everywhere on the field, and he looked like a guy that was feeling confident in himself. Another thing, his leadership out there on that defense was very noticeable, getting guys in places, stuff like that. It was a good football game for him. I know Geoff Collins gets picked on a lot, because he plays zone defense, but that zone defense worked last night. He helped the Gators win.
Then special teams, Chris Thompson. I don’t care what they say. They can give him a penalty all they want to, that was bullshit. That was not a penalty on him at all. Just great plays by Chris Thompson. Him and Marcell Harris just have a living on special teams. They’re the first guys down there, and they’re not afraid to put a knocking on somebody.
Nick: Yeah. Before we move on a little bit, I wanted to say props to Gator Country freelancers, Kevin Camps and David Parker, you know of him as PD. Both of them did not drink the Ole Miss Kool-Aid. They picked Florida to win this game. Hats off to you boys. Good predictions. Andrew and I sure were not ballsy enough to do that.
Andrew: It’s kind of funny. I got a message yesterday from AceSteal15 that’s on the message board, and he goes, I know I might be a little out of control, but I’m calling a blow out, Florida rolls Ole Miss. My response to him was, you’re crazy, but I hope so. He says, I’m calling it early, remember, and I want a shout out. There’s your shout out. I’ll just be honest. I didn’t think there was a chance in heck we see a 38-10 blowout. A, I didn’t think Florida’s defense would be able to shut down Ole Miss as good as they did, but they did. I mean, I still can’t believe it. I’m still kind of speechless. What did I just see?
Nick: Yeah. At least since SEC Media Days Florida’s defense has been saying we are the best defense in the nation.
Nick: Not conference. Not the division, the nation. In my opinion they hadn’t lived up to that in four games. They had looked good in spurts.
Nick: There would be spurts of where you’d say, they’re playing up to their potential right now, but they hadn’t put it together. Last night they put it together, and that defense that showed up against Ole Miss I would put up against any defense in the country, Alabama, Northwestern, who I don’t know if everyone’s following the Big Ten, but Northwestern’s playing some defense.
Andrew: Let’s be honest. They ain’t playing offense over there either.
Nick: I’m a big Big Ten fan.
Andrew: Ole Miss came in with the best offense?
Nick: Ole Miss was the #2 scoring offense in the country at 54.8 points per game. They scored 10. One of them was a trash garbage time touchdown with no time left in the game in the 4th quarter. Jarrad Davis, who is quickly turning into my favorite player on the team, because he is a fantastic quote, really took that touchdown to heart. He was upset about that touchdown and said that touchdown and the field goal they gave up, he said, we didn’t play four quarters because of that. I kind of just looked at him, like that was a really good defensive game. That was a very good defensive game. That was one of the best offenses in the country coming in. You guys completely shut them down, and you’re actually visibly angry about a touchdown that meant nothing.
Andrew: That just goes to show you that the McElwain mindset’s going in. One thing on Jarrad Davis, I don’t know if you got to see it again, Nick, but that goal line hit he made. Wow. He shot through the hole, put that hit stick, that little right joystick up, and said, you’re not going forward, buddy. You’re going backwards. He drove Walton backwards on the goal line and was not having any part of that at the goal line. That was incredible goal line defense from Florida. Like you said, really and truly they got three points out of the game. I think the thing that makes me the happiest for this team is you and I we’ve been able to be around McElwain and that staff, and they are very hardworking staff. They wanted to turn around the program.
I’ll be honest. I don’t think they expected this. I think they knew they had a chance. I don’t think they expected in their first year they’d be 5-0, but they have worked really, really hard at what this team has got and at the focus of changing the program around. You say, the program wasn’t that far off. This program was a long way off. This was an undisciplined football team that had no confidence, had no identity, and flat out sucked. This is a program that’s now #11 in the country. Mad props to that coaching staff. McElwain said after the game, we got the Swamp back, and that’s absolutely right. The Swamp’s once again a feared place, and it’s rocking. It’s time to be scared of the Gators again.
Nick: 90,585 fans showed up to the game last night, and Andrew, you were at the game against Tennessee and talked about how loud it was. That didn’t hold a candle to what it was last night. Last night rivaled, was the loudest game I have ever been at since I’ve been covering the team and really gets back into some of the games that I went to as a fan when I was coming here as an undergrad back in the Tebow years. The fans last night were loud. Florida gave them stuff to cheer about. That was an environment. That was the kind of environment that kid’s dream of playing in. The past couple years, whether it was players, fans, recruits, you weren’t going to an SEC atmosphere. There wasn’t any bite in the Swamp. There was nothing behind that name. It was just you were going to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. You weren’t going to the Swamp. Last night it was the Swamp.
Andrew: There was nothing to be feared about. This is the telling thing for me. This is the honest to God truth, the telling thing for me. Florida is up 19-0. It’s like 4 minutes to go, 3 minutes to go. McElwain’s like, we’re scoring again. He didn’t care. He wants it to be 25-0 at half time. He ain’t putting his foot on the brake and running three running plays and then kicking and punting it away for Ole Miss. He’s ready to put another nail in the coffin. That, in my opinion, showed me.
Nick: Playing to win the game.
Andrew: Playing to win the game. There you go.
Nick: Rather than playing to not lose the game.
Andrew: Exactly. Be feared. This is an offense now that, like it or not, you got to prepare for. You got to prepare for this offense now. It ain’t no easy task to prepare for this offense anymore. There are some playmakers.
Nick: Once again, spreading the ball around, Demarcus Robinson, Jake McGee, Antonio Callaway, Kelvin Taylor, DeAndre Goolsby, Brandon Powell, Ahmad Fulwood, and Jordan Cronkrite all caught passes last night.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. Nick, we got to talk about this real quick. We ate our crow for sucking it up on predictions, but, gosh almighty, we were six for six in breakout players, and I, myself, am rejoicing over that. I was right. Three for three. I was Will Grier, Demarcus Robinson, and Keanu Neal. I believe you were Kelvin Taylor, Marcus Maye, and Brandon Powell. Am I right?
Nick: Yeah. We’re going to go. I’ll take a win for Kelvin Taylor, because like you mentioned before while the stats and the numbers might not be there what Kelvin Taylor did was make Ole Miss be honest on defense, and that opened up things in the passing game. Demarcus Robinson obviously, 8 catches, 98 yards and a touchdown.
Andrew: And the one-handed grab.
Nick: And the one-handed. That thing, that was a play.
Andrew: That was nasty. He just went up and said, I’ll take this.
Nick: Then Marcus Maye, another great game from him. This is what you expected from Marcus Maye coming out of high school, and I’m very happy for him. He’s been at Florida a long time, has waited a long time to have a season like this. Even though we both got three predictions right, I am giving you the win this week calling out Will Grier, 24 of 29, 4 touchdowns. You get the ultimate win this week for riding on Will Grier. I have a little stat for you to help as well. Will Grier has thrown multiple touchdown passes in four games. He is the first Gator quarterback to do that since Tim Tebow did it in 2009. He did it five times that season.
Andrew: Wow. Here it is. I’m glad you said that, buddy, because I do feel proud of that. I also feel like the promise speech was the motivation. I think somewhere in that locker room Coach McElwain said, Andrew always predicts the Gators, and not even him is believing in you guys. He has to make a promise that he’ll pick you guys the rest of the year. So I think I deserve a little bit of props. I’m just kidding. That’s all them guys. They did well. They played great. Finally though, Will Grier, you can’t say enough about the guy. He played ball, and it’s spectacular to see that he played ball.
We wouldn’t be good if we didn’t talk about the recruiting environment though. The Gators picked up a commit after that game, because it was a great atmosphere. It’s simple. Someone tweeted me a high school coach in the state who also trains multiple players. He sent me a tweet, and he goes, five stars and four stars are going to want to be part of the environment now. He goes, it is once again great to be a Florida Gator. It is. It’s true. You see Emmett Smith out there. I told you, Nick, before I got on the podcast I was talking to Keywon Ratliff. Those guys are all repeating the same message. Once again proud to bring the orange and blue out. They’re once again proud to be a Gator. Not that they weren’t, but they’re proud to say they’re a Gator. There’s something to be proud of once again. Jim McElwain, I really and truly don’t know what simple philosophy he brought in, except for to tell the guys to stop sucking, but it’s great to have that orange and blue again.
Nick: Talking about McArthur Burnett. I love any defensive back from Pahokee.
Andrew: Chasing rabbits. It’s chasing rabbit time.
Nick: This kid is physical. I remember watching him compete at Friday Night Lights. He likes getting his hands on you. He plays a very nasty style of defensive back, of cornerback. That’s a good player. It’s like you said, winning kind of builds. It’s contagious.
Andrew: It’s not even so much winning for me. I mean, winning does help. Let’s not be stupid. Winning does help.
Nick: We did a lot of stupid last week. Tone it down this week.
Andrew: Neither one of us are very smart, but we try to hide that. Let’s just be honest though. There’s an identity once again, and it’s the hot thing right now. Let’s just be honest here. Florida needs an upgrade in a lot of players, and there’s guys there. You look at guys like Nate Craig. He has to be licking his chops. I’m looking at the receivers, Robinson, probably gone next year. McGee, gone. You look at Callaway and Powell, those are both two young guys. After those two young guys, who do you have at receiver? Nobody. Guess what? There’s instant playing time there for freshmen. Six true freshmen played big parts in the game last night, and this is an offense, one of the recruits said, I believe it was Freddie Swain that said, Coach McElwain spreads the ball around. You may get three catches this game and the next game you get 10. Kids love that. Players love that.
As an offensive linemen you have to be licking your chops right now. You got an opportunity to go play for a guy that, let’s face it, Mike Summers is a hell of a coach, because he’s turned this around. Then you look at the defensive line, and whatever Chris Rumph has put into these guys he’s got them fired up. Brad Lawing can say whatever he wants to. He coached Jadeveon Clowney all he wants to, but these same group of guys he coached last year are doing three times better than they ever thought about doing last year.
Let me just go to Kurt Callahan real quick. The guy gets jerked around and says that everybody says he’s not T Rob, well let’s be honest, Quincy Wilson, Vernon Hargreaves, those guys, they’re playing ball. DeAndre Porter, who the staff had no care for last year, got in there last week and actually played some good ball. It’s time to respect this coaching staff for not only recruiting, but the damn good job they’re doing on the football field.
Nick: Yeah. Really right now Florida is rolling hot. Their #11 ranking in the AP Poll is the highest they’ve been ranked since they started the 2013 season off at #10, even though Florida won that day they dropped in the polls. This is the highest Florida’s been ranked by the Associated Press in two years really, just over two years. Florida’s riding high. They will travel to Missouri, Columbia. I will be there. I actually have tickets to see the Cardinals playoff game on Friday.
Andrew: You suck.
Nick: That’ll be a little treat for me. They will take on the Cubs, or whoever the Cubs are playing in the one game play in game.
Nick: I will see a Busch Stadium atmosphere. I’m sure it will be not as wild as the Swamp was on Saturday, but that’s a pretty cool experience. Definitely a bucket list thing for me. I will be at that game. Florida is facing a bad Missouri team with a very good LSU team coming down the road. Normally I would say this is a trap game. By definition, this really is a trap game, but I don’t get the sense that Jim McElwain is ever letting his football team, or that Jim McElwain has instilled something in his football team that is not letting them allow themselves to overlook any opponent.
Andrew: Throw the tape on from last year. Missouri whip Florida’s tail.
Nick: I think Florida overlooked ECU.
Nick: Jim McElwain made the point very clear, so I don’t see Florida overlooking Missouri. Missouri has whooped Florida’s butt two years in a row, and a lot of the players that are on this team remember that. There is a revenge factor this week. In 2013, the past couple years, teams had enjoyed running the score up on Florida, because Florida was running the score up on them in the early 2000s, middle 2000s. Next week might be a time where Florida can kind of rub an opponent’s face in it a little bit and feel better about getting away from that feeling they had those two years playing Missouri.
Andrew: Yeah. Here’s the thing. I know Ole Miss’s defense did not look good last night, but that’s a fast defense. That is the best defense Florida will face this year without a shadow of a doubt, the best front seven of a defense you will face all year long. That’s LSU, that’s Georgia, that’s whoever you want to be. That is the best front seven you’re going to have. The thing for me is this.
I said it last week I wanted to see how Florida did going against Ole Miss after a huge Tennessee game. I want to see how they go into Missouri. It really is the next step in this program, because this is a program that is having a lot of firsts, a lot of firsts for all these guys. None of these guys has experienced what they’re going through right now, being the #11 team. They’ve never experienced success. Let’s see how they handle success. Columbia’s a tough trip. It’s going to be real cold, and it’s going to be a different time zone for them. It’s two time zones over for them. It’s going to be a different atmosphere.
Nick: One time zone.
Andrew: I thought they were Mountain Time, are they not?
Nick: You said we were going to stop being stupid.
Andrew: I thought they were Mountain Time.
Nick: No, Missou is Central Time.
Andrew: Okay. They’re one time zone, whatever. It’s still a long trip.
Nick: It’ll be a 6:30 local time kickoff for that game.
Andrew: It’s still a long trip for them.
Nick: It’s a very long trip. Florida’s going to have to fly into St. Louis, and then you bus. It’s probably going to take them about two hours in a bus to get from St. Louis over to Columbia, Missouri. It’s a tough trip, and that’s part of Missouri’s home field advantage.
Andrew: It’s like a high school stadium.
Nick: It’s very loud. Isn’t very big, but part of that advantage that they have is how hard it is to get to there, just logistically, how hard it is to physically get there.
Andrew: Yeah. Definitely. Again, you look at the East. Florida sits at the top. Georgia, once again, as I always say, never pick Mike Rick to win a big game. The guy can’t coach. The guy can’t win a big game. He’s a fake. He’s a fraud.
Nick: How about this. The same exact score. Alabama beats Georgia 38-10. Florida beats Ole Miss 38-10. That is something. I feel like this was a measuring stick game, and I said that. Right now Florida measures up in the SEC. Florida sits alone atop the rankings in the SEC East right now.
Andrew: Hold on one second too, Nicholas. You know the buttheads, the doofuses that call themselves Tennessee? You know how they jumped down my back bandwagon telling me I was an idiot for saying they were overrated? You jerkwads are 2-3. You lost to Arkansas. You suck. Get off my back with that crap. You’re not overrated. We’re Top 25. Come on. You’re not even Top 75. Get off my wagon with that crap. That gets on my nerves so bad. Tennessee, they suck. Butch Jones, you suck. It’s funny. It really is funny that they come bashing at me about being overrated. You are overrated. Come on.
To get back to the point real quick though. The Alabama fans, a bunch of my good friends are Alabama fans. I know several people that work in the university, and I will say this. They might be the biggest Florida fans outside of Florida fans. They absolutely love Jim McElwain. I had a guy, I won’t say his position at Alabama, but he sent me a text and he goes, of course I’m true to Alabama, but what Jim McElwain’s doing in Gainesville is nothing short of remarkable and it couldn’t happen to a greater man. That is respect. You know Alabama fans. They actually do know their game. They’re buttheads. They’re egotistical and all that good stuff, but they know the game, and they respect Jim McElwain, which says a ton about what kind of coach and person McElwain is.
Nick: Yeah. We’re going to be wrapping up here. It was honestly even hard to write after the game and to put into words what I had just seen. That was a masterful performance from everyone, top to bottom, from the coaching staff to the kicker. Little Georgia did miss a point after yesterday, and Jim McElwain was not too happy about that, but we have a ton of coverage on GatorCountry.com, as always. We will have a special guest. We’ll keep that as a surprise for Wednesday to help us preview Missouri. We will have more content this week all throughout the week. I think we had more than 200 stories in the month of September. It is a good time right now to be on Gator Country. As always, we appreciate you listening to the podcast, and spoiler alert, I will not be picking against Florida this week.
Andrew: I ain’t picking against Florida no more.
Nick: I will not be picking against Florida this week. My throat is still sore from all the crow I’ve been eating. I need to go hit the gym to work off those crow calories.
Andrew: I’m not picking against Florida anymore. Sorry, end of discussion. I’m just not. I’m not picking against them. You’re not going to talk me into it, Nicholas. It just is what it is, Nick. You’re not going to do it to me anymore. You’re not talking me into it anymore. I am a believer in this team. Finally we get to cover a football team that is a good football team, and I’m fired up. I am truly fired up. As you saw on my Twitter, too bad Ole Miss fans don’t talk crap, because I’d have loved to give it to them. I really would have. It’s Georgia week coming very soon.
Nick: I have two questions for you before we get off.
Nick: One, did you know or see Little B wish the Gators good luck yesterday? Do you know what that means?
Andrew: I have no idea who Little B is, but I saw a lot of people tweeting about it. I’m sitting here thinking, who is Little B? It’s like Little B. I’m not going to lie. When I first saw Little B I thought it was Lil Boosie again. I was like, maybe that’s why Nick asked me about Lil Boosie. Then I went and looked and apparently Little B is not Lil Boosie. I don’t even know what Little B does. Is he a singer? What is he?
Nick: Yeah, I guess you can call him a singer, if rapping is singing, then yes.
Andrew: Okay. He’s an artist. I don’t even know who Little B is. It doesn’t matter. I need to find a new word for this week, because fleek and fire have done good. Man, I just about said we need to find another f word, but that would not be good, because I don’t know if there is another f word.
Nick: My second question is how did we jump into a rant about Tennessee?
Andrew: It’s always great.
Nick: How did we even fall down that rabbit hole to where you were ranting about Tennessee?
Andrew: It’s always great to talk crap about Tennessee. They suck, dude. The thing is what’s funny to me is you believed that bull crap.
Nick: I drank so much creamsicle Kool-Aid, but I spit it up before the game. I picked Florida.
Andrew: They suck.
Nick: Before I get you going again.
Andrew: Tell them the stat real quick. The stat you and I got, real quick, was that their special teams and interception yards are more than they have passing. That sucks. Butch Jones, you’re awful, dude. You’re awful. Between him and Mark Rick they both should marry each other, because they both suck.
Nick: I’ve lost control of the podcast.
Andrew: Maybe the two of them together would make one good coach. I doubt it. Both of them suck.
Nick: I have lost all control of the podcast. We need to get out of here.
Andrew: You have lost all control of this podcast. Nick, real quick, let’s get this out of here real quick. Couple things. I’ll have my podcast tomorrow. We’ll have plenty of recruiting coverage. Nick will have his coverage as well. Hope you guys are liking our basketball coverage. We’re really putting a focus on making basketball an essential part of Gator Country. The calendar’s coming out. You guys should be getting that soon. I had a sneak peek at that, and it is freaking awesome. Let us know about that. Follow us on Twitter, on Instagram, all that good stuff. Nick and I, we’re here for the long run, because right now it is good to be in the orange and blue and covering the team. So Nick, say your few words, and let’s get out of this bad boy.
Nick: Coffee Guy, signing out. You stay classy, Gator Country.
Andrew: Butch Jones, and now Mark Rick. You still suck.