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  • Nov 19, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain celebrates the win over the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium. The Gators defeat the Tigers 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 19, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain celebrates the win over the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium. The Gators defeat the Tigers 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down the SEC Championship
game for the Florida Gators

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Written by Andrew Spivey, November 30, 2016, 0 Comments,

Gator Country breaks down the SEC Championship for the Florida Gators in the latest podcast as we look at the key match-ups.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how the Gators can score against the Alabama defense, plus how they can get the playmakers the ball.

Andrew and Nick also look at what the Gators defense must do to stop Alabama’s offense and the running quarterback that is now in play for the Crimson Tide.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, Wednesday before Hotlanta, and things are starting to heat up. Coach Mac sounded like he was sick of the offense on Monday.
Nick:He joins a long list of people.
Andrew:Yeah. He joins a long, long list of people. I think that might have been the last straw for him, seeing that game. I think he is now committed to change.
Nick:What kind of change are we talking? Because I feel like there are wholesale changes. You kind of look at it like what Alabama’s done. Alabama, we asked Joey Ivie, said, “Hey, how different is this offense that you’re going to face on Saturday than the one you faced a year ago?” He said, “Very different,” and there’s changes as far as who’s calling plays, stuff like that. Like wholesale changes, or tweaks?
Andrew:Wholesale changes. I think you are probably looking at some changes play calling wise, personally, and I think that you are going to see that there’s going to be an opening of the offense a little bit. I think you’re looking at a stage now where you need a quarterback can run a little bit, especially in a case like Florida where your offensive line is just okay. A running quarterback helps that a ton. Look at Deondre Francois, I mean, Florida was getting pressure in the game a lot of times, but he’s able to escape.
Nick:Yeah. Florida does not really have that on, you have that. Austin Appleby can. I mean, listen, he’s not Mike Vick, but he’s someone who can move a little bit.
Andrew:Yeah, but you know what I mean. He’s not Francois. He’s not Jalen Hurts. He’s not even Josh Dobbs. He’s not those guys that can hurt you with their legs a lot.
Nick:Do you think that we see Del Rio move, run a little bit more, this week?
Andrew:Del Rio?
Nick:Sorry. Appleby. See Appleby move as far as, McElwain said on Monday that we have something, some option stuff, but that it was just covered. That FSU did what they were supposed to do. Do you think we see him move a little bit more this week?
Andrew:I’ll say yes, but I mean I don’t think it’s there, and you’re not running away from anybody.
Nick:Well, so what can do you? What can we do this week?
Andrew:I think the main thing is you’ve got to get rid of the ball quick, and that has got to be the way it’s got to be. It’s got to be getting rid of the ball quick, so that you don’t hear, you don’t have pressure. You can’t, Florida’s not going to be able to hold up against their line, so you’re going to have to get rid of the ball quick and hope that your linemen are able to get their hands down a little bit. I think you have to do that.
I’ll say this. For the first time in a long time, Mac finally admits that the playmakers aren’t getting the ball enough, and that he needs to get the ball, the playmakers the ball more. I think we talked about this every week, that whole get the ball, or that list of get the ball to this person hasn’t been there. Whether that’s a Nuss thing or a Mac thing, or an offensive generals thing, you’ve got to do it. I said this on a radio show on Monday, and that is whatever you have to do Saturday to be competitive, you do. This is it. There is no, okay, next week, kind of deal. You’re playing for this, and then you have a bowl game. So whatever it takes, if it takes running Appleby 30 times on zone reads until they respect you, respect Scarlett, that’s what you have to do.
Nick:I think the problem that they had, Florida had, against LSU doing that was the speed of the defense, the closing speed of the linebackers, and you’re going to see that again this week though.
Andrew:Absolutely. I mean, I’ll disagree a little bit with Mac in that I thought the zone read was there several times against Florida State, and Appleby just missed it. There was a couple times where it is, and the one thing that you can say is Florida has been successful with the jet sweeps early on in the game. They’d just kind of gotten away from them a little bit. I think you got to go back to it. Throw the whole kitchen sink at them.
Nick:Yeah. It gets into that whole, we said this last year though, and I think the most disheartened I’ve been with the offense is last year you’re going into the SEC Championship game, and you have nothing to lose. There is, you’re not expected to win. What are you looking at as far as, okay, we’re not hiding anything. We’re not saving anything for next week. We’re not doing any of that, and then you get this vanilla game plan. Sure, you’re limited by Treon Harris, but you’re in the same situation again this week where it’s what are you hiding? What’s left to lose?
If you got a play where Tyler Jordan is taking a fumble and throwing the ball downfield to Antonio Callaway, why not? Do something. Do something that’s out of the ordinary, something we haven’t seen yet. You literally have, you’re the biggest underdog in SEC Championship history. Nobody expects you to win the game, and if you play offense the way that you played last week, you’re not going to win the game, so like you said, why not throw the kitchen sink at them?
Andrew:Yeah. My thing is this, and maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I personally think Mac is going to have a roll in the play calling this week. Call me crazy.
Nick:Listen, if you’re going to come out, and it’s like you said, for the first time he’s came out and kind of called out the play calling, you called plays before. You do it. You know what I mean? If you don’t like the plays that are being called, then you do it.
Andrew:Right.
Nick:Do it yourself.
Andrew:I said this, and, by the way, it’s kind of funny how you and I touch on the whole scripted plays, and now there’s 50 stories out there about the scripted plays. People must really be listening to the podcast. Congrats, other writers. Anyway, it’s also a thing about tempo. Tempo, tempo, tempo. Getting up to the line early, getting up there with a purpose, and that’s something, I even said this on Sunday’s podcast, or Monday’s podcast, is that Mac was upset at the end of the game about how long it was taking the plays to go, to be called in. You look at that, and you think, okay, let’s see it.
Mark Richt, and everybody knows I can’t stand Mark Richt, but one of his things was he said, he felt like he didn’t call the plays was one of the reasons his offense didn’t work at Georgia. I want to see what Mac can do with that. I know it’s a tougher job, that you have to call your plays and be a part of the head coaching thing, but if that’s what makes your offense succeed, I mean, give it to Bobby Petrino. He’s calling his own plays, and he’s succeeding.
Nick:Well, had a little hiccup last week.
Andrew:Right.
Nick:Bobby and the boys.
Andrew:It wasn’t offense that made them suck.
Nick:The defense was nonexistent, decided not to show up.
Andrew:Right. Exactly. That’s what I’m saying. You would want to see that. That’s what I say.
Nick:Yeah. To me, it’s just do you think, I don’t think McElwain, this is the first time he noticed this kind of stuff, just the first time he felt the need to say it publicly, like it boiled over.
Andrew:I think it just has gotten to the point where he’s irritated. He’s frustrated, and it’s tough to call out your buddy. Whether he wants to say he called out his buddy or not, he called his buddy out. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but that had to be tough.
Nick:Well, when you’re the head coach you get paid to make those tough choices.
Andrew:Right, and I’m not saying it’s a big deal. I’m saying that he did that.
Nick:Yeah. He definitely did that, so, to me, you’ve definitely, this is the toughest challenge you’re ever going to face as far as a team. I personally think this Alabama team is better than the one you played last year. You got to do something you haven’t done. There you go, it’s like McElwain said, “If you want to achieve something you’ve never achieved before, you have to do something you’ve never done.” I think McElwain’s going to have to, like you said, get involved with the play calling possibly.
I think Florida’s going to have to do stuff on offense that they haven’t done before, whether that’s, get back to the script thing, does the score when they script the plays? Yes, but you can’t script 75 plays. The defense is going to make an adjustment to what you’re doing, and that’s why the first eight plays or the first two drives are scripted, because it doesn’t give the defense time to make adjustments. Then the rest of the game is adjustments. I think, I just don’t know what you can do. Listen, we’re talking about, people talk about quarterback. You’re not putting in a freshman quarterback against Jonathan Allen and this defense.
Andrew:You don’t accomplish anything.
Nick:You can accomplish getting your freshman quarterback killed and ruining his confidence for the rest of his life.
Andrew:Right, but what I’m saying is he doesn’t give you the best opportunity to win. He doesn’t. He doesn’t. I mean, and Appleby, I don’t know if he does, but he gives you a better opportunity than the two freshmen do. It’ll be interesting to see if Martez plays. Martez on one leg basically, it’s going to be tough to stop those inside guys of Alabama.
Nick:Yeah. Playing on one leg, playing on two legs is going to be tough.
Andrew:Right. That’s what I’m saying. So it’ll be interesting to see what he does. I know Mac says Cox and Davis are, he’s ruling them out. I’m not ruling them out. I think they still try to find a way to play on Saturday.
Nick:Yeah. We’ll see Wednesday. We’ll see what they say Wednesday.
Andrew:Yeah. To the offensive point, though, closing practice. Something’s going on. What it is, we don’t know, but there’s a reason it’s closed.
Nick:I don’t think anything’s going on.
Andrew:Something is. Got to be.
Nick:I mean, we don’t see anything at practice anyway, so it’s like, to me, it’s not like, “Oh, you’re closing practice to do some crazy stuff.” We watch stretching. Unless you’ve got some new stretching method.
Andrew:Yeah, but I don’t know. There’s a reason. There’s always a reason.
Nick:I feel like you’re just trying to be optimistic.
Andrew:No. I’m just saying, there’s always a reason. I mean, I think the optimistic thing is going to happen after the game Saturday. I think you get through this game, and then I think you see changes. I do. I think you see changes next week, and I think you go into next season with a different offensive style, different offensive identity. I don’t have any problem saying that.
Nick:How hard is that? We watched coaches change from one to…
Andrew:You’re not changing your whole mindset, but, I mean, look what Alabama does. They change it up to where they just…
Nick:That’s changing an entire mindset though.
Andrew:No, it’s not. They’re still a power running game.
Nick:With a quarterback running.
Andrew:Right, but it’s still a power running game. The concept’s still the same. You’re just throwing in a wrinkle. I mean, Saban’s offense is still the same. He still wants to be a power running team.
Nick:I don’t know.
Andrew:I mean, it is. They’re still running the ball with Bo and those guys right up the middle, still a lot of play action, dump to the tight end. It’s just they’re also spread out with a running quarterback that can move.
Nick:I think that’s kind of a chance of philosophy, as far as bringing the running back in. They’re almost like a, they’re running spread option stuff, quarterback reads, stuff like that, and that was never involved.
Andrew:I don’t, I mean, I don’t know if they run the option. I mean, you know what I’m saying? They’re not running Urban Meyer’s Florida offense.
Nick:No, but it’s definitely, it doesn’t look like an Alabama offense, and I think Alabama fans will tell you that. They’re happy now. Alabama fans are probably not happy that the quarterback is running so much, and it’ll take the first loss for them to freak out about it. They’ll be quiet about it until they lose. Jalen Hurts can keep running, and they’ll silently be mad about it, because that’s not Alabama football, but the second they lose it’s because that damn quarterback’s been running all year.
Andrew:We’ll just agree to disagree, because I feel like it’s still an offense that is predicated on power football, with just a run quarterback. I think that’s it. I think it’s just been modified a little bit. I don’t think it’s a spread offense, by any means.
Nick:Alright. Let’s talk about Dan Wilkin for USA Today had a report that there are whispers that Jim McElwain would be interested, or that Oregon would be interested, in Jim McElwain to be their coach, if and when they fire Mark Helfrich, so now we’re talking about Jim McElwain being a candidate for a job that is not currently open.
Andrew:Don’t see it happening.
Nick:They trying to say, he’s from Montana, and Montana’s closer to Oregon, and maybe, they’re bringing in, what was it? The comment after the, I can’t remember after what game. McElwain said something like, said something about fans who don’t really like us. Maybe after the LSU game.
Andrew:Right.
Nick:Said, but all we keep doing is going back to Atlanta. Why do you think the fans don’t like you? He’s like, “I don’t know, maybe because we’re the head coach.” I think people are reading into that. I’m not reading into this.
Andrew:Mac says he wants to build a program. Mac talks about loyalty with his team, talking about that. I don’t see it happening. I mean, I don’t even think, to be honest, I would think Mac would probably laugh if you asked him about that, and I’m sure he will be asked.
Nick:I’m sure he’ll be asked Wednesday, and that won’t go over well.
Andrew:No. I mean, I just don’t see it. I think it’s click bait, and the Florida writer who is pumping the propaganda out is the same one that doesn’t want to go to Atlanta, so of course he wants Jim McElwain to leave. He doesn’t like McElwain. McElwain doesn’t like him. It is what it is.
Nick:It’s not Florida doing it. It was Dan Wilkin. It was the USA Today.
Andrew:No. There was a 247 website of Oregon that put it out, and then someone, Florida media writer, has been pushing that propaganda on this Twitter page with that thing. Yeah. That’s what it is.
Nick:I think you got to talk about it if it’s out there, but we talk about it, and we say, “I don’t see it happening.” Haven’t heard anything that would make me think it’s happening.
Andrew:Yeah. I mean, when you’re hearing behind the scenes of what he wants to do after the season, I don’t think so. He has visits lined up for next week to go see kids. I don’t see it happening. He’s a guy that wants to be remembered as the guy who turned football around for Florida. That’s what he wants to do. I don’t believe that at all.
Nick:I want to talk about a stat that McElwain brought up.
Andrew:Okay.
Nick:Red zone conversions.
Andrew:Okay.
Nick:Red zone defense.
Andrew:Okay.
Nick:Florida has given up the second least amount of opponent’s trips into the red zone this year. Florida’s allowed opponents into the red zone 29 times. We don’t need to talk about the scoring percentage, because that is 68.97%. Actually, that’s second in the conference, but the attempts is what I really want to talk about.
Andrew:Okay.
Nick:Alabama has allowed teams into the red zone 18 times this year. They’ve played 12 games. 18 times a team has been able to get the ball into the red zone. That’s ridiculous.
Andrew:I mean, I think it just goes to show you really how good that defense really is, and, I mean, when Mac says it’s the fastest defense, and it’s the best team he’s seen Saban have, I think you can agree with that. I think it’s scary to talk about just how dominant that defense is up front, in the secondary. It’s just a scary defense. It’s a really good defense, and a scary good defense.
Nick:Who’s the scariest one on that defense? Who’s the scariest creature on the defense?
Andrew:Reuben Foster.
Nick:Really? You’d say Reuben Foster over Jonathan Allen?
Andrew:Yeah. Jonathan Allen’s not popping you like Reuben Foster is.
Nick:I think Allen’s scary. I think Raekwon Davis is scary, just a freshman.
Andrew:Yeah.
Nick:Eddie Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, Da’Shawn Hand, Da’Ron Payne. I think a lot of these guys are scary.
Andrew:Yeah.
Nick:Tim Williams is pretty scary. So is Ryan Anderson.
Andrew:I don’t know if Ryan Anderson is scary. He’s just really good.
Nick:Also kind of scary.
Andrew:Maybe.
Nick:Leads the team in tackles for loss.
Andrew:Right, but when I say scary I mean someone that’s going to hurt me.
Nick:Well, I think all of them would hurt us.
Andrew:Us. Yes. But I don’t think, you know what I’m saying. To get back onto the offensive side of the ball for Bama, the defensive side for Florida, got to find a way to hit that spy this week. I don’t know who it’s going to be, but you got to spy Jalen this week and make him beat you with his arm. He hasn’t proven week in and week out he can consistently hit the covered receivers. That’s something I think you’ve got to challenge this week. Make him do that. They’re going to run the ball. They’re going to run the ball at you, and Florida’s going to give up some of that, but you have to, have to, make Jalen beat you with his arm and not with his legs.
Nick:So, we talked about not counting Jarrad Davis out, but even if Jarrad Davis is back, that’s not your spy. Shoot, I just don’t know who it is.
Andrew:I like Marcell Harris, but that’s just me.
Nick:Here’s the thing, I think the thing there isn’t somebody who’s going to do it effectively for the entire game, but somebody who can do it alright. Jalen Hurts is going to get his, going to start, going to get his points. Who’s somebody who will, I guess, just limit it to maybe one, or just two big runs?
Andrew:Right. I think it’s Marcell. Marcell’s playing his best ball, and I think that that’s why you put him there. I think you see what he can do, and if that doesn’t happen, then you move someone. I think you take too big of a chance putting a guy like Chauncey, being so young, there. So, yeah, I like putting, I do, I like putting Marcell as that spy.
Nick:Okay. Then, you have the opportunity to do that, because of your cornerbacks, but then are you trusting Chauncey as like your single high safety then?
Andrew:Yeah. You are. I think so. You have to, because you can’t, I mean, you have to, because you can’t not have Marcell spying. So, yeah, you’re going to go single high, and drop that extra guy in the box, and put your guys on an island. Chauncey played well on Saturday against Florida State. Chauncey’s able to make up ground, so I’m okay with Chauncey being your single high.
Nick:Okay. I think it’s risky, just because he’s a sophomore. He did play well.
Andrew:Freshman.
Nick:That’s what I meant. Sorry about that. I think it is risky, just because it’s a freshman. It’s a lot to ask, but, listen, playing against Alabama there’s a lot to ask just in that alone. You’re going to be asking probably the most of all of your players that you’ve ever asked.
Andrew:Listen, this is where legends are made. This is a game where you make your name. I say legends are made. This is a game that you can. You can either step up and play great and be remembered for your play, or you can screw up, weasel your way out of it, and be remembered as a guy that couldn’t make the play. You have a choice. This is a game, and Chauncey’s athletic enough to do that. Chauncey’s athletic enough to make plays. He’s a corner that’s playing safety. He’s athletic enough to do that.
You’re asking all of your guys to go from playing at a 10 to playing at a 15. Not from a standpoint of doing more than you’re supposed to do, but making sure to be in charge of your game, your position, your game. You’ve got to be in charge of it. You have to do what you have to do, and play with everything you have, I guess is the best way to say it, defensively and offensively. Defensively, more importantly they’ve got to make plays. They’ve got to let Florida have a short field, if at all possible. They can’t make Florida go 98 yards on offense.
Nick:I just shuddered a little bit. Florida’s offense is not going 98 yards against this. What do you think Florida can do offensively? Where will they find the most success? They found no success last week.
Andrew:I still think you try to hit the little pop passes. I think if you’re looking at the weakest of the bunch of Alabama, and there is no weak spot, but linebackers, defensive liners, defensive line is great. The corners are your weaker spot. Your weaker spot, not the worst, not bad, the weaker spot. So hit the pop pass to that, try to get your guys out in space. Get rid of the ball. Get rid of the ball quick, and maybe run the ball from the gun a little bit. It’s all about finding that mismatch. This is what Mac’s known for, finding that mismatch. It’s time for him to do that.
Nick:Man. I just don’t see it.
Andrew:Well, good thing you and I don’t have to do that.
Nick:Good thing we’re not coaching.
Andrew:Yeah. I mean, do I see it? No, but at the same time I feel like things have been so underwhelming as far as play calling and tempo and that kind of stuff that it does. It’s like, come on. Get it in gear, and whatever you have to do. I mean, hey, let’s see a stand pass to Callaway and let him chunk it deep. Maybe you get a corner or a safety looking in the backfield, or maybe he breaks up, or maybe it’s, I don’t know, but it’s something. It’s all about tempo. It’s all about throwing the whole kitchen sink out there, and I mean, you’re going to try to pound it up the middle a little bit, I’m sure. You’re not going to get very much, but you still have to do it.
Nick:Not going to get very much, but you got to run your head into that brick wall anyway.
Andrew:Yeah. I mean, you have to.
Nick:I mean, you’re right, but it just sounds funny.
Andrew:Got to.
Nick:Let’s do something a little positive here. How does Eddy and Nick’s first interaction go?
Andrew:Hey, boy, why you leave me? You could have had a championship over here.
Nick:That’s probably true.
Andrew:Yeah. Why didn’t you call me back? Just because I didn’t like that Cuban food, boy?
Nick:Is that your Nick Saban?
Andrew:No, but that’s, he always talks like he’s pissed off.
Nick:Yeah. He actually got pissed off yesterday, or on Monday.
Andrew:What kind of retard asks if it’s okay to lose a game?
Nick:Yeah. I thought it was funny, he goes to ask his second question, “I also want to ask about Jalen Hurts.” “You should have asked that one first.”
Andrew:Probably should have asked that one first. That was just stupid. Like, what are you doing? I mean, you don’t ask that question anyway. You sure as hell ain’t asking it to Nicky.
Nick:No. Maybe I’ll ask Mac on Wednesday.
Andrew:You’re answer is going to be, “Well…”
Nick:Hey, is it okay to lose a game?
Andrew:They’re going to get off the bus. They’re going to get off the bus. That’s all he’s going to tell you.
Nick:I thought one reporter had a question kind of like that, and I’ll ask it to you, and it is, regardless of what happened against Florida State, regardless of what happens Saturday, or the bowl game, do you view this season as a success?
Andrew:Yes and no. Yes in that the offense didn’t take the step forward we thought it would. No in that I’m not disappointed in that we were able to see a lot of young guys step up, and I’m much more encouraged by the defense of young guys playing that I’m okay thinking that it’s going to be there. I’m also very encouraged by a few players on offense, but as a whole, yes, I’m disappointed, because the offense should have gotten better this season.
Nick:Who are you encouraged by on offense?
Andrew:Scarlett, Perine, Tyrie, those three guys have me encouraged.
Nick:That’s fair.
Andrew:I’m also encouraged by Jawaan Taylor. I think he’s a freshman playing offensive tackle, and I think he’s done well. He’s struggled.
Nick:I’m kind of leery. I’m kind of leery just based on the last couple freshman offensive tackles that have played well, and then you’ve seen what they look like the rest of the way, but he’s playing differently than they did.
Andrew:But he has struggled down the stretch, and I see that. He’s starting to hit that freshman wall a little bit, but I’m encouraged by Scarlett. I’m encouraged by Perine, and I’m encouraged by Tyrie. I think Tyrie’s showing what he can do.
Nick:Okay, so those three. I would agree on all three of those.
Andrew:I mean, let’s turn the question back to you. What do you think?
Nick:Yeah. I think that the season’s a success. I didn’t think Florida was very good going into the year. I didn’t pick Florida, or did I pick Florida to win the? I didn’t pick Tennessee.
Andrew:Yeah, you did.
Nick:I picked Florida to win the SEC East?
Andrew:Yeah.
Nick:I thought the offense was average. I thought the defense played better. Thought the defense played better than I thought they would. I was on the, at some point they’re going to get worse, losing all these guys. So, yeah. Listen, Florida’s offense, when I say they’re average, I’ve said this a bunch of times on the podcast, they’re going to have weeks where they look like they did against Kentucky. Not many of them, because they’re an average offense. If they were a good offense, they’d have a bunch of those weeks. They’re going to have weeks like last Saturday where almost no threat of ever having an offensive touchdown. That’s just what they are. Did you want to see improvement in year two? Yeah, and I think if you don’t see improvement in year three, then you’re going to get in trouble. Then McElwain’s job is in trouble. You have to have improvement in year three, and if I look at the roster, I feel good about, like you said, Scarlett, Perine, and those guys.
Andrew:Listen, Florida’s a quarterback away from being successful.
Nick:They’re not a quarterback away from beating Alabama.
Andrew:No, but they’re a quarterback away from being successful.
Nick:I feel like some of the fans in the fan base just won’t be excited until you’re winning championships, and you’re not one player away from beating Alabama right now.
Andrew:No, but here’s the thing, and I said this to you middle of the season, and I said, I want to see Florida’s defense against Alabama’s offense. I did. When they were healthy, I did think this was a defense that would shut Alabama down. When Maye’s playing, Davis is playing, Anzalone’s playing, Duke is healthy, Sherit’s healthy, Bryan Cox is healthy, this is the best defense in the country. So I was excited to see that, and then if you tell me Florida was a quarterback away from winning, yes, possibly. Possibly, because quarterback is the game, and the offense is there.
We said this last week against Florida State. When you look at what happened with Florida State in that game, passing game wise, they were overloading the left side 90% of the time, Florida State was. They were bringing seven to Florida’s blocking six, with the running back. Why is that? They have no respect in the quarterback to get rid of the ball, to throw the ball. Throw in a quarterback, guess what? That extra defender that’s blitzing is staying back. Now you’re able to do things, but when you have an offense that’s limited, you can’t.
Nick, it’s like baseball, and I say this. Dee Gordon, let’s use Dee Gordon. That’s your favorite player, or your guy, your lead off hitter. The defense, the outfield’s not playing on the fence, because they don’t expect him to hit it over their heads. It’s the same thing in football. They’re bringing the extra guy. They’re not respecting it. Appleby’s not making them respect that. That’s where the game can be won or lost with a quarterback. That’s what I’m saying. Give me a quarterback. Then let’s see what’s wrong with the offense. The offensive line’s still bad, but the offensive line is made even worse by a quarterback who can’t get rid of the ball.
Nick:Yeah. I think Appleby got into a situation where he was trying to do too much again, and it became desperate, at least in his mind. I’ve got to do something, because we’re not, whatever we’re doing now is not working.
Andrew:You can’t hold the ball for 10 seconds either. You can’t hold on the ball 10 seconds with Alabama’s offensive line.
Nick:You don’t have 10 seconds.
Andrew:You know what I’m saying? That’s what he was doing against Florida State. He was holding. He was pumping the ball, pump faking the ball, pump faking the ball. No. If you don’t see it, you either better run, or you better throw the ball away.
Nick:Yeah. That’s what I’m saying is that he was trying to do too much.
Andrew:Right.
Nick:That goes into, well, why are you pump faking? I was trying to maybe bait somebody, and then I can get a pass off over here. It’s just like, it wasn’t going to happen, bud. It wasn’t there. You should have taken off and run.
Andrew:Should have taken off and run, exactly. Alright, Nick, let’s, we’ll wrap this up. We’ll be back on Friday to get everything ready for SEC Championship. If you’re going to be in Atlanta, hit Nick or I up. We’ll be there on Thursday night, and then all day Friday and Saturday. Hit us up, and we’ll have some good stuff from there, and then next week Gators are back on the road recruiting and might hear some changes, or some stuff on some changes. Stick here with us. We appreciate everyone, and if you hadn’t signed up for Gator Country yet, we’re still running a little Black Friday deal. Get you a good deal to come on over and join the best. We don’t complain about going to Atlanta, unlike some other websites.
Nick:www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. Follow us on social media. @GatorCountry on Facebook. @GatorCountry on Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. Hit us up on iTunes. If you are on iTunes, it’s @GatorCountry there as well. Follow me, @NickdelaTorreGC. Follow him, @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew:That’s right. We’ll have plenty of stuff on our Twitter and everything from this weekend, and should be a fun weekend, and basketball is on Thursday night as well. So check out the team. They’re ranked 24th in the country now. First time under Mike White, so congrats to Mike White. This team’s got a chance to be pretty good this year.
Nick:Yeah. That’s what I said. First time, won’t be the last time.
Andrew:No. Won’t be the last time, for sure. Alright, guys, we appreciate it. We’ll see everyone on Friday. As always, chomp, chomp. Go Braves. Butch, Mark, you suck.
Nick:You stay classy, Gator Country.
Wednesday before SECCGPage 12
Transcript by Five Stars Transcription

Andrew Spivey

About Andrew Spivey

Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/USATSI_9689423_166229722_lowres-150x150.jpg Andrew Spivey FeatureFootballPodcasts ,,,,,,,,

Gator Country breaks down the SEC Championship for the Florida Gators in the latest podcast as we look at the key match-ups.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how the Gators can score against the Alabama defense, plus how they can get the playmakers the ball.

Andrew and Nick also look at what the Gators defense must do to stop Alabama’s offense and the running quarterback that is now in play for the Crimson Tide.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, Wednesday before Hotlanta, and things are starting to heat up. Coach Mac sounded like he was sick of the offense on Monday.
Nick:He joins a long list of people.
Andrew:Yeah. He joins a long, long list of people. I think that might have been the last straw for him, seeing that game. I think he is now committed to change.
Nick:What kind of change are we talking? Because I feel like there are wholesale changes. You kind of look at it like what Alabama’s done. Alabama, we asked Joey Ivie, said, “Hey, how different is this offense that you’re going to face on Saturday than the one you faced a year ago?” He said, “Very different,” and there’s changes as far as who’s calling plays, stuff like that. Like wholesale changes, or tweaks?
Andrew:Wholesale changes. I think you are probably looking at some changes play calling wise, personally, and I think that you are going to see that there’s going to be an opening of the offense a little bit. I think you’re looking at a stage now where you need a quarterback can run a little bit, especially in a case like Florida where your offensive line is just okay. A running quarterback helps that a ton. Look at Deondre Francois, I mean, Florida was getting pressure in the game a lot of times, but he’s able to escape.
Nick:Yeah. Florida does not really have that on, you have that. Austin Appleby can. I mean, listen, he’s not Mike Vick, but he’s someone who can move a little bit.
Andrew:Yeah, but you know what I mean. He’s not Francois. He’s not Jalen Hurts. He’s not even Josh Dobbs. He’s not those guys that can hurt you with their legs a lot.
Nick:Do you think that we see Del Rio move, run a little bit more, this week?
Andrew:Del Rio?
Nick:Sorry. Appleby. See Appleby move as far as, McElwain said on Monday that we have something, some option stuff, but that it was just covered. That FSU did what they were supposed to do. Do you think we see him move a little bit more this week?
Andrew:I’ll say yes, but I mean I don’t think it’s there, and you’re not running away from anybody.
Nick:Well, so what can do you? What can we do this week?
Andrew:I think the main thing is you’ve got to get rid of the ball quick, and that has got to be the way it’s got to be. It’s got to be getting rid of the ball quick, so that you don’t hear, you don’t have pressure. You can’t, Florida’s not going to be able to hold up against their line, so you’re going to have to get rid of the ball quick and hope that your linemen are able to get their hands down a little bit. I think you have to do that.
I’ll say this. For the first time in a long time, Mac finally admits that the playmakers aren’t getting the ball enough, and that he needs to get the ball, the playmakers the ball more. I think we talked about this every week, that whole get the ball, or that list of get the ball to this person hasn’t been there. Whether that’s a Nuss thing or a Mac thing, or an offensive generals thing, you’ve got to do it. I said this on a radio show on Monday, and that is whatever you have to do Saturday to be competitive, you do. This is it. There is no, okay, next week, kind of deal. You’re playing for this, and then you have a bowl game. So whatever it takes, if it takes running Appleby 30 times on zone reads until they respect you, respect Scarlett, that’s what you have to do.
Nick:I think the problem that they had, Florida had, against LSU doing that was the speed of the defense, the closing speed of the linebackers, and you’re going to see that again this week though.
Andrew:Absolutely. I mean, I’ll disagree a little bit with Mac in that I thought the zone read was there several times against Florida State, and Appleby just missed it. There was a couple times where it is, and the one thing that you can say is Florida has been successful with the jet sweeps early on in the game. They’d just kind of gotten away from them a little bit. I think you got to go back to it. Throw the whole kitchen sink at them.
Nick:Yeah. It gets into that whole, we said this last year though, and I think the most disheartened I’ve been with the offense is last year you’re going into the SEC Championship game, and you have nothing to lose. There is, you’re not expected to win. What are you looking at as far as, okay, we’re not hiding anything. We’re not saving anything for next week. We’re not doing any of that, and then you get this vanilla game plan. Sure, you’re limited by Treon Harris, but you’re in the same situation again this week where it’s what are you hiding? What’s left to lose?
If you got a play where Tyler Jordan is taking a fumble and throwing the ball downfield to Antonio Callaway, why not? Do something. Do something that’s out of the ordinary, something we haven’t seen yet. You literally have, you’re the biggest underdog in SEC Championship history. Nobody expects you to win the game, and if you play offense the way that you played last week, you’re not going to win the game, so like you said, why not throw the kitchen sink at them?
Andrew:Yeah. My thing is this, and maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I personally think Mac is going to have a roll in the play calling this week. Call me crazy.
Nick:Listen, if you’re going to come out, and it’s like you said, for the first time he’s came out and kind of called out the play calling, you called plays before. You do it. You know what I mean? If you don’t like the plays that are being called, then you do it.
Andrew:Right.
Nick:Do it yourself.
Andrew:I said this, and, by the way, it’s kind of funny how you and I touch on the whole scripted plays, and now there’s 50 stories out there about the scripted plays. People must really be listening to the podcast. Congrats, other writers. Anyway, it’s also a thing about tempo. Tempo, tempo, tempo. Getting up to the line early, getting up there with a purpose, and that’s something, I even said this on Sunday’s podcast, or Monday’s podcast, is that Mac was upset at the end of the game about how long it was taking the plays to go, to be called in. You look at that, and you think, okay, let’s see it.
Mark Richt, and everybody knows I can’t stand Mark Richt, but one of his things was he said, he felt like he didn’t call the plays was one of the reasons his offense didn’t work at Georgia. I want to see what Mac can do with that. I know it’s a tougher job, that you have to call your plays and be a part of the head coaching thing, but if that’s what makes your offense succeed, I mean, give it to Bobby Petrino. He’s calling his own plays, and he’s succeeding.
Nick:Well, had a little hiccup last week.
Andrew:Right.
Nick:Bobby and the boys.
Andrew:It wasn’t offense that made them suck.
Nick:The defense was nonexistent, decided not to show up.
Andrew:Right. Exactly. That’s what I’m saying. You would want to see that. That’s what I say.
Nick:Yeah. To me, it’s just do you think, I don’t think McElwain, this is the first time he noticed this kind of stuff, just the first time he felt the need to say it publicly, like it boiled over.
Andrew:I think it just has gotten to the point where he’s irritated. He’s frustrated, and it’s tough to call out your buddy. Whether he wants to say he called out his buddy or not, he called his buddy out. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, but that had to be tough.
Nick:Well, when you’re the head coach you get paid to make those tough choices.
Andrew:Right, and I’m not saying it’s a big deal. I’m saying that he did that.
Nick:Yeah. He definitely did that, so, to me, you’ve definitely, this is the toughest challenge you’re ever going to face as far as a team. I personally think this Alabama team is better than the one you played last year. You got to do something you haven’t done. There you go, it’s like McElwain said, “If you want to achieve something you’ve never achieved before, you have to do something you’ve never done.” I think McElwain’s going to have to, like you said, get involved with the play calling possibly.
I think Florida’s going to have to do stuff on offense that they haven’t done before, whether that’s, get back to the script thing, does the score when they script the plays? Yes, but you can’t script 75 plays. The defense is going to make an adjustment to what you’re doing, and that’s why the first eight plays or the first two drives are scripted, because it doesn’t give the defense time to make adjustments. Then the rest of the game is adjustments. I think, I just don’t know what you can do. Listen, we’re talking about, people talk about quarterback. You’re not putting in a freshman quarterback against Jonathan Allen and this defense.
Andrew:You don’t accomplish anything.
Nick:You can accomplish getting your freshman quarterback killed and ruining his confidence for the rest of his life.
Andrew:Right, but what I’m saying is he doesn’t give you the best opportunity to win. He doesn’t. He doesn’t. I mean, and Appleby, I don’t know if he does, but he gives you a better opportunity than the two freshmen do. It’ll be interesting to see if Martez plays. Martez on one leg basically, it’s going to be tough to stop those inside guys of Alabama.
Nick:Yeah. Playing on one leg, playing on two legs is going to be tough.
Andrew:Right. That’s what I’m saying. So it’ll be interesting to see what he does. I know Mac says Cox and Davis are, he’s ruling them out. I’m not ruling them out. I think they still try to find a way to play on Saturday.
Nick:Yeah. We’ll see Wednesday. We’ll see what they say Wednesday.
Andrew:Yeah. To the offensive point, though, closing practice. Something’s going on. What it is, we don’t know, but there’s a reason it’s closed.
Nick:I don’t think anything’s going on.
Andrew:Something is. Got to be.
Nick:I mean, we don’t see anything at practice anyway, so it’s like, to me, it’s not like, “Oh, you’re closing practice to do some crazy stuff.” We watch stretching. Unless you’ve got some new stretching method.
Andrew:Yeah, but I don’t know. There’s a reason. There’s always a reason.
Nick:I feel like you’re just trying to be optimistic.
Andrew:No. I’m just saying, there’s always a reason. I mean, I think the optimistic thing is going to happen after the game Saturday. I think you get through this game, and then I think you see changes. I do. I think you see changes next week, and I think you go into next season with a different offensive style, different offensive identity. I don’t have any problem saying that.
Nick:How hard is that? We watched coaches change from one to…
Andrew:You’re not changing your whole mindset, but, I mean, look what Alabama does. They change it up to where they just…
Nick:That’s changing an entire mindset though.
Andrew:No, it’s not. They’re still a power running game.
Nick:With a quarterback running.
Andrew:Right, but it’s still a power running game. The concept’s still the same. You’re just throwing in a wrinkle. I mean, Saban’s offense is still the same. He still wants to be a power running team.
Nick:I don’t know.
Andrew:I mean, it is. They’re still running the ball with Bo and those guys right up the middle, still a lot of play action, dump to the tight end. It’s just they’re also spread out with a running quarterback that can move.
Nick:I think that’s kind of a chance of philosophy, as far as bringing the running back in. They’re almost like a, they’re running spread option stuff, quarterback reads, stuff like that, and that was never involved.
Andrew:I don’t, I mean, I don’t know if they run the option. I mean, you know what I’m saying? They’re not running Urban Meyer’s Florida offense.
Nick:No, but it’s definitely, it doesn’t look like an Alabama offense, and I think Alabama fans will tell you that. They’re happy now. Alabama fans are probably not happy that the quarterback is running so much, and it’ll take the first loss for them to freak out about it. They’ll be quiet about it until they lose. Jalen Hurts can keep running, and they’ll silently be mad about it, because that’s not Alabama football, but the second they lose it’s because that damn quarterback’s been running all year.
Andrew:We’ll just agree to disagree, because I feel like it’s still an offense that is predicated on power football, with just a run quarterback. I think that’s it. I think it’s just been modified a little bit. I don’t think it’s a spread offense, by any means.
Nick:Alright. Let’s talk about Dan Wilkin for USA Today had a report that there are whispers that Jim McElwain would be interested, or that Oregon would be interested, in Jim McElwain to be their coach, if and when they fire Mark Helfrich, so now we’re talking about Jim McElwain being a candidate for a job that is not currently open.
Andrew:Don’t see it happening.
Nick:They trying to say, he’s from Montana, and Montana’s closer to Oregon, and maybe, they’re bringing in, what was it? The comment after the, I can’t remember after what game. McElwain said something like, said something about fans who don’t really like us. Maybe after the LSU game.
Andrew:Right.
Nick:Said, but all we keep doing is going back to Atlanta. Why do you think the fans don’t like you? He’s like, “I don’t know, maybe because we’re the head coach.” I think people are reading into that. I’m not reading into this.
Andrew:Mac says he wants to build a program. Mac talks about loyalty with his team, talking about that. I don’t see it happening. I mean, I don’t even think, to be honest, I would think Mac would probably laugh if you asked him about that, and I’m sure he will be asked.
Nick:I’m sure he’ll be asked Wednesday, and that won’t go over well.
Andrew:No. I mean, I just don’t see it. I think it’s click bait, and the Florida writer who is pumping the propaganda out is the same one that doesn’t want to go to Atlanta, so of course he wants Jim McElwain to leave. He doesn’t like McElwain. McElwain doesn’t like him. It is what it is.
Nick:It’s not Florida doing it. It was Dan Wilkin. It was the USA Today.
Andrew:No. There was a 247 website of Oregon that put it out, and then someone, Florida media writer, has been pushing that propaganda on this Twitter page with that thing. Yeah. That’s what it is.
Nick:I think you got to talk about it if it’s out there, but we talk about it, and we say, “I don’t see it happening.” Haven’t heard anything that would make me think it’s happening.
Andrew:Yeah. I mean, when you’re hearing behind the scenes of what he wants to do after the season, I don’t think so. He has visits lined up for next week to go see kids. I don’t see it happening. He’s a guy that wants to be remembered as the guy who turned football around for Florida. That’s what he wants to do. I don’t believe that at all.
Nick:I want to talk about a stat that McElwain brought up.
Andrew:Okay.
Nick:Red zone conversions.
Andrew:Okay.
Nick:Red zone defense.
Andrew:Okay.
Nick:Florida has given up the second least amount of opponent’s trips into the red zone this year. Florida’s allowed opponents into the red zone 29 times. We don’t need to talk about the scoring percentage, because that is 68.97%. Actually, that’s second in the conference, but the attempts is what I really want to talk about.
Andrew:Okay.
Nick:Alabama has allowed teams into the red zone 18 times this year. They’ve played 12 games. 18 times a team has been able to get the ball into the red zone. That’s ridiculous.
Andrew:I mean, I think it just goes to show you really how good that defense really is, and, I mean, when Mac says it’s the fastest defense, and it’s the best team he’s seen Saban have, I think you can agree with that. I think it’s scary to talk about just how dominant that defense is up front, in the secondary. It’s just a scary defense. It’s a really good defense, and a scary good defense.
Nick:Who’s the scariest one on that defense? Who’s the scariest creature on the defense?
Andrew:Reuben Foster.
Nick:Really? You’d say Reuben Foster over Jonathan Allen?
Andrew:Yeah. Jonathan Allen’s not popping you like Reuben Foster is.
Nick:I think Allen’s scary. I think Raekwon Davis is scary, just a freshman.
Andrew:Yeah.
Nick:Eddie Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, Da’Shawn Hand, Da’Ron Payne. I think a lot of these guys are scary.
Andrew:Yeah.
Nick:Tim Williams is pretty scary. So is Ryan Anderson.
Andrew:I don’t know if Ryan Anderson is scary. He’s just really good.
Nick:Also kind of scary.
Andrew:Maybe.
Nick:Leads the team in tackles for loss.
Andrew:Right, but when I say scary I mean someone that’s going to hurt me.
Nick:Well, I think all of them would hurt us.
Andrew:Us. Yes. But I don’t think, you know what I’m saying. To get back onto the offensive side of the ball for Bama, the defensive side for Florida, got to find a way to hit that spy this week. I don’t know who it’s going to be, but you got to spy Jalen this week and make him beat you with his arm. He hasn’t proven week in and week out he can consistently hit the covered receivers. That’s something I think you’ve got to challenge this week. Make him do that. They’re going to run the ball. They’re going to run the ball at you, and Florida’s going to give up some of that, but you have to, have to, make Jalen beat you with his arm and not with his legs.
Nick:So, we talked about not counting Jarrad Davis out, but even if Jarrad Davis is back, that’s not your spy. Shoot, I just don’t know who it is.
Andrew:I like Marcell Harris, but that’s just me.
Nick:Here’s the thing, I think the thing there isn’t somebody who’s going to do it effectively for the entire game, but somebody who can do it alright. Jalen Hurts is going to get his, going to start, going to get his points. Who’s somebody who will, I guess, just limit it to maybe one, or just two big runs?
Andrew:Right. I think it’s Marcell. Marcell’s playing his best ball, and I think that that’s why you put him there. I think you see what he can do, and if that doesn’t happen, then you move someone. I think you take too big of a chance putting a guy like Chauncey, being so young, there. So, yeah, I like putting, I do, I like putting Marcell as that spy.
Nick:Okay. Then, you have the opportunity to do that, because of your cornerbacks, but then are you trusting Chauncey as like your single high safety then?
Andrew:Yeah. You are. I think so. You have to, because you can’t, I mean, you have to, because you can’t not have Marcell spying. So, yeah, you’re going to go single high, and drop that extra guy in the box, and put your guys on an island. Chauncey played well on Saturday against Florida State. Chauncey’s able to make up ground, so I’m okay with Chauncey being your single high.
Nick:Okay. I think it’s risky, just because he’s a sophomore. He did play well.
Andrew:Freshman.
Nick:That’s what I meant. Sorry about that. I think it is risky, just because it’s a freshman. It’s a lot to ask, but, listen, playing against Alabama there’s a lot to ask just in that alone. You’re going to be asking probably the most of all of your players that you’ve ever asked.
Andrew:Listen, this is where legends are made. This is a game where you make your name. I say legends are made. This is a game that you can. You can either step up and play great and be remembered for your play, or you can screw up, weasel your way out of it, and be remembered as a guy that couldn’t make the play. You have a choice. This is a game, and Chauncey’s athletic enough to do that. Chauncey’s athletic enough to make plays. He’s a corner that’s playing safety. He’s athletic enough to do that.
You’re asking all of your guys to go from playing at a 10 to playing at a 15. Not from a standpoint of doing more than you’re supposed to do, but making sure to be in charge of your game, your position, your game. You’ve got to be in charge of it. You have to do what you have to do, and play with everything you have, I guess is the best way to say it, defensively and offensively. Defensively, more importantly they’ve got to make plays. They’ve got to let Florida have a short field, if at all possible. They can’t make Florida go 98 yards on offense.
Nick:I just shuddered a little bit. Florida’s offense is not going 98 yards against this. What do you think Florida can do offensively? Where will they find the most success? They found no success last week.
Andrew:I still think you try to hit the little pop passes. I think if you’re looking at the weakest of the bunch of Alabama, and there is no weak spot, but linebackers, defensive liners, defensive line is great. The corners are your weaker spot. Your weaker spot, not the worst, not bad, the weaker spot. So hit the pop pass to that, try to get your guys out in space. Get rid of the ball. Get rid of the ball quick, and maybe run the ball from the gun a little bit. It’s all about finding that mismatch. This is what Mac’s known for, finding that mismatch. It’s time for him to do that.
Nick:Man. I just don’t see it.
Andrew:Well, good thing you and I don’t have to do that.
Nick:Good thing we’re not coaching.
Andrew:Yeah. I mean, do I see it? No, but at the same time I feel like things have been so underwhelming as far as play calling and tempo and that kind of stuff that it does. It’s like, come on. Get it in gear, and whatever you have to do. I mean, hey, let’s see a stand pass to Callaway and let him chunk it deep. Maybe you get a corner or a safety looking in the backfield, or maybe he breaks up, or maybe it’s, I don’t know, but it’s something. It’s all about tempo. It’s all about throwing the whole kitchen sink out there, and I mean, you’re going to try to pound it up the middle a little bit, I’m sure. You’re not going to get very much, but you still have to do it.
Nick:Not going to get very much, but you got to run your head into that brick wall anyway.
Andrew:Yeah. I mean, you have to.
Nick:I mean, you’re right, but it just sounds funny.
Andrew:Got to.
Nick:Let’s do something a little positive here. How does Eddy and Nick’s first interaction go?
Andrew:Hey, boy, why you leave me? You could have had a championship over here.
Nick:That’s probably true.
Andrew:Yeah. Why didn’t you call me back? Just because I didn’t like that Cuban food, boy?
Nick:Is that your Nick Saban?
Andrew:No, but that’s, he always talks like he’s pissed off.
Nick:Yeah. He actually got pissed off yesterday, or on Monday.
Andrew:What kind of retard asks if it’s okay to lose a game?
Nick:Yeah. I thought it was funny, he goes to ask his second question, “I also want to ask about Jalen Hurts.” “You should have asked that one first.”
Andrew:Probably should have asked that one first. That was just stupid. Like, what are you doing? I mean, you don’t ask that question anyway. You sure as hell ain’t asking it to Nicky.
Nick:No. Maybe I’ll ask Mac on Wednesday.
Andrew:You’re answer is going to be, “Well…”
Nick:Hey, is it okay to lose a game?
Andrew:They’re going to get off the bus. They’re going to get off the bus. That’s all he’s going to tell you.
Nick:I thought one reporter had a question kind of like that, and I’ll ask it to you, and it is, regardless of what happened against Florida State, regardless of what happens Saturday, or the bowl game, do you view this season as a success?
Andrew:Yes and no. Yes in that the offense didn’t take the step forward we thought it would. No in that I’m not disappointed in that we were able to see a lot of young guys step up, and I’m much more encouraged by the defense of young guys playing that I’m okay thinking that it’s going to be there. I’m also very encouraged by a few players on offense, but as a whole, yes, I’m disappointed, because the offense should have gotten better this season.
Nick:Who are you encouraged by on offense?
Andrew:Scarlett, Perine, Tyrie, those three guys have me encouraged.
Nick:That’s fair.
Andrew:I’m also encouraged by Jawaan Taylor. I think he’s a freshman playing offensive tackle, and I think he’s done well. He’s struggled.
Nick:I’m kind of leery. I’m kind of leery just based on the last couple freshman offensive tackles that have played well, and then you’ve seen what they look like the rest of the way, but he’s playing differently than they did.
Andrew:But he has struggled down the stretch, and I see that. He’s starting to hit that freshman wall a little bit, but I’m encouraged by Scarlett. I’m encouraged by Perine, and I’m encouraged by Tyrie. I think Tyrie’s showing what he can do.
Nick:Okay, so those three. I would agree on all three of those.
Andrew:I mean, let’s turn the question back to you. What do you think?
Nick:Yeah. I think that the season’s a success. I didn’t think Florida was very good going into the year. I didn’t pick Florida, or did I pick Florida to win the? I didn’t pick Tennessee.
Andrew:Yeah, you did.
Nick:I picked Florida to win the SEC East?
Andrew:Yeah.
Nick:I thought the offense was average. I thought the defense played better. Thought the defense played better than I thought they would. I was on the, at some point they’re going to get worse, losing all these guys. So, yeah. Listen, Florida’s offense, when I say they’re average, I’ve said this a bunch of times on the podcast, they’re going to have weeks where they look like they did against Kentucky. Not many of them, because they’re an average offense. If they were a good offense, they’d have a bunch of those weeks. They’re going to have weeks like last Saturday where almost no threat of ever having an offensive touchdown. That’s just what they are. Did you want to see improvement in year two? Yeah, and I think if you don’t see improvement in year three, then you’re going to get in trouble. Then McElwain’s job is in trouble. You have to have improvement in year three, and if I look at the roster, I feel good about, like you said, Scarlett, Perine, and those guys.
Andrew:Listen, Florida’s a quarterback away from being successful.
Nick:They’re not a quarterback away from beating Alabama.
Andrew:No, but they’re a quarterback away from being successful.
Nick:I feel like some of the fans in the fan base just won’t be excited until you’re winning championships, and you’re not one player away from beating Alabama right now.
Andrew:No, but here’s the thing, and I said this to you middle of the season, and I said, I want to see Florida’s defense against Alabama’s offense. I did. When they were healthy, I did think this was a defense that would shut Alabama down. When Maye’s playing, Davis is playing, Anzalone’s playing, Duke is healthy, Sherit’s healthy, Bryan Cox is healthy, this is the best defense in the country. So I was excited to see that, and then if you tell me Florida was a quarterback away from winning, yes, possibly. Possibly, because quarterback is the game, and the offense is there.
We said this last week against Florida State. When you look at what happened with Florida State in that game, passing game wise, they were overloading the left side 90% of the time, Florida State was. They were bringing seven to Florida’s blocking six, with the running back. Why is that? They have no respect in the quarterback to get rid of the ball, to throw the ball. Throw in a quarterback, guess what? That extra defender that’s blitzing is staying back. Now you’re able to do things, but when you have an offense that’s limited, you can’t.
Nick, it’s like baseball, and I say this. Dee Gordon, let’s use Dee Gordon. That’s your favorite player, or your guy, your lead off hitter. The defense, the outfield’s not playing on the fence, because they don’t expect him to hit it over their heads. It’s the same thing in football. They’re bringing the extra guy. They’re not respecting it. Appleby’s not making them respect that. That’s where the game can be won or lost with a quarterback. That’s what I’m saying. Give me a quarterback. Then let’s see what’s wrong with the offense. The offensive line’s still bad, but the offensive line is made even worse by a quarterback who can’t get rid of the ball.
Nick:Yeah. I think Appleby got into a situation where he was trying to do too much again, and it became desperate, at least in his mind. I’ve got to do something, because we’re not, whatever we’re doing now is not working.
Andrew:You can’t hold the ball for 10 seconds either. You can’t hold on the ball 10 seconds with Alabama’s offensive line.
Nick:You don’t have 10 seconds.
Andrew:You know what I’m saying? That’s what he was doing against Florida State. He was holding. He was pumping the ball, pump faking the ball, pump faking the ball. No. If you don’t see it, you either better run, or you better throw the ball away.
Nick:Yeah. That’s what I’m saying is that he was trying to do too much.
Andrew:Right.
Nick:That goes into, well, why are you pump faking? I was trying to maybe bait somebody, and then I can get a pass off over here. It’s just like, it wasn’t going to happen, bud. It wasn’t there. You should have taken off and run.
Andrew:Should have taken off and run, exactly. Alright, Nick, let’s, we’ll wrap this up. We’ll be back on Friday to get everything ready for SEC Championship. If you’re going to be in Atlanta, hit Nick or I up. We’ll be there on Thursday night, and then all day Friday and Saturday. Hit us up, and we’ll have some good stuff from there, and then next week Gators are back on the road recruiting and might hear some changes, or some stuff on some changes. Stick here with us. We appreciate everyone, and if you hadn’t signed up for Gator Country yet, we’re still running a little Black Friday deal. Get you a good deal to come on over and join the best. We don’t complain about going to Atlanta, unlike some other websites.
Nick:www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. Follow us on social media. @GatorCountry on Facebook. @GatorCountry on Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. Hit us up on iTunes. If you are on iTunes, it’s @GatorCountry there as well. Follow me, @NickdelaTorreGC. Follow him, @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew:That’s right. We’ll have plenty of stuff on our Twitter and everything from this weekend, and should be a fun weekend, and basketball is on Thursday night as well. So check out the team. They’re ranked 24th in the country now. First time under Mike White, so congrats to Mike White. This team’s got a chance to be pretty good this year.
Nick:Yeah. That’s what I said. First time, won’t be the last time.
Andrew:No. Won’t be the last time, for sure. Alright, guys, we appreciate it. We’ll see everyone on Friday. As always, chomp, chomp. Go Braves. Butch, Mark, you suck.
Nick:You stay classy, Gator Country.
Wednesday before SECCGPage 12
Transcript by Five Stars Transcription

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Sep 24, 2016; Knoxville, TN, USA; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain during the second half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 38-28. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Where are the Florida Gators ranked in the CFP?

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