Gator Country brings you our Friday prediction podcast as we continue to preview the Florida Gators vs. Florida State game on Saturday night.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down the keys for the Gators on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball for Saturday.
Andrew and Nick also predict several big time games around the country, plus give you three players to watch for the Gators on Saturday.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, what’s up?
Nick: Just getting over some Thanksgiving hangover. A lot of turkey, lot of mashed potatoes, lot of sweet potatoes. Lot going on on Thursday.
Andrew: Yeah. Had to get you out of the coma just to get you to tape this podcast.
Nick: You’re lucky I’m here.
Andrew: Frank fed you well.
Andrew: Well, Thanksgiving is come and gone, and that means one thing. That means rivalry Saturday, and it’s a big one. It’s a big one, Nick. #14 versus #15. It’s back to what we said last week, and that is this is huge. It’s huge for recruiting. It’s huge because it’s the next step, and it basically gets back the state for Florida. It gets them that win over Florida State. It stops that streak, and it sets you up to have momentum to go into Alabama. If you’re going to play Alabama, you want to play them on a high note, not on a low note after getting beat like they did last year to Florida State.
Nick: Yeah. That last year was just a dark depressing spiral towards that last game. I think the way you beat LSU changes that though.
Nick: But if you come out and lay an egg, everything’s forgotten. That momentum you had from LSU doesn’t carry over if you come out and don’t bring it Saturday. Make no mistake about it, Florida can’t show up, they can’t just roll the ball out there, roll the helmets out there, and beat FSU.
Andrew: No, and that’s something to be said about both teams. Neither team, I think it’s, I do think it’s a lot closer, no matter what our good friend Bud says, I do think the talent level is much closer than it has been. Florida is still lacking a little bit offensively. Florida’s a better defensive team, even with the Davis and Anzalone and Maye not playing. They’re still a better defensive team than it is. One thing that I’ll say, and I’m sure you’ve heard the same thing, Coach Mac even said this, they had a great week of practice, and I think that that’s carryover from the LSU game, but it’s carryover for something else, and you and I touched on this one day this week.
That is, guys like Quincy, guys like Tabor, Caleb Brantley, those guys that are in state kids that are going to have to live, that are going to live in the state, they don’t want to end their career never beating Florida State. They don’t want to be the first class to lost four straight to Florida State. They don’t want to be that class. I just don’t think people are giving that as much talk as they should. That means a lot to these guys.
Nick: It absolutely does. That was something that Quincy and Tabor talked about a lot amongst each other, and even talked about it in the media.
Nick: Don’t want to go to LSU and lose three. Listen, Jalen Tabor’s not getting a fourth chance to beat LSU.
Nick: Not getting a fourth chance to beat FSU. That was it. For these guys it’s it. To your point about the defense, Florida State isn’t top 20, isn’t top 30 national defense in scoring, rushing, total defense, and they have the 73rd ranked pass defense in the country. Florida’s top 25 in all those categories. The defense is not the same. I really think Florida State’s taken a step back, and there’s been no way for them to replace Derwin James.
Andrew: Wait, so Ermon Lane ain’t good enough for you?
Nick: Absolutely not. But how does Florida take advantage of that? You saw the first week he’s out, Lamar Jackson runs all over them.
Nick: Where can Florida, who is the player on Florida’s offense that you can say, that creates our mismatch? You not having your best player hurts you, and this is how we’re going to attack it.
Andrew: 89. 89. I think I speak for everyone, probably even the coaching staff, when I say this, and that is everyone’s waiting on him to put two weeks together. Everyone’s waiting for him to build off a good week. The Tennessee week, he had a good week in Tennessee, was no where to be found, which one was it? Was it Missouri? Which was his next big game? Missouri?
Nick: I’m trying to think.
Andrew: I’m trying to think as well. I think it was Missouri. Anyway, he still hasn’t put together back to back weeks.
Nick: Only has 11 catches all year.
Andrew: Right, but what I’m saying is…
Nick: He had 3 for 79 at Missouri.
Andrew: Right. That’s the game that I’m talking about. That’s what I’m saying. He hasn’t put back to back good weeks together. A 3 for 78 and a touchdown, that’s a good week for Tyrie Cleveland. It just is. I mean, he’s a freshman, but what it is is he’s not putting, he just disappears the rest of the time. So in my opinion it’s Tyrie. I think if you’re going to tell me you need someone to step up, I think it’s Tyrie.
Andrew: C’yontai. I mean, C’yontai’s come a long way the last few games. That’s your mismatch, C’yontai. Then, quite frankly, 25 and 22 is your other mismatch. That’s anybody.
Andrew: Feed the rock.
Nick: Yeah. You look at Tyrie Cleveland, so 3 for 79, touchdown. Great week. One for 13, 1 for 2.
Nick: Nothing against South Carolina.
Andrew: Right. That’s what I’m saying. You can’t disappear. Does he disappear this week after being freshman of the week and, as Coach Mac says, getting his belly rubbed? Does he disappear this week, or is it time to show up this week? I think is, can be said, and it’s gone, it’s been talked about some, but this game’s personal for Jordan Scarlett. This is a personal game for Mr. Scarlett.
Nick: Grew up a Florida State fan.
Andrew: Yup. Almost went there.
Nick: Almost went there. That was hilarious. Committed to Miami, but going to go to either Florida State or Florida.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, that’s what happens with Al Golden, but it’s a personal game. I think that’s something that we’ve talked about it some, but it’s a personal game for him. He’s a guy that hasn’t gotten the attention he deserves, and maybe he’s just now showing the rest of the country he truly deserves it, but against, you had a good game, you outperformed Guice and Fournette. Can you do the same thing against quite possibly the best running back in the country in Dalvin Cook?
Nick: I think he’s going to start opening eyes. When you start, he’s the only person that’s run for 100 yards against LSU all season. In weeks where he’s finally gotten back to back 20 carry games, 134 at 6.7 per rush, and then 22 carries at 4.9 per rush. Didn’t get in the end zone either week though. Hasn’t scored since Florida/Georgia, which ended a streak of six in a row? Six games with a touchdown.
Nick: But I think if he, he’s a guy that needs the ball 20, 25 times, gets into a rhythm, gets into a flow. He talked to us about, “When I start getting multiple carries, I can start to see things opening better, and I can start to get a feel for how they’re trying to fit, how they’re trying to fit gaps, how they’re trying to run blitz, what the linebackers are doing. I just get into a better flow.” You see him in the 4th quarter, they turn to him. He wasn’t tired. They turned to him, and they ran him. He’s a back that can almost get stronger in the game. I think if you keep giving him 20-25 carries, you’re going to get 100 yards.
Andrew: Right. As crazy as it may sound, he’s what? 250 I believe is the number away from 1,000? As crazy as it is, as crazy the yards Mark Thompson took away from him, he’s there. I think that’s…
Andrew: 275, okay. He is, I just think that he can run. He can run against these guys. Safid told us earlier in the week that Matthew Thomas is a little banged up. Well, that’s your linebacker. You’re still looking at that. I’m going to go back to what I said last week, and that is find a way to open up the passing game a little bit, and then just pound your guys. Let your offensive line go. Now, it will be interesting to see what happens if Martez isn’t able to go. We haven’t talked about that. On Wednesday Coach Mac says he was questionable. Be interesting to see what he goes, and if he doesn’t, how Kavaris Harkless or Tyler Jordan play in his absence. That could be a game changer if those guys aren’t able to play well.
Nick: Coach Spivey, who’s playing left guard?
Andrew: You can’t, it’s one…
Nick: Coach Spivey, who’s playing left guard? You got to fill it out.
Andrew: I know. I’m about to tell you. You can’t make me believe that Martez is going to miss this game.
Andrew: Now, are you saying if Martez isn’t? Then it’s Tyler Jordan.
Andrew: It’s Tyler Jordan. That’s not to say, because I think I’m higher on, I’ve been a little higher on Harkless than you have at guard. I thought he played decently in the South Carolina game at guard, so I’m not too hard on him for that, but Tyler Jordan’s play. Tyler Jordan’s one of those guys that is, he may get beat, but he’s going to be in the right spot in the game. I’ll be honest, I really think this is going to be an LSU game part two.
Nick: Low scoring?
Andrew: Low scoring.
Nick: They haven’t been low scoring in the past.
Andrew: I just, what makes you believe, besides looking at the past? If you looked at the two teams, you would think they’re pretty evenly matched. Right?
Nick: Yeah. I think they are.
Andrew: Both good special teams. Both good kickers. So you feel good about if you got a field goal opportunity. You feel good about Eddy, and you feel good about Aguayo for Florida State. So you feel good about that. Florida’s got the edge in the punting game. You feel good about that. When we talk about Appleby, the one thing that he does really well is throw the deep ball. Well, if you get one on one opportunities, Florida State’s lacking in the second. I mean, Ermon Lane can’t catch a cold, so if it’s one on one with Ermon Lane, take your shot. Did you hear the rumor though, Nick? That Quincy Wilson wants to play receiver this week to go one on one with Ermon?
Nick: When would a receiver go one on one with a safety?
Andrew: What’s that?
Nick: When would a receiver be going one on one with a safety?
Andrew: I’m talking about, say it’s cover two. Say it’s cover two, and you got, Ermon is your cover two guy. What I’m saying is that’s when you’re going to take your shot. Play action, you’re going to take your shot. The play that has been the biggest for Florida in the past has been the play action post route. That’s going to be the one on one shot, Ermon/Callaway, or Ermon/Tyrie. That’s what I’m saying that you’ll get that one on one matchup if it’s cover two and you’re running your play action. That’s what Appleby’s done well. That’s what I’m talking about, not particularly corner lined up over the top of him, that kind of stuff. I’m talking about play action over the middle.
Nick: Okay. I think you were just trying to stir up trouble.
Andrew: No, I was messing with you about Quincy.
Nick: Yeah. You just went into a gigantic long rant.
Andrew: No, but what I was trying to explain, my point is Ermon’s a new guy at safety. That play action where Callaway or Tyrie is it’s one on one with them two, you like your chances, right? Yeah. That’s what I’m saying, but I see what you were saying. That was confusing of what I was saying. I was more so messing with…
Nick: I know you were messing.
Andrew: With Quincy and Ermon, there is a little bad blood there.
Nick: Let’s reel you back in.
Andrew: Well, what’s your key?
Nick: For me, it’s, listen, Florida’s not a good offense, said that all along all season. I don’t know if they can get into a shooting match, but I think, whereas I didn’t think anyone was going to get to 20 points last week, I could see 24-21, something like that, this week, in the 20s. So, for Florida, when you have an offense that is limited, which they still are, you have to stay ahead of the chains. You have to win the turnover battle, and you’re going to have to get, like I said against LSU, you’re going to have to get some kind of momentum play. Last week it was Tyrie Cleveland. It can be on special teams. It can be an interception return for a touchdown. Something that sparks.
Florida has to get ahead. Florida is not, not built to come from behind. Some idiot on Twitter was like, “Every football team’s built to come from behind,” because that makes sense. Florida doesn’t score quickly. A team that can score quickly is a team that’s built, or can score quickly and scores a lot, is a team that can come back from behind. That’s not Florida. You see Florida, what they did at the end of the LSU game, give Florida a lead, and let them run the football at you. That’s what they’re built to do. I don’t know why it took until November 19th to figure that out, but that’s what Florida does well.
Andrew: Right. I think this is a game where you’re going to see, you’re going to see Florida’s defensive line. I mean, Deondre Francois is going to know Florida’s defensive line by heart. That becomes that, like you said, that momentum play of Francois is a young guy, blitz gets there, throws one, and see what happens. We’ll see where that is. You got to remember also that Chauncey is going to be playing nickel with Duke at that safety. You got to be careful there as well. I’m actually excited to see Chauncey at nickel play a full game. I thought he’s played really well when he’s been in there, so I’m excited to see that, and excited to see what Duke can do at safety.
Yeah, I’m with you. It’s going to be, there needs to be that spark that gets them going, and it’s not that they’re going to come out flat. They’re not going to come out flat. It’s a rivalry game. You don’t come out flat, but you’re going to want to see that one big play, whether that is Florida getting up early, and then several stops defensively and go in with a lead or something like that, then you can see that, but it’s definitely…
Nick: Stop with the rash of 3 and outs. Don’t let one 3 and out turn into three like you do. I’ll be positive and say, listen, they did it to end the first half, then they didn’t have another one the rest of the game. It’s just, it’s so draining for everybody, for fans, for me. I’ve seen so many one 3 and out series turn into nothing for another hour, and you’re just wondering where the offense went, if they checked out, if they’re in the locker room. Don’t let that, don’t let what you do affect your next drive.
Andrew: I think that’s what maybe makes Florida’s offense look as bad as it does, because, and it does, it seems like it’s a basketball team that goes on a run, where if they score on one drive, the next drive they’re going to move the ball a little bit.
Nick: It was like watching Florida from the free throw line last year, at some point you just have to look away. You’re like, I can’t watch this anymore.
Andrew: Right, but what I’m saying is it’s like a basketball team on a run. If they go down and score, then the next time they’re going to move the ball a little bit, and that’s where it is, but the thing about it is, in my opinion, it’s getting the running game going early, letting Scarlett and those guys mash up front, it just demoralizes a defense. If you’re getting ran on and ran on and ran on and ran on, your team gets demoralized. I think that’s the biggest key.
Nick: Take their soul.
Andrew: Take their soul. Win it in the trenches. Here’s my thing, and this is the way I think the team’s got to look at it, in my opinion, and hear me out, Nick, because it’s going to sound crazy at first, but hear me out.
Nick: I’m used to you sounding crazy, so go ahead.
Andrew: Usually I’m very smart. This is the first round of the playoffs. This is the wildcard round. Next week is the divisional round. Got to win. You got to win, and as crazy as that sounds, it’s a possibility. Think of this as a playoff game. Don’t think of it as a regular season game. This is a playoff game. Playoff game to advance. You get to advance next week, but you don’t get to advance next week either. You lose this game any shot’s gone, but look at it as that. I think for some of the guys, and I know some of those guys said it as well, after the Arkansas game they thought the chances were gone.
You got that second chance, you’re building off of last week. The momentum’s there. My thing, and someone said this, is Will Muschamp had the big win over LSU, but it didn’t pan out. If Florida finds a way to pad last week with this week, things continue to get better, and that’s what you’re wanting this program to do, to continue to get better. Take the next step. As Coach Mac said, “Don’t let one good week allow you to relax and let the next week be bad.” Let this week be another positive good week stepped ahead.
Nick: I think it makes sense for Florida. I’m kind of looking at it, and I can almost maybe see a scenario where Florida doesn’t make, even wins out and doesn’t make it in, because if Ohio State, if Penn State and Ohio State win on Saturday, Penn State goes to play Wisconsin, the Big Ten Championship, and I think the Big Ten Champion is getting in.
Nick: Clemson’s not going to lose to South Carolina, or to VA Tech or North Carolina, so Clemson’s in. The winner of, I don’t know if you can keep Ohio State out. If Ohio State beats Michigan, but Penn State wins, Penn State holds the tiebreaker.
Nick: So now Ohio State is 10-1? 11-1?
Nick: 11-1. I don’t think you keep them out. Then are you going to drop Bama out because they didn’t win the SEC Championship, and they’re 11-1?
Andrew: I mean, we can talk about all of that we want, but at the end of the day you can only control what you can control, and that is you have to win Saturday in order to give yourself an opportunity. Now, I mean the easiest way to do it is to go out there and whip ass. You whip Florida State’s ass, the nation takes notice.
Nick: That’s true.
Andrew: You know what I’m saying? If you go out, and you win, and I’m just throwing this out there, say you go out there and win 24-0, then the nation takes notice, because they’re like, oh shit. For real? 24-0? Damn. Okay. Then you were to go into Bama and find a way to win, it doesn’t matter if you beat Bama by one point or 10 points. A win’s a win. What I’m saying is it doesn’t matter if you don’t take care of business this week. My thing is this. As bad as it would be to be left out of the playoff, if you’re on a three game ranked winning streak to end the season you’re feeling very good about yourself, and you’re going to the Sugar Bowl, and the Sugar Bowl is a lot better than going to Jacksonville or Tampa.
Nick: I’d say so. Let’s, we’re talking playoff, but let’s talk about what does a win against FSU do for the momentum and the direction of the program, and what does it to do for recruiting? Jim McElwain’s starting his career off 0-2 against FSU would not feel good, but I get a sense that this is a, I kind of just mentioned it against LSU, that it was a chance for McElwain to get a signature win. I don’t think beating FSU is a signature win, but I think it’s going to give you like a physical, it’s like a health checkup of the program. Where are we?
Andrew: Yeah. I’m with you. Here’s the thing. Last week was a crossroads game. 100%, you and I have agreed. That’s a crossroads game. For me, this is to take a step, another step forward. This is, and someone ripped me a little bit on Twitter about this, because they said, “You’re giving Florida no credit for beating LSU.” I’m absolutely giving them credit for it. They won the game, and that was a hell of a win, and that was a big crossroad game. It was great for recruiting, but to win this game in the in state thing is humongous. It is, it’s a different thing. I know it’s, it sounds cliché to say, but it just really is. Florida State’s able to go into these kids’ schools, everywhere else, and say, “Okay, we’ve beat them five years in a row.”
If you beat them, you’re able to go back in there, and Coach Mac is able to say, “I’m building this program. My program is better than it was last season. We went up there and won.” That’s what he’s able to go up there and say. He’s able to say, even if you lose to Alabama, you’re able to say, “Okay, we’ve gotten there. We’re just a little behind Alabama. That’s why we need you.” You see what I’m saying, Nick? It’s a mindset in recruit’s minds, and it’s a mindset that can’t be used against you.
Nick: I think it’s big for recruiting. I don’t, you’re saying that it matters for like Alabama week?
Andrew: No. No. I’m saying, okay, say Florida goes into this week and wins this game, right? Okay. You’re able to use that momentum you got, and it doesn’t matter what happens in the Alabama game, because you’re able to say, “We beat Florida State.” Let’s say Lorenzo Lingard, that’s the guy that they’re both in on for 2018, right? It helps more with 2018 than it does 2017, because it helps a year. 2017 kids, most of them have their mind made up. 2018 kids you’re able to go in there, Lorenzo Lingard, for instance, you’re able to go in there and say, “We beat that team, Florida State. We’re a team on the rise. We’re young. Florida State’s old. They’re losing their running back. They’re losing their guys. We’re young. We’re building our program. You can come in and help us beat Alabama, that team that is a little above us right now. You can help us get there, but our program is on the rise, as is Florida State’s we’re not sure what it is, because Florida State is an older program.”
Nick: We don’t know who Florida State’s coach is going to be.
Andrew: That’s what I was going to say too. Does that play a factor into this game, but we’ll talk about that in a second. What I’m saying as far as recruiting is it’s a mindset. It’s a mindset of, there’s going to be a shit ton of recruits there anyway, but it’s a mindset of Florida beat Florida State. Florida is on the rise. When Coach Mac tells me the program’s on the rise, he’s telling the truth. That’s what kids are going to say. It’s not that if they lose it doesn’t, but it’s Jimbo Fisher goes back in and says, “Coach Mac can say all this he wants to, but my program’s still better than his.”
Nick: Florida State’s seniors have not lost a game to Miami, 4-0. Haven’t lost a game to Florida, 3-0. No class in Florida State history has gone undefeated against Michigan and Florida State in their four years.
Andrew: I’m with you.
Nick: So that’s what you’re playing for. You’re playing to not be a part of history.
Andrew: Yup. I’m with you. I’m with you completely, and that’s what it is. To go to the Jimbo point, I mean that plays a part. That plays a part. You could say whatever you want to, these kids in the back of their mind are wondering about it. There was some wild report, and I say wild, because I don’t believe it, but that Jimbo has interviewed this week with LSU. I don’t believe that for a second that he personally has. Now, maybe his agent has talked to them and all that stuff, but I don’t believe Jimbo has, but it’s still out there. It’s still in kid’s minds, and I know, personally, from talking to kids last year about different things, that they listen to that stuff. It’s in the back of their mind.
Nick: It has to be. You can’t deny it, because you’re making a four year commitment, and the way the NCAA has it, coaches are allowed to leave whenever they feel like it, and you sign your letter of intent, and you’re locked in. So committing to a coach, and Jimbo will tell kids he’s going to recruit, in case something falls through, he’ll tell kids he’s staying, but that won’t matter. Once they’ve signed, if he leaves it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what he told them. It’s definitely a huge factor in recruiting, and I agree with you, if you look at Quincy Wilson said it, kids talking I want to go to Florida, I want to go to Florida State. Where? Some kids will look at depth chart. Some will have family ties, grew up a fan, this and that. Some just want to play on the better team.
This game, look, if Florida loses four in a row, when Florida won six in a row, from ’04-’09, that was a big deal. That was a big deal in recruiting. As much as Florida fans might not want to realize it, you’re only a couple years away. You lose this game, and you’re only two years away from that same swing, and losing this game helps Florida State in recruiting, maybe even gets rid of some of that, where’s Jimbo going to be? It’s like a high that can take away a distraction.
Andrew: That’s another good point, and I say this constantly. The recruiting momentum of one team dominating the other goes in waves. It goes in waves. Florida State’s been that recently. This is Florida’s opportunity to pull that momentum back, and it is what it is. Mac is building a program. We can agree.
Nick: Is it safe to say that Florida has had zero, little to no momentum against Florida State?
Nick: In the last four years.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s completely safe to say, because what do you say? What do you say? Mac had his, when he first got there it was he was going to turn the program around. You get a little momentum there, but it’s like Mac said on Wednesday, or Monday, kids had to take a chance with him. There was no taking a chance with Jimbo. The program was there already. The program was built already. For Mac to take that next step in state is huge in this game, simply because of the egg they laid last year, and the momentum they picked up recently. It’s hard for me to say this, because part of it sounds stupid, but it’s true. You look at Florida’s record, they’ve lost two losses, back to back champs to Atlanta. That’s great, and that’s huge for recruiting, but at the same time, beating your rivals is huge. It’s the same reason Florida with Georgia. They can recruit against Georgia all the time, because they’ve owned Georgia. Same thing with Florida State.
Nick: Yeah. It would be nice to do it on Ron Zook Field.
Andrew: There you go. Alright, Nick, let’s move on. We got some good games to pick this week. We’ll, be interesting to see how many we agree on here, because I know a few we might disagree on. Let’s go with the first one. That’s Washington at Washington State, 5 versus 25?
Nick: 25 or 23?
Andrew: Something like that. Who you got?
Nick: I’m going Washington.
Andrew: You’re going Washington. You’re going to think the Huskies get it on the road against the fighting Mike Leeches.
Andrew: I agree with that. I went with the Mike Leeches last week against the Buffs, and no. That didn’t happen. I think Washington gets that W. Let’s go to this one next. Let’s go Tennessee at Vandy.
Nick: I’m picking Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt. I don’t know why you’re surprised. I’ve been saying this for a while. Vanderbilt has a chance to become bowl eligible.
Nick: They just put a smack down on Ole Miss last week, 5-6, chance to go to a bowl game. That’s huge for them. What is Tennessee playing for? They’ve already got their preseason championship. They’ve already got their Bristol Motor Speedway Championship. They got their life championship. Shit, why are they still playing football games? What else is there to win? Don’t even bother showing up this week. Life champions, you got it. Let Vandy get to a bowl game.
Andrew: I think one of the key things here is it’s on the road, and you know how Nashville is. It’s a stadium that doesn’t get you very hyped. I’m also going with Vandy this week. That’s the reason I said I wanted to pick it. Interesting note, if Vandy wins this weekend, it will six teams from the SEC East going to bowls from five from the West.
Nick: Hey, maybe the East, no. The East is much worse than the West.
Andrew: Maybe. We’ll agree. We’ll agree on Vandy.
Nick: Vandy, Vandy.
Andrew: I think Vandy. I really do. I feel like Vandy gets it, and, man, to see Mason. People were ready to fire him, and now it’s looking like he might need an extension.
Nick: He’s not going anywhere, and if he gets, and if he can figure out a way to get a win this week, he might be getting that extension.
Andrew: Yeah. What if Kentucky beats Louisville?
Nick: They don’t. That’s not going to happen.
Andrew: Might. Who knows? Does Vanderbilt put over 600 yards of offense like Kentucky and Missouri has against Tennessee? Vandy’s offense sucks.
Nick: No. They will not.
Andrew: Alright, let’s go to Big Ten country.
Nick: The rivalry.
Andrew: Michigan versus the Buckeyes. Who you got? I know you’re picking Michigan.
Nick: Nope. Going Ohio State.
Nick: Buckeyes win at home. I’m going to go Michigan. I’m going to go the fighting Harbaughs. Don’t know why. They’ve lost a bunch in a row.
Andrew: How many have they lost in a row?
Nick: I’m pulling it up.
Andrew: Michigan to Ohio State?
Nick: Think so.
Andrew: I don’t know. I mean, I couldn’t tell you.
Nick: I got it for you.
Andrew: I’ve went back and forth on this one.
Nick: They’ve won four in a row.
Nick: But they have only won once since 2004.
Andrew: Wow. Man, I’ve went back and forth on this game.
Nick: Ohio State’s won 11 of the last 12.
Andrew: I’m going to go Ohio State, because it’s at home, and I think these two teams are just that close. With Michigan, without them being with their quarterback too, I’m going to go Ohio State, but I’m not very confident, and I’m sure you would say the same thing. You’re saying Michigan, but you’re not confident.
Nick: Not confident at all.
Andrew: Yeah. Alright, now to the greatest rivalry of all time, in my opinion probably the most heated, is the Iron Bowl, Auburn at Alabama. I think we’re both going to pick Alabama, but will it be close?
Nick: I don’t think Auburn can run on Alabama.
Andrew: But Bama is hurting now.
Nick: Auburn’s hurting.
Andrew: Yeah, but Bama’s, Reuben Foster may or may not play. I mean, I don’t know. I think Bama ends up winning by 14, but I can see it being close.
Nick: Last year they won by 16.
Andrew: Yeah, and that was a bad Auburn football team.
Nick: Won by a 11 the year before.
Andrew: Gus Malzahn has to keep this game close. It doesn’t matter what his record is this year. You get fired from losing, for losing Iron Bowls. He needs to keep this game close.
Nick: Somebody loses them every year. Someone’s got to lose an Iron Bowl.
Andrew: You know what I mean. You can’t be losing, losing, losing, like Gus does.
Nick: That would be three in a row, and the only time he would have beaten, no, Gus wasn’t even, Cam Newton.
Andrew: No, Gus has never beaten Alabama.
Nick: Gus’s first year was 2014.
Andrew: Yes. He’s never beaten Alabama.
Nick: Don’t want to start 0-3, Gus bus.
Andrew: So I’ll say it’s close. Alright.
Nick: Alabama, close.
Nick: I’m writing this down. We’re both going Bama. I’m picking Florida this week.
Andrew: How close?
Nick: It’s going to be a low scoring game. It’ll be in the high teens, low twenties, but I think Florida has enough to slow down Dalvin Cook, maybe. Dalvin Cook has absolutely torched Florida in his career, torched Florida.
Andrew: He’s talking a lot of smack this week.
Nick: Dalvin is?
Nick: What’d he say?
Andrew: He’s just been talking about how he doesn’t like Florida, this is a big game. He’s just been talking that smack about how he does well in this game. So, man, Nick, I said I would pick Florida State this week, because of the streak, but I really feel like that the momentum is for Florida. I’m going Florida this week.
Nick: You sound sick to your stomach.
Andrew: No. I’m just not sure of the score. I’m trying to think of the score. I said, at the beginning of the week I said 20-10, Florida. I’m going to go 20-10, but I’m not sure. I’m just not sure. I feel sick, because I wanted to pick Florida State this week, just so it would have been the same thing as LSU. I’m so superstitious, so superstitious, and my heart tells me to pick Florida State, so Florida can win the game, but I can’t eat crow anymore.
Nick: So you believe in Florida.
Andrew: I believe in Florida. I do. I think the program’s going well. I think last week’s a big win. Florida wins. Alright, Nick, you get the first pick this week. Go ahead and roll out your St. Thomas boy.
Nick: STA pride, Jordan Scarlett, another hundred yard day, 28 carries, career high, and a touchdown.
Andrew: Oh, snap. Wow. I’m going back to Farmington, Michigan to defensive player of the week, Mr. David Reese. The Gators are going to stop Dalvin Cook. It’s going to be 33, David Reese. Pick #1.
Nick: I’m going with the other linebacker, Kylan Johnson.
Andrew: Okay. You stole one from me. I’ll be cool with that. I’m going to flip the switch, and I’m going to go to 81. 81 is going to dominate Ermon across the middle, and I like 81 this week to get a big play.
Nick: I’m going to switch my third pick up.
Nick: I’m going to go Chauncey Gardner, making probably his first start.
Andrew: The mouth of the South.
Nick: Making probably his first start. We’ll see him playing nickel, maybe see him drop back, but I really saw him come on on special teams last week.
Nick: I think that’s, for him, a big confidence boost.
Andrew: He don’t need much of a confidence boost.
Andrew: I’m going back to the well with 57 again this week. Caleb Brantley is playing his best ball of his career. I’m going back with 57. If they’re going to stop Dalvin Cook it’s going to be 57.
Nick: Smart pick.
Andrew: Very smart pick. I will say this. I believe it’s going to come down to special teams. I believe there’s going to be special teams. It could very well come down to Eddy again. It very well could. So that’s something I’m going to watch very closely is special teams. Callaway did a better job in punt. Kick return was better last week. Special teams is going to be big. I mean, it always is in these close games, and it’s going to be big.
Nick: Huge. You should have picked Eddy last week.
Andrew: Yeah. I should have.
Nick: You should have picked Eddy this week.
Andrew: I did think about picking Eddy, but I wouldn’t jinx the man. Just like I will not pick Lamical Perine the rest of his Gator career. I just won’t. The one game I picked him I jinxed the poor guy.
Nick: When did you pick him?
Nick: Oh. Well.
Andrew: To be fair, I could have picked anybody in that game, and we wouldn’t have won.
Nick: No, unless we picked Arkansas players. I pick Bret Bielema.
Andrew: Let me end this real quick, Nick. I wanted to get on this. We haven’t really talked about this, but remember something, and this is something that has been talked about. I know this for a fact. Florida State scoring that last second touchdown last year in the Swamp has not been forgotten on anybody in Gainesville. They will remember that. I don’t know how they react to that, what they do, but it has been remembered, and it has been talked about all week long.
Nick: Little top sweep to Dalvin, left side.
Andrew: Has been talked about all week long. I don’t expect Mac to do any shenanigans like Urban or anything like that. He may call some time outs, but one thing is for sure, they remember.
Nick: They need to worry about getting in a position where they can actually call time outs.
Andrew: Right, but what I’m saying is I wouldn’t expect him to do any shenanigans like that. That’s nothing I would expect. I’m just saying that it has been talked about. It is remembered. Alright, Nick, tell the people where they can find us Saturday. We’ll be live in Tallahassee at 8:00, kickoff, Gator Walk, all that good stuff. Tell them where they can find us. We’ll get out of here.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. Podcast is on iTunes. Hit subscribe. Never miss an episode. If you don’t have iTunes, it’s on the website, transcript form and audio. You can always check it out there. On Twitter, @GatorCountry. On Facebook, @GatorCountry. On Instagram, @TheGatorCountry. You can find me @NickdelaTorreGC. He’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: Promise to have some good stuff for Tallahassee. We’ll be there by the guys, so when the trash talk starts, we’ll type everything that is rated PG-13. Maybe not much.
Nick: That will be fun.
Andrew: Alright, everyone, I appreciate it. Nick appreciates it. It’s been a good season. Let’s finish strong. Butch, Mark, hope you guys take on more L this year this week, because ya’ll ain’t going to a championship game. As always, chomp, chomp. Go Braves. See you soon, Atlanta.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.