Mid week preview of the Florida Gators vs. Vandy- Podcast

Gator Country brings you our mid week preview podcast of the Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt game that takes place on Saturday at noon in Nashville.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down why this game is so important for the Gators moving forward, plus raise some key questions about the game.

Andrew and Nick also break down the hiring of Scott Stricklin as new athletic director, plus talk about the LSU game time being set for so early.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, back with Nicholas de la Torre. Nick, new AD on Tuesday. We’re taping this on Tuesday. You’re listening to it on Wednesday. So that kind of overshadowed the week. Maybe a good thing for Florida after that game against Tennessee. Maybe it’s kind of a good thing to get the news and the focus off the team and onto Scott Strickland, the new Athletic Director.

Nick:                         Yeah. Nice timing.

Andrew:                 Nice timing. You and I talked about it as well, though. We didn’t think it was a good idea to do it last week and overshadow the rivalry. We thought it was good this week. Obviously we didn’t think the Gators were going to be coming off of a loss, but it did work out perfectly, and it would have worked out perfectly even with a win, just because of the week with Vanderbilt.

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t like that we don’t get to talk to players today.

Andrew:                 I mean, I understand that. I think that it’s a down week to talk to players anyway, because of the mood after that. It’s there, but, Nick, a couple things. Strickland’s announced on Tuesday, comes from Mississippi State. He says he was called in June, and then had more talks in August. From what we know, and this is just from what we know, two guys turned it down before Strickland accepted the job. That was Bernard Moore, no, what’s his first name? The guy at Arizona.

Nick:                         Greg Byrne.

Andrew:                 Greg Byrne. That’s right. Moore is at Stanford. He did not a get contract. Anyway, then you had Cunningham in North Carolina. Both of those guys denied the job. Bernard Moore at Stanford was a guy that was interested. Florida never extended a contract. So we know that those were the two guys that did it. Now, how many more declined it, we don’t exactly know, but we do know from hearing it from Strickland today that he was one of the first probably three or four guys, five guys, that was called, and I think it’s a solid choice. It wasn’t a homerun hire that some of the other names would have been, not really, but then again, an Athletic Director, is there really a homerun hire?

Nick:                         I think so.

Andrew:                 Who’s the homerun hire then?

Nick:                         No, I think that Strickland is a good hire.

Andrew:                 Okay. I thought you were, I’m just saying like you could go and name just about any Athletic Director in the country and most people are going to have to go look up who he is.

Nick:                         Yeah. That’s probably true. Jeff Long at Arkansas maybe the exception, because of how brash he is on social media.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Strickland I think is a good hire, especially given the climate of where Florida is right now, where the SEC is, where college athletics are going. Strickland’s not afraid to bilk, raised over $130 million at Mississippi State, is renovating the football field, built a standalone football facility. They have gigantic unbelievable kind of renovations going into their baseball stadium, building lofts in left field. You might like this. I like it. Strickland’s a big baseball fan.

Andrew:                 I do. I think he is a guy that is more, he’s a lot like Jeremy Foley in that he likes all sports. He had a quote on Tuesday that said, “If you put on the Gator orange and blue, then we want you to win.” That’s something that he made sure to talk about and something that he likes. I think that is good for Gator fans to have that, because we all appreciate the smaller sports. A lot of people don’t focus on baseball. You and I love baseball. I personally love softball, so I’m glad to see it, but at the same time, Strickland has shown that he understands where the money is. That’s football. He puts the money there. He’s not afraid to spend money, and I think that is the one thing Gator fans were the most upset about with Jeremy Foley was he was upset to spend money.

Nick:                         I asked him straight up, to his face, today, “What’s your thought process, what is your feeling on taking on debt?” He says, “Obviously we want to raise the money. We would like to raise every penny, get donations, every penny for all the renovations we’re doing.” He’s like, “That may not happen, and if taking on debt is a way to aid us in building things that we think we need to be competitive, to stay ahead, then that’s something I’m willing to do.” He wouldn’t go into specific numbers. Florida, with Jeremy Foley, has taken on debt. They just haven’t been as eager to take on as much debt as some schools, like LSU, schools all around the country have been. It’ll be interesting to see what he does as a fundraiser, because that was his main job, main role, at Mississippi State prior to becoming the AD. That’s going to be a huge part of the job, especially when you consider the estimated $100 million price tag coming on here for these three renovations to football, baseball, softball.

Andrew:                 I expect that he’ll get things moving quick. I don’t expect that they’ll stick to the whole we need 60% of the money. I don’t see it happening. I think it’s absurd. I think it’s stupid. Any word that could be said, should be said about that. Get the damn thing built. Raise the money. Get people to support it. Then pay off your debt. People are going to support it. The University of Florida is not collapsing. We all know you have to spend money to make money. Florida needs to spend money. You want to talk about Saturday’s game, the loss in Knoxville, I don’t want to talk about it, because, holy shit, that was rough, but to not have those things happen, you better spend money. You better spend money to get recruits, and I think that’s something he recognizes, and I like it. I like the hire as well.

Nick:                         In his time at Mississippi State, shown not afraid to build, not afraid to spend money. Florida has a plan in place. Everything that we said, though, I think we need to remember, those pictures you saw, all that stuff, those are just concepts. So Strickland will get with the coaches, and he’s going to come up with, what do you need? He made the joke, “We don’t need gold plated toilets or waterfalls in the locker room, but we need facilities that are very nice.” I think that you’ll look at something that’s classically done, modern, taking care of the needs. Something he mentioned is that when we have student athletes, prospects, come on campus, we don’t want to be embarrassed by anything. We want them to be impressed by what they’re seeing.

Andrew:                 Right now they’re embarrassed. Right now they’re embarrassed by what they’re seeing. That’s what they’re doing.

Nick:                         You know that they’re embarrassed, because they’re showing plans. Don’t look at what we have now. Here’s what we’re going to have.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. You knew they were embarrassed when Mac says in one of his first press conferences, “We got to get things fixed. We need cranes everywhere.” We’ll see. He doesn’t officially start until November 1. Jeremy Foley will stay on board until then, in that active role, and then, of course, when he does start Jeremy’s still around, but at the end of the day it’s Scott Strickland’s decision on what goes and doesn’t go, and we may see some disagreements on the money plan when those two things happen.

Nick:                         What do you mean by that?

Andrew:                 I just think that we’ll see some disagreements. I think we’ll see Foley want to continue to be low budget, and Strickland say, “No. My job, we’re going to take on a little bit more money.”

Nick:                         But I don’t see Foley having any kind of pull.

Andrew:                 No. That’s what I’m saying. I’m saying he’s going to still be around some, but what I’m saying is we may see…

Nick:                         You’re saying disagreement. I think you mean just a difference in philosophy.

Andrew:                 It is.

Nick:                         Because once November 1 comes, and Foley’s out, it’s not up to him anymore, and Foley’s role with Florida is largely going to be dictated by what Strickland wants and needs him to do. So disagreement isn’t really the word. I would say just difference in philosophies.

Andrew:                 Right. That’s a good way. Anyway, Athletic Director is what it is. At the end of the day they don’t win football games. Got a football game this weekend up in Nashville. Nick, couple of things. Mac spoke on Monday, like always. Said that there was, I guess you could say, a small glimmer of hope that Del Rio plays. He said that he was extremely doubtful that he would play this week, but that he was kind of still leaving the door open for that. He did say that Del Rio spoke to the team after the game on Saturday to let them kind of know he was still around. He’s showing that leadership. Me personally, I don’t know if it’s a huge necessity to get him back this week, but I think it is huge to get him back by LSU.

Nick:                         Yeah. To get him back by LSU, which is why I don’t think he plays this week. They’re getting him into practice. I mean, Mac mentions he was practicing. He’s going to practice this week. Okay. He was practicing last week. Just because you closed practice doesn’t stop us here at Gator Country from being reporters and finding out that he was practicing last week, and letting you guys know on our message board that that’s what was going on. To say that they need him, and it gets back to what we were saying the last podcast. The loss wasn’t Appleby’s fault. We do talk about there was some missed plays, some checks to the line that maybe Luke Del Rio doesn’t do. Frankly, there’s a reason Luke Del Rio was the starting quarterback. There’s a reason Austin Appleby wasn’t getting snaps as a backup. Jim McElwain was asked on Monday, what will Appleby’s role be when he comes back? He said, “The same one he was in.” So, nothing. Signaling plays in to Del Rio.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Appleby’s a very nice kid. I’m sure he had a great time playing, but this is Luke Del Rio’s team, and whenever Luke Del Rio is ready, whenever Luke Del Rio’s probably 80%, he’s playing.

Andrew:                 Right. I think, again, I think if this week was LSU he probably plays. Just because I think he could, but I think that the motto always is, and this is something Bobby Cox in baseball used to say, “If a guy says he’s ready, give it just a tad longer, and he’ll be really ready.”

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t think Del Rio would be ready. Like, could he play? Yes. Would he be as effective as he could be? I would say no, and he’s probably chomping at the bit telling you, let’s go; I’m ready to go.

Andrew:                 Right. That’s why I say give it a little bit more, and it goes. Any other injuries, major ones? I guess there’s a little bit of news that Joey Ivie has a broken thumb, but looks like he’s still going to go. He’s on the depth chart. Sherit was a little banged up, but he’s going to go. I think that’s it, right?

Nick:                         Quincy Wilson, the leg, expect him to go.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Tyler Jordan, may or may not play. Looks like it’ll be kind of an end of the week deal.

Nick:                         Seems like we’ll find out Wednesday at McElwain if he’s going to go. You said you would expect him to play?

Andrew:                 Wouldn’t expect him to play.

Nick:                         I was going to say that. I was going to say I don’t expect him to play. McElwain, let’s talk about this a little bit, McElwain kind of dismissed the notion of when Tyler will be back and having to switch around the offensive line, which is something that you and I talked about.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s something that, here’s the thing. Nick, you and I have talked about this multiple times. If you expect Jim McElwain to come out and tell you the answer to the question, you’ve got problems. You’ve got serious problems. That’s not Jim McElwain’s way of doing it. Hell, it’s not a lot of coaches in America’s way of doing it anymore. Jimbo Fisher is terrible at it. Saban has always been bad about it. You better read between the lines, and you better do your homework outside of it, if you want the real answer. When you notice Mac say what he said on that, and I don’t have the quote in front of me, but it was something about we’ll see what happens. We’re going to get the best five out there, and we’ll have a good rotation. I believe that was pretty much paraphrasing what he said, right?

Nick:                         I’m actually pulling it up right now.

Andrew:                 I believe me paraphrasing was pretty close on what he said. Anyway, I kind of took it as we’re going to see, because I don’t know if what we had going at the beginning of the season was our best five. I would agree, completely agree. Now, I posted what we talked about, Nick, about what would you think about having a line of Ivey, Sharpe, Jordan, Fred Johnson, Jawaan Taylor, left to right? Someone said, “Cam Dillard’s had a really good year.” Yes, he has. Don’t get me wrong. He’s had a good year for Cam Dillard standards. Now, is Tyler better than Cam? That’s where you have to look and see. I don’t know. I haven’t seen the two of them play center together, side by side, to know. It wasn’t so much me picking on Cam. It was more of me praising Tyler. I think that’s where things were kind of lost a little bit.

Nick:                         I don’t even know if I’m ready to say that Tyler is better than Cam, because we’re talking about two different positions now.

Andrew:                 That’s what I’m saying.

Nick:                         Yes, it’s interior line, but there’s a lot more responsibility that comes with center.

Andrew:                 Now wait, remember what Mac said about what the biggest loss of Tyler Jordan was, and that was Tyler was making the calls for the team. Remember that a couple of weeks ago when Tyler went down? He was like, what’s major is he was the guy making the calls and helping out the younger right tackles, and that’s why I say, if he’s already doing a lot of that making the calls deal, can he go? Can he be that guy at center? I don’t know.

Nick:                         That’s one thing, but even just the action of being a center, not being able to look up. You’re not looking at the guy that you’re blocking. Your head’s between your legs, waiting for the quarterback, because Florida’s doing a lot of stuff in shotgun, waiting for the quarterback to give you then signal. Then you’re up, and you’re keying off of that. You’re snapping, so you’re really trying to start a block now with one hand. Just looking at the technique, it’s different. Yes, you’re both interior linemen, but there’s a lot more that goes on with being a center then it does with being a right guard or a left guard. To me, it’s you really haven’t asked Tyler Jordan to do any of that. Yes, when he was recruited we talked about him being the next center, but now we’re two years in, a year and a half in, not something he’s been asked to do, and I don’t know if taking Cam out with the way he’s been playing is the best move. Maybe the best move is trying Fred at left guard. Maybe trying Jordan at left guard.

Andrew:                 Let me ask you this.

Nick:                         Taking either Ivey or Sharpe out of the lineup, because those two guys aren’t getting the job done. Why take a guy who’s getting the job done out just because of a position, when you can say, Tyler, can you play left guard?

Andrew:                 Right. Let me ask you this. What if they went with a line of Martez at left tackle, Sharpe at left guard, Cam, Tyler, and then had Jawaan there, rotate Fred in? I don’t know. There’s something that is bothering me about David Sharpe. I feel like I’m picking on him, but I’m really not. I like David Sharpe, but I just feel like he is the weakest lineman on the team, but I just don’t see Florida benching Sharpe. I don’t see them benching Sharpe.

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t see it, but to me it’s kind of, if that’s been your weak link, then why? Right now I don’t perceive Cam Dillard as being a weak link at all.

Andrew:                 No. I think he is doing really well. I just, Jordan’s playing somewhere.

Nick:                         Absolutely agree.

Andrew:                 He’s playing somewhere. I’m just saying, right now, after watching that LSU game, I’m cool with Fred Johnson playing guard, because I think he did well.

Nick:                         That’s what I’m saying. I’m saying instead of asking Fred, we just got you to figure out this new position, now we’re going to put you into a mirror and make you do everything opposite, instead of doing that, Tyler, can you do it? You’ve been playing guard longer than he has.

Andrew:                 I just don’t know if they bench Martez or David. That’s why I don’t think it happens. I guess it will go back to the same. Fred will be on the bench, because I don’t see Summers benching…

Nick:                         Waany

Andrew:                 He’s not benching Waany. I mean, Waany’s your best offensive lineman. I don’t see him benching Sharpe.

Nick:                         That’s a decision that has to be made. I would bench Sharpe and Ivey before I’d bench Dillard right now. That’s just me.

Andrew:                 I agree, but what I’m saying, I don’t know how explain it. I just don’t think they bench Sharpe. I think they would bench Dillard first.

Nick:                         Why?

Andrew:                 I just had that feeling. It just is one of those guys, he seems like he is that guy that he can do no wrong in Summers’ eyes, and he’s going to play, and they’re just going to continue saying, he’ll get better. I don’t like it.

Nick:                         It might not be long. Might not be around long if you keep doing that.

Andrew:                 That’s a topic for another day. Let’s start talking a little Vandy. There just ain’t much shit to talk about when it comes to Vandy. They’re a really good defensive team, and a very shitty offensive team, very bad. Nick, they are averaging 312 yards of total offense, 148 rushing, and 163 passing. They’re scoring 23 points a game, and they’re giving up 26 points a game, allowing 452 yards of total offense to the opposing team. Nick, I’ll be honest, part of me thinks this is going to be one of those old fashioned slug fests, defensive slobber knockers, and then part of me thinks Florida should end up pulling away late in this game.

It goes back, Nick, and I don’t know how to express this without just saying exactly how I’m feeling. I just don’t know a different way. I just have a very uneasy feeling about where this football team is going when they get to Nashville. I just do. I cannot explain why that feeling is there. I just am not sure where this team is headed. I don’t know if they’re going to go in there and kick Vanderbilt’s ass or go in there and sneak by or barely lose. I don’t know. For the first time under Mac, I don’t know where this team goes.

Nick:                         I think, and maybe you’ll agree, maybe you won’t, I think I’ve said this to you. Florida’s a very mediocre offense. There’s no way around it.

Andrew:                 Especially with Appleby.

Nick:                         Even with Luke Del Rio, they’re mediocre to maybe slightly better than mediocre offense. With Appleby, they’re a mediocre offense. That’s what it is. Listen, man, good offenses don’t go six straight 3 and outs with an interception. Good offenses don’t do that. You find a way to get one first down. So they’re a mediocre offense. What does that do against a Vanderbilt defense? The Vanderbilt defense have taken some lumps this year, giving up 26.3 points a game. They’re not as stout as we thought they would be. The defense is giving up 452 yards a game this year. The offense ranks, let’s see, scoring and rushing is 12th in the SEC, out of 14 teams, and the passing offense and total offense is ranked 13th out of 14 teams. The defense for Vanderbilt hasn’t been as good. To me, are the players feeding the media after the game, and then the guys we talk to on Monday, are they feeding us a bunch of crap that they’re not overlooking Vanderbilt? Sure, Les Miles isn’t coming next week, but it’s still LSU.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         That’s a game that Florida circles. When Florida got their schedule, a couple games are circled, and this Vanderbilt game is sandwiched in between two that are circled. So you can say all the right things. Quite frankly, after the UMass I heard about the standard, and I heard about never going to let this happen again. We learned our lesson today. Then you get up 21-3 against Tennessee, and you forget all the things that you say you learned in the first week. So I’m a little hesitant to believe the things you’re telling me now after Tennessee. They sound good. It’s what you think you’re supposed to say. What’s the meaning behind that? That’s what you’re going to find out this week, because, like you said, it’s hard to get up for this Vanderbilt game, for us.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         It’s hard to get up for this game. So how are the players doing that?

Andrew:                 Here’s the way the players should be getting up for this. They just got their ass kicked up in Knoxville. They just got embarrassed. DBU’s been called out. I mean, it has. This defense that we all talk about and love, now granted, this defense ain’t as bad as what showed up in Knoxville last week, but what was talked about as being the best defense in the country is there. This offense that we talked about being improved, that showed in the first half, looked bad in the second half. It’s put up or shut up time for me. I disagree when you say it’s a mediocre offense. I think it’s a little better than that. I think that with Del Rio under there they’re able to check in things, and they’re able to go. They need to get their playmakers more ball. I even said that. I called back out and said, that circle that you say that you have, a category that says, get these guys the ball, let’s find that damn column, Mac. Let’s find that damn column, Nuss. I want to see that column. There’s too many damn playmakers on this football team not getting a damn thing thrown their way.

Nick:                         Who are those guys?

Andrew:                 I want to see Callaway get more than four damn catches. You throw it to him eight times, that’s not enough. That’s not enough. You look at the NFL, and I ain’t talking about the NFL. You look at Alabama. Calvin Ridley is getting the ball 12-15 times a game. If that is damn near handing the sumbitch off to Callaway, hand it off to him. If that’s the only way you can get the ball into Callaway’s hands, do it. Do it. You find ways to get the playmaker the ball. Reggie Bush, perfect example. Could he catch the ball? Sometimes. Could he run the ball? Sometimes. But they always found ways to get him the ball. If you’re a team like Florida who has a select few of elite playmakers, find a way to get those elite playmakers the ball.

Brandon Powell, we talk about his speed so much. Let’s see it. Mac talks about Chris Thompson’s speed so much. Let’s see him end a round. You did it with Solomon Patten. Solomon Patten couldn’t catch a cold wind. He couldn’t run a ball. Let’s see it happen. I want to see Cleveland get the ball more. C’yontai Lewis and Goolsby, we talk about tight ends is Mac’s thing. I don’t see it right now. Let’s see it. You talk about how great your four running backs are. Let’s see it. Let’s see it. Stop simplifying your offense to a point where it’s nothing. Get the playmakers the ball. Go bells to the wall. You’re not losing to Vandy. I mean, it could be close. You’re not going to lose. Throw out the playbook. Let’s see what they got.

You’ve got to beat LSU next weekend in the Swamp. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You lose to LSU in the Swamp next week, your recruiting goes to shit. Shit. You lose to an interim coach, it goes nowhere. You’ve got to find a way to beat LSU, and that all starts this week at Vanderbilt with a psychological mindset from the team going into this week.

Nick:                         You can lose to Vanderbilt.

Andrew:                 I don’t think you can. I think Florida’s too talented. They can pull away. Do you agree with what I’m saying in that this is put up or shut up week? This week determines the rest of the season, in my opinion. This game right here will determine the rest of the season for Florida. They go in and lay an egg, the shit goes to the fan.

Nick:                         If Florida loses this game, talk about checking out. Jalen Tabor, clock out. Quincy Wilson, clock out. Any draft eligible junior, any senior on this team, punch out of work. If you lose to Vanderbilt, yeah.

Andrew:                 They’re not losing to Vanderbilt, but you know what I’m saying.

Nick:                         I mean, it’s not like Florida’s blowing Vanderbilt out. They didn’t blow them out last year.

Andrew:                 Not blowing them out, but Vandy lost to South Carolina, boss. They’re a bad, bad football team. I just, I think there’s a mentality, and I want to see that mentality. I gave Butch a hard time last week for the mentality he took into that game, and I still think it was a shitty tone, and they got their ass whooped in the first half because of that shitty tone. I’m wondering where the tone comes from. Where is this tone of we’re Florida, we should be better than what we’re doing? Where is that mindset? I want to see that mindset. That is the uneasy feeling that I have is I don’t know where this mindset is. Has guys like Jalen Tabor checked out? They got a loss. Have they checked out? I don’t know, and that disturbs me that I don’t know that.

Nick:                         Man, you’re hitting on some stuff there.

Andrew:                 Am I making valid points though?

Nick:                         No, that’s what I’m saying. I hadn’t even thought of losing to, I think you beat Vandy in a close game, and lose to LSU, and guys check out.

Andrew:                 It very well could. I don’t know. I think you can lose the LSU game, and they bounce back. They’ve got to win the LSU game from a perspective of that’s your big game in the Swamp.

Nick:                         How much, I’ll get into this after, but go ahead, as far as recruiting.

Andrew:                 It’s the same thing that we talked about with Tennessee. Tennessee could not lose to Florida again. They couldn’t and stand it. Florida can’t lose this game to LSU in two weeks and stand it. I seriously, and I’m telling this, I believe this Vanderbilt game makes or breaks next week. I just do. I don’t know why I’m saying that, because one game doesn’t follow another, but it just it has a feeling that whatever mindset they bring in this week is going to come in next week. I don’t know why.

Nick:                         I’ll tell you this, in my uneducated opinion, I think the win for Tennessee with the amount of recruits that they had, will do wonders for them in recruiting. That stadium, probably didn’t for you, but that stadium gave me goosebumps.

Andrew:                 It was loud.

Nick:                         With just how loud it was, how hostile it was, and with how much they were celebrating. That probably did wonders for them in recruiting. This gets into my next question for you. Most people will say, listen, Florida has a piece of shit home schedule this year. It’s dog shit. It’s terrible. Home schedule is awful. You have one good home game this year. That’s LSU. Once it gets announced as a noon game, everyone freaks out and says, this is terrible for recruiting. Tell me why it’s not bad for Florida’s recruiting, a noon game at LSU when the rest of your home schedule is trash.

Andrew:                 Let me give you the negative first. The negative in this is that some kids that were going to come from far away won’t be able to make it, because it’s a noon kick. It’s tough. The positive is let’s just say Alex Leatherwood travels down from Pensacola, like he’s supposed to. He’s going to make that four hour trip down to Gainesville, get there probably 11:00, 10:30, watch the game. If that game was at night, as soon as that game’s done, he’s leaving. This 2:30 game, when it ends at 2:30, guess what? He gets to stick with that staff for four, five hours. Spend one on one time with those guys, or spend a lot of time with those guys, be more recruits than just one staying over. So it’s a positive. It’s almost like a Junior Day with the event being the game, and a huge game. If you go out, and you beat LSU, that momentum continues throughout the day.

I was speaking to a couple people that are going to go to the game as recruits that are coaches, and they were like, this is really good for Florida. This is really good. He was like, “I bet you Florida’s recruiting office is jumping up and down.” I’m like, “Why didn’t you say that, Coach?” He’s just, “This is it. I’m going to bring five kids to the game. Two of my kids are big name kids. They’re going to get a lot of time with the staff. They’re not going to get pushed out, because Florida has the rest of the day before they even have to go into their preparations for Missouri, like they do every Sunday.”

Nick:                         A 7:00 game, they’re probably not going to see any of the coaches in more than just passing before the game.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. You know, you get a “Hey, how’s things going on the field?”

Nick:                         Good to see you; glad you’re here.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Then they get 15, 20 minutes with them after the game in the Gator Room, before they’re gone. Someone said, and it kind of pissed me off, someone said on the message board, they were like, “I see you trying to put a happy face on this.” I’m like, “No, I’m trying to explain that there is a positive to this.” Is the atmosphere going to be electric? Probably not. Maybe. We’ll see.

Nick:                         I expect a pretty lame attendance.

Andrew:                 I think it’ll be better than lame, because it’s going to be a noon kick with LSU. People hate LSU at Florida. I think it will be okay, especially if Tennessee loses to Georgia this weekend.

Nick:                         Yeah. That will have a big impact on Florida, and we’ll talk about that, because Tennessee has got a monster stretch coming here, three games.

Andrew:                 Right. That’s what I’m saying. I think that will depend a lot on the atmosphere of that. We’ll see. We’ll see where that goes. I think that there is some positive for sure in that, but we’ll see where that goes. Like I said, this week is a game, and if you’re looking at breaking this game down, you would expect Florida to try to run the ball against this Vandy defense who’s giving up 179 yards a game.

Nick:                         Yeah. You expected that they would be able to do that last week against Tennessee, and you don’t really get that job done. I don’t know how many times we have to say this. It’s just like that last performance should be the gut check that they need, or that last performance should be the gut check that the offensive line needs. It’s just how many times do we have to say it before it’s, maybe they’re just not capable of it? You should be able to run the ball on Vanderbilt. You should be able to control the clock, and you should be able to shut down anything Vanderbilt brings to the table offensively with your defense.

To me, the defense is the one that really needs to step up. They’re the ones that are really being challenged. Read an ESPN article that said maybe it’s time to drop DBU. Maybe it’s time to just say that this defense isn’t as good as they would be. Look at the teams that they played that made it seem like they were so good. To me, it’s interesting what team, what defense, shows up.

Andrew:                 Going to Nashville this weekend is probably about 50/50 with fans. So I think it is big for that defense to come in and have a big game. Are they going to get the respect for beating Vandy this week? Probably not, because they should beat Vandy with defense. To get that intensity back, to get that confidence back, I think is a good thing.

Nick:                         Yeah. I love the noon kickoff.

Andrew:                 I just think that it’s not going to be a true road game, because Vanderbilt stadium is worse than high school stadiums.

Nick:                         It is a high school stadium.

Andrew:                 Some high school stadiums are…

Nick:                         I will go check out the baseball stadium though. That’s a great stadium, great looking field.

Andrew:                 I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s go time. That’s all you can say about it. It’s go time for the rest of the season. You’ve got to put the pressure on as you head into this LSU game, or get ready for this LSU game, followed by Missouri, and then the big one in Jacksonville at the end of October. You’re looking at it. It’s right around the corner. It’s time to be in midseason form, and they’re not in midseason form yet.

Nick:                         No. If anything, taking a step back. Taking a step back last week, but I will be having a great game. This is what I meant. I will be having a great Saturday in Nashville because of the noon kickoff. I will be hitting up the Bluebird Café this week.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         I will be hitting up Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Honky Tonk Central, The Stage, literally all over Broadway. Meeting up with the Nashville Gator Club on Friday night as well. So if you are in town, if you’re going to meet up with the Nashville Gator Club, if you’re with the Nashville Gator Club, I am going to meet you on Broadway. I’m going to be having some drinks and be having some barbeque, some hot chicken. Had Hattie B’s last weekend, that was fantastic. Nashville, just a great overall town. Whether the Gators show up or not, I will have a great time.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It should be good. Like I said, that’s a big Gator Club for Nashville. You have to send me some photos from the Bluebird.

Nick:                         I’ll send you some photos from everywhere. Maybe not from Honky Tonk Central and The Stage. Honky Tonk Central and The Stage, those are my two favorite spots with good music and the drinks are always good.

Andrew:                 There we go. Nick, we’re about out of time here. A couple of scheduling things. Basketball Media Days was postponed on Tuesday because of the Strickland news. That’s been moved to October 6, so it’s next Thursday, right? Yeah. Next Thursday. The 6th is Thursday. So it’s next Thursday, before the LSU. So that will be there. I think that’s really it, right? Is that the only thing that was changed this week?

Nick:                         That was changed. We’re not talking to players. That was a change for us. That’s it.

Andrew:                 That’s it. Guys, we appreciate it. We’ll be back on Friday with our prediction podcast, and we got some good games to pick. That Louisville/Clemson game, I’m still trying to make that pick. I really am, still trying to make that pick. We’ll see down the stretch.

Nick:                         As always, thank you for listening. If you’re listening, tweet us and let us know if you’re listening via iTunes or if you’re listening via the website. That will be interesting to us to see how you guys are listening to the podcast. I personally listen to it on iTunes. I like throwing podcasts on and Bluetooth in the car, but everyone is different.

Andrew:                 I hate your Bluetooth in the car.

Nick:                         Oh my God, my Bluetooth in my car is devastating, and I don’t know what it is, but everybody complains of some noise. It’s terrible. I got Bluetooth in the car that I can’t use. It would be very helpful, and yet it’s not doing its job.

Andrew:                 Lord, it has the freedom, or it has the freedom of, what’s Mac’s words?

Nick:                         Freedom of choice, but not the freedom of consequence.

Andrew:                 There you go. It might have to get the consequences. Tell the people where they can find us. We’ll get out. We’ll see everyone on Friday when we go prediction time.

Nick:                         That is at www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gators news. On Instagram @TheGatorCountry. On Facebook @GatorCountry. On Twitter @GatorCountry. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC. He’s @AndrewSpiveyGC. On iTunes, search Gator Country. It’ll pop up. Subscribe. Never miss a podcast. Ton of news coming from Scott Strickland today from us, and stay tuned the rest of the week, as we will have a Vanderbilt preview.

Andrew:                 Got some recruiting news coming as well, and got that coming. Some big names coming in next week, so be on the lookout for that. We’ll have plenty of stuff there. Gators going at some LSU commits, so we’ll have that as well. Lot of things. Nick, I wanted to say this real quick before we got out of here. Tuesday night in Miami proved, or Monday night in Miami proved why sports are so great. What Dee Gordon did after Jose Fernandez’ sudden death was unbelievable. It is what makes sports so great. I wanted to throw that in there. I’m not a Marlins fan. I can’t stand the Marlins, but even I appreciated that.

Nick:                         Sports, every single time.

Andrew:                 Every single time. Nick, I appreciate it. We appreciate everything, guys. Follow along. Let us know if you want to join. Best news there is. As always, chomp, chomp, and go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

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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.