Prediction podcast for Florida Gators vs. Texas A&M

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we preview the Florida Gators vs. Texas A&M game on Saturday night in the Swamp.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down the keys for Florida and how the Gators offense can go faster with tempo.

Andrew and Nick also predict several games around the country, plus pick three players who could have big games on Saturday.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:​What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, prediction podcast time for Texas A&M and the Gators, at home on Saturday night in the Swamp in the Alligator uniforms. I think that the opinion is changing a little bit on the uniforms.
Nick:​They’re growing on me. They’re definitely more green. I think the question of what color are these, when they were released in the pictures and the video, I think there was a question about what the hell color is this? They’re definitely more green. They’re not for the boosters. People say, “They’re selling merchandise, so it is for me, the fan.” They’re for recruits, and they’re for players.
​18 months ago, Nike came to Florida and said, “We want to do this one time kind of special jersey for you guys, because you’re one of the elite schools for Nike.” Jim McElwain kind of turned it over the players. Chauncey Gardner said the players had input. At the time, it was some of the older guys that had input on what they wanted them to look like. You’re seeing it’s two different generations, and two different generations separated by other generations, where you’ve got older boosters that don’t like them, and young kids, recruits, young fans, that love them.
Andrew:​I think that’s the thing that we forget, and that’s what I was trying to tell people. This stuff is done for the players and for the recruits, not so much for the fans. Now, granted, they would love for the fans to get behind it and do it. Here’s the deal. Florida has been, I would say, in the news, on social media, a crap ton this week with the jerseys, people talking about the jerseys. Guess what? That helps them. People are writing stories about them. Florida’s recruiting gets a new edit for all that stuff. You accomplish what you want to accomplish.
Nick:​Right. The recruits love them. It’s another thing that Florida in the tunnel, coming out into the field, the tunnel where they walk from the locker room to the field, they have these glass cases with models set up of all of their uniform combinations that they wear, and they’ve already added this one. That’s something now that when a recruit comes by and says, “What’s that?” Even if they don’t see the game, didn’t see this. “What’s that?” “Nike came to us and said we want to build you a jersey, because you’re one of the elite schools.” “Coach, that’s cool. I haven’t seen that anywhere else.” It becomes a recruiting tool.
Andrew:​Here’s the deal. These prospects are like, “I want those gloves. I want those cleats.” That kind of stuff. Of course, Florida’s not able to give them that stuff, but it’s one of those things where they can say, “You come here. You get that stuff.” It’s everywhere. It’s not just Florida. We’re not saying that, by any means whatsoever. It keeps them in the news. It keeps kids talking about it, and it’s good. I will say this. I did change my opinion on them after seeing more of it and seeing the true color of it. I did change my opinion. Still, the only thing I don’t like is that gigantic ass sticker on one side. I just think it’s ugly.
Nick:​I think the oversize sticker is fine. I think you might not have liked the placement of it, you know what I mean? It was kind of, when Nick Washington was doing that model, it was kind of up too far to the front. Kind of like you’d have some negative empty space towards the back, and the gator head logo was too up front. Needs to be just more centered in the middle. To me, I like the gator head. I think the numbers on the other side are cool too.
Andrew:​Yeah. I guess that’s a good point. Maybe it just seems like it’s in the wrong place. I don’t know. I think it’s too big. I don’t know. I just think it’s too big. Period. Again, that’s not my call. That’s other people’s call. If they like it, and kids like it, good for you.
Nick:​Yeah. That’s what it is. Listen, if you hate the jersey, you’re never going to see it again. If you hate the jersey, don’t DVR the game and watch it back.
Andrew:​Someone said, “Why can Florida not be traditionalists like Alabama?” Why? What’s wrong with changing it up a little bit? What’s wrong with making a little change. Who cares? I just don’t understand it. I’m just dumb maybe. I don’t know.
Nick:​Florida’s not Alabama.
Andrew:​It doesn’t even matter. Me being from Bama, I know a lot of people who say, “Why don’t they go to a change up every now and then?” I know kids say that same thing. I know Nick Saban’s talked about doing it as well. Listen, they’ve done the same thing forever. Again, it doesn’t matter. Chill. Just chill.
Nick:​Yup. Mix it up. Mix it up with orange helmet, white shirt, blue pants. Orange top, blue pants, white helmet, orange helmet. Mix it all up. I like it. They’re on track not to wear the same uniform combination twice this year, and you can say traditionalist, and I like the orange helmet, blue, and white pants at home, and orange helmet, white top, and blue on the road. That’s cool, man. They’re not trying to recruit you to play safety. They’re not trying to recruit you to play running back. Kids like having options. They like having, “I like that look. I like the swag that Florida has. They don’t worry about it. They wear whatever they want, and they let the kids pick what they’re wearing on a week to week basis.” That stuff plays into recruiting.
Andrew:​I wish they would go back to the old-school F helmets, because those are freaking awesome. They don’t ask you and I about it. Nick, we just spent seven minutes talking about damn uniforms. Let’s actually talk about something on the field. I mean, let’s just be honest. The uniforms are so much more exciting than this. Nick, I have a question for you. I want to throw this out there to you. What is your perception of the program right now? I guess that’s the best way to say it. Do you feel like it’s a coaching fix? Do you feel like it’s a talent fix? Just what is it, in your opinion?
Nick:​I was talking to another writer about this, and we were specifically talking about the wide receivers not getting separation. He said, “Wake Forest has wide receivers open. Wake Forest would love, they would kill for four-star Josh Hammond, for four-star Freddie Swain. They would kill for those players. So why is it that Florida, with those players, can’t seem to get them open?” We were kind of debating back and forth. I said, and I’ve always said this, “At some point you’ve got to stop blaming the coaches, and it’s got to be on the players.”
​To me, that’s a great point. Why are so many other schools across the country able to design things to get players who, if we’re going by recruiting rankings, and you know how much I love going by recruiting rankings, designing things to get people open? Why is it that Florida isn’t getting guys open? Where is just like the easy stuff, drag slants, digs, comebacks? Where are these easy routes? Why does everything have to be a double move, slant go, post go? What’s all this other stuff? It’s stuff that takes so long to develop.
​I think it’s a great question you ask, and I probably would have said, “Blame it on the players,” until I had that debate last night. Now I think it’s probably a combination of both. You see it every Saturday. There’s guys getting wide open, and they weren’t as highly recruited, and probably aren’t even on the same level as some of the athletes that Florida has. Why is there so much wasted talent on offense? Not just this year, but last year, five, six years now. To me, it goes on the coaching, but how can you have so many bad coaches consecutively? You know what I mean? Going back to Muschamp’s first year, you’re saying every single coach they’ve hired has been bad?
​That’s what I think, it has to be a little blame on both. That whole, “Listen, Wake Forest has guys running wide open,” that really hit me as like a, damn. That opened, changed my perspective a little bit.
Andrew:​Can I just say this, Nick? This is what I want to say. I don’t mean this in a bad way, and I didn’t mean for this to turn into a negative podcast. I didn’t. I really didn’t. Here’s the reason I ask that, and that is this. Teams around the country are able to move the field, and are able to rotate multiple quarterbacks in and adjust to them, whether it is the crossing route 27 times a game, whether it is the running back screen, whether it is a slant route. Whatever it may be, they’re able to adjust.
​You asked this question on Wednesday to Mac, and I thought you got a good answer, but didn’t get a good answer. Let me go back to that. You asked if the play calling was too complicated. Mac said, “No. It’s pretty simple as it is.” My next question is, is the concept too complicated for Franks? What is it? Where is the separation that is allowing this offense to be stale, and then it’s like you said, you’re having quarterbacks around the country, and I mean this jokingly but not jokingly, that are doing well at Duke, doing well at Wake Forest, doing well at FAU, FIU, but in seven years Florida hasn’t found a quarterback? What is it?
Nick:​Yeah. I’m just trying, and everyone says, “You don’t ask tough questions.” It’s really about trying to craft questions in a way that you know aren’t to get answered, but you’re trying to craft them in different sort of ways. Everyone on Twitter wants to say, “Just ask him why he’s being so retarded?” Listen, if that’s how you want to phrase the question, come to the stadium. The doors are open. We will bring you up, and you can phrase the question that way and see how it’s received. That’s not how you talk to people.
​A lot of what we do is we’re trying to phrase questions differently, because we know there’s so many ways you can ask a question that gives somebody an out. They just hang onto one piece, and then your question’s done. It’s not getting answered. I’ve been trying to find out why. I asked Saturday about tempo and go shut down. I asked Monday about tempo and got shut down. I asked Wednesday about tempo and got shut down.
​To me, there’s no excuse. The answer of, “Well, we’re working on it, and we’re doing things in practice to make it better,” that’s cool, man. It’s Game 33 coming up, and it hasn’t been better. You’ve been the slowest offense since you’ve been here, so don’t tell me we’re working on it in practice, because then I’ll ask you, “Why haven’t you worked on it in practice the past two and a half years?” It clearly isn’t working. It clearly isn’t showing, if you have been practicing it.
​What’s the reason? Is it a complicated concept? Is it complicated verbiage in the plays, or is it just coach not putting the play in fast enough or the player not knowing what the call is?
Andrew:​Let’s just call it what it is. Is the player just that dumb? I hate to say it like that, because I don’t think anybody’s dumb.
Nick:​Pretty strong way to say it.
Andrew:​I mean, what is it? What is the holdup? If it’s a three word syllable, like Mac said on Wednesday, then what’s the holdup? You have career aspirations to be in the NFL, where they say, “Strong right, left, 75, 69, 22, Omaha,” and continue on. They basically say a paragraph, and you’re going to tell me you can’t get three words out? Some people have been making excuses about it, and I give respect to Lamical Perine, who simply said it, that, “The play isn’t coming in quick enough, and Feleipe’s not getting us the play quick enough. We’re rushing.” Well, when you rush, you forget the little things. For a tight end, that could be the little thing of if this guy slides inside, who am I getting? A running back, this, that, and the other. Offensive linemen able to do it.
​Here’s the deal too, Nick, and that is that when you run a fast offense, and not so much a fast offense, but an offense with decent speed, you sometimes catch a defense off guard.
Nick:​Here’s another thing. I agree with that. Yes, you do. You start to get Kentucky not covering guys. Another thing is why every play are there three and four substitutions? You’re substituting every single skill position player. If you have a five-player drive, you probably subbed three of those five players. Why? That takes time.
Andrew:​Here’s my other question to that, Nick. Is it a situation where the rest of the guys don’t know what they’re doing either? I mean, I don’t know, Nick. I’m asking. I don’t know what it is. It’s something that’s going on there in that.
​The thing that’s even more concerning to me, Nick, is this happens even out of time outs.
Nick:​Time outs during the first drive. After halftime, everything’s scripted, and it happens then too.
Andrew:​Right. Coming out of halftime you know what you’re going to run, and at times it’s still too slow. I don’t know. My questions run a lot deeper. They just run deeper. You know what I’m saying? Do I think a lot of it’s on Feleipe? Yes, but it runs a lot deeper than just on Feleipe there.
​I will say this. When Del Rio was in the game, we wasn’t talking about this. The offense was moving much quicker. I’m with you too, and that is can the same 11 guys not participate on a whole drive? You have to rotate.
Nick:​There’s an SEC rule about that. They can only play two plays in a row, maximum.
Andrew:​Yeah. It’s not even a running back. Here’s the deal. You do see in the NFL a lot of times where on 3rd down they’ll bring an extra receiver in, but we’re talking about every plays receivers going out. Can Josh Hammond not play four plays in a row?
Nick:​Yeah. That’s a thing. It’s like why do you need to sub in three new receivers, or two new receivers and a tight end, after a 1st down incompletion?
Andrew:​Right.
Nick:​I guess you’re putting in your blocking guys, because now it’s 2nd and 10, and everyone knows what’s happening on 2nd and 10. You’re just taking time. It takes time. Listen, if Kadarius Toney can’t play, Tyrie Cleveland won’t play, and if Kadarius Toney can’t, maybe that’s what they need. Who are you subbing in at that point at receiver? Not really many people to sub in after that.
Andrew:​Right. It kind of goes back to this, and I’m going to joke about this when I say this, but I’m really not joking. Nick, you know how in high school where you have to have a receiver run the play in? That’s almost kind of what it looks like this is having to do. You’re still looking at them calling the play into Feleipe. I don’t know. I mean, I laugh about that, but is it a high school style offense where the receiver is running in the play as well, or what?
Nick:​Bryan Cox thinks so.
Andrew:​It’s something. You’re playing at a level where teams don’t even huddle anymore, and this team’s huddling every play.
Nick:​There’s got to be something changed there. It’s almost like, listen, are you joking about it being a high school offense, but shoot, man, if you’re going to send a new person in every game, just give them the play call.
Andrew:​Something.
Nick:​To snap the ball with under 10 seconds so consistently is just really unacceptable. Listen, if you were that 2000-whatever USC offense, or that 2001 Miami offense, I think like Ken Dorsey and those guys, and Andre Johnson. They would score in 30 seconds. Okay, man, snap the ball with five seconds left, because your scoring drive is going to take a minute or less. You’re still going to run your 80 plays a game, 85 plays a game. Florida’s just not good enough, not operating highly enough right now, to be successful when they’re only running 60 plays a game.
Andrew:​It’s a thing where it’s like, when you line up, a lot of your plays are predictable from your formation for Florida, and that’s hurting. Here’s another thing. I thought about this as well, and I kind of go back to what happened with LSU’s offense. When you’re so slow to the ball, are you able to run your motions as much as you do? I know some people say, “Motions are overrated.” No, they’re not.
Nick:​They’re not. They really affected Florida last week.
Andrew:​Yeah. I mean, that’s something Mac has really prided himself on is running a lot of motions. We haven’t seen the motions as much as we have in years past. We used to joke all the time about Brandon Powell running more on motions than he would on the game. That’s not happening much.
Nick:​No. Doing stuff like that. That makes the offense, I take that back. I didn’t even say it, but I’m taking it back in my head. That doesn’t make the offense more complicated. A lot of the motions are just fluff, and all it’s doing, it has no bearing on what the play is. We’re lining up incorrectly, but we just want to see what the defense reaction will be.
​That stuff can help a quarterback who’s struggling, because all of a sudden you move over, and I’m not sure if I’m playing man or zone. The quarterback just followed Brandon Powell all the way across the field. They’re probably playing man. Little stuff like that, the motions, at times, force defenses to show what defense they’re playing, and that can help a quarterback.
​Now he’s not trying to dissect it once the ball’s snapped, and you’ve got a 250-pound defensive end coming to take your head off. You already know, before the ball is snapped, I know what defense they’re in. I know what we’re running. Here’s my first option. If that’s covered, then this is where I know what I’m doing with the ball. It’s like you said, because of how long it’s taking things to get in, you’re not getting that same kind of motion.
Andrew:​That’s what I say. It’s a lot of different things. Let’s move on. Let’s talk about it. Looks like Kadarius Toney, looks like Tyrie Cleveland and Nick Washington, all three of those guys will be out. Also hearing Jeremiah Moon will probably be out with a bum ankle, which hurts depth at linebacker. That’s always already a major concern. Now, here’s the thing. This weekend you should be in more nickel than anything, because A&M is going to spread you out more. You still like that depth, especially a guy like Moon, who’s able to play in space. He could have been your spy this weekend.
​My question is this, Nick, and that is do you see some Zaire now for the wildcat quarterback to mix things up a little bit? No offense to Brandon Powell, but I don’t want to see him back there. Maybe Dre Massey back there, but Nuss hasn’t shown me any confidence in Dre Massey to make me believe that that would be him.
Nick:​Right. That goes back. I asked for questions. I got some questions on Twitter, and that’s one of them. I think it’s a good question. It goes back to what I was talking about with Kadarius Toney. He gave you at least a threat of passing the ball.
Andrew:​Right.
Nick:​We’ve never seen Dre Massey. He was a quarterback in high school, but we’ve never seen him throw the ball, so that’s not on film. Teams aren’t worried about it. Brandon Powell’s not throwing the ball. If Toney can’t go, and he’s got a separated shoulder. Even if you do go, you and I talked about this, you get a cortisone shot, and you feel great, and then all of a sudden, the third quarter that cortisone shot wears off, or someone’s coming to tackle you, and you lower your head. Boom. Get popped on the shoulder. That cortisone isn’t helping anymore. It might be a situation where Toney even tries to gut it out and can’t play. I think you have to put in stuff for Zaire, if you’re going to continue running the wildcat. I think you have to.
Andrew:​Kadarius Toney’s going to try to play.
Nick:​Listen, man, a separated shoulder is, good for him being tough as hell and playing, but it’s like I said. It’s like Nick Washington. We said with Nick Washington, any hit could take him out of a game, take him out for an extended period of time, take him out for the season. You saw the way he kind of squared up, got hit right on that right shoulder, and just crumbled. Shoulder injuries are no joke. They hurt.
Andrew:​Yeah. For sure. Here’s my thing, Nick. We’ll go to the questions next. I mean, the key for me is Florida’s got to find a way to sustain drives. Florida cannot allow A&M to dominate time in possession and stay on the field. They’re going to wear the defense out. They’re going to. There’s no question about it. They’re going to, if they’re on the field that much, because they are going to do things. They don’t have a problem moving the ball. They have a problem stopping people, and they have a problem with turnovers, something Florida has not done. I do want to ask you about that as well in a second. Whatever it may be for Florida, they’ve got to find a way to hold onto the ball and get drives moving down the field in some way, shape, or form.
Nick:​Yeah. I sort of joked in the past that the toughest offense Florida’s defense had played was their own, because they’re the ones keeping them on the field. I think it can be more than that as well. You got to sustain drives, and Florida’s got to be able to get off the field. Listen, they’re top 25 in the country in 3rd down defense. I think some of the frustration comes from when they give up 3rd downs it might come in bunches. It might be three or four in a drive. I think maybe that’s where some of the frustration comes from, but overall they’ve been fine as far as a 3rd down defense.
Andrew:​Nick, here’s my thing to you, on the defense, and that is when you play a bend but break scared defense that’s not aggressive, you don’t have turnovers.
Nick:​Florida hasn’t had one since Tennessee.
Andrew:​Since Game 2. That’s not normal for Florida.
Nick:​No. Florida’s certainly an offense, Geoff Collins had the get the ball whole gimmick with write your name down, stuff like that. It’s always been a point of emphasis.
Andrew:​Do you not agree that when you don’t play aggressive defense you don’t get that?
Nick:​Yeah. You say they don’t play aggressive defense last week, and I think there’s probably five instances where you could have, and probably should have created a turnover. Chauncey had a ball go between his hands. Duke had three that he could have gotten. Opportunities are happening.
Andrew:​To be fair, on two of the ones for Duke, that was pressure. They actually did bring some blitzes there. Surprise. I know. I know. It’s a surprise, people, but it did happen a couple times. Anyway, go to the questions.
Nick:​I never like things on Twitter. I just don’t do it, but that’s how I did it this time. I liked a bunch of questions, so I’ve got them all here.
Andrew:​Oh, brother.
Nick:​I don’t agree with the terminology, but I think is something we need to talk about. The question was is Mac afraid to take over the offensive play calling? I think afraid is the wrong word, but you and I have said it before. Listen, Mac and Nuss go way back. I think McElwain has seen what Nuss can do, and he trusts him. He trusts him more than the fan who’s known Doug Nussmeier for two and a half years. Also, if you take away Nussmeier’s play calling, and the offense doesn’t get better, what happens then over the next six games? Now the burden is on you, and now it’s McElwain can’t get it done. I don’t know. Everyone says the excuse that I hate of it can’t get worse, but if it doesn’t get explicitly better, then where is the fan’s confidence in Jim McElwain?
Andrew:​Here’s my thing to that, Nick. I agree with you. Nothing’s going to happen, because of that. Mac is an offensive guy. I kind of look at it like Saban does with defense, with Saban on a defensive coordinator, and that is how much of this is really Nuss, and how much of this is really Mac? Because this is supposed to be Mac’s system. Okay? He’s supposed to be the guy, and no head coach is going to say “I’m in this meeting room.” Truth is, Mac’s in the offensive meeting room more than he’s in the defensive meeting room, because that’s his expertise.
​My question to you is this, Nick, and it’s not a question you can answer, because we don’t know. We’re not able to go in there and see it. You have to wonder if there would be more on Mac if it was, because I don’t think it could be, because Mac’s blamed for the offense anyway. Now, Mac has a scapegoat with Nuss. He doesn’t have that if he gets rid of Nuss. I do understand that.
Nick:​I’m not saying that’s—listen, they’ve been coaching together. They started, I think, both of them at Michigan State in 2003. They’ve been coaching together for a long time, so there’s a level of mutual respect and a level of …
Andrew:​Familiarity.
Nick:​Familiarity. Almost an obligation. Right now, listen, Mac is not naïve. He’s not ignorant to the Nuss bashing right now. I think McElwain, in his heart, and in his head, believes Nussmeier is better than what Florida’s offense is doing right now, and is just kind of waiting for his belief to show itself, and then he can kind of sit there and say, “I told you guys so.” I think he just wants his friend to succeed.
​I think that’s more so than the whole scapegoat thing, but the scapegoat thing I think is still a reality, if not what Jim McElwain’s thinking of. I don’t think Jim McElwain’s thinking, “Nope. Going to let everyone keep yelling at Nuss instead of me, and then I’ll just fire him at the end of the year, and we’ll figure something else out after that.” I think it’s more of what I said before about he really believes that Nuss can get the job done.
Andrew:​I don’t mean it in that.
Nick:​I wasn’t trying to say that you mean it that way. I think what we both said there is a reality, but just not the foremost thing on Jim McElwain’s mind.
Andrew:​Exactly. That’s that. Here’s the thing. If you can’t develop a quarterback, you can’t do it. Your next question.
Nick:​Somebody says it appears that you and I have given up on Feleipe Franks three games into his career.
Andrew:​Did we ever …
Nick:​Do we think that he can still develop?
Andrew:​I don’t know what people listen to, Nick, because they obviously don’t listen to us. I’m getting fired up, because I hate this narrative of people putting shit in my mouth. I don’t know if I ever believed in the guy. I’m not trying to be rude. I think Feleipe Franks is a great person. I think he has an incredible arm, but you and I both said the day he signed that he wasn’t the quarterback of the future for the University of Florida.
Nick:​No. I remember when he committed. Dwayne Haskins was on campus. We talked on that podcast about it being a little suspicious timing. I remember that there was no gunslinger. There was no chomp, chomp tweet. For 48 hours, the entire weekend. Can he develop? Sure. Sure.
Andrew:​Anybody can develop.
Nick:​I just don’t think he’s ready right now.
Andrew:​No. I just don’t know if he ever will be. Go ahead.
Nick:​Does Florida make a bowl game? Is this the new normal? Why is Gator football full of sadness? Made me laugh.
Andrew:​They make a bowl game. Maybe the Birmingham Bowl. Nick, I don’t know about you, but I’m not excited to go to the Birmingham Bowl.
Nick:​No. I would not. Sorry, good folks in Birmingham. Send me to Jacksonville.
Andrew:​We don’t even get a damn bowl gift up there.
Nick:​No.
Andrew:​Let’s make America great again and get us a bowl gift that’s good. Make college football bowl games good.
Nick:​The only bowl gift I’ve gotten, I have a football from the Outback Bowl, a tiny little football.
Andrew:​And a pen. Don’t forget about the little …
Nick:​I have no idea where that pen is. It’s probably still in Tampa.
Andrew:​Shit. Yeah. They make a bowl game. Unfortunately, this is the norm. Florida football isn’t fun anymore.
Nick:​You need to make hats.
Andrew:​No. I’m not making any.
Nick:​Make Florida football fun again. MFFFA.
Andrew:​It sounds like a massive cussword. Okay. Go for it, Nick. Next question.
Nick:​Next question. Is it time to try a Franks and Zaire rotation to see if one can ignite the offense?
Andrew:​No, because I think then you really get stuff screwed up, and you really talk about a tempo that’s slowed down.
Nick:​It’s almost like hitting the reset button every time someone new comes in.
Andrew:​Yeah. You can’t get in any rhythm. So, no. Does there need to be a Zaire package? Sure.
Nick:​Okay. I agree with that. This is for you. Who is a must-get recruit? Then I’ll go on a little rant for the second part of the question. Who is a must-get recruit left on the Gator’s board? Does Corral start Day 1?
Andrew:​Matt Corral is the must-get recruit. Simply because you don’t have a quarterback on campus. I mean, it’s simple. You don’t have a quarterback. Your quarterback that can play is just leaving the surgery room for collarbone issue again, for an injury again. Does he start Day 1? I don’t know. Nick, you don’t know. Nobody knows, because, here’s the thing, he hasn’t been on campus yet. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a guy. If you ask Matt Corral, he’s going to say yes, he plans to start next year. We don’t know.
Nick:​I get the excitement about recruits every year, and people say, “If Florida State can do it, they’re playing a freshman.” Florida State’s 1-3 playing their freshman quarterback.
Andrew:​Jalen Hurts got Alabama to a National Championship.
Nick:​Deondre Francois was not a freshman. He was a redshirt freshman. Johnny Manziel, redshirt freshman. Starting at quarterback at a big D1 program, at any D1 program, is an exception, not the norm. To put the kind of pressure on Matt Corral to say, “You have to come in, and you have to start right away,” is not fair to him, and it’s not fair to the coaching staff to say that you’re going to have to go ahead and win with a quarterback … Is Corral early enrolling?
Andrew:​Yes.
Nick:​You’re going to have to win with a quarterback who’s going to be on campus for five months. Starting at quarterback is hard if you’re a senior. It’s very hard if you’re a freshman. The same five-seven names get thrown out at me every single time. These guys did it. There are exceptions to every rule. Those guys are exceptions.
Andrew:​I’m with you. I am totally with you. Like I said, you don’t have a quarterback on the roster. You need to get one. There’s your quarterback. See what he can do. That’s my answer when people say, who’s the most important. Matt Corral. You don’t have a quarterback. Guess what? You get one. If you don’t have a starting pitcher in baseball, you go sign one. You go recruit one. You got one. You don’t have a quarterback on campus, you go get one. You got it. What he does when he gets there, that’s up to the football coaches.
Nick:​Man, speaking of rotations. Florida’s got a nasty rotation. They start fall ball on Wednesday.
Andrew:​They do, and so does softball. Man, I kind of wish we were talking about that a little bit. That’s fun. Nick, I got time for one more question. Give it to me.
Nick:​It’s a lot of repeat questions. I’m just going through these. Why not try no huddle for a few drives?
Andrew:​They can’t get the play in. I mean, you ask. There it is.
Nick:​Yeah.
Andrew:​I have a question for you. Nick, why do you seem so distracted during podcasts? Does Andrew bore you?
Nick:​Yes.
Andrew:​That’s rude.
Nick:​Andrew bores me to death.
Andrew:​Tell the people for real what your issue is.
Nick:​Both of us are looking up stats. We’re looking up stuff during the podcast. We’re also thinking of where the podcast is going to next, what’s the next topic. Sometimes I don’t hear you, you don’t hear me. We’re just looking up stuff.
Andrew:​Yeah. It’s not an issue. Nick and I have very, very in depth conversations, even off the podcast. The bore factor is not there, but we both are very opinionated, so while Nick talking, I’m here trying to lower my blood pressure not to chew Nick out, and Nick’s probably doing the same.
​All right, Nick, let’s go. Sorry, we don’t have time for buy or sell. Questions just absolutely ran over.
Nick:​I have one for you.
Andrew:​Okay. Go ahead.
Nick:​Buy or sell, 450 yards of offense for Texas A&M.
Andrew:​450?
Nick:​450. They’re averaging 401 on the year.
Andrew:​No. No. They don’t get 450. I don’t like this defense at all, but they don’t get 450.
Nick:​Okay. I think that’s a tough number. I think 450, I’m going to go buy. They’re going to be right around 450.
Andrew:​Okay. I’m selling. They’re not getting 450.
Nick:​They’re averaging 424 a game.
Andrew:​They’re not getting. What did they get against Bama last weekend?
Nick:​I’m pulling that up right now. They had 308 against Bama.
Andrew:​Yeah. No.
Nick:​396 against South Carolina, and 501 against Arkansas.
Andrew:​There not getting that. Here is my one buy or sell. Since you got one, I’m going to get one. Buy or sell, Florida gets a turnover this week.
Nick:​Buy.
Andrew:​Really?
Nick:​Yes.
Andrew:​Okay. Okay. I’m selling. Randy Shannon’s not calling a good enough game to get a turnover. Nick, go for it. First game that we’re going to pick is?
Nick:​Georgia Tech at the fighting Richts. Excuse me, Georgia Tech at the Dolphins Stadium, Miami will also be there.
Andrew:​Miami.
Nick:​This is a game in our Alligator Picks column.
Andrew:​What is the spread?
Nick:​I got to pull that back up.
Andrew:​You’re good. I just didn’t know if you knew right off the top of your head.
Nick:​I got it right here. The spread as of when I picked it was Miami -6.
Andrew:​I think they cover that.
Nick:​I’m going to go with Georgia Tech. I think this is a good Georgia Tech team, and I don’t know who comes in after Walton.
Andrew:​That’s true. I’ll stick with Miami in a close game. This Miami team did get run over a little bit with some running game. I think it could be closer than the experts predict.
Nick:​Okay. We split there. South Carolina at Tennessee, who is coming off a bye week.
Andrew:​This is at Tennessee, correct?
Nick:​At Tennessee.
Andrew:​I’m still going to go Willy Muschamp, because they’re just horrible.
Nick:​I keep picking against Will Muschamp, and I keep losing.
Andrew:​They’re just horrible up there. Please, pick against Will Muschamp here, because I like seeing Tennessee in a dumpster fire.
Nick:​Picking Tennessee then.
Andrew:​Thank you. Thank you. What do you think for real?
Nick:​I think South Carolina.
Andrew:​Yeah.
Nick:​I think South Carolina wins, but I’ll pick Tennessee.
Andrew:​There you go.
Nick:​You go get those life reps, life championships, leadership reps. You go do all that. Can’t wait to hear your next one.
Andrew:​There you go. Next game.
Nick:​Auburn at LSU. This is a surprising spread to me.
Andrew:​What’s the spread?
Nick:​LSU +7. Auburn’s a touchdown favorite at LSU.
Andrew:​Yeah. I’m picking Auburn, but I wouldn’t be surprised if LSU won, because I think last weekend’s game could give LSU the momentum just to believe in themselves. I’m going for the pick of Auburn, but I think LSU could pull it off.
Nick:​Here’s what I said, I forget to who it was. We were talking in the media room, and I said, “There are only a few elite teams.” There are good teams. There was a lot of talk about Clemson playing NC State. I said, “NC State is a good team this year. Clemson’s elite. Not worried about Clemson losing to NC State.” I think Auburn is one of those borderline elite teams, and I think you’ll see that this week. I don’t agree with that spread. I will take Auburn and lay those points.
Andrew:​Auburn’s not an elite team. Gus Malzahn’s not an elite coach. Nick, we got to speed it up. Next game?
Nick:​Oklahoma at Texas. Not really at Texas, but it’s the Red River Rivalry.
Andrew:​I am going Oklahoma.
Nick:​Todd Herman gets a rough introduction to this rivalry.
Andrew:​I don’t even think it’s a good game. Nick, you got first pick.
Nick:​Aggies-Gators?
Andrew:​No. We’ll pick that last. First pick in the players. Who you got?
Nick:​Aggies are going to be running the ball. I’m taking the guy who will lead the team in tackles, David Reese.
Andrew:​There you go. My first pick, I’m going to run the table again. After back to back multi-touchdown games, I’m going to go Lamical Perine. If Florida’s scoring, they’re scoring on the running game. Lamical Perine is my pick.
Nick:​If Florida’s scoring, they’re scoring on the running game, and I’ll take Malik Davis.
Andrew:​One of us or both of us will probably get it. My next pick is going to be the Gator’s offensive line. Here’s the thing. I have no clue who else to pick on this Florida team, because I don’t know who is going to score on offense if Malik Davis or Lamical Perine doesn’t. I’m picking Florida’s offensive line, because I think they’re going to get some good push against this Texas A&M defensive front seven this week. Florida’s running game is their key. Florida’s offensive line, and it’s a strictly because I have no clue who else to pick on Florida’s offense.
Nick:​I don’t either. Chauncey Gardner. That’s why I will go with defense.
Andrew:​God, Nick. God, Nick. Lord, Nick. First of all, you throw out Mark Thompson last weekend. Now you’re throwing out Mr. Missed Tackle. One good game, and you think he’s back.
Nick:​I’m on board.
Andrew:​Good, Lord. If he doesn’t, and he has missed tackles, you are painting your chest with a 23. I don’t care what you say. If I have to come in the middle of the night and spray paint it on you and take the photo, you’re going to do it. You can’t. You can’t just keep throwing out these wild hail Marys. You just can’t.
Nick:​I’m throwing for verts and wheel routes.
Andrew:​You can’t. My next pick’s going to be Vosean Joseph. Has not had a good year at all, but Florida’s going to need that linebacker to step up and contain Kellen Mond. I don’t think they run at David Reese, so I think they’re running at Vosean Joseph. #11 will have a decent game for the Gator’s defense.
Nick:​Time to pick the last game. Texas A&M Aggies at Florida Gators. Both teams coming off a loss. Kevin Sumlin’s seat is hot. Jim McElwain’s is not, despite what Twitter tells me.
Andrew:​Go ahead, Nick.
Nick:​I’m going with A&M. I’m picking the Aggies to win this week. I see big problems from the defense containing, keeping contain, playing disciplined. I’m picking A&M this week.
Andrew:​I thought you would pick Florida. I’m picking A&M as well. I don’t know how Florida scores. I don’t, Nick. I just see A&M stacking the box and making it tough for Florida to score. I see Feleipe getting into an issue where he starts to force it a little bit, and A&M’s defense takes over. This is an A&M defense that played well against Alabama’s offense, who has been straight up explosive. I say A&M wins, and by two scores, this weekend. Make me a believer. I usually don’t pick against Florida, especially at home, but yeah. This is an A&M team that should be 5-1.
Nick:​Yeah. Shouldn’t have blown that game against …
Andrew:​UCLA.
Nick:​Yeah. Should not have blown that game. Yeah. We’ll see. We’ll see under the lights on Saturday, and some Swamp green alligator uniforms.
Andrew:​Listen, I’ll come right back here on Sunday when we tape it, you guys listening to it on Monday, and I will admit everything I was wrong about. There is nothing I would rather see than to see an offense from Florida do well. Nothing. I’m so bored of watching bad offense that I’m begging for good offense. Make me a believer. That’s what I can say. Nick, anyway, we’re going to get out of here. Cutting it short today. Hope you guys enjoyed the podcast. We’ll be back on Sunday.
​If you hadn’t joined us yet, message one of us. We’ll get you a coupon code for your subscription. Come on over and join us. Here’s the thing. Everyone wants to bash everybody for not being hard, Nick and I are being honest with people about it. Come check us out on the message board, and we’ll get you that coupon code. Guys, as always, we appreciate it. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us.
Nick:​www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in transcript and audio form. Podcast is also on iTunes. Check it out there. Subscribe. Give it a rating, and do your little like thing there. Social media, @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC. He’s @AndrewSpiveyGC. Follow me on Instagram. Give me some double tap love on Instagram there too.
Andrew:​Oh, brother.
Nick:​@NickdelaTorre.
Andrew:​Oh, brother. Whatever Nick says. All right, guys, we appreciate it. As always, go Braves. Chomp, chomp.
Nick:​You stay classy, Gator Country.
Friday A&M​​Page 16
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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.