Gator Country brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators tough loss on Saturday night to Florida State in Tallahassee.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down what went wrong for the Gators offense against Florida State and what they can do to improve.
Andrew and Nick also update the injury status of several Gators, plus start to preview the Gators vs. Alabama game on Saturday.
Nick: What’s going on, Gator Country? Somber day in orange and blue land. Florida loses 31-13 to Florida State. Andrew Spivey and I were there, and it’s starting to look a lot like 2015, Andrew.
Andrew: It is. It’s just so many question marks, and it’s so many…
Nick: So few answers to those questions.
Andrew: Right. So many, well, this and this, you know. You can blame Nuss. You can blame the players. You can blame both sides, and I said this on Sunday morning on my thoughts on Gator Country, that is that you can’t blame it fully on Nuss. The offense is really bad. you can’t fully blame it on Nuss, because you and I both see that there’s receivers open. There’s not enough time, so that’s on the players. My thing that is bothering me the most is that the scripted plays, the first 10 plays, the plays that Mac is involved in, is a lot of tempo. The ball’s getting snapped quick, and it looks organized. When it’s not the play is coming in slow. Too many delay of game penalties or getting close to being delay of game penalties. There is no tempo. It just looks like a slow death of an offense, I guess, is the best way to say it. There’s no energy whatsoever. That spark that was there last week, again, they only scored 16 points, but they moved the ball. This week there was no spark. I mean, only 80 yards of total offense in the second half.
Nick: I think I brought it up on the podcast, remember? Outside of a 98 yard pass, there wasn’t a lot of offense last week either.
Nick: The running game was there.
Andrew: It still moved. It wasn’t, I’m going to pull up the drive chart for Florida last night.
Nick: I’ve got it.
Andrew: I’ve got it as well. There’s five plays, this is the 3rd quarter, three plays.
Nick: Start in the 2nd quarter.
Andrew: Yeah. You can start in the 2nd quarter really. After the first two drives they go three plays, 1 yard, punt. 16 for 54, field goal. That’s okay.
Nick: No. It’s right after the field goal, and this is what happens. This is what we’ve been talking about about one bad drive happens, and then all of a sudden it’s an avalanche of bad drives.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s punt after three drives for six. Two drives for seven, and it’s halftime. Three plays for five yards and a punt. Four plays, three yards, and a field goal, and I think that that field goal opportunity in the 3rd quarter when Chauncey got the pick, them not able to capitalize that.
Nick: That’s deflating.
Andrew: It was.
Nick: That’s completely deflating. You get an interception. The place shuts up, finally. That place was loud all night, because you allowed it to be, and then you get a momentum shifting play. I talked about it before, Florida needs to get a big play, a momentum shifting play. Chauncey Gardner, I mean, listen, Chauncey Gardner didn’t do anything special there. It’s basically caught can of corn in center field, right? But, it’s a momentum shifting play, and you take all of that momentum, you put it into a nice little box. You wrap it, you tie a bow on it, and you walk over across the field, and you hand it back to Jimbo Fisher and say, “No thanks, we don’t want this. You can take it.”
Nick: That’s what you do with it.
Andrew: Here’s the thing that goes back to my first point about Nuss, and that is the 3rd down play was a beautifully designed play. You get what you want. Antonio Callaway one on one, you get it. Appleby actually makes a decent throw. Callaway doesn’t catch it, and probably because he’s thinking about trying to stay in bounds, but it’s those plays. I’m not trying to give Nuss the benefit of the doubt, because Nuss is just to blame as it is the execution of it. It just was bad football. I don’t even know what to say when I say this, because it’s stupid that I even have to say this, but when you feed 22 and you feed 25, good things happen. When you don’t, they lose. Guess what? They lost, and they didn’t feed those two guys. Mark Thompson is gone. Can someone please direct Jordan Cronkrite to have a seat by 24?
Nick: Jordan Scarlett carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards in the first half. He carried the ball four times in the second half. Lamical Perine touched the ball…
Andrew: Three times on the first drive, and then gets the ball two more times the rest of the game.
Nick: Yeah. Perine had two catches on the first drive?
Andrew: Then the run.
Nick: No, two catches in the first…
Andrew: First drive.
Nick: Yeah, first drive, for 26 yards, and then he had, let’s see.
Andrew: The one rush on the 1st and goal, where he got a yard.
Nick: He carried the ball any in the second half? One time in the 3rd quarter.
Andrew: One time, and that was it, and that’s what I’m saying. I don’t understand it. Here’s my reasoning of this. Jordan Cronkrite still has not picked up a block in pass pro. Still has not. Scarlett is struggling there. Your best pass pro back is Perine, followed by Scarlett. I just don’t understand what is going on here. I understand Scarlett is the fastest of the bunch, but if he can’t catch the ball out of the backfield, or if you can’t pass pro to get the ball to you, you’re worthless. Quite frankly, right now he’s worthless to the offense. Do I understand you couldn’t pound the ball all day, because Florida State was packing it? Yes, but at some point or another you have to find a way to get that momentum going again of running the ball.
Nick: A huge issue yesterday was the offensive line.
Andrew: Jawaan Taylor’s worst game as a Gator.
Nick: I mean, listen. Demarcus Walker’s making people look bad. That’s going to happen. Their defensive line was leading the league, leading the nation, in sacks for a reason. They added six yesterday. I thought the offensive line would struggle some, but it’s kind of like you said. You get into, I liked on the first drive Antonio Callaway’s, that reverse. That’s something that you and I, I think you tweeted, and we’ve talked about, they set up all the time. They run that damn motion all the time, so that’s something that we’ve seen before, and it pays off.
Thousands of yards that Brandon Powell and Antonio Callaway have run in motion finally pay off there, but you go away from that running game. You still run the run pass split down, or break down’s only six more passes than runs, but Austin Appleby’s feeling it today. He got pounded. Appleby was sacked six times. Four of those six times were on 3rd down, and two of those resulted in fumbles that led to an FSU touchdown.
Florida was 0 for 12 on 3rd down. We asked Jim McElwain about it. He didn’t have any answers yesterday, and he takes losses hard. A lot of football coaches do. Maybe getting to sleep on it, getting to go and watch some film, you’ve got answers, but he had nothing yesterday. To me, that’s concerning, because you came in to fix an offense. You’re an offensive coach. I know you don’t have all your players yet, you’ve had basically a recruiting class and a half.
Nick: But you put up 207 yards, your lowest production all season long. After sitting there all week and talking about winning a championship.
Andrew: Yeah. It all goes back to quarterback play. I mean, it’s, a business can’t be run without a leader, and that’s kind of how it is with quarterback play.
Nick: I think, yes, somewhat, and I asked Austin Appleby directly, and he wouldn’t really put, throw the offensive line under the bus. He did say, somebody asked him, “Were you underdressed a lot today?” He kind of looked at him like, “Yeah, idiot.” You watched it. I think what happens there though is, did he play well yesterday? Absolutely not. But I think once you start getting beat like that, and he was sacked six times. He was hit way more than that. When you, I think he was hurried probably five times other than that, and running around, I think you start getting happy feet, and I think that’s just natural.
When you start getting pounded in the ground by big boys like Christmas and Josh Sweat, Matthew Thomas gets in there. Bryan Burns, man, wish he was in orange and blue. Bryan Burns, Demarcus Walker had two sacks. When you start getting hit by those guys, your internal clock quickens, and now you’re maybe locking onto somebody, because you’re thinking, “Okay, I don’t have time to go to option two, so I have to get option one open. I have to get out of there.”
So, did he have a good game? No, but he wasn’t getting helped out by anybody else, and I’m not trying to make excuses for him. I think it’s just a fact. When you start getting your ass kicked as a quarterback, that internal clock speeds up, and it changes the way you play.
Andrew: I think you got to blame all parties. I mean, you blame the running backs for not picking up pass pro. You blame the offense for playing, or the offensive line, for playing like dog shit. You blame the play calling for not adjusting to that. I said this, I’ve said this all year, and I’ll say it again. Where’s the stand pass to Callaway? You hit it one time, and you got about eight yards. Where is it? That’s the stretch run.
Nick: Those are quick things you can do. Instead of dropping back and trying to hope that you can get some time to throw something that’s developing down field, just let him take the snap, plant his foot, and throw.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, it’s an almost guaranteed three to four yards every time you throw the ball if you get the ball there. I’ve seen people say, “Why don’t they throw quick slants?” Right now the offensive line is so bad that they’re not able to get hands down, and that’s a problem. You see that yesterday, or on Saturday, when they were throwing the crossing route to Brandon Powell. It was a quick little crossing route, and the ball gets batted down before he’s even able to get the ball away. That’s something that’s going to be an issue.
Fred Johnson is, he had beginner’s luck, as you said, at right guard, and it’s a situation where he thought he was going to maybe be better at right guard, but he’s simply not. He’s too tall. He can’t bend there. Martez Ivey was just as beat up and everything. He wasn’t ready to go. Quite frankly, David Sharpe’s not staying in front of anybody off the edge, especially a guy like Demarcus Walker.
Nick: Yeah. Now, the concern would be this. If, not David Sharpe, but if a young player like Jawaan Taylor, can’t move on from this. Does that make sense? If he lets this affect his confidence moving forward.
Andrew: Right. I mean, you’ve got to. You got to find a way to move forward. I mean, it is what it is. He had a bad game, and it happens.
Nick: He’s probably going to have a bad game next week. I think everyone’s going to have a bad game next week.
Andrew: I mean, every offensive lineman has bad weeks. It’s part of playing the offensive line. It’s just part of it. The one thing that concerned me for him was there was several times where he was blocking and just straight up looked like he was lost, and that’s concerning there. I’m going to say that next week they should go with Harkless at left guard and Tyler at right guard, and see what they can do. I know Harkless isn’t the most talked about, liked guy, but he’s done well at guard when in there. Frankly, you need Tyler to go back to right guard. I don’t think you can go into another game with Fred there. He’s just hurting it, and once again, it’s a lot of pieces that are there, and I understand that everyone wants to put it on Mac or Nuss, and they deserve blame just as much as those, but you can only call the play. Those guys can’t run the play, and you and I have both seen.
Nick: You’re coaching all week to make sure the guys can execute what you’re calling. Does the play calling make me scratch my head at times? Yeah. I wonder why you go away from the run when it’s being successful, but guys are open. That hasn’t changed. So I agree with you completely.
Andrew: Only thing that concerns me with the play calling is that I don’t understand why it’s so slow. Why is it so slow?
Nick: Our stat guy, Dan, brings that up all the time. Florida’s one of the slowest moving teams in the country.
Andrew: You and I were, we were able to go down on the field, and I said this to you, and I don’t think you got the chance to see this, but I had walked down a little before you and had looked and was kind of standing by the bench or whatever. I see Mac look over to Nuss and say, “Speed it up. What are we waiting on?” That, to me, showed me that, like Mac’s not happy with this clock going all the way down to five seconds. It was a couple of things that I was wondering about. Was it the young guys that are having to be told what to do? Is it the play calling coming in? What is it? It’s a combination of several things, I’m sure, but, I mean, you shouldn’t be getting delay of games. Florida had the opportunity to get multiple delay of games.
Nick: No, and there’s really no excuse for that, whether it’s…
Andrew: I mean, let’s face it too. That crowd was loud, but Florida’s been in crowds louder than that this year. I mean, it’s 72,000.
Nick: Yeah, not an excuse at all. Crowd noise, not an excuse. That’s on the coaching and player interaction. That’s whether it’s the coach not getting the play in quick enough, the coach getting the play in, and the player not hearing it, and having to repeat it, whatever the case may be. It’s slow, and it’s not good.
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. You look at it, and it’s a combination of several things. I know everyone wants to make rash decisions and get rid of this person or that person. I’m not going to call for that in the middle of the season. It’s not a situation you do middle of the season. If I’m Mac, I do take a look at everything, and I find a way to make sure I have a quarterback next season, whether that is going to Juco ranks and finding someone, maybe that’s finding a grad transfer that’s there. Someone in case the Trask, Franks project doesn’t work. I feel like they do, but at the same time, you can’t go into next season with that. The thing that’s concerning to me is this, and that is offensive line. Is Jawaan and Tyler Jordan and McCoy, are those guys getting better? What’s the status of Martez Ivey going forward?
Nick: I watched Martez Ivey crutch off the field.
Andrew: The crutches ain’t even bothering me, it’s the shoulder problems.
Nick: Both shoulders.
Andrew: Right, that continue to be a chronic problem. It is what it is. It’s a chronic problem for him.
Nick: Huge issue. Something you got to think about, and I don’t know what the best, at this point of the season I don’t know what the best, I thought maybe we had found it, but don’t know what the best combination of five is there anymore.
Andrew: I don’t know. I just don’t know. I don’t know where you go with this except for as simple as you need more playmakers. You need more players. You’ve got to figure it out, and people are like, “What’s your message?” Your message is pretty simple. You go in there, and you say, “Listen, our defense has got young guys, and you can’t question our defense. Come play offense.” If you’re Mac, you say, “Listen, you can step in, and you’ll play day one for us,” and that has to be the message from Mac and his staff to all offensive guys. It just is what it is, and they need to find a way to do that. It’s a spark. It’s a lack of that spark that is killing the team.
Nick: At this point, how can you even say, we talked about it before being like, “If you play offense for Florida you can play early. You can do this. You can do that.” At this point, how does that line of recruiting even work anymore? It’s just, “I’ve heard that, and, no, I don’t want to play on that. I don’t want to play on that offense, that slow offense.”
Andrew: Right. I mean, it all starts with a quarterback, and I said this before, and I hate to be critical of this person, but your quarterbacks generate buzz, and unfortunately Jake Allen’s not creating buzz for your class. You’re just not. You’ve got to find a way to create buzz. I said this, and I meant this, in that Mac didn’t learn, I mean, didn’t forget overnight how to call offense. He didn’t forget overnight. He still knows what he’s doing. He’s just got to find that guy. It is, while there’s a lot of problems, having a good quarterback solves a lot of things, including not having what seems like 50 guys in the box every time. I mean, when you’ve got eight guys in the box, it’s tough. So getting a quarterback does help the guys around you. It really does.
Nick: What does this do for you, personally, in the mind of looking at the two programs? For me, personally, it shows how far away you are.
Andrew: I’ll say this.
Nick: You’re not close to Florida State.
Andrew: I think what’s concerning to me is this, and that is that’s a bad Florida State football team. That is not a good Florida State football team.
Nick: That’s the worst, in the four straight years that they’ve won, that’s the worst of those four teams that Florida’s played.
Andrew: That is a very bad Florida State football team, a very bad Florida State football team, and I don’t care what anyone says, that’s not a good team. Francois’s okay, but Florida doesn’t put the defense in bad positions, who knows what the score is? I mean, you and I had this discussion, Dalvin Cook ended up with 160. I don’t feel like Dalvin Cook beat Florida, and would have beat Florida. So it’s a situation where that is the worst team that Florida has played at Florida State, and you still lose like that. When you look at the score it does look a lot worse than it was, but there’s no offense, and what’s even more concerning is what positives you did make last week against LSU went downhill this week.
Nick: Yeah. Kind of everything, all the momentum you built for FSU, everything you’ve garnered from that win, goes out the window. Now you’re left with this sinking, Joey Ivie called it heartbreaking, so you’re sitting here with this punched in the gut feeling heading in to play the best team in the country.
Andrew: My thing is this, and nobody is going to expect Florida to keep the game close. I don’t expect them to keep it close.
Andrew: But for a pride factor for a team you’ve got to figure out a way to keep it close. Make it respectful.
Andrew: I don’t know.
Nick: How? Right now I look at Nick Saban at some point in the game walking over to Lane Kiffin and being like, “Hey, man, this is my friend. Chill out. Put some other guys in. Stop running low. Stop throwing the ball. Do we have another quarterback, because Jalen Hurts is killing them? This is my friend, Jim McElwain. Bring the dogs out. Pull the dogs back. Put the horses away. Let’s, can we punt on 1st down?” Florida doesn’t match up on offensive line against their defensive line. I don’t know what Florida’s defensive line is going to be able to do against Alabama’s offensive line, without maybe you get Jarrad Davis back and he can, Jalen Hurts is just a whole other beast. Deondre, Jalen Hurts and Deondre Francois are not on the same level. Hurts, even though he’s a freshman, a true freshman, is better, and you kind of let Deondre Francois run whatever he wanted to yesterday.
Andrew: To be fair, Francois is a much better passer than Hurts, a much better passer. I think we need to hit on this as well, what is the injury deal? I can’t, I said something about this, and I hate to do this again, because I feel like I’m just calling everybody out, but is this on the strength staff? Is this on Mike Kent?
Nick: Stop it. You can’t do that. It’s not every strength staff.
Andrew: No, but listen.
Nick: It wasn’t the last strength staff’s fault.
Andrew: No, but listen to what I’m saying. Who’s fault is it? It isn’t just bad luck, and that’s what, I was talking to a parent after the game on Saturday, and is it the strength staff? Is it just bad luck? What is it? I don’t know the answer to that, but you’re having too many ankle injuries, this kind of stuff. I mean, at some point you have to stay this isn’t just bad luck.
Nick: It’s everywhere. It’s not just at Florida. I have a website pulled up with all NCAA football injuries. Arizona State has 10 players out indefinitely or out for the season.
Nick: Auburn has more than 10 players out indefinitely or out for the season. It’s not Florida. It’s not the strength staff of Florida. Football’s a violent game.
Nick: It’s just a violent game. Does it happen at Florida? Yeah. Is it only happening at Florida? No. It’s not the strength staff’s fault.
Andrew: No, and that’s why I ask. I mean, that’s why I said it like I said it. At some point though you have to wonder what’s going on.
Nick: The people comparing Tennessee’s to Florida, I mean, they’re out Jalen Maybin, big injury. Kahlil McKenzie’s a big injury. Jalen Hurd’s not injured, he just said, “I’m done winning life championships with you.” They had three people, or two people leave the team for personal reasons, one leave because he was dismissed, an ACL. Like, Florida’s got more than that, but it’s everywhere. I’m going through all these, UL Lafayette’s got seven players out for the season. You know what I mean? I understand everyone’s frustrated, and they want to find a reason for why things are happening, but Mike Kent’s not the reason Jarrad Davis has rolled his ankle twice, and then played on a rolled ankle and rolled it again to make it worse.
Nick: He’s not the reason Martez Ivey has a bad shoulder.
Andrew: No, and that’s what I’m saying, but at some point, do you have to look and say something could be done differently? You know what I’m saying? It’s just one of those things, and I don’t know.
Nick: Yeah. You can play baseball. Fathers, put a baseball in your son’s left hand. Don’t let them play football.
Andrew: If he’s really good, send him to Atlanta.
Nick: We got some humor out of Spivey today.
Andrew: Not very much. I mean, we’re both exhausted. It was a long night of returning back, but it’s just I don’t know. I just feel like there is, at some point in time you have to question everything. Someone brought this up to me, and maybe this is a better answer. Florida doesn’t have the depth on defense that they did, and so most of those guys are playing a lot more snaps. Is that a concern for it? Maybe. I don’t know. I just think that you’re at a point where you have to evaluate everything, and, unfortunately, that is one area you have to evaluate is what you think is making these guys be injured so much. It just, you’re not going to make me believe that it’s all bad luck. It is what it is. You just can’t say it’s all bad luck.
Nick: I don’t even think it’s bad luck. I think it’s just a violent ass game.
Andrew: Maybe. Maybe that’s the answer. I don’t know. Like I said, it just is, it has to be question mark behind it.
Nick: Then you look at Florida’s injury report, and CJ Worton’s listed as an ankle injury. He’s out there practicing every day. Go ahead and scratch him off the injury report. That sounds like it’s something else. We did get a couple little tidbits we can talk about. I think both of us would expect Bryan Cox and Cam Dillard to give it a go next week in the SEC Championship game.
Andrew: Yeah. I would also expect Jarrad Davis to try. He tried on…
Nick: I don’t think, I think you’ll agree with me here. I don’t think it was so much as he was trying to play Friday.
Nick: I think it was, “Go out there. See how it feels going through the normal pre game stuff to see how you feel.” I don’t think, Jarrad Davis was never going to play against Florida State. I think it was go out there and see how you feel doing stuff you’re going to have to do next week, because we want you to come back next week.
Andrew: Yeah. Never was there any question of that. We do expect that Jawaan Taylor the safety is probably gone for a little bit, popped his shoulder out of place. They had to pop it back in.
Nick: Actually, yeah. I actually watched it on the replay. You could see they were trying to pop it back in when he was on the field, and I think they ended up popping it back in on the sideline. They kept showing it on the TV replay.
Andrew: Then, unfortunately it looks like terrible news for Jordan Sherit with that knee. Had some knee injuries, and it does, it looks bad news for him there. Then, as we said on Martez, I just wouldn’t expect Martez to play this weekend. Just ankle, shoulders, everything. He was wrapped up. I mean, he looked like a mummy trying to walk out of there with his bags, with crutches and two shoulders messed up. Just was a bad look for that. I think that we talk about the offense and the team in general, losing this many starters catches up to you eventually. There’s only so much next man up deal. You look at the touchdown Travis Rudolph scored when it was 10-6, and Daniel McMillian’s on the field trying to cover him in the slot, because Duke Dawson had rolled his ankle. If you’re Florida, you don’t really have much of a choice, because, heck, I mean, you’ve went through two safeties. You’re just depleted back there.
Nick: You were out your two starting safeties. You were out your two starting linebackers. At one point out two linemen.
Nick: When Sherit went down.
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. I don’t know. We’ll get into much more Alabama stuff as the week continues, getting into that game and breaking that down. It’s a big one. It’s a big one for Florida to figure out a way to at least look competent in the game, to show up with a spark in the game, and just go out and play with fire. It’s a game where you don’t expect to win. You just got to find a way to not make it ugly.
Nick: You’ll be able to use your nobody cares, or nobody believes in us, and it’s us against the world. You know what? You’ve given everyone a reason not to believe in you this week. So yeah. Nobody will believe in you this week, and that’s probably because of what you’ve put on the field, but I don’t see, I don’t envision any way Florida wins this game. Alabama’s too disciplined, too fast, too good. Florida doesn’t appear to be disciplined, doesn’t appear to be good. Keep saying they’re an average team.
Can we talk real quickly, you might disagree with me, but if Feleipe Franks was ready to play, if Kyle Trask was ready to play, they would have played by now. I feel like a broken record, and I don’t see any scenario where you throw them into the hell fire that is playing against Alabama in their first game. If the coaches were comfortable with either of the freshmen, and it’s not to say that they’re bad players, it’s tough playing as a freshman. “Jalen Hurts did it.” That’s different. Jameis Winston won a Heisman. He redshirted. Johnny Manziel won a Heisman. He redshirted. Cam Newton won a Heisman. He redshirted. Quarterbacks redshirt. It’s normal. It’s not a big deal. So every week is, put Franks in, it can’t be worse. Last year it was put Josh Grady in, it can’t be worse. You watch two snaps of Josh Grady against Michigan and say, “What the hell is this?”
Andrew: It was bad.
Nick: If one of those quarterbacks was ready, they would have played. If the coaches were confident in that quarterback, they would have played. So when you’re calling for somebody else, and it can’t be worse than what I’m watching, yeah, it can. It can.
Andrew: Yeah. I just think that both of those guys needed the year, needed a year to get ready to play, and I do believe that. I’m not going to say neither one of them.
Nick: We said that before the year, both of us.
Nick: A quarterback, a starting quarterback playing poorly doesn’t mean you don’t need that year anymore, because we can’t afford to let you have that year anymore. It doesn’t change it. It doesn’t change the development process for a quarterback. Can you throw them up? Can you throw them in? Sure. What is that going to do for their future? You have no idea what you’re going to get out of them, and you certainly as hell are not throwing them in against Alabama. Then after that, are you throwing them in and burning a redshirt in the bowl game? You can make an argument and say maybe, because maybe you do because, why not? Throw them in in the bowl game and see what you have. Are we wasting a year of eligibility? Yeah, but he’s not going to be taking his first snap against Michigan then.
Andrew: Right. Well, there’s a lot of what ifs going on. Once again, is the quarterback probably going to completely fix the whole problem? I don’t think so, but at the same time you have to kind of see what’s going on and you have to evaluate whether those two guys are your options going forward. If not, you’ve got to go out and find quarterback in this class.
Nick: Yup. You’ve got to do something. I don’t know when that evaluation period starts.
Andrew: It’s already started. I mean, it’s already started. You have to know by now whether or not you feel good with those guys going forward.
Nick: I agree. Yeah.
Andrew: It is what it is. You’ve got to.
Nick: Agree with that. Let’s run through this real quick, and then we’ll get out of here. We’ll come back on Wednesday. I picked Michigan. They covered the spread, but they did not win. You picked Ohio State. Good for you. We both picked Washington. I think that’s a playoff team in Washington. That was an impressive win on the road against a top 25 opponent. Washington gets the win. We both picked Vandy.
Andrew: And we both got Ws.
Nick: It’s funny. Vanderbilt, I think there aren’t going to be enough teams to play in all the bowl games, so Vanderbilt, even if they lost, especially at 5-7, have the best strength of schedule or FPI is what they call it, I think, so they probably made a bowl game anyway, but Derrick Mason might get that lifetime contract for beating the preseason, Bristol Motor Speedway, life champion Tennessee Volunteers.
Andrew: Yeah. What a game. What a game for Vandy. Unbelievable finish to the season, and what a big win for Kentucky over Louisville. Mark Stoops and those guys put up over 600 yards total offense.
Nick: Torching them. We both picked Bama. Bama rolled over Auburn, and we both picked Florida.
Andrew: Yup. You want to run down the picks for players?
Nick: Yeah. Went to the well with Jordan Scarlett, and it looked like I was on my way to getting a win. Does not happen. 14 carries, 53 yards. Not involved in the passing game, missed the blocks that we talked about earlier in pass pro. I’m going to take a win for Kylan Johnson. He had a nice tip pass. When was that? Not the one that led to a pick, but I think it was a tip pass on 3rd down.
Nick: You know the one I’m talking about? I think it was 3rd down. Six tackles, half tackle for loss, and the pass breakup. I’m taking a win for Chauncey Gardner, six tackles. He got railroaded a little bit to start the game. That boy, Dalvin, hit him in the chest and kind of went backwards, but six tackles and the first career interception. Take a win for that.
You can take a win for David Reese with his five tackles. He’s kind of just always around the ball, and Caleb Brantley. Brantley, statistically one of his better games, but even those things that don’t show up in the stat book, Caleb Brantley was a problem yesterday. He was a monster. He is continually, these past three weeks, has made himself so much money in the NFL. Florida’s going to miss Caleb Brantley next year. Then we got to do it, because we’ve been tough on him, Marcell Harris. Career game yesterday, 11 tackles, nine solo tackles, the forced fumble. He was all over the field. He had touchdown saving tackles. He was covering Travis Rudolph and guys in the slot on his own and handling his business. Mud son, Marcell, hell of a game yesterday.
Andrew: He killed poor Francois.
Nick: Oh yeah, and the fans in the stands were whining about that not being a targeting call. Shoulder to shoulder. Grow up.
Andrew: It wasn’t even, did it look like it was helmet to helmet in actual time? Yeah, but when you look at it it was shoulder to shoulder. It was just a really good play.
Nick: Just a good play. We’ll be back Wednesday. We’ll have somebody on with us to preview Alabama and the SEC Championship game, and then you and I will both be in Hotlanta this week.
Andrew: Best city in the world.
Nick: No. We’re not going to Nashville. We will be in Atlanta instead.
Andrew: Little late breaking news on the podcast. We’re taping this on Sunday. The Gators weekend went from bad to really bad. Defensive tackle Fred Hansard flipped from Florida to Penn State, who he took an official visit to this weekend. Florida needed defensive tackles really bad, and they lost a good one in Fred Hansard. That was a big old boy.
Nick: He’s a New York, New Jersey kid.
Andrew: Yeah, Jersey.
Nick: New York kid, so it’s not a, I don’t think it’s an indication of yesterday.
Andrew: Oh, it’s an indication of yesterday.
Nick: I don’t know if it is an indication of yesterday, because he didn’t see the game. He’s at Penn State. He’s on an official visit.
Andrew: But it’s a product of the way things looked.
Nick: It’s a product of the way things look, but I think you’re even in more trouble with Florida kids based on yesterday than you are with out of state kids.
Andrew: You’re in trouble everywhere. I mean, it is what it is.
Nick: Danger! Danger!
Andrew: Mac probably is biting at the bit to get in front of these kids and be able to sell these kids a message of his own, instead of the media and everyone selling that message. As you said, tell the people where they can find us. We’ll be back on Wednesday and be ready to preview this game.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there every Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 5:00AM sharp in transcript and audio form. If you have iTunes, go to the iTunes podcast store. Type in Gator Country, search there. Subscribe, never miss an episode. Follow us on social media. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. Follow me, @NickdelaTorreGC, and follow him, @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: That’s right.
Nick: Follow me on Instagram this week, @NickdelaTorre, because I will be eating some absurd stuff. What was that burger I had last year? It had plantains and peanut butter on it, on a burger.
Andrew: Something like that.
Nick: That will be on the IG.
Andrew: You and the food you eat is beyond crazy, but as said, we’ll be there, and some reporter didn’t want to go, but I’m going to enjoy the weekend, no matter what.
Nick: Get a little look at the new Mercedes dome.
Andrew: And go check out Sun Trust Park, the home of the best team in baseball. As always, guys, we appreciate it. We’ll see everyone on Wednesday. As always, Butch and Mark, you still suck. Don’t worry about it. You ain’t going to Atlanta. Chomp, chomp.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.