GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators loss to LSU on Saturday in the Swamp.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre talk about what went wrong in the game for the Gators on both offense and defense.
Andrew and Nick also break down what the Gators can do better to get the ship turned in the right direction going forward.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, this ain’t going to be a fun podcast. Just going to throw that out there. If somebody’s tuning into this hoping for some sunshine, turn it off now.
Nick: Yeah. Not a lot of sunshine here.
Andrew: Turn it off now. There ain’t going to be no sunshine on this podcast. This is about to be straight fire, straight truth, straight three years of same old, same old that is over with.
Nick: Jump into it. You’re teasing. Jump into it.
Andrew: First off, let’s just go ahead and recap it. 17-16 loss to LSU. Nick, you and I both picked LSU. I mean, we picked Florida to beat LSU. I texted you before the game, and I said, “31-17 LSU.” Then I said, “No way Mac loses to this team, right?”
Nick: You went back and forth.
Andrew: I don’t know why, but for some reason, as soon as Troy beat LSU, I just thought Florida would lose this game. That was simply because of a couple reasons, Nick. That is that this team always plays down to competition. You look at the U Masses of the world, the UAB, the Northern Colorados. They seem to always play down to teams like that. They never blow out the teams they’re supposed to blow out. I think that this team came in over confident, and not thinking this is still LSU.
Nick: That’s what I said all throughout the week wouldn’t happen, because it’s LSU. You know what I mean? If you were playing Missouri, and Missouri had just come off of a really bad loss, okay. Even Missouri’s in your division, there’s not really that rivalry factor. I thought the rivalry factor, everything that happened last year, the fact that there’s so much bad blood between these two teams, I thought that it didn’t matter if they lost the week before, that rivalry factor would outweigh it.
Andrew: No. It didn’t. That’s the issue that I think we all have to come back to here. That is that why. Why did this happen? Why did this team come in like this? LSU played without a good bit of its roster against Troy. Now, granted, Troy beat them. LSU is not a good football team. LSU is a very mediocre football team. To come out of this game and allow that to happen is mind boggling to me. You and I said it on the podcast, and I said, “If Florida comes into this game and LSU jumps out in front, watch out. LSU is going to have confidence.” Guess what happens? LSU comes out, has a great drive, wins the game in the first quarter, in my opinion.
You just never seen a sense of urgency in this team, and it goes back to this a little bit, and that is we said, “Don’t let the running game beat you. Make Danny Etling beat you.” They rushed for 216 yards, Nick. 216 yards, a majority of that by wide receivers.
Nick: Their wide receivers had one catch and 10 carries. 10 carries for 108 yards. Wide receivers from LSU.
Andrew: Let’s just start here then. We’ll just start here. Nick, we’re in Year 3, bud, and you and I said this last year, and we blamed it on the offensive line. It’s no longer just the offensive line. Why does this team come out with no sense of urgency? Why does this team come out lackadaisical? Why does this team come out with no passion to work, to win a football game? You practice all week to come out and beat up on your opponent, and there is none. How do you explain that, Nick?
Nick: There’s really no explanation. There’s no explanation for it.
Andrew: Do you see that?
Nick: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely, I see that there’s no sense of urgency. I see that there’s no, and I Tweeted about it yesterday. You talked about it yesterday. Coming out of the second half, I need to look at the numbers, because I’m going to ask McElwain about it on Monday, but coming out of the half they’ve been abysmal. On that first drive, sometimes on the first drive for each, offense and defense, but definitely that first drive LSU comes down, and Mac used the excuse of they got the big play, where it looked like Duke Dawson had an interception. That’s not an excuse.
There have been 3 and outs when the offense gets the ball first. There have been long scoring drives when the defense comes out first. I don’t understand how you are so poorly coached in the locker room that that’s happening. Is it poorly coached? We get to the point where sometimes I say, “You got to blame the players.” When you have a chance to go in and talk about what just happened, make adjustments, and then you’re immediately coming back out after that, and you’re getting outcoached, out played. There’s no urgency, and there’s no execution. To me, it’s unfathomable. It makes no sense how that happens consistently, over and over again.
Andrew: First of all, here. Let’s just say what it is. I’m ready to say it. Stop blaming the players. Do the players own responsibility for this? Yes. Absolutely. But it’s also coaching. You lead me to my next point, and that is there’s a reason Randy Shannon hasn’t been a defensive coordinator for 10 years. There is a reason nobody else was licking their chops to hire him. Randy Shannon is a glorified recruiter of under the radar type of players, and a South Florida legend. He’s not a defensive coordinator. Stop it. Stop with it. It’s too vanilla. Yes, Florida’s playing with a ton of young guys. Sure.
When you’re coming out, and you have no idea how to stop it, like you hadn’t seen jet sweep all week long, what are you doing? Yes, I understand Mac said that the defensive guys didn’t watch enough film the week before. I don’t need to hear all that crap. What are you doing in scout team? What do you do when you’re running scout team against LSU in practice? What are you doing in that? Did you not see jet sweep in that? I mean, your team looked lost for the majority of the game, until mid-third quarter when LSU just said, “We’re up by 14 points. We’re going to go back to running vanilla offense, because we don’t think you guys can score.”
Nick: I don’t blame the coaching for stopping jet sweeps. Maybe you should. If I’m an offensive coordinator, what I have seen from Florida’s defense all year is that they don’t have disciplined edge players. They don’t set the edge. Even as good as the defensive ends have been playing, Jabari Zuniga, to an extent Cece Jefferson, these guys aren’t setting the edge. Jachai Polite’s probably the biggest culprit of that, and they’re not setting the edge against any outside runs, against any option plays.
Andrew: Then guess what, Nick? Figure out a way to fix that. Figure out a way to stop that. Figure out a way to have a linebacker scroll down. Figure out how to have a cornerback. Figure out a way, Nick. You’re in Week 5. That was Game 5 for them. It’s no longer an excuse, Nick. The excuses stop. There is no this and this. No. The players are not being taught that. If they were, they would be fixing it. Quite frankly, if they’re not fixing it, get them out. Get them out. It’s easy. Get them out.
Nick: It’s everyone.
Andrew: Figure out a walk-on that wants to play. Get them out.
Nick: You can’t play them. Come on, now.
Andrew: Nick, you don’t play guys that aren’t ready to play. It’s one or two things, Nick. They’re either being coached to attack the passer from the beginning, or they’re not doing their job. If they’re not doing their job, get them out. Not every one of those guys is doing it. Figure out what’s going on. That’s on you as a defensive coordinator. That is you on a defensive coordinator that on 3rd and 10 you’re getting beat by a screen play. That’s on you. That’s on you as a defense that you’re doing it. It all goes back to the defensive coordinator.
Geoff Collins was one of the best guys at adjusting in game. Randy Shannon has zero adjustments in any football game, and it’s lackluster, Nick. It’s beyond frustrating. I know we’re harping on the defense. They only gave up 17 points, but, Nick, they gave up, let’s see here. Let me scroll back here.
Nick: 341 yards. 216 on the ground.
Andrew: Inexcusable. Inexcusable for that to happen. Can’t get off the field. I’ve not seen a team in a long, long time be as bad at getting off the field on 3rd down as Florida is. They’re getting zero pass rush, because guess what? What I’m saying is they’re bad on getting 3rd. 3rd and 12, teams never have looked as bad as this 3rd and 12.
Nick: Remember those Muschamp teams? Muschamp teams, if it was 3rd and 1 or 3rd and inches, it’d be 4th and 5. If was 3rd and 19, it was like how the hell did they have a 28-yard draw play?
Andrew: Right. The 6 and 14 numbers are skewed dramatically.
Nick: Florida is the worst in 3rd down conversions on offense, at converting 34%. Right now, they’re 5th in the SEC as a 3rd down defense.
Andrew: The numbers are skewed at 6 and 14, because of the 4th quarter.
Nick: Yeah. I think LSU was over 50% before the 4th quarter.
Andrew: Yes. If you’re listening to this, we’re about to go to Nussmeier and his shenanigans on offense. Don’t worry. He’s coming. Nick brought the defense up first. I’ve just go to go where it is, and that’s where Nick led me. Your front seven, Nick, are juniors and sophomores for the most part. You have a couple freshmen playing at defensive tackle. It’s no longer an excuse that they’re young. Yes, they’re young in the secondary, but CJ Henderson and Marco Wilson, those guys aren’t getting picked on. Those guys aren’t getting picked on. When are you going to stop putting your linebackers in those situations that you know they can’t do? You can’t do that.
It goes back to this too, Nick, and I say this with Randy, and I know I’m picking on Randy. He’s your safeties coach. This is the worst safety play Florida’s had in as long as I can ever remember. His safety play is atrocious.
Nick: I think Chauncey Gardner had a great game yesterday.
Andrew: He did.
Nick: But, and it sounds like I’m making excuses, you’re playing him out of position. You’re playing a cornerback at safety there.
Andrew: There you go again. Stop making excuses.
Nick: To me, Shawn Davis came in, and Shawn Davis played well yesterday, and Edwards came in, and Edwards played well.
Andrew: Brad Stewart played well.
Nick: That’s what I meant. Sorry. Brad Stewart. Why are you stuck in a mindset where we have to play Chauncey at safety? You’ve got other guys. Put him back at nickel. Put him back at cornerback. You’re saying you’ve got to find those best five guys. I don’t think you have your best five guys. It was really not until Nick Washington went out where you forced your hand to put other people back there. I think you get two new safeties back there with Chauncey playing outside.
Andrew: That’s fine, Nick. I’m tired of the excuses. I’m not picking on you, but I’m just tired of the excuses. Fix it. You’re in Week 5. I mean, you’re going into Week 6. You just played Week 5. Fix it. I’m sick of the excuses, Nick. This isn’t anything. Here’s the thing, and I say this, and everybody wants to put the what-ifs on offense. What about the what-ifs on defense? LSU has got receivers running wide open. Wide open, Nick. Wide open.
Nick: Florida had guys running wide open that Feleipe’s not seeing.
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. If you want to give the what-ifs on offense about they should have done this, realistically LSU should have scored a lot more.
Nick: Okay. No, because LSU’s not a good football team. A good football team, if Florida plays and Alabama, yeah. Alabama’s scoring a lot more with guys running wide open like that.
Andrew: Right. You know what I mean in that. You’re going to say Florida should have scored more than 16 points.
Nick: Yeah. You’re saying, listen, they had a chance to score more, because guys were open that aren’t getting hit or not being seen. Yeah. We’re going to get to that same point when we get to Florida as well.
Andrew: Okay. Let’s go to offense, because here it is. You do make the change, and you stop feeding Mark Thompson the ball. Hallelujah.
Nick: No carries.
Andrew: No carries, and that means Nick didn’t get a touchdown.
Nick: I don’t think he played at all.
Andrew: He played. He played the whole last drive. That’s what’s mind boggling to me is that. I’ll get to that in a second. What does Florida do for the first two and a half quarters off football games?
Nick: I’m sitting there, and I’m wondering. You came out against Vanderbilt and Kentucky, and I’m wondering where are those plays? Where is that quick pass? Where is a quick slant? There were a couple passes they tried to throw to the middle. Feleipe Franks, I even asked him this question after the game, but we don’t ask tough questions. I said, “That pass to Brandon Powell on 4th down,” but, listen, that’s not where you lose the game. You lose the game in other areas. “You stared down Brandon Powell. Were you a beat too late?” His answer is, “We don’t want to look at that. We’ll have to look at the film.” Starring receivers down. I think that’s an issue.
It’s not lack of creativity, because I don’t think a screen pass is creative. I don’t think a stand pass is creative, but it’s been effective. Where were they?
Andrew: Here we go. We’re about to disagree, because it is lack of creativity, Nick. It’s a lack of making the defense guess. It’s a lack of making the defense wonder what is coming. Everybody knows what’s coming.
Nick: I agree with. I’m just saying the plays I was specifically talking about, I don’t think they’re creative. I don’t think those are creative. I’m just saying where’d they go? Those plays have been effective. When you have a quarterback in Feleipe Franks who you don’t trust, and I don’t care what they say. They play calling when he is in shows that they don’t trust him the way that they trust Luke Del Rio. Then do easy things. What’s easier than as soon as the ball hits your hands turning to a guy and throwing the ball immediately? What’s easier than that?
Andrew: There’s my argument, and that’s what I say. There’s no creativity, and that is it’s like we have first half playbook, and then we have a second half playbook. The first half playbook was we’re going to throw screens, quick stand passes, and we’re going to try to throw the ball to our running back. Okay. They did that on the first drive. It worked for the most part. Some bad penalties and that kind of thing, but it left. After the first drive, they had one pass to the running back, and zero stand passes. They had some success last week with throwing to the tight ends in Moral Stephens. Okay.
I understand, Nick, you’re probably going to have a smartass comment when I say that, but it worked. Okay. Where are these things? Why is the playbook broke into half? The first half it’s stand passes and throwing the running back one time. No running game. The second half is we’re going to push it up the gut every time and do nothing else. Can you not put it all into one?
Then, Nick, why is it that the play is being got to Feleipe with seven seconds on the play clock? There’s no time for the offensive line to adjust. There’s no time for Nuss or Mac or anyone on the sidelines to make an adjustment, because it’s five seconds left on the play clock. It’s like, “Oh crap. Let’s get our shit together. Hurry up here, before we get delay of game,” and go on with it.
Nick: I asked a player yesterday about that. I asked, “Is it Feleipe? Is it Nussmeier? Is it just the system?” They said, “It’s just the system of him being in the box. He has to call it down. It has to get to somebody else.” I’m thinking, “Okay. That happens everywhere. There’s offensive coordinators across the country that are in the box that can call a play down and have it relayed in time, and you’re not snapping the ball with 10 seconds, five seconds left on the play clock every single down.” That last drive, it took them two minutes and 22 seconds, and six plays, to get 21 yards. There’s no urgency there.
There’s something going on. It shouldn’t be hard. It’s 2017. The technology is good. It shouldn’t be hard to radio a play from the coach’s box down to the sidelines and have that relayed. I don’t think Doug Nussmeier should be back on the field. I think Nussmeier needs to be in the press box. You got to figure out that system and make that more efficient.
Andrew: Here’s the deal, Nick. That is if a play caller is waiting.
Nick: It’s almost like calls a play, and then becomes a spectator, and then has no idea what the next play is. It’s kind of like, I’ll see what they do on this play, and then I’ll find a play after that. Then that process takes too long.
Andrew: Right. That’s what I’m saying.
Nick: Rather than, there’s going to be one of two outcomes here. If this outcome happens, here’s our next play. If this outcome happens, here’s the play. Then as soon as the play happens, even before a player’s tackling, the ball is spotted, you can say, “I know what’s happening here. I know what they did there, so here’s how we’re going to counterattack it.” Boom. Play is in.
Andrew: Right. That’s what I’m saying. You should be thinking as a play caller two and three and four plays ahead of time. You shouldn’t be, especially in a situation where it’s three minutes and 50 seconds to go in a game, you’re down by 1. You should know what you’re doing. You have your full playbook open.
Nick: The entire fourth quarter pretty much, you’re down by 1, and the play calling did not look like that. It looked like you had a 1-point lead, and you were trying to protect it by playing a field position game. You’ve got some 4th and shorts where, sure, you’re on your side of the field, but you’ve made some very questionable 4th and short calls to go for it in the past. Why not when you’re down a point? You have to go. You have limited time left to make a play, to make a couple plays, to get into fieldable position, or to get some points.
Andrew: Right. That’s what I’m saying. I’m not understanding of what’s going on. That is why are you playing scared? Why are you playing scared to lose the game in the first quarter? What is the mindset that is just going on? I don’t understand it. If it’s taking Nuss that long to process a play call and get it in, then he might be in the wrong profession. You know how I don’t say that very often. I never call for someone to be let go or anything like that. If you’re taking that long, you might be in the wrong profession. You can’t do that no more.
Franks has no ability to change things at the line of scrimmage to help his offensive line. You need to give those guys a little bit more time. You have to. Then it kind of goes back to what you just said a minute ago, and that is what he’s comfortable with you better do it, and you better do it a lot. I love Kadarius Toney playing wildcat quarterback, but at some point or another teams are going to know what’s coming. You have to be limited with that a little bit and let your quarterback win you the football game.
It goes back to Franks too. You see the play to Brandon Powell across the middle. If you go back and watch the replay, Mark Thompson’s wide open. Wide open.
Nick: That hurts your soul to say.
Andrew: Yeah. He might score. Mark Thompson might score if they throw him the ball, because he’s wide open.
Nick: That’s where Franks is at, man. That’s where he’s at as a quarterback.
Andrew: The play they called to Powell was the same identical play they ran with Del Rio on 4th and short against Kentucky, where Del Rio bought time and threw it to Thompson for the 1st down. That’s the same play that was called there. He just didn’t go to his check down.
Here’s where I’m at, Nick, and this is just where I’m at. Zaire must be that bad. I hate to judge him off that Michigan game, because Florida’s offensive line was just atrocious in that game, but he just must be that bad that they’re sticking with Franks in this, because Franks is not your answer.
Nick: Who is?
Andrew: Zaire must just not be that. Franks just is there guy.
Andrew: Zaire must just be awful.
Nick: From what I’m told, it’s the same kind of thing of starring receivers down, with less arm talent. Listen, Del Rio would get into that same thing where he starred guys down as well, but not as bad. Feleipe Franks right now is your best answer, and what you’re seeing from him is really what you’re going to get.
Nick: To me, I’m angry at the coaching when you couldn’t recognize that before the year. The entire off season, even after you flipped and were totally up with what you were told and said, Franks is going to win, I said, “I don’t get it, man. I don’t get. Del Rio’s a better option. I don’t know how they don’t see that.”
Andrew: Yeah. That’s there. I can say this too, and that is that the offensive line is playing better. They’re giving Franks time. He’s not rushed. In that 4th down play, he wasn’t rushed. He had time.
Nick: He was sacked five times yesterday. A couple of those are coverage sacks.
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying.
Nick: Yeah. I’m looking down the field, and there’s no one to throw to.
Andrew: Right. Then there was twice that I remember very clearly in that he had a guy wide open and just hesitated and took a sack in that. I don’t know where you go with it. You’ve got to figure out a way to fix that with Franks. You’ve got to figure out a way not to be so predictable. Also, Nick, where is the running game with the quarterback? We saw that some with Appleby last year, and that was something that worked out. Where is that with Franks? Some people say, “It’s just because you don’t have a backup.” It wasn’t there when he had a backup. Where is this?
It just seems like, I don’t know. I’m just going to call it like it is. It’s a cluster. That offense is a cluster. That defense is a cluster. This football team in general is just a cluster. It looks bad. It’s boring. It’s no fun.
Nick: Fun? I’m not ready to write the defense off as a cluster. That undisciplined stuff, to me, is just youth. The undisciplined comes from being young and trying to make plays where there aren’t plays to be made.
Andrew: I don’t think you understand what you’re saying, Nick. I mean this, and I’m not trying to call you out, but all the problems on defense is not undisciplined football. The problem is the play calling on defense, as well as it’s the play calling on offense. On 3rd and 7, on 3rd and 9, when you know every team in America knows you’re only going to bring four, they can block that. You have no creativity on defense, just like you have no creativity on offense. It is boring, Nick.
When you have a secondary that is young, you have to get to the passer. There is no creativity. There’s no stunts with the line. There’s no bringing the linebackers. There’s no bringing the nickel blitz. God forbid we bring a safety blitz every now and then, Randy. There’s nothing. It’s boring. It’s like you’re running five plays on both sides of the ball. I understand what you’re saying, that they’re young. I just I don’t believe it. I’m just sorry. I’m sorry to say it like that. Randy Shannon and Doug Nussmeier are both in over their heads, and I hate to say it like that, because I shouldn’t be like that, but it is what it is. This is on coaching. You can’t blame it on players no more.
Nick: Here, for the sake of argument—not argument, but discussion. I understand what you’re saying, and agree to it when you’re saying you have a young secondary, you’ve got to get to the quarterback. When you start bringing more people, now you’re also maybe you get to the quarterback, but if you don’t get the quarterback with bringing pressure, now you’ve put those young guys in a bad position where they’re all playing man up, because you brought other people.
Andrew: When you’re a defense, you can’t operate out of fear. If you operate out of fear, you’re going to get beat. When you watch good football teams, what do they do? They mix it up. Sometimes on 3rd down they drop seven into coverage. Sometimes they drop six. Sometimes they drop five. Every time Florida’s dropping seven. It’s a four-man rush. They’re not getting to the passer. It’s the same old, same old. You just don’t win football games like that. You operate out of fear.
When an offensive coordinator can look at a defense and say, “Okay. On 1st down we know we’re getting this. 2nd down we know we’re getting this. 3rd down we’re getting this.” They’re seeing that for seven days. They can beat that. It is what it is. It’s a bad game call on both, and it’s there. I understand everyone’s going to think I’m picking on Randy and Nuss. I’m sorry, but that’s who it stops with. The buck stops there. It just stops there.
This isn’t old-school football or youth football or high school football where you can allow your athletes just to go out there and play. No. This is big time SEC football where you’re facing teams that can outcoach you. Simply as it is, on Saturday Ed Orgeron’s goofy ass self outcoached Florida.
Nick: Yeah. Florida was outcoached. I don’t know what Ed Orgeron’s coaching, so I don’t know if you can say Ed Orgeron outcoached them. Canada certainly outcoached Randy Shannon.
Andrew: What’s his name? How do you say his name? Dave.
Andrew: Something like that. However you say his name. He outcoached Nuss. That’s just where it is. I said it a little bit to myself, and I posted this on the message board a little bit, but when do you stop blaming your players? I say this. Mac said it was an embarrassing loss for the guys. When’s it embarrassing for you guys? When is it embarrassing for you guys? This was homecoming. What are you doing? When do you become embarrassed? When do you say, and I know we all say this, and we laugh about it, but when do you say you’re going to get it fixed? When does the buck stop on the coaches that they’re going to get this fixed?
Nick: How do I ask the question then in a press conference? Everything is just we’ll get it fixed. How are you going to fix it? That question will never get answered. I’m tired of just hearing, “That’s what happened. We’re fixing that. That’ll get fixed in practice.” How? How do you fix that in practice, because you’re not. It hasn’t happened. What’s your new way? What did you try in the past that didn’t work, and what’s your next plan, since that didn’t work? What’s the new way to fix the same thing we’ve seen for three years? Because whatever you’ve tried for three years, that’s not the move.
Andrew: When does your team become an identity of yourself, Nick? I say that in that not Mac in general, but the coaches in general, and that is lackadaisical. Not fiery. No sense of urgency. No fire coming out. Let’s face it, Nick. LSU called Florida chicken shit last year. Most of these guys playing were there, and they couldn’t come out fiery? You know what I’m saying? They didn’t come out fiery. They didn’t come out wanting to win. I don’t know about you, Nick, but I know Homecoming used to be a big thing. You didn’t want to lose on Homecoming. There was no fire there.
I just go back to I think, I don’t think. I know it’s on your staff in general to get your guys fired up and ready to play. If your guys don’t believe in themselves, and don’t believe in their team, they show it. In my opinion, this team just lacks confidence on the field. I know they’re going to talk their shit, and they’re going to sound confident, but when they get on the field, they look like the most unconfident group of human beings in America.
Nick: How do you fix that? If you’re not having success, how do you fix that? You know what I mean?
Andrew: It kind of goes back to what we talked about last week, and that is when guys are arguing with other guys, because they’re know they’re better than the guy playing each other, but they know, and they’re not being told by the coaches the truth about why they’re not playing. Then they feel like we’re not going to play, because we didn’t get recruited by this person and this, that, and the other. What do you do? I mean, I’m just saying. You’re quickly losing a lot of things. How do you get it fixed?
Here’s the problem Florida has. They have no leadership, Nick. Who is on this team walking in that locker room and getting the team to look them in the eyes?
Nick: I think it would have been Del Rio.
Nick: I think it would have been a Jordan Scarlett.
Andrew: Okay. Who is it now?
Nick: I think it needs to be Cece Jefferson.
Andrew: But he’s not that person.
Nick: He spoke with the team, or they said. Lamical Perine said that Cece Jefferson kind of stood up and spoke to them yesterday, but standing up and speaking when everyone’s heads are down is different than standing up and speaking and making sure your heads aren’t down after a game.
Andrew: Right. Where is that Jarrad Davis? Where is that Jarrad Davis? Where is that Max Garcia? Where is that leader that just walks in and you see that? You know what I’m saying? You don’t have that. Where are you going with it on defense? Nobody respects Chauncey Gardner on that football team, so they’re not listening to him. Nick Washington’s a calm, cool, collected guy. He’s not speaking up. That’s your defensive leaders.
Usually your secondary, or your linebackers, and you’ve got two young guys at linebacker that’s doing that. Offense it’s your quarterback, and he has no confidence in himself. Who’s making this? Who’s your leader? Laugh all you want, Nick, but it’s probably Johnny Townsend.
Nick: I won’t laugh at that. That sounds like a great leader.
Andrew: You know what I’m saying? It’s probably your punter.
Nick: That’s an issue.
Andrew: It’s where you’re at. It’s where you’re at, Nick. Here’s the thing, and I want to end it with this a little bit. It was a big recruiting weekend for Florida as far as having their commits in town. Guys like Matt Corral, Jacob Copeland, Jamar Chase, those guys, they see opportunity to play. You’re not running those guys off. Nick Saban used to say this, and I know people don’t want to hear him say this, but in my opinion Nick Saban is probably the greatest football coach we’ll see in our time. I was at a coaching clinic, and he once said this. He said, “You can’t let the fear of what could happen in recruiting affect what you do for your team now.
That is if chances need to be made, and you’re scared of it hurting recruiting, you can’t let that affect you. Guess what? You have 105 guys on your team. You have a fanbase. You have boosters. You have alumni that are counting on you to make that decision to make that football team better. If you make the right decisions that are going to better your program, that will help recruiting. If it doesn’t, those guys didn’t want to be there. Florida should never have an issue with recruiting anyway. Not making a change because of recruiting, in my opinion, is a sissy way out of not wanting to make a change.
Nick: You’re talking about making a coaching change.
Andrew: Any time. Mid-season would be perfect.
Nick: Who takes over if mid-season? Who calls plays on offense, on defense? Who’s your next coordinator if you fire these guys in the middle of the season?
Andrew: Here’s what I’m going to ask you, Nick. I want you to think about this for just a second before you answer this. Do you want to continue seeing the shit show you have, or see what you have to move on for next year?
Nick: That’s a very narrow-minded view.
Andrew: No. It’s not very narrow.
Nick: It’s like the viewpoint last year where it’s I’ve seen enough of Del Rio. Appleby has to go in. I’ve seen enough of Appleby. This guy has to. It’s the viewpoint of when you’re mad about a quarterback it can’t get worse than this. I told you. Listen, Josh Grady can get worse than what we’re seeing right now. Believe me. That viewpoint of it can’t be worse than this it’s emotional. You’re angry, because the team is losing.
Andrew: Can I respond and say that you saying continue on with shitty play is scary. Are you scared of what it is? Do you not have a group of coaches around that you trust?
Nick: No. I’m saying you need to have a plan.
Andrew: I’m not in there. I’m not getting paid the money to make that plan, Nick. I’m just saying.
Nick: I’d like that paycheck.
Andrew: Sure. I’m just saying, I’m not getting paid that money to make that. That’s not my choice. You know what I’m saying? It’s not my choice. I can tell you what. Look at Alabama last year. They got rid of Lane Kiffin right before a national championship game. You have a plan in place. Where’s your plan in place?
Nick: That goes on the head coach.
Andrew: You don’t have one? If you don’t have one, then we have bigger questions to talk about today. We have bigger questions to talk about today. Someone on our message board said that Florida still controls their own destiny getting to Atlanta. Get out of here. This team is not going to Atlanta showing what we saw on Saturday.
Nick: That’s true. Not showing what we saw on Saturday.
Andrew: Or all year, to be honest.
Nick: Florida is two covered receivers and one unanswered prayer away from being 1-3 in the SEC. That’s where we’re at.
Andrew: Exactly. What needs to happen? Why not see about it? I say that in, I’ll go ahead and say it, Nick. I would like to see what Ja’juan Seider can do as a play caller. I would. He’s been around some guys. He’s been around Holgerson. He’s been around some guys. He’s played the game. He’s a former quarterback. I’d like to see what he does. I would like to see what a guy like Chris Rumph would do calling plays on defense.
Nick: See, I wasn’t saying you’re wrong, or they shouldn’t do this. I was saying who is it? Point somebody out. Who is getting the opportunity?
Andrew: I don’t like to call for someone’s head.
Nick: You just did.
Andrew: Let me finish. I don’t like doing that, because I think a lot of people do that out of frustration. You see it, Nick. It’s on Twitter every day. Fire this person. Fire that person. After seeing a jumbled up bunch of shit on Saturday, you’ve got to do something. I ask you this, Nick, and I’m just going to come out and ask you this to support my opinion. Do you think Florida, after Saturday, after seeing five games, is a program on the uphill or the downhill? It’s no I don’t know. I need an answer.
Nick: I think they’re exactly the same. If you go by that, you like to say it, and coaches like to say it. If you’re not getting better, then you’re getting worse. I think they’re exactly the same. I think they were an average football team last year. I think they’re an average football team this year. What I really think is you took guys like Marcus Maye, Jarrad Davis, Alex Anzalone, you took leaders off an average football team, and now you have an average football team with no leadership. If you go by the standard of you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse, this is a worse football team. I think they’re exactly the same. They’re the same guys without leadership. You’re seeing that leadership play, the lack of leadership, affect the team now.
Andrew: Right. Here’s the thing for me on offense, Nick, and I’m going to say this. Don’t give me the excuse they ain’t got the personnel. They don’t have a quarterback, but they got the personnel. Kadarius Toney, hell of a football player. Malik Davis, Lamical Perine, hell of football players. Josh Hammond, very good football player. Tyrie Cleveland, very good football player. They’ve got the personnel. They don’t have a quarterback. That goes back to your offensive coordinator.
Nick: I’ll bring this up. It just came to me. On your Seider call plays, Seider didn’t have the right personnel in for most of those wildcat plays. I think the best thing Mark Thompson’s done all year is be that lead blocker for Kadarius Toney, and he wasn’t in there. He did a lot of other stuff where there’s Brandon Powell back there or Perine back there, or Davis back there, and you’re doing options. Why are so many of those option plays ending with Toney running behind the guy who has the ball?
Andrew: I wondered the same thing.
Nick: What is that? What are you doing? Is that Toney messing up the play? Lord help you if that’s how you designed the play.
Andrew: I mean, it looks like that’s what it’s supposed to be.
Nick: You can’t design the play to have your quarterback following the guy with the ball. What does that accomplish?
Andrew: Not inside. I mean, outside like it was to Mark, yes. Here’s the thing, Nick, and I say this.
Nick: No. The outside play is Mark Thompson leading the way, and Toney following him. The other play is Malik Davis has the ball, and Kadarius Toney’s running behind him. What?
Andrew: Right. Here’s the thing. This is what I wanted to say real quick. Does this go back to Nuss getting the play in with five seconds to go, and you’re not able to change personnel?
Nick: I think not when you go to those plays, because I think that’s probably predetermined. We’re going to a wildcat play after this. If you’re running on 2nd down, it doesn’t matter if it’s 2nd and 47, you’re going to run the ball anyway.
Andrew: Right. I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe it is on him. I don’t know. Here’s the thing, like I said, and that is something has to change. You have to figure out a way to get through the next few games with a quarterback that can’t do your whole playbook. Then you just better hope and pray Matt Corral comes in as one of those special freshmen, like a Jake Fromm or Jalen Hurts or someone like that, that can play Day 1.
You’re not winning football games with Feleipe Franks making decisions. You and I briefly said that we thought he was maturing during the Tennessee game, when he asked the situation. We were fooled by that. You and I said from the day he committed, don’t expect Feleipe Franks to go out and win you football games. He doesn’t have it between the ears. It is what it is. If he doesn’t have that by now, Nick, I don’t know if he ever is. What did he do all last year?
Nick: Found a cheerleader to date. I don’t know. I think we both said that was good progression from a mental standpoint, but it’s what I said all off season, and said last year while he was redshirting. He is what he is. You probably need to find someone.
Andrew: Exactly. Nick, you and I made some picks. We got about three minutes here to talk about this. I get a win for Lamical Perine with two touchdowns. You get a win with Malik Davis, 14 carries for 90 yards, leading rusher. We both get Ls for our second pick. Kadarius Toney, six rushes, 52 yards, no catches. Josh Hammond, three catches, 29 yards. You and I should just stop picking receivers, because they’re not going to happen. You get a loss for Jachai Polite, just simply because we can’t give a win if you just get a sack. Three tackles and a sack. I do get a win for David Reese, because I can say he was player of the game on defense.
Nick: Him and Chauncey probably.
Andrew: Yeah. Him and Chauncey probably. Two of three for me. One of three for you on that. We’re going to go into Texas A&M week, Nick. I’m just going to tell you, that Texas A&M football team is playing good ball. They play with Alabama, and play with them tough. Kellen Mond, you better figure out a way to get some pressure on him, or you’re going to be watching him run all day and throw on you all day on Saturday. This Texas A&M ballclub is playing good. They’re playing with a fire. They don’t want Kevin Sumlin fired. They’re playing with that fire.
Nick: Florida opened up as a 5.5 point favorite. What’s your first thought to that?
Andrew: 5.5 point underdog.
Andrew: I’m telling you it should have been underdog.
Nick: Florida is favored to win.
Andrew: I’m telling you I’m going into this game right now, we’re taping this Sunday at 4:35 in the afternoon. I’m telling you right now I’m picking Texas A&M on Saturday. I’m not picking Florida on Saturday. They give me no reason to pick Florida over Texas A&M. What’s your initial reaction?
Nick: I don’t know. I’m probably going end up, depending on what happens throughout the week, I’ll probably end up, I think, will probably end up picking Florida.
Andrew: We’ll see. I need to see how Mac reacts on Monday, because right now I have no confidence that this team is there, and I think they’re at a point where things can go south or things could pick up. We’ll see where they turn about then.
Nick: Man, not a fun podcast.
Andrew: Not a fun podcast. Why should it be a fun podcast? This isn’t a fun team. I mean, Nick, this isn’t football.
Nick: It is football. It’s just not good football.
Andrew: I get to watch high school football every Friday night.
Nick: That’s fun.
Andrew: I see things that are a lot better than this, and that just is what it is. I’m starting to question players wanting to be there, and when you do that, you have problems. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out. We’ll see everyone on Wednesday. We’ll have one of our good buddies from Tex Aggs over. This is a fun week for us, Nick, just because of our buddies over there. Tell everybody where they’ll find us. We’ll see everybody on Wednesday.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com. All your Florida Gator news there throughout the week. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can also find the podcast on iTunes. Search @GatorCountry. Drop a comment. Drop a five-star rating over there. Let us know how we’re doing. Subscribe. Never miss a podcast. Do your social media thing. It’s @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. @NickdelaTorreGC. He’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: There you go. All right, guys, we appreciate it. Sorry for the down podcast, but sometimes truth has to be said. That’s what we’ll bring you. As always, guys, chomp, chomp. Go Braves.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.