GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators lost to the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday night.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break what went wrong for the offense and how offensive coordinator Doug Nussemeier can get things rolling.
Andrew and Nick also breakdown Feleipe Franks’ game and how the Gators young defense performed.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, we’re a little late on the podcast. Sorry for that. Just travel was bad, and then Labor Day right after. The schedule’s all moved up. We’re coming at it. It’s not going to be a fun podcast though. If you guys are looking for Nick and I to cheer you up, turn it off now. I’ll just go ahead and tell you. I’m not in the mood to cheer anyone up.
Nick: Yeah. Also apologize for my voice. It was worse yesterday, when we were talking about doing the podcast yesterday while traveling. My voice was even worse than it is now. Don’t adjust your radio or your phone. This is actually how I sound.
Andrew: Yeah. Let’s start off with one piece of positive news. Really impressed with Dallas. Really impressed with AT&T stadium. There was not a single thing that went unnoticed in that stadium. David and I got to kind of go around the whole area Friday, go in the locker rooms, that kind of stuff. There’s not a single part of things that was not done well. Everything was done well. Nick, probably the most friendly staff of people working there at AT&T stadium that I’ve ever seen.
Nick: They were great. You know me, the food spread. They had a carving station with ribeye. They had cookies and candy. The food spread that they had was incredible.
Andrew: Some of the best backed chicken I ever had. My God, that was good. It was fantastic. Overall, AT&T stadium did well. Also Scott Strickland and the Gator Alumni Association did well. That pep rally was very well thought out. Florida was easily 60/40 to Michigan fans. That whole chompville thing really took over. Dallas was definitely pro-Florida on the week. From the time I got there on Thursday till the time I left on Sunday, I saw it. It was very stacked up. Props to them. Props to you, Gator fans.
Nick: Chompville was working until about the 3rd quarter.
Andrew: Yeah. Nick, Gators lose. It was a close game for the majority of the game, but it was still a nasty football game. Nick, we watched the worst offensive performance for Florida since maybe the Missouri game of Will Muschamp.
Nick: No. This is, 192 yards is the second lowest total since the first time Mac played Bama in 2015, the SEC Championship game. They only 180 yards in that game, 192 today. I used that for a story. I was going to say the same as you.
Andrew: I’m saying the Muschamp Missouri game.
Nick: I’m saying McElwain’s offense against Alabama in the first SEC Championship game was just as bad as what we saw. You don’t have to back that far.
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t know, Nick. I don’t know what the answer to the question is. I mean, I do. I do. There has to be a change in play calling. I don’t like to say that, because I don’t like to say that for anybody. I don’t think Doug Nussmeier needs to be gone. Leave him as the quarterback coach. Mac needs to call plays. Florida first 10 plays, first drive of the game, when they’re in scripted plays, are the best offensive plays Florida runs. It’s with tempo. It’s with urgency. It’s the best there is for Florida.
Jim McElwain is involved in those scripted plays. That’s when Florida looks good. Mac said it on Saturday, and, Nick, it pissed me off. You know it pissed me off. He said, “We didn’t get to the get-it-to-them column.”
Nick: Haven’t in a while.
Andrew: You haven’t. All we heard about was how Florida’s speed was back. I couldn’t tell. I couldn’t tell.
Andrew: What do you think?
Nick: The whole get-it-to column, I’ve never seen that. I don’t believe that there is a get-it-to list, because they’ve never really done that. Never really gotten, with some exceptions, have never really gotten those guys the ball in space. There’s always an excuse. The offensive line, or this, or that, and that’s the reason. Saturday McElwain said, “We had all these plans to do great things, and then we got whooped up front, and we couldn’t do them.” Where’s your backup plan? Where are your adjustments? You talk about those first 10 plays. Jim McElwain’s played Jim Harbaugh twice now, and he’s been outscored 44-0 in the second half of those games.
Andrew: No second half adjustments.
Nick: There’s none.
Andrew: Not defensively. Not offensively. Let me say it. Florida’s defense scored two touchdowns. They played a decent game. They still didn’t play very good. They didn’t adjust worth a shit. Here’s the problem. It wasn’t just the defensive backs that was the problem. The front seven, especially the defensive line, so undisciplined. I mean, they still hadn’t set an edge, Nick. They still didn’t set an edge.
Randy Shannon’s adjustments in the second half, and people were giving me hell on Twitter saying that I was blaming Randy for the offense problem. I’m not blaming Randy for the offense problem, but Randy’s second half defense was shitty. I mean, Michigan left what? Two missed field goals on there. It was just they were scorching them. They couldn’t get off the field either. It was bad.
Again, we’re not going to focus just on the defense. Defense played okay. They played good enough to win. I mean, scored two touchdowns, but whatever. They were right at them. Offensively, I mean, here’s the thing, Nick. You had Feleipe, and some people told me I’m stupid for saying this, but Feleipe didn’t play bad ball. He had the one trip, and he had the turnover, but he didn’t play bad ball. The guy had 0.2 seconds to throw the ball before he was scrambling for his life.
Nick: I think at certain times all off season I said maybe I’m being too harsh on the team, but I never saw this offensive line being very good, again. I know you thought they’d be improved. National guys, Marcus Spears said, “This could be the best offensive line, not only in the SEC, but in the country.” To me, it’s the same players. Brad Smith is a good recruiter, but his lines at Eastern Carolina and North Texas weren’t very good. I don’t know why you bring in a guy who’s had two mediocre offensive lines is going to make a bunch of guys who haven’t been good in the past better.
Andrew: Hold on a second. We can’t blame Brad Davis here.
Nick: No. I’m not blaming him. I’m saying I don’t think bringing him, I think him being brought in was part of the reason people were saying Florida’s offensive line is going to get so much better, that and the continuity.
Andrew: Here’s the deal. Him coming in was to improve in the future. It wasn’t going to be improved now. You have bad offensive linemen. Fred Johnson and Tyler Jordan hadn’t blocked anybody. Nick, I’m telling you. I’m 30 years old now, and out of shape as all get out, and I could whip both of those guys. You laughed about it, but they’re reflexes and their ability to step up are terrible. Jawaan Taylor has taken a step back. He’s not blocking nobody off the edge. McCoy and Heggie did well at times.
They’re going to get overmatched at times. Michigan’s defensive line is one of the best in the country. It’s right up there with Alabama. Neither you or I will disagree with that at all, but at the same time, when you’re letting guys just run free. Morell Stephens didn’t block anybody when he was there at tight end. You cannot run your offense when your offensive line isn’t there, and especially when you’re playing your fourth string running back in Mark Thompson.
That’s another argument we’re going to go to in a minute. That’s mindboggling. What are you doing?
Nick: I don’t know. There are so many questions to me, beyond the play calling. I think the play calling in the first half wasn’t terrible. I think game playing going in is slowly get Franks’ feet wet. For some reason, I asked Jim McElwain that on Monday, for some reason the coaching staff thought they’d be able to run the ball, that they’d be able to find some mismatches or run the ball against Michigan. They weren’t. It goes back to there’s no adjustment. Okay, they’re putting eight in the box. We can’t run against that. There’s no adjustment. I think once you see, the plan was to ease Franks in, shoot, we can’t do that, because we can’t run the ball.
Andrew: Here’s the thing, Nick. You go to an up pace first drive. Okay. That was a trip, from Feleipe Franks tripping on Fred Johnson, who, once again, is not very good, tripping on his feet, to possibly scoring a touchdown there, settling for a field goal. Okay. You think, first drive of the game, freshman quarterback who hasn’t played before, against a good Michigan front seven. You go down there and kick a field goal. I think you and I both would have took that for a win, because Florida hasn’t been good on scoring on their first drive. You take that as a win.
Okay. Where does the tempo go? Where does the urgency go? Guess what? Doug Nussmeier’s having a problem calling plays again on the offense, on the sideline. Guess what? The tempo stalls. Feleipe’s running to the sideline to get the call. The tempo stalls. Pick the temp back up. Make those guys tired again. That’s how you win football games when you have a challenge of an offensive line, but it doesn’t. When you’re going to a slow pace, control the tempo kind of guy, guess what? You better be ready to knock the hell out of the guy in front of you, because it ain’t going to go slow.
Nick: No. The play calling, specifically on 2nd down, I think is really—I went back and looked this up. The play calling on 2nd down is …
Nick: It’s so predictable. I went back and looked. Florida runs 59% of the time on 2nd down, no matter what happened on 1st down, since Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier have been here. That goes up to 62% of the time following an incompletion. So on 2nd and 10, 62% of the time the Gators will run the football. I get it. You’re just trying to go down in distance. You’re just trying to make it to 3rd and manageable, but you’re doing something 62% of the time. It’s not going to be successful. You’re predictable. You’re showing your hand.
A coach as good as Jim Harbaugh, a coach as good as Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher, that’s why you’re 3-8 against teams. As McElwain said, “real programs.” That’s why you’re 3-8 against real programs, because you’re predictable. The good programs are going to know that and be prepared for that by the time you play them on Saturdays.
Andrew: You’re predictable, and you have no ability to adjust. You have no ability adjust. When you have no ability to adjust …
Nick: That’s coaching. That goes down to McElwain too. That’s the whole staff.
Andrew: Yes, it does, but it also goes back to the play calling. As a play caller, you have to see, this isn’t working, so I need to adjust this call here.
Nick: Yeah. You’re almost kind of protecting Mac, but it falls on Mac then.
Andrew: I’m not protecting Mac. It’s Mac’s problem too. I’m going to get to that in a second. Right now, we’re talking Doug Nussmeier as a play caller is not good. As three years goes down the road, it’s not good. It is what it is.
Now, we’ll move to Jim McElwain. Mac has a job to do. If the person under you isn’t doing his job, guess who it’s going to fall on? You’re going to be the one that takes the knife at the end of the day if you can’t fix what’s underneath you. Here’s the deal. I’ve talked to someone about this the other day, yesterday. This is not Jim McElwain’s offense he ran at Alabama and ran at Colorado State. Period. End of discussion. This looks like some shit that was thrown up on a Little League board and was trying to be run up in Pop Warner football. This is not Jim McElwain’s offense. It is what it is.
I don’t know what Doug Nussmeier has changed with it. I don’t understand that. I’m also not understanding why Mac hasn’t gotten more involved in it and said, “Listen, you’re going to run this the way I say you’re going to run this, or else.” Mac doesn’t want to hurt people’s feelings. I understand that. But at the end of the day, it’s as simple as this. It’s Nuss has to change, or a change is going to have to be made, because this isn’t going to get better. Three years is a big enough pattern for me to see that the next 10 games isn’t going to change.
Nick: Jim McElwain, I reached out to one of the Colorado State writers for the story that I was writing, to see if he called plays at Colorado State. He only called plays the first year, and then Dave Baldwin, the offensive coordinator, called plays the next two years. That writer told me, that’s when the offense really picked up, the two years when he wasn’t calling plays.
I think there’s also something to be said, you have a recruiting class under your belt in Year 2, and then you have a second recruiting class. I’m not going to say Jim McElwain’s bad at calling plays, because Colorado State’s offense got better once he wasn’t calling plays, but I don’t know if Jim McElwain calling plays is necessarily better. We won’t know until he does it, but it’s not going to be this week.
Andrew: Here’s the deal. I don’t know how to say it, except for this, Nick, and it’s pretty simple. It’s a turning point. The next couple weeks are a turning point. It’s period. End of discussion. The team that was put on the field on Saturday is the worst team Florida has put on the field offensively—no, let me rephrase that. It’s the worst game plan Florida has put on, with probably the most talented they’ve put out there.
Nick: I was talking with Zach Abolverde about this in the press box after the game. It’s not for lack of talent. It’s not for lack of talent. Florida has talented players.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. Here, Nick, let me just run this over here at you real quick. I’m pulling this up on the fly here as we go. Dre Massey, one touch. Kadarius Toney, one touch. Brandon Powell, two touches. Nick, that four touches for your three fastest players on offense. You’re telling me that’s good enough to win a game? Your best running back, five touches, was not even playing, because you had Mark Thompson, who once again fumbles the rock. You had Mark Thompson playing in a football game on 3rd downs when the guy cannot catch, cannot pick up a block, and has a fumbling problem.
You had Malik Davis come in on the first carry of his college career, and almost breaks it for eight yards. Where is he at the rest of the game? He’s sitting on the sidelines. Why? Your #2 string running back is supposed to be Perine, and he doesn’t even get as much playing time. Why?
Nick: To me, yeah. The Davis carry, picks up eight yards, and wasn’t even really tackled, kind of just tripped up.
Andrew: I thought it was a play they could have attacked all day, because was selling out inside.
Nick: A lot of questionable things.
Andrew: Help me explain.
Nick: Who’s in control of that? That’s not Doug Nussmeier in control of which running backs are going in. That’s on Ja’Juan Seider, isn’t it?
Andrew: I don’t know. I don’t know, because we had the same issue last year.
Nick: Tim Skipper said last year that that was on him. We asked him last year when we talked to him.
Andrew: Here’s the thing with Skipper and a lot of other coaches, and that is are they going to take the fall instead of blaming the blame? Here’s my thing. This is what I look at it. Two years, two different guys calling the position there, and two different years where the best players aren’t playing?
Nick: I don’t know. I too much for an offensive coordinator going on for him to be concerned about which offensive lineman, receiver, tight end, and running backs are going in. I think those are position coach things.
Andrew: I can’t say one way or the other, but I can say this. Usually the offensive coordinator says, “This is what we’re going to next, get so-and-so ready.” At the end of the day though, Nick, it’s just as simple of this. The blame of the offense lies on the offensive coordinator’s heads. It’s just like any other position. If you’re in charge of managing a budget, and you fail that, guess who fails? You do. At the end of the day, the offense isn’t working. You’re in Year 3 of your offense. You have the best players you have.
In my opinion, you have a quarterback that’s capable of running an offense in Feleipe Franks. I haven’t been high on him, but I seen some things on Saturday that makes me believe. At the end of the day, as simple as this, it all lies on the offensive coordinator, and then it all lies on the head coach. That’s Jim McElwain.
Nick: That’s what I was going to say. You can put it on the offensive coordinator, but when something becomes apparent and the head coach isn’t doing anything, then that falls on the head coach. It’s kind of like, Harry Truman, I think it was, the president, the buck stops here. That’s the case for the head coach. The buck stops on Jim McElwain’s desk when it comes to anything about his football team.
Andrew: Jim McElwain said on Monday, “I’ll get it fixed.” Last person that said that didn’t.
Nick: God, that sounded so Muschamp like, the we’ll get it fixed.
Andrew: It’s simple, and that is you better get it fixed. I’m the biggest Jim McElwain supporter, and I think he is the guy that is going to turn Florida around. I don’t doubt that. I don’t get away from that, but it’s choices that you make at this certain time. Nick Saban had to get rid of his first offensive coordinator at Alabama in Major Applewhite. It’s a decision you don’t want to make. Jim McElwain doesn’t like letting coaches go or demoting coaches, because there’s a lot of people involved in it.
I understand that completely, but at the end of the day it’s like this, Jim McElwain has a family too. Jim McElwain also has 85 guys plus parents who are looking up to him on that. I don’t want to say that you’re losing guys, but I think you and I can both agree we look out on Saturday, and there was some very unhappy players, and they weren’t just unhappy with themselves. Those guys weren’t put into position to be successful.
Nick: No. Here’s another thing I want to say. I’m not learning anything this week. I’m not learning anything about the offense this week. I don’t care if the offensive line looks good. Northern Colorado gave up 336 yards of offense, not to Idaho, to the College of Idaho. Florida’s got to put up more than 500 yards of offense this week, score 45, 50-something points. I’m not learning anything this week. I’m not going to know anything about this team until Tennessee comes in then.
Andrew: Here’s the thing for me. Okay, I understand what you’re saying. You don’t learn anything, but you do learn something. That is if the offense goes out and puts 250 yards up and wins 24-0.
Nick: That’s what I’m trying to say.
Andrew: You’re not impressing.
Nick: You’re not changing my mind about the offense by anything you do this week.
Andrew: You can hurt it.
Nick: You could make me think worse. You’re not going to make me think any better about your performance. If you have 600 yards of offense and win 65-0, cool. Whatever. I don’t care. I don’t care what you’re doing against Northern Colorado.
Andrew: Here’s the thing. If they go up and put up 600 yards of offense and win 50-0, I’m going to say, “That’s what you should have done.”
Andrew: Is that fair? No. It’s not.
Nick: That is fair.
Andrew: I mean, what I’m saying is expectations should never just be put up 600 yards and score 50 points. That’s a stupid expectation. Here’s the thing for me, and that is this. You’re not going to convince me by winning over them. You’re not going to convince me by winning over Tennessee. You’re going to convince me by winning over LSU. You’re going to convince me by winning over, well, Texas A&M sucks. They gave up a 35 point lead. You’re going to convince me down the road. That’s all I’m going to say about it.
Here’s the thing also, Nick, and that is pick an identity. I said this on Saturday in my story about finding answers. Pick an identity. If your offensive line sucks so bad they can block man on man, you better go to zone block, and you better go to some kind of quick game, like an Ohio State does, or like an Indiana does. You better go to some kind of quick game, you better go to it quick, because if you can’t run up the middle, you better find a way to get the ball out to the edges quick and simulate a running game. Have basically passing plays.
One stand pass on Saturday, Nick. Not enough. Not when you don’t have a running game. It just is what it is. Someone said, “You better throw the ball deep.” You can’t throw the ball deep when you have 0.5 seconds to throw. I don’t care if it’s one on one or not, you got to give the man time to beat the corner. The corner lined up against you is a pretty good ball player.
Nick: There’s just not really anything going on offense, and you can only blame the line not holding up for so much. Okay. Then get the ball out quick. Here’s a question for you. I haven’t gone back and looked at it, but just off the top of my head. Florida hasn’t done a whole lot of shotgun under McElwain, have they?
Andrew: No. They do a lot of that pistol, a lot of the pistol formation. Here’s the thing for me, and that is this. Offensive line has a lot to blame, and it’s 100% blame for them. I would say 75% of the offensive problems are for them, but as a coach you have to realize, that’s my weak spot. It’s not your strong spot. I did say I thought they would be better. I never believed they were going to be one of the best in country like Marcus Spear said or like Mac said, or any of that. It’s just simply not very good players there in a couple spots.
If that’s your weak point, guess what? You can’t make excuses for it. Florida fans are going to say, “Too bad, too sad.” Boosters are going to say, “Too bad, too sad. That’s your fault. Should have recruited better.” Mac’s going to say, “Well, I got rid of Mike Summers for that.” They’re going to say, “Yeah, but you should have over stepped him. You should have made sure it happened.”
Anyway, point being is this. That is, if the offensive line is bad, you better go hurry up, and you better have quick game, quick passing. You better find some way to put up points until you get an offensive line, because Florida fans aren’t waiting for you to get an offensive line.
Nick: No. Here’s one. Jawaan Taylor at right tackle. He looked terrible. He had a bad game.
Andrew: He was atrocious.
Nick: What is it about Florida with this sophomore slump on the offensive line?
Andrew: Here’s the thing too, Nick. I went back and looked at this a little bit. I went and looked at some notes. I don’t know about you, but I kind of keep notes of what we’ve talked about each game, just to kind of see where it is. I went back and looked at some of our notes last year. We said several times, “Jawaan got beat.” Did Jawaan just get praised because he was better than the rest of the sorry bunch?
Nick: You might have something there.
Andrew: I’m not trying to rude. I’m not trying to be rude to Jawaan. I think Jawaan’s a good ball player.
Nick: Not Saturday.
Andrew: Did Jawaan just get praise because he was better than the rest? Did he just get praised at right tackle because he was better than Fred Johnson, who had to come in behind him?
Andrew: I mean, I’m really not trying to be rude to people, but it’s simple. I think I speak for everyone in saying that I’m sick of watching bad offense. Did I expect the offense to be earth-shattering and go out there and put up 500 yards against Michigan? No, but I also thought they were going to score more than three points.
Nick: Your scoring leaders for the Florida Gators right now. Duke Dawson with six points. Chris Henderson with six points, and Eddy Pineiro with five points. That’s your whole list.
Andrew: Yeah. Not very good. Not very good, my friend.
Nick: I did like that Jim McElwain, in the past when he’s asked about, after games they’ve won, and asked about his terrible offenses, which they’ve been terrible. They were 112th in his first year, 116th last year. They’re 122nd after one week this year. He said, “I was brought here to get the team to Atlanta, and that’s what we’ve done.” You were brought here to fix an offense that Will Muschamp and his carousel of offensive coordinators broke, and you haven’t fixed it. Whether it’s you, whether it’s your coordinators, like we said, the buck stops there. The buck stops at your desk.
Andrew: Yeah. Here’s the thing too that I was going to say. He was brought to get to Atlanta. At the end of the day, if Florida still goes back to Atlanta this year, most people are not going to be pissed off. I will say this. When you’re in big games like this, you cannot give smoke like this. You have to start being competitive.
I know some people are going to say, “They were competitive.” Yeah, they were. Had Eddy Pineiro not missed a field goal in the 4th quarter, they were still a six point game. You weren’t. That’s the problem. You weren’t. You didn’t finish. At some point, when do you start saying, “That was a close lose. That has to be a win.” You’re in Year 3. No more excuses for that.
Nick: No. There’s no excuses. It’ll be good for the team, for whatever confidence, something like that.
Andrew: It brought them back down to Earth. Mac’s back down to Earth now.
Nick: Yeah. Florida talked so much shit all off season, man. All off season they just talked crap. Mark Thompson tweeted talking crap.
Andrew: You know better than to listen to him. You knew better.
Nick: They were just so confident, all the team, and then they come out and lay such a fat egg like that. It’s just like, why? What were you confident about? That’s what we saw against Bama. That’s what we saw against FSU. You’re not competitive. Florida wasn’t competitive on Saturday.
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t know, Nick. I don’t know. I’ll say this. You’re back down to Earth. Yes. You did get to see a lot of those young defensive players play. They played well, but I’m not sold on Randy Shannon as that DC. Nick, he made some terrible adjustments second half. Those guys were just getting flat out roasted.
Nick: Where was that 3rd down defense? Really no excuse.
Andrew: Here’s the deal. It wasn’t the young guys. It wasn’t the young guys getting beat. That defensive line had no, zero, containment there, and you didn’t make any adjustments in the second half for that?
Nick: I think Michigan really used Florida’s defensive line, the aggressiveness that the defensive line plays with, against them.
Andrew: Fine. That’s the first half. What about the second half?
Nick: Well, we have talked about how there was no adjustments.
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. I can’t find it, Nick. Maybe you can find it, looking at what you’re looking at, better. What was the total yards second half to first half for Michigan? You have that?
Nick: I have to pull it up. I’ve got the stats in front of me. Talk for a little while.
Andrew: I would love to see what that was. Of course, Michigan did kind of kill the clock most of the second half, or most of the 4th quarter, but it was just what a terrible way to come out of the locker room, for Michigan just to drive it down your throats and punch it in for a touchdown. That was just bad football.
Nick: What are you looking for right now?
Andrew: The second half yards to first half yards.
Nick: Okay. Michigan had 203 in the first half, and 433 total.
Andrew: So 230 in the second half.
Nick: Yeah. Pretty even.
Andrew: Pretty even. Geoff Collins was a fantastic second half adjuster. He could go in that halftime locker room, and outside of a few games, he was coming out and he was going to have a bang up second half plan.
Nick: Yeah. That’s an issue. That’s something Muschamp did well.
Andrew: Dan Quinn was the master of it.
Nick: Yeah, Dan Quinn.
Andrew: Outside of that New England Patriots game, and don’t even want to talk about that as a Falcons fan, but usually you’re not doing much in the second half against Dan Quinn. It’s just something that’s there. I will say this. That linebacker group played a damn good football game. David Reese is a monster. Vosean Joseph, Kylan Johnson, even Jeremiah Moon, that is a monster group. CJ Henderson, Shawn Davis, Marco Wilson, those young DBs, I can tell you what, and you and I talk about this all the time, and that is does the defense take a step back? Ha. That defensive back group ain’t taking too much of a step back.
Nick: They’re all young.
Andrew: Marco Wilson and CJ Henderson are monsters.
Nick: Those guys, I think both, are going to be All-Freshman SEC, and with as much as they’re going to be playing. That depth chart was bullshit. Joseph Putu is not a starter. He’s not second string. CJ Henderson is second string at cornerback whenever they go into nickel. He’ll play corner, and Marco will slide into nickel. Those guys might be all second team, all third team SEC as freshmen by the time the season’s over.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s definitely a group that was expected to do big things, and you were going to rely on those guys to do that, and they did. They did for the most part.
Nick, I got to go back to this too. We talked about Tyrie Cleveland on kick return, and showed it’s ugly head, man. It did. Something I was going to worry about on there. Also, was it just me, Nick, or did Michigan’s team speed just look faster than Florida’s? Especially on special teams.
Nick: No. I thought Florida’s …
Andrew: On punt Florida was definitely getting down there, but on kickoff.
Nick: Chris Henderson, I remember on every punt being like, “Oh, Chris is down there.” Johnny was out punting his coverage. He was taking the ball too far.
Nick: And Chris Henderson’s still down there.
Andrew: Chauncey Gardner was down there as well.
Nick: He’s another fast one too. No, I think on defense I thought Michigan was faster than I would have thought going into the game.
Andrew: Much stronger. Much stronger.
Nick: Yeah. Well, a lot of teams are stronger than this Florida team. It’s not an indictment on Mike Kent. Might be an indictment on the Florida players’ intensity and what they’re doing when they’re with him. There’s no reason to be getting bullied like that, especially after getting bullied two years ago, and talking about how you used that as motivation for two years.
Nick: Then you go out and get bullied again.
Andrew: Good point on that. I’m going to ask you this, and we haven’t even talked about this. You and I haven’t talked a lot about a lot of things we talked about on the air, just because we’ve both been traveling. I’m going to ask you this on the air. Florida never looked energetic, at all. Never looked energetic. There was one point when they were doing the pre-game huddle, before they stretched, that they looked like they had a little bit of energy, but they never looked like they had very much energy in that game.
Nick: Yeah. I think coming out of the tunnel. They were hyped coming out of the tunnel. Cece Jefferson was getting them hyped when they were on the field, doing swamp jacks and stuff. It was just such a slow game to start. Like even if you did get hype in the beginning.
Andrew: After the first drive, it was terrible.
Nick: It’s one play, and now you’ve got a review for helmet to helmet. That takes five minutes. Then you have to call a timeout, because you have a redshirt freshman quarterback. It was just like any time you had to get something going, that first drive, that first play took so long, and it was just so slow. It was such a slow-moving game in the first half. Then nothing went your way in the second half. There was no way to rebound from that.
Andrew: Right. Yeah. Let’s try to move on here. Let’s try to talk a little bit of positive stuff out of this. Mac on Monday announces Feleipe will be the starter. I think you and I both agree that was the right move. It was the right move. Stick to it. Stick to what he does best.
Nick: My question is, and I asked him, and I got a non-answer, but is it just Feleipe? Is it just Feleipe’s game? At some point you’re going to get to the 3rd quarter, hopefully, and be able to take your starters out, but I’m saying before that. Before the game is in hand, is it just Feleipe, or are you still getting in the other quarterbacks?
Andrew: It’s kind of like we talked about last week. That’s that I thought Malik Zaire would have a package, but you can’t come in and let him run the offense, because they run two different offenses. Malik Zaire is a guy that wants to get out in space and run and do the option, all that stuff. Franks is more of your throwing quarterback. My question is you can’t do both, so if you’re going to do that, do that.
If you’re going to bring in Del Rio, then you need to play Del Rio all game. I say this, because Del Rio’s going to come and lead you on long drives, probably, because he’s going to be a guy that isn’t going to throw the ball 70 yards. He’s going to come in and nitpick his way down the field. That’s fine if you want him to do that.
If you want Franks to come in, you know that you’re going to get a fumble. You know you’re going to get an interception likely, but you have to be prepared to let him do what he’s going to do. I think when you yank him after a bad mistake you’re almost making him be more cautious, and I just don’t think that’s the way you have to handle Feleipe. You know Feleipe’s going to turn the ball over. It’s what he is.
Nick: Yeah. I think what I had said about Feleipe before the season really played out on Saturday. You’re going to get that beautiful 34 yard pass, and then you’re going to get a fumble. You’re going to get having to call a timeout, because we didn’t have the right personnel on the field, or we couldn’t get the call in and get that relayed from quarterback to player, or to team. You’re going to get the good with the bad, and you’re going to have to take that. You’re going to get those beautiful passes, and you’re going to get the freshman mistakes.
Nick: You’re going to get that 16 yard gain on 3rd and 15 with your feet, and he didn’t look as goofy running as I said, but he’s not fast. He’s got those long legs. He just eats up yards at a time when he strides. You’re going to get great moments like that.
Andrew: He’s pretty smart, in that he knows.
Nick: He’s shown me a lot more pocket awareness, I think, than I expected. Overall, I was impressed. I was very impressed, based on the expectations I had going in, but you only let the kid throw the ball nine times, and then you put Malik Zaire in.
Andrew: You changed the offense.
Nick: To me, you changed the offense, but after about two drives I could have told you, “You’re not coming back and beating Michigan with this offense. You need to do something. Malik Zaire’s not going to beat Michigan. I don’t know what you want to do, but you’re not going to win the game the way you’re playing right now.” They just never changed anything.
Andrew: Right. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t get that. I don’t know. We’re not going to focus on the bad anymore. We’re going to finish this podcast on a positive. We’re going to try to finish this on a positive here.
Nick: We’ll try.
Andrew: The two injuries that did come out of the game, Florida came out pretty injury free, was Chauncey Gardner and Deondre Goolsby. Both having MRIs. I would say that they’re both probably questionable for this week in this game, and it might not be a bad thing. Let Shawn Davis get a start and roam around back there. Goolsby, you still have C’yontai Lewis there. You’re okay. It’s what follows C’yontai Lewis. You better hope Kemore Gamble’s ready to play. So that’s that.
We got Northern Colorado this week. Not going to have anybody on with us on Wednesday. Nick and I will just be here. We’ll break down the game a little more, because we just didn’t get to breaking down the game today. We didn’t even get to talking about Northern Colorado. It’s Monday.
Nick: It’s supposed to be Monday recap, our Monday show.
Andrew: I haven’t even looked at Northern Colorado.
Nick: I don’t care about Northern Colorado.
Andrew: I haven’t even looked at Northern Colorado. Nick knows. I didn’t even know who they played last week. There’s that. Anyway. We’re going to be having a lot of things going on recruiting wise. Basketball still going on, and Nick’s still got the football going. Got a lot of that stuff in photo galleries, all that good stuff. Now is a good time to come check us out and see what it’s all about and talk about it.
Hopefully things get moving in the right direction. Nick and I are trying to give our best ways of trying to change things, and everyone wants to say, “Just fire Nuss.” That’s simply not going to happen. We’re trying to give you guys ways of doing that. Come check us out. We had all the injury news, all that good stuff. Come check us out. Nick, tell them where they’ll find us.
Andrew: Can’t hear you, Nick.
Nick: Can you hear me now?
Andrew: We can hear you now. Tell us where they can find us.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can also get the podcast on iTunes. Search @GatorCountry in the podcast store. You can find us on Social Media, @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. You can find me, @NickdelaTorreGC, and him, @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: Sorry, guys, for the just kind of Debbie Downer podcast, but I think Nick and I are pretty good about just kind of sharing where we’re at, where we’re feeling, and if you don’t agree with us, sorry. This is kind of where we’re at. I’m sure we can’t all agree. Let us know about it. Either comment, send us a message on Twitter, something. Anything is better than the usual #fireNussmeier, because Nick and I are both sick of seeing that. It’s not happening, so stop with that.
Guys, we look forward to it. We’ll see you guys on Wednesday. As always, chomp, chomp. Go Braves.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.