Gator Country brings you the latest podcast and this episode focuses on reviewing the Florida Gators win over the Kentucky Wildcats, 14-9, on Saturday night in Lexington.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down the offense’s play, plus how they thought quarterback Will Grier did in his first career SEC start and road start on Saturday.
Andrew and Nick also break down why the offensive line is struggling and how the defense did, plus they review their predictions from last Friday when they gave you three players to watch.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? The Florida Gators 3-0. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win, and guess what? 29 in a row for the Wildcats. For Nick and I, Nick I think you will agree with me, a win’s a win, because I don’t think either one of them was overly confident, and Kentucky was very confident. The Gators broke their heart. As McElwain said, it was a good win. What was your thoughts in Lexington?
Nick: A win is a win. Some wins make you feel really good. Some wins make you feel a little bit uneasy. This one might have been the later, but it is a win. Both of us had some worries going in. We both picked Florida. Jim McElwain was happy. What I really think is interesting is how quickly Jim McElwain turns to the next opponent. Both of his post game press conferences, even though last week’s after ECU was fiery, he said multiple times in that one I’m already thinking about Kentucky. We’re facing a very good team next week.
Then yesterday again, after the Kentucky win, it was he was kind of being short with his answers. He could tell that we were kind of asking the same things in different ways, because he was being short. He’s like, I’m sorry, I’m already thinking about Tennessee. They’ve been a great ball club, and we’ve got a big challenge ahead of us. To see him already, every coach will tell you we’re on to the next one, but to see him, how he works internally, how he really turns the page as soon as that game is over. He’s already thinking about the next one.
Andrew: I guess it will be interesting to see does he do that the same this coming week, because this is I guess the first so-called big opponent. Kentucky, it is what it is. Kentucky’s Kentucky in my book. I wonder if he will, if Florida does win on Saturday against Tennessee, does he savor this one a little more, or does he automatically turn the page to a dang good Ole Miss?
Nick: There is no time to relish a win over Tennessee, because Robert Nkemdiche, Chad Kelly, Hugh Freeze, Laquon Treadwell, they’re coming. There is no time to enjoy the win.
Andrew: Most coaches will say, I give myself 12 hours. That’s until I wake up on Sunday morning. I wonder if McElwain enjoys next Saturday if they are to beat Tennessee in Gainesville, if he savors that one a little more. I do see what you’re saying though, and that is interesting that he turns the page that quick. From a coaching standpoint, you did your job, you got the win. Move on, time to go.
Nick: Right. Kind of breaking, it won’t be breaking when everyone listens to this, Florida just opened up as a 3 point favorite over Tennessee. The way that kind of works with Vegas is that’s basically almost a Pick ‘Em game, because the home team usually gets 2 or 3 points just for being the home. That’s the home field advantage built in. Florida’s is favored. Vegas is basically saying this is an even matchup, a Pick ‘Em. We’ll see how that line shifts throughout the week. We’ll talk about Tennessee a little bit later. We got to review this game.
Interesting to me that Will Grier earns the start and Treon Harris doesn’t play at all, because McElwain said both guys would play. You and I were talking as the game was going on, and once Will Grier had that drive before half time where he gets the ball with like 4:50 left, they end up scoring a touchdown leaving 14 seconds on the clock. There was no way Treon could have come in in the 3rd quarter after that drive.
Andrew: Yeah. It was almost like Will left some hope in the second quarter, and the two minute drive he just kind of put his stamp on the job. I think that while there was a lot to be left for Grier to do, I think from an evaluation standpoint of evaluating him, overall he did okay. It’s very tough for any quarterback to look good with the bad offense line play. We’ll talk about that in a minute. Overall he was 13 and 22, 125 yards, and he got 61 yards rushing. He had the big drop with Brandon Powell that should have either gotten a 1st down or reservations for six, and he had the bad pick to Jake McGee, which you and I talked about this last night and then again today. The play call was good. The read was good. You got Jake McGee who’s 6’3”, 6’4”, something like that. If you through that ball to the pylon, and you throw it to a point where it’s either McGee or out of bounds, it’s a great play.
That’s a learning point for me. That’s a learning point for Grier that you go in, and you’re able to look at that. Now you have that on film, and that’s something you can teach for that. I kind of wrote this in my column last night. I think that this game will do a lot for Will in terms of now he has a game film, a whole game film. Mac, Nuss, their able to work on some things with him on this. He’s able to see things and learn from it and go for it. My final point on the quarterback play is it was a little disheartening a little bit on Grier, because I had said before I wanted Will to start. I thought Will should start, because of Grier’s ability to stay in the pocket and go through his progressions. I think he regressed this week from that standpoint.
Nick: This is what I want to say real quick. The second half, obviously, we both agreed after that drive you can’t really take him out, or after the second quarter drive right before half time. So coming into the second half you really have to play him, but then Florida’s offense in the second half, punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, and a kneel down to run the clock out. At some point there in the 4th quarter I was thinking, if you’re going to bring Treon in, now’s the time, because this offense isn’t moving anywhere.
Andrew: I think that the thing for there is then it’s not a fair jab to Treon, because he’s coming in in a game that 4th quarter he’s already sat for 3, 3 plus hours on the sidelines. He’s cold in the game. The team around him isn’t used to his cadence call, that kind of stuff. You’re almost doing yourself worse by playing him in that 4th quarter. Then Will does have the drive that is okay to kind of seal the game off a little bit. Again, I think that Will did about what you could have expected with the offensive line play it was. You think about a play, the play to McGee, if he touches that, catches that, it’s 21-3, and the ball game’s over. If Brandon Powell makes the catch on the slant and takes it in, you don’t even have the McGee play, and it’s 21-3. Then we may be talking today that it’s a 35-10 ball game or something. Who knows what happens if Florida puts the game out of hand with that 21-3 game right there.
Nick: It’s what we talked about on our Wednesday and our Friday podcasts, you had to do something to take the belief out of Kentucky, and Florida never did. They kind of just let them hang around.
Andrew: They did the in the first half. When it was 14-3 at half time.
Nick: The fans were still really engaged throughout half time. Kentucky was getting the ball back, so it was situation where if Kentucky goes down and scores, now it’s 14-10, big time ball game. I didn’t really feel, that drive definitely sucked some of the wind out of Kentucky’s sails going into half, but the fans were still in it. The fans were very loud last night. They were into the game. I didn’t feel like, that was kind of what we talked about at half time was this is still a game. Kentucky’s getting the ball back. I think Florida did not do a good job of punching Kentucky in the mouth and saying, this is our ball game. You’re going to play the way we want to play.
Andrew: Right. I agree. It was a game where Florida had a lot of opportunities to cut Kentucky off, to put Kentucky away. For me, Kentucky’s offense never showed anything that should have beaten Florida, and that was proven. The defensive line played really well. Secondary played really well in the game. To go back real quick on Grier, I thought Grier regressed, because for me a little it was one read, let me get off of here. Let me get out of here.
Nick: That had been your major complaint about Treon through the first couple games.
Andrew: Right. That’s something that is concerning to me with Will, because the offensive line is bad, but there are times where the offensive line had good protection, and he was still running. One big play was 3rd and 4 on the drive that Kentucky goes and kicks the field goal to make it 14-9. Brandon Powell runs a hitch route and is wide open, but Grier had already taken his eyes off down field and was gone. That’s something that even if the pocket does collapse, then Will has got to be able to take off to run while also keeping his eyes down field for his guys. That’s something that was concerning to me in a big point for that.
Nick: Yeah. The offensive line is a huge issue. I don’t like the rotating, the rotation and constantly moving guys. I hate it. Offensive line’s the one position group on the field where you really need, Demarcus Robinson doesn’t really need to know what Antonio Callaway’s doing over at the Z.
Nick: It’s not going to hurt Demarcus Robinson’s route if he doesn’t know what Antonio Callaway is doing. It might mix up the quarterback if D Rob goes completely off script and is running and playing street ball, running whatever route he feels like, but on the offensive line the left tackle has to know what the right tackle’s doing, has to know what the center’s doing, has to know what the guards are doing. There’s no continuity. It’s not even, these five guys are going to play for a drive, for three drives, and then here’s a new group of five to play. It’s you five are going to play, and then right tackle, you’re going to go the left tackle. We’re going to bring a new right tackle in. We’re changing the center out. Right guard, slide over to left guard. We’re bringing a new guy in to play right guard.
Andrew: Did they switch the center out at all last night?
Nick: I thought that Tyler Jordan got some run at center, but I know Tyler Jordan did play last night. I remember seeing him play guard. I thought he played center for a little bit, but it mostly Cam Dillard. I just don’t like it. I understand wanting to keep some of the guys fresh, wanting to work some guys in. Fred Johnson has some moments that make you shake your head, but he has a lot of moments that make you say, this kid’s going to be a player. I think we both felt the same way about Martez Ivey a little bit last night, and you want to see them get worked in, but at what cost is them getting worked in? Or are they your best options, and maybe you should be sitting other people?
Andrew: You just hit the nail on the head for me. You just said they rotate the right side. Breaking news, the right side sucks.
Nick: They’re rotating the left side, because Martez played left tackle last night.
Andrew: Right, but I think the majority of the rotating, Trip Thurman, I don’t think Trip Thurman moved from left guard last night. I’d have to rewatch it again to see that. If I’m not mistaken Thurman stayed at left guard the whole night. Am I pretty accurate on that?
Nick: Unless he came out. They never moved him anywhere else. He didn’t play anything but left guard.
Andrew: Okay. I didn’t see him not play there. I thought he was in the game most of the game. I hate to pick on players. I really do. You guys may think I’m a jerk, but I really do. Antonio Riles is a great guy, but he’s got to go. He’s got to go. If Florida wants to move the ball on offense he’s got to go. He’s by far the weakness on the offensive line. I’ve had these conversations with people, and somebody said, Andrew, you’re wrong. The whole offensive line sucks. One offensive line looking bad makes the whole offensive line look bad.
Last night I counted five plays in a row Antonio Riles whiffed, and I’m talking about whiffed. Nick, I told you yesterday, he could have been called for holding on every play, and you’re response was, offensive linemen can be called for holding on every play. Sure. He had his hands around neck half the time. Also, his responsibility is to communicate the protection out to his tackle, to Fred Johnson, to Mason Halter, Martez Ivey, and that was a mistake as well.
For me, fix a piece. Fix the right guard position. Then let’s see what happens. You say, who plays right guard? I don’t know. There’s the problem. Is it Mason Halter? Is it Tyler Jordan? Is it Martez Ivey? I don’t know. Somebody did have a good point with me. They said, Martez Ivey doesn’t play a lot of run blocking out of pocket, so maybe he could be a good fit to start off at right guard for this year. Maybe so. I know McElwain sees it. McElwain’s not blind. Fix the right guard position and let me see the offensive line.
Nick: Yeah. Here’s another thing. I think, to get off that subject, still about the offense. I understand that Mac wants to run kind of a slow, methodical offense. There were definitely times in the game, that 4 minute drive before half time. You’re trying to drain the clock. There’s times throughout that game where they’re purposefully trying to drain the clock. I mean, Florida only ran how many plays last night? Florida only ran 59 plays last night.
Nick: Kentucky only runs 65. I think they both had 11 drives, with Florida’s 11th being the kneel down after Quincy Wilson’s pick. To me, it’s just that style of play where you’re limiting drives because you’re taking time works when you have an offensive juggernaut like McElwain had at Alabama, where if we only have 7 drives this game we’re probably going to score on 5 of them, and we’ll be all right. Florida’s an offense that needs more chances, because they’re not going to score on every drive. They’re going to struggle at times, and you’d rather have 15 chances than 9, because you were taking so much time to run plays. I need to see this offense move a little quicker to the line of scrimmage, because if Florida’s going to only be running 59 plays a game I don’t see how that is a sustainable method of them winning, running that few plays, running that slowly.
Andrew: You reverse that, and last night they needed to run that slowly. The defense was worn slap out. It’s kind of a pick your poison.
Nick: What was that?
Andrew: The defense was worn slap out.
Nick: Worn slap out. I always have to stop you when you throw an Alabamaism at me.
Andrew: Yes. They were tired. They were exhausted.
Nick: The defense was worn slap out.
Andrew: Nicholas, your Cuban accent does not work with me. They were exhausted. It was an exhausted defense, and I think that they almost had to go that, but I do see your point though. The up tempo was able to keep teams off guard. Florida tried to go up tempo a little bit in the 2 minute drill, and half the offense was lost. It looked like Grier was the only one.
Nick: Oh my, Will Grier twice on that drive is jumping up and down, physically grabbing players by the jersey and throwing them, telling them. Will Grier and points during that drive was the only person on the field that knew what the play was and that knew what he was supposed to be doing. It was comical to watch at times, because the offensive line’s looking back with their hands up. The offensive linemen don’t like to be down in their stance for very long, and the receivers, Kelvin Taylor, guys had no idea what was going on, where they were supposed to be.
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. You kind of have to pick your poison a little bit with that. Again, I thought there was some good things. Then I thought there was some bad things. For me, I’m still wondering a couple things with Mac and Nuss, Nuss I guess. Mac continues to say, we have this get it to you sheet. Okay.
Andrew: For the second straight week I haven’t seen that. I haven’t seen that playbook. Demarcus Robinson had 3 catches.
Nick: 16 yards.
Andrew: 3 catches, 16 yards. That’s not good enough.
Nick: Last year he had 16 for 200.
Andrew: Right. We’re sitting here picking on Westry because he can’t cover him, and he gets 3 catches. He’s not even tested. You look at Brandon Powell, 2 catches for 19 yards. That’s not good enough. Then I look here and Brandon Powell, Robinson, they have 0 rushing attempts. That’s not good enough for me. I look at this offensive line, and I say, they can’t run up the middle. Okay. What worked last night? I’m looking at Kelvin Taylor, 16 rushes, 45 yards. I don’t know exactly the numbers right in front of me of what it was, but I know on five different occasions those were toss plays. That worked.
Nick: That toss sweep play was really effective last night when they go that three stacked tight ends off of one of the tackles and toss that way. That was really effective. I thought they were going to run the play action fake. I expect to see it against Tennessee now, because they showed that toss sweep in Week 1, showed that play action fake off the toss sweep, threw a touchdown to Demarcus in Week 2. Then they pounded it last night. They did run a little reverse last night, which was nice to see, with Antonio Callaway, that picked up 9.
Nick: One though, once.
Andrew: Okay. Brandon Powell had a really good job last few weeks of speed sweeps. Let me see that again, because Florida’s not going to block consistently up the middle. Not going to happen, unless they’re able to bring back some NFL guys. So let me see…
Nick: Can I get this? A half-baked idea. Can I get Treon Harris lined up at receiver, run some speed sweeps with him? Then you’ve got an option to have a quarterback who’s got some speed pull up and throw off a speed sweep.
Andrew: Don’t tell them that out loud.
Nick: Let’s just get creative, because last night you and I could pretty much call that second half it was getting so predictable.
Andrew: Right. That’s what I’m saying. That’s what bothers me. Let me see some outside running game here. I will say this. Florida’s receivers may suck at catching the ball, but they do a very good job of blocking. They do.
Nick: We got to give some credit. There were some very nice catches yesterday. Jake McGee had a diving catch. Brandon Powell had a nice diving catch. There were some good catches for them yesterday.
Andrew: Yeah, but Brandon Powell has reservations for six, and he drops it.
Andrew: That’s awful.
Nick: Hit him in a bad place. Hit him in the hands. You’re not supposed to do that.
Andrew: Whatever. Anyway, let me see some outside running. Let me see that get to you sheet. For me, I don’t know what it is, but let me see it. Maybe it was on the road Will Grier not wanting to take chances. Fine and dandy. Let me see it this week against Tennessee, because you’re going to have to get creative if you’re winning this ballgame against Tennessee. Let me see that stuff.
One thing else is I’m done with watching Demarcus Robinson run the stand pass, the pop pass. It’s awful. It’s not going to get better. He’s unphysical. I’m done seeing it. It’s awful to watch me watch him do it. It’s not working. He dances too much. He looks like he’s in ballerina class, and I’m tired of watching it. Throw it to Callaway. Throw it to Fulwood. Throw it to anybody else. Stop with Demarcus Robinson on that play. He’s not good at it.
Nick: I said it last night. If there was a professional flag football league Demarcus Robinson would like to be in it, because he does not like contact.
Andrew: It’s embarrassing. The play is there. Demarcus Robinson is not a little boy. He’s a big old boy at receiver who will run over any of those little bitty cornerbacks, and he will not do it. He will not do it. If Ahmad Fulwood or Callaway or whoever is blocking for him does not push the guy back 10 yards, guess what? He’s going to out of bounds in 3. It ain’t working, and it’s just not a very good play anymore. I’m tired of seeing it. I have bad news for Demarcus Robinson, the NFL teams will cut him in a heartbeat if he continues that.
Nick: Yeah. He did it two weeks ago, and it worked, that dancing around against ECU on that drive where he caught the four pop passes, but for the most part I agree with you. If you’re not going to be physical and have someone break a tackle, make somebody tackle you instead of just hoping out of bounds as quick as you can, it’s probably not going to work.
I do want to talk about. There’s no nice way to say it. Special teams are a disaster right now, an utter disaster. Austin Hardin has missed his last three field goals, including one that was blocked on Saturday. None of them were longer than 35 yards. Johnny Townsend, he’s averaging over 40 yards a kick. Some of that’s deceiving, because he gets credit for 50 yards on a touchback, when that’s not a good punt. There was a 30 something yard punt yesterday. That’s not good. He did drop a dime, beautiful ball on the 2 yard line, but the shank that are coming, you can’t have them. Those 30 yard punts against Ole Miss, against LSU, against Tennessee, you’re just giving the other team points. You can’t have that.
Then the return game is nonexistent. You had one really good return, a punt return, from Antonio Calloway for 37 yards. Brandon Powell had a 23 yard kick return, and this is how bad Florida’s return game has been. When Brandon Powell returns one for 23 the press box kind of went quiet. That 23 yard kick return should not elicit any kind of reaction. That’s an okay return, but for us it was like Florida’s actually returning, oh no. He’s down.
Andrew: It’s bad. It’s really bad.
Nick: Mac kept talking about when Florida was good special teams were a weapon. We need to bring that back. Right now special teams are a weapon, and all they’re doing is shooting Florida in its own foot.
Andrew: Yeah. Here’s the thing for me. Putting game, Johnny Townsend is way too slow getting the ball off, way too slow. Austin Hardin, he kicked the ball really low. That’s terrible on his part, but also Trip Thurman, you are a grown man that is a senior football player. Special teams kicking field goals is the easiest thing in the world for an offensive lineman to do. You simply go down, you hold their hands down, and don’t let them jump. Him and Riles allowed a guy to jump 5 yards in the back field to block the punt. Hardin’s kick was bad, but it made it even look worse because of that. Kickoff return is awful. It is awful. I don’t know why Jake McGee’s back there, but he looks unathletic on kickoff return. He had the block in the back, and I know Brandon Powell shouldn’t have brought it out, but there was another one he had the same thing that just looked really bad.
Overall I don’t know what’s up with the special teams. It’s awful. It’s really bad. Somebody’s going to break a kick. I don’t think it’s Tennessee, because Tennessee doesn’t have the return game they used to, but somebody’s going to return one against them, and maybe that’s what it’s going to take to wake them up. Then punt return, I understand why they had Vernon Hargreaves back there now, and I hated it, but I understood why. That was because he was a little creative and something that a freshman in Antonio Callaway maybe doesn’t see the whole picture like Vernon does.
Nick: Right. That’s just experience. That’s not saying Antonio Callaway’s bad.
Andrew: He had a good one last night.
Nick: Yeah. It’s the gamesmanship. First off, Vernon is smart, and he’s taking care of the other guys on the field. Any time a ball’s in the air Vernon immediately knows if it’s a ball that he’s going to be able to catch or if it’s going to hit the ground. If it’s hitting the ground, you watch him. Both hands out in front, pointing to where the ball’s going to land, making sure that the guys coming down guarding the gunners that they’re not running in the ball. Never worry about Vernon Hargreaves dropping a ball. Then there’s times where the ball’s going over his head, and he’ll sit there waiting for it. It’s just a veteran move to fake that I’m going to catch it. Let the ball go over my head, bounce into the end zone. It’s going to get us some yards. Then there’s also times where he’ll catch a ball that you think he might fair catch and take off with it. He can be little bit shifty. I think with the ball in their hands I think I’m more excited to watch Callaway than I would be to watch Vern, but I think it’s all those other things that go around the punt returner that the coaching staff feels comfortable with him.
Andrew: Yeah. A lot of it has to do with blocking. It’s a lot of what it has to do. We can blame the punt return game all we want, but if there is not blocking there then guess what? It ain’t going to happen. A lot of that is concerning on that part. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on with it. You have some of your better players playing it. Maybe you need to put some of those younger guys that won’t take it for granted. Maybe it’s something there. That is a concern going into this week that is there.
Let’s talk about something positive. That defensive line was balls out. Nick, I have to call you out real quick, brother. I have to call you out. Heading into the season you told me this was not going to be a very good pass rushing team from a defensive line standpoint. Buddy, the stats say otherwise. That game showed otherwise. Caleb Brantley may not get the stat sheet, but that was a grown man playing football Saturday night. He had that center in the back field 4-5 yards every play. He is probably dreaming about Caleb Brantley. That’s big time props to Caleb Brantley. This is the first time he showed me he was a five star football player like he was.
Nick: Yeah. It’s like you said in your story. The stuff that Caleb Brantley does isn’t going to really show up, but it’s creating for others. You would agree with me that Jon Bullard has never been a big stats numbers guy from high school through college.
Nick: He is playing like a man with his hair on fire. He has been absolutely unstoppable, a monster.
Andrew: You hear that? Cha-ching.
Nick: Jon Bullard is opening eyes of scouts. Whatever they told him, I think they told him maybe a third or fourth round pick last year.
Andrew: He was pissed off.
Nick: Old boy is changing that, and he’s changing it quickly. Bullard was nasty last night. Really it’s been all season for him. It seems like there hasn’t been a time where he’s taken any plays off. If he’s in the game, he’s going 100 miles an hour. This is the best football I’ve ever seen Jon Bullard play. Alex McCallister set the tone last night early, first sack of the game, ended up having 2 sacks. McCallister really playing well. I think on the defensive line you can’t really point to somebody who’s playing significant minutes, significant time, and say they’re not playing well.
Nick: Cece Jefferson.
Andrew: That’s what I was about to say. You didn’t even talk about.
Nick: Cece Jefferson gets his first start against Kentucky last night.
Andrew: He looked really good. I said it in my story. I thought Cece was a guy that maybe the stats didn’t show as good as he played, but there were a lot of times he was just in the back field just disrupting things. Then the guy we didn’t even talk about, and he’s not going to get the love, and he didn’t pile on the stat sheet was Justus Reed. Justus Reed is making himself into a contributor, and I didn’t think we’d say that in his lifetime. Then Bryan Cox, welcome to the league, buddy, because you’re playing some football and playing some football that is really good. Overall, there is nobody you can credit more than Chris Rumph. This is the same defensive line that Brad Lawing had, and Brad Lawing wasn’t getting the same out of these guys that Chris Rumph is. Chris Rumph had these guys playing ball. That goes for Joey Ivie. That goes for Taven Bryan. That goes for everybody on that defensive line. They played balls out last night. There was no need for a blitz. Hell, three, four guys were getting pressure on Patrick Towles like they were bringing all 11.
Nick: Florida did blitz. They were using this nickel blitz, bringing Brian Poole in through the B gap a lot. So that was nice to see a little different. Listen to this, 10 tackles for loss last night, Jarrad Davis, Keanu Neal, Jon Bullard, Cece Jefferson, Alex McCallister, Caleb Brantley, Nick Washington, Bryan Cox, and Taven Bryan all had a tackle for loss, at least a half a tackle for loss, last night. That is efficiency. That is when an offensive coordinator turns on the tape to start telling people what numbers do you need to look out for? There’s a lot of numbers on Florida’s list.
Andrew: Yes. Yes, it was. Six sacks, 3 quarterback hurries, and 10 tackles for a loss. That’s a game that you turn on, and you look good. You look at the secondary. The secondary was finally back healthy. Had a good game, but they had a good game because of this secondary. This secondary was giving Patrick Towles no time to throw the football last night. It’s going to continue on Saturday against Tennessee. That’s not a good offensive line, and Josh Dobbs, I hate to pick on somebody who has that alien looking head, and he likes to fly airplanes. He’s going to maybe wish he had an airplane, because he may need a parachute up if he’s going to throw the ball on Saturday.
Nick: Tennessee, somebody was telling me on Twitter, because fans were super happy about the win yesterday, how Florida has the worse offensive line in the league. They do not. They have allowed five sacks, so has Auburn and Mississippi State. Tennessee has allowed six sacks through their three games. How about Texas A&M and Kentucky have allowed 10.
Andrew: Guess what? If Tennessee’s allowed six to the teams they’ve played, only Oklahoma being worth a crap, the Gators may be feasting.
Nick: This is a game where a year ago Bryan Cox lost his grandfather before the Tennessee game a year ago, and he had a breakout performance with 3 sacks of his own. I asked him about that last night, and he smiled. He said, “Wasn’t focusing on Tennessee before, but we are now. That’s definitely on my mind that I had a very good game against them last year.”
I do want to talk about real quick. I feel like Keanu Neal’s impact, obviously he had a good game playing, finishes the game with 9 tackles, a tackle and a half for loss, but I feel like his energy and his leadership is something else that you really won’t see on a stat sheet, but that just having him back kind of brought everybody else up a notch.
Andrew: Agreed. Completely. It’s big. Of course, having Vernon Hargreaves there helps as well. The impact Keanu Neal has on that team is just there. He’s like a calming influence. If you’ve ever met Keanu Neal you wouldn’t even think he’s a football player. You would because of his size, but from his personality standpoint he doesn’t even sound like one. He’s just a nice guy. Overall though he’s a weapon, and having Marcus May back, I know everybody picked on Marcus May last year, but he again he had decent game, 8 tackles. Then we did see that May, Neal and Marcell Harris kind of rotated down to that linebacker position in the dime like we talked about. They had a good game. Patrick Towles ends up with, let me see here, 8 of 24 passing, 126 yards. The long slant play to Vernon Hargreaves.
Nick: Not very good.
Andrew: Yeah, the long slant play on Vernon Hargreaves. Hargreaves was a split second too quick or that’s a pick. You can’t really point at a play on offense for Kentucky that was a big play for them that was really Florida was in bad position. They had some piss poor tackling during the game that allowed for Kentucky to get a lot of their yards, but overall just a great defensive effort. For anybody that thought the defense wasn’t still in Gainesville, guess what? They’re there.
Nick: They are. Let’s get back to reviewing our three stars of the week that we predicted last week.
Andrew: We’re skipping that this week.
Nick: I went with Demarcus Robinson.
Nick: Fail. Then I went with Keanu Neal and Jonathan Bullard. Two for three. Great week for me and my picks. Andrew?
Andrew: Did you call Keanu Neal a win?
Nick: What do you mean do we call Keanu Neal a win? What do you mean?
Andrew: He only had 9 tackles.
Nick: Nine tackles, one and a half for loss. Keanu Neal win. He had a sack in his first game. Get out of here.
Andrew: Then I’m going to go on your point there. I had Kelvin Taylor. He had a touchdown. So that’s a win. Right?
Nick: Let’s be honest.
Andrew: He had a touchdown.
Nick: Let’s be honest here.
Andrew: A touchdown’s worth 9 tackles.
Nick: Kelvin Taylor averaged 2.8 yards per carry against Kentucky. Kentucky was giving up almost 5 yards per carry.
Andrew: That’s not his fault.
Nick: Against terrible players.
Andrew: That’s not his fault.
Nick: How dare you.
Andrew: I’ll give you credit. That was a loss. KT, I heard a good thing this morning from Dan Quinn, he said, “I tell my running backs you get one dance move, and then you got to hit the hole.” That goes to you KT, and you and D Rob need to get out of dance class and go to football practice. Loss for Kelvin Taylor. My next one was Marcus May. Marcus May had 8 tackles in the game, had a quarterback hurry. I don’t want to say it’s a loss. Was it a win?
Nick: We’ll give you a half on that one.
Andrew: Then Jake McGee was my other one. He had 3 catches for 30 yards, probably the biggest one was the 3rd down where Will threw it there. I guess I kind of get a half there as well.
Nick: You can get another half. That was definitely the most that Jake was targeted and his most receiving yards, I believe.
Andrew: I will say this with Jake McGee. I am sick and tired of seeing that poor man get hailed. Can someone throw a flag?
Nick: You told me yesterday on the phone Jake McGee gets hailed every time he runs a route.
Andrew: It’s awful. It really is. Again, I’m giving Kentucky credit. Florida should have been called for a hold every time Antonio Riles was in the football game, but, my God, please call a holding against Kentucky when you’re holding Jake McGee. It is awful when the man is trying to get off the line of scrimmage, and they have just got of bear hug of his jersey. Stop it. Please. We both sucked it up again in our predictions, but once again we did pick the winner, and that was the Gators.
Nick: Yeah. We will have our hands full picking this week.
Andrew: Andrew will not.
Nick: The Tennessee Vols coming in. We will be back. We might have to do an extra podcast this week, because this was really Kentucky, and I know Andrew is itching to start yelling as some Vols fans.
Andrew: Hold on. Did you see the crap that came from Tennessee? Their moronic fans tried to explain to me and Bud Elliott from Tomahawk Nation that Jalen Hurd was better than Leonard Fournette. Are you serious?
Nick: Kentucky fans were drinking some bluegrass bourbon last week. I think Tennessee fans are drinking moonshine.
Andrew: They’re smoking that real good Colorado meth, whatever you want to call it. That is just bozo. That is being a bozo. That is being idiotic, dumb. That is like saying that John Brantley was Tim Tebow. Really? Hurd is not even Top 5 in the SEC in the running backs, and you’re going to tell me he’s better than Leonard Fournette. Leonard Fournette may be the best back that college football has seen in five years.
Nick: Leonard Fournette, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, there are some good running backs. I think Jalen Hurd is a good running back, but I do not think he is in that class of running back.
Andrew: Bro, there is NFL players not in Leonard Fournette’s class.
Nick: That is true. I think Leonard Fournette was ready to play in the NFL when he was a senior in high school. I remember seeing him at the opening and thinking, can I see this kid’s birth certificate? How old is he?
Andrew: He looks like a grown man.
Nick: He plays football like a grown man, which is even more important.
Andrew: Absolutely. Nick, I want to talk to this team so bad. I really do. Cannot stand the Vols, but I know this was just supposed to be a recap show.
Nick: Jalen Hurd last year also ran the ball 10 times against Florida for 39 yards. That’s not really getting the job done.
Andrew: Let me say this real quick. Who is more moronic, Tennessee fans for calling Jalen Hurd or that bozo from Auburn saying stopping Fournette was easy?
Nick: I don’t know what possesses you to say stopping Leonard Fournette will be easy when you’re about to play him. Auburn tried everything to tackle him.
Andrew: Auburn fans hate Will Muschamp probably as bad as Florida fans hate Will Muschamp. I have Auburn friends.
Nick: Auburn has given up 831 rushing yards in the three games that Will Muschamp has been defensive coordinator.
Andrew: I have Auburn friends that hate Will Muschamp right now. They say he’s a stink.
Nick: Another Alabamaism. He’s a stink.
Andrew: His defense is awful. He doesn’t know how to call plays, and that they’re sick of seeing him and T Rob running down the sideline chewing out players whenever he’s making stupid calls. Who knows?
Nick: I will announce. We will have our buddy from Knoxville, Vince Ferrara will be joining us on the podcast.
Andrew: I love it. I love it.
Nick: I will be joining Vince up in Knoxville, in case there’s any Gators living behind enemy lines. I’ll be on his radio show. I was on there last week. We will come back. I think we should do an extra podcast this week, and you and I will do four together instead of three, because you’ve got some things to say. You’ve got some stuff to get off your chest.
Andrew: How about this, Nick? How about you become a special guest this week on Spivey Senses.
Nick: I will do that.
Andrew: This one is going to be wild. I am telling you right now.
Nick: Spivey Senses needs an adult chaperone this week to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.
Andrew: It is going to get out of control. Here’s the thing. Do I think Florida and Tennessee are matched perfectly? I absolutely do. I think Tennessee may be a little better football team than Florida right now. I’ll give you credit for that. Their fans are so idiotic that it is just laughable to me. I grew up listening to Auburn and Alabama fans, and I used to say Alabama fans were the dumbest fans in America. No way. No way, shape, or form.
Nick: Tennessee’s taking the cake?
Andrew: Tennessee’s taking the cake. I really think that they could try to make somebody believe that their great-grandmother that is 200 years old is still living. I think they would try to make that. I really do. That’s how bad they are as a fan base. Nick, the Gators are 3-0 heading into the week. Should be a good week for the Gators. Recruiting is going to be on fire next weekend. Nick, where can people find that visitors list?
Nick: The visitors list, there might be 1,000 people coming to the game. With the visitors list, as well as about 11 stories since the game ended on Saturday night have been new and posted on GatorCountry.com. Make sure to go over there. Check it out. If you like what you see, maybe sign up for a membership. Join us on the message boards. We’d love to have you there. Andrew, the visitors list is coming. Everybody seems to be coming into this game to see what Florida’s got against Tennessee. Huge weekend for recruiting. Huge weekend for SEC standings. It will be good, and we will have all of your coverage on GatorCountry.com. Follow us on Twitter. Twitter handle is @GatorCountry, @AndrewSpiveyGC, @NickdelaTorreGC. It should be a fun week. I was on the plane home from Lexington with James Bates, and he said, “I love this week. We’ve got to go get them. We’ve got to go get those boys.” Even the old timers, even the old guys, Tennessee week is something special. It should be a fun week.
Andrew: My Twitter is going to be fire. I don’t even like to say that, but it is going to be fire. Tennessee fans are going to be salty. I may go buy a salt shaker to collect that salt from those salty Tennessee fans, because they’re going to be salty. Gators, I never ask for anything from you guys. Put a special licking from Andrew Spivey.
Nick: Gator Country, you stay classy.
Andrew: Boomer Sooner. Goodbye Gator fans.