The Spivey Senses podcast is back this week to break down how the Florida Gators football team dominated Ole Miss on Saturday in the Gators 38-10 win on Saturday night in front of a sold out Swamp.
Andrew Spivey also breaks down how the Florida Gators football offense was able to block Ole Miss and what quarterback Will Grier did well in the win on Saturday night.
Andrew also breaks down the Florida Gators recruiting efforts on Saturday and how the big win helped the Gators in recruiting.
Hello, Gator Country. 5-0 are the Florida Gators, and it’s a great time to be covering the Gators, to be a part of the Gator Nation. It’s just fun times again. Coach Mac has things rolling. Coach Nuss has the offense rolling. Coach Collins has got the boys on defense rolling. Coach Hughes has got recruiting going. I mean, if it’s a part of Gator Nation right now it’s rolling. It’s rolling in a good way. Gators are #11 in the country after a dominating victory over Ole Miss. I’m sitting here thinking back to the biggest, this was the biggest win since probably that Florida vs. LSU game with the Matt Elam fumble, and it’s not even that that Florida vs. LSU game was that big of a game as far as momentum goes. I mean, Florida was okay that year, 11-2 that year, but it was just that that was a big win against a big team, and this is probably that big win against a big team since then.
It was an incredible game. I’ll admit, I was surprised that Florida was able to block those guys as well as they did, but that’s a prop to Mike Summers big time. I cannot believe how much of an impact he’s had. Not only that, but that’s a credit to Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeyer as well. Those guys had the two tight ends blocking a lot. If your weakness is the offensive line, why not have some of your tight ends help blocking there? That’s just common sense. If you can’t block them with five you bring seven and block them, and then still get those guys out in routes and short routes and doing it.
That’s just a props in the game plan. You look at the game plan in general, it was pretty simple. It was going to be short passes, get the ball out of Will Grier hands. Let the receivers and playmakers get the ball in open field and make plays. It was gonna be continue to have Kelvin Taylor go in there, make some T runs, and to keep the defense honest. That was the biggest thing. Keep the defense honest, not let them know what was coming. It wasn’t going to be all passing. It wasn’t going to be first down runs, that kind of thing. It was just a very good offensive game plan.
Will Grier, can’t say enough about the man. 24/29, 271 yards passing, 4 touchdowns. Just a great performance by Will Grier. You look at the play to Demarcus Robinson. He was about to get hit. Shows he’s staying in the pocket, not running away from pressure. You know me, I’ve said it all along. I thought that was the biggest reason why Will Grier was going to win the job and should win the job was because he understood the pocket presence, and that’s what he did on Saturday. Then another big play for me, in my opinion, of course Brandon Powell gets all the love for going 77 yards on his touchdown, but Will Grier knowing that that was his hot route. He’s checked down route and going there to it. That in my opinion shows that he’s gotten calm, comfortable in the pocket, is understanding things. The few 3rd down passes to Jake McGee. He was calm, collected, didn’t try to force the ball into another receiver. Threw the ball to McGee, let him go with it. Goolsby, another one, had a big play to him. Nothing but like a 5 or 6 yard gain to him, but it was a play that maybe wasn’t there at the beginning, but he let it develop, threw it to him a yard short of the marker, let him go up and make a play and get a 1st down.
In my opinion it just showed that Will Grier had slowed down some. Will has gotten calm with his presence in the pocket, and the game is just slowed down so much to him that he’s on track to becoming a very good quarterback for the Florida Gators. You look at some of the chances he took to Ahmad Fulwood. That was a good play. That was a good throw. Ahmad got hit a little early and also dropped the ball. I know he had a little shoulder injury, and that affected that. It was a ball that should have been probably caught for him, and it was just a good play by him, and Mac said today he wished he’d have took the check down, but he decided to go take a shot, and he appreciates that.
Also, another thing to look at Will is his ability on play action. That is a hard job for a young quarterback to go through the play action, carry out the fake, but still get his eyes up quick enough to see it. There is usually going to be a free guy running at you on the play action once they realize it isn’t a rush. Will did that very good a couple plays to Demarcus Robinson, but the one to Goolsby was the one that impressed me the most. Goolsby had a little chip block on the defensive end. Defensive end’s running at him. Will stays back, throws the ball to Goolsby and Goolsby gets 5 or 6 yards there, and it’s a 1st down. That’s in my opinion the maturation of Grier as a quarterback.
You look at Kelvin Taylor. Kelvin Taylor’s improved so much as a football player in his run blocking, his ability to not dance around a ton in the back field, and to go forward with the ball and make some plays. Very proud of him as well. Demarcus Robinson, probably in my opinion was probably the guy that improved the most on offense this week, outside of Grier. Had a good game. He was overshadowed all week by Laquon Treadwell, the Ole Miss receiver, and he went out and made some plays. One-handed grab was probably the best catch of the season for him. Very good football play by Demarcus Robinson, 8 catches for 98 yards and that touchdown was the stat line for him. Then you go to McGee. We talked about McGee for a second here, but 6 big catches, only 29 yards, but very good play by McGee. He was kind of the safety net for Will Grier in the game and ended up doing really well in the game and made some big plays. Brandon Powell had that long 77 yard catch for that touchdown, and that was a good play by Brandon Powell.
Again, these receivers are playing unselfish football, blocking for guys. Kelvin Taylor on the Callaway touchdown gets a chip block there. Callaway on Brandon Powell’s run, he gets a good block there. Brandon Powell had a big block on one of the plays to McGee. It was just overall playing selfless football for the team, and it was just great to see. The offensive line celebrating with the guys when it’s there. It was great to see, but the biggest thing for me was this team looked like they felt comfortable, like they were going to be able to do it. You look at McElwain, 19-0 late in the first half. Ball’s on the 9 yard line. Will Muschamp and some coaches would sit on the ball there, gone to half time up 19-0 on #3 team in the country. Nope, not McElwain. He says, let’s go. Let’s score. Let’s steal some points away from them, and that’s Will Grier time. Under 2 minutes, that’s Will Grier time.
The thing for me that is impressive for me with Grier is he didn’t try to make the big plays across the middle. He was willing to take the little short passes underneath and let his guys get out of bounds. He was able to do that, and that just shows that he’s maturing as a quarterback. That 2 minute drill was just a great scene to see for Florida overall. Again, this offense is playing just really good football, taking advantage of the open spots, the toss plays still working, getting the ball to the edge is working there. The offensive line is just so much improving that they’re picking up on their guys. Still some missed blocks in pass protection and on run plays, but the tight ends helping there is such a key. Goolsby and McGee getting so much better there.
To go to the defensive side of the ball, what an effort by these guys. Antonio Morrison best football game of his career in my opinion. Just all over the football field in run plays and in the back field in passing plays as well. Marcus Maye playing great football as well, very good in coverage. The guy that impressed me the most was Jalen Tabor. Marcell Harris didn’t play very much at safety, so Maye stayed back there, and Tabor was the dime linebacker in a lot of situations, a position he never played before, but he did well there. On one instance he read Laquon Treadwell getting the little pop pass or screen play there. He sneaks it out, goes over there, makes a tackle in the back field. Just good plays by Jalen Tabor overall that just really impressed me as a whole for him, and I just thought that overall he was a guy that knew the game plan and did really well in the game.
Vernon Hargreaves did well in the game. Quincy Wilson is a guy that never gets talked about, but simply goes up there and just does his job overall, has 2 tackles in the game, but plays good coverage in the game. He and Tabor did a lot of the man up against Treadwell there. Tabor did have the one missed play where Treadwell just snatched the ball out of the air, but overall it was good. Keanu Neal had the hit stick of the year, in my opinion, on the play. Very big play for him, and a good play there. Then you go to some other guys like Jarrad Davis. He had a big game as well.
The defensive line once again is the story. Jonathan Bullard, McAllister, Cece Jefferson. Those guys, they’re just playing great football overall. They’re getting the numbers overall, getting the sacks, 4 sacks in the game, but several quarterback hurries, 4 more of those in total. Just in the back field every time. They helped out the defensive secondary so much in the game. Just an impressive game for those guys. The guy in my opinion that played probably the best on the defensive line is not even in the stat sheet as having a great game was Caleb Brantley. Overall he was just continuing to set the line of scrimmage back in Ole Miss’s back field. Just driving the center backwards, driving the guards backwards. Just being pure strength of a player to do that, and all that is is him being a guy that’s physical, knowing what’s going on, being observant of the snap count, and getting off the football great. He’s just a guy that is probably the most impressive player and has improved the most, him and Marcus Maye together have improved the most. That all goes to Chris Rumph on Caleb Brantley. Great times for those guys.
Special teams also played well. Jorge Powell, he missed the extra point but had a field goal in the game, so that was good for him. Very glad for him to get that. Kickoffs were pretty good. Chris Thompson had the big hit on the play. It was a great play, but then he was stupid and made a throat slash. Come on, Chris, you’re smarter than that. You just saw Kelvin Taylor got chewed out for that and embarrassed by that. Don’t do something stupid like that. You’re winning the football game. The crowd’s great. You’re winning the game. Don’t do something dumb like that. Just play good football. Overall it was good on special teams for them. This is just such a big win for Jim McElwain and his staff. It just shows that they’re really there. They’re really back. The crowd was awesome. The Swamp was awesome. It really is take back the Swamp, and it’s doing really well. The fans were doing great.
This coaching staff, they don’t get enough credit for what they’re doing. You look at this team last year, it wasn’t a good team, and they replaced them with better coaches in just about every position. McElwain gets all of the credit here, and rightfully so. You look at guys like Kerry Dixon, what a job he’s doing with the receivers. These guys actually believe they’re going to do well. Tim Skipper, what a job he’s doing with Kelvin Taylor right now and the young guys. You look at Doug Nussmeyer, what a job he’s doing with Will Grier with his mechanics. He and McElwain both are doing really well with the mechanics. Summers, it speaks for itself what he’s doing with those guys. Then you go to the defense. Kirk Callahan, he’s going to be talked about with Vernon and those guys doing so well without him, but he’s still teaching these guys. Deiondre Porter is doing so well. Marcus Maye’s playing his best football, doing so much better there. You look at Randy Shannon doing such a great job with those guys there. Geoff Collins is calling a good game. Rumph’s doing a great job with the defensive line. This coaching staff just doesn’t get enough respect for what they’re doing, but what a great job they’re doing. Kerry Dixon and Skipper being two of the guys in my opinion that have really just changed the atmosphere in general for their positions.
It’s showing in recruiting. It was a big recruiting weekend. Florida got McArthur Burnett to go ahead and commit, the cornerback out of Pahokee, probably 5’10”, 6’ on a good day, listed as 6’1”. Good player, he’s a nickel player. He’s probably a smaller version, but a quicker version of Brian Poole, and is going to be in that cornerback position. He reminds me of Javier Arenas for Alabama. He’s going to be electric, electric return man, and is going to be a guy that is going to be able to blitz the package out of that cornerback position, that nickel back position like they did at Alabama with him. He’s going to be a guy that’s going to be able to cover in the flats. He’s just going to be a guy that in my opinion is going to be a very good football player for Florida.
A couple other things to look at. Rumors are swirling that Tyrek Tisdale will back off his commitment soon. In my opinion that’s probably true. I do think he goes elsewhere at the end of the day. Nate Craig-Myers enjoyed his visit as well against Tennessee. Did not show up for the Ole Miss game. Nothing big there. He’s been on campus three times already, so nothing to worry about there. Things are definitely trending in the right direction for him. Freddie Swain commits on Friday, very much looks like it’s going to be Florida. I think the Gators will pick up a good player there. He’s a guy that’s kind of like Antonio Callaway in that he can play all the positions. He’s a little faster than Callaway and not as big as Callaway, but he’s a guy that can play slot, can play the X and can play the Z, just a very good football player. Had a great opening against the best players in the country and is going to be a guy that Florida’s very happy to get on board. Again, predicting him to commit on Friday when he makes his announcement at 3:00 at North Marian. Of course, Gator Country will have all that coverage for you there.
Lot of things going on behind the scenes in the recruiting thing. Florida still recruiting a lot of guys, Woody Barrett from Auburn came on campus this weekend. He’s a guy that has decent arm strength but is more of a runner, just don’t see him fitting Florida’s system very much. He’s a guy that Florida will continue to look at and monitor and worst case scenario they’ll go at him if they’re not able to flip another guy. Then you look at the offensive line, still think they’re going to be getting Marcus Tatum, probably soon, in my opinion. Just wants to take those official visits, but I think Florida can get him. Then I think Ashton Julius, the Juco kid that they just offered out of Pennsylvania. I think they’re able to get him possibly, and that’s good. I think that they’ll close the day there. Brian Burns is a guy that’s a defensive end. He was at Georgia this weekend, and he was talking about how shocked he was at the game that Florida was able to do against Ole Miss. I really think Florida is in shape to make a move for him there, but I do think they have better shots at Janarius Robinson and some other guys there.
The big news last week was Mack Wilson naming Florida his leader, and from everything I’m told he is real, it is very real. He has a great relationship with Drew Hughes, and Drew Hughes is doing a great job there, but he’s also very close to Jeawon Taylor, the Florida commit there. Those guys like to stick together. They train together. The biggest thing that will win over Mack Wilson for Florida is that he believes he can play from day one at Florida at any of the linebacker positions, and that’s exactly true. Florida doesn’t return very many linebackers. He can play early there. Then he loves Randy Shannon. That is very real with Mack Wilson, and I think Florida does have a shot to potentially land Mack Wilson, as crazy as it is. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a fight with Alabama, but they got a shot, and it’s very real there. I think that it’ll be one of those things that comes down to the very end where does Florida win out on the official visit and get him convinced that Florida’s the place there? Again, very good shot there.
Again, recruiting will probably die down a little bit as Florida goes on the road some. Then when Florida goes on the bye week in two weeks after the LSU game the coaches will be all out there, and you’ll see a little bit more news there. The big news is definitely Freddie Swain visiting, and then as long as Florida continues to win they’ll stay in the spotlight there. Also, prospects will start talking more openly about Florida and liking Florida more. 5-0 is the best recipe for success, no matter what your game plan is for there.
To look ahead a little bit at Missouri. It’s going to be a good game for Florida. They’re going to have a quick passing team in Missouri. They’re going to have to play good defense there, going to have to play good in the middle of the field, much like they needed to do against ECU. ECU’s game plan is exactly what Missouri’s going to try to do, and that’s short passing game and try to take advantage in the middle of the field. I expect Florida to play a lot more dime, but defensively Missouri has a good defensive line, but their secondary is not that good, and then I expect Florida to just wreak havoc against Missouri’s offensive line that’s not very good with a freshman quarterback as well. I think Florida should be fine there. As long as Florida doesn’t go overlooking that game it should be a good game there against Missouri. It just is a different atmosphere out there.
Overall, just a great team win. I’m very happy for this team, very happy for this coaching staff, and I’m very glad that you guys are joining us. As always, stay tuned to GatorCountry.com for the latest info. As you saw last week, Nick and myself, we were 24 hours ahead of everybody on the Will Grier news, had the Austin Hardin news. Just staying on top of things. I feel like right now Gator Country is doing the best job of staying on top of things, not to brag on ourselves, but make sure to check us out. Tell your friends to check us out. If you want to be a member just let Nick or I know, and we’ll get you on board on things and get you over here. You can check out the latest recruiting news, football news, and everything else to go along with it. Nick and myself will be in Baton Rouge in two weeks. Nick will be in Missouri this weekend with his family. He’ll be checking out the Cardinals game as well. As always, check us out on GatorCountry.com. Also follow me on Twitter @AndrewSpiveyGC. Follow my man Nick @NickdelaTorreGC, and follow Gator Country @GatorCountry on Twitter. Just stay tuned to us and let us know any questions you got. Hit us up on Twitter. We appreciate all the love. Thank you guys for joining me and having me on this and for always following. Talk to you guys soon, hopefully after another big win against Missouri. As Coach Mac says, chomp chomp.