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    Frankie Velez and Kyle Christy celebrate with fans after the Gators' triple-overtime win against Kentucky. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

It’s time to rally
around the Florida Gators

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Written by Andrew Spivey, October 30, 2014, 9 Comments,
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As I sit here on Wednesday afternoon just days before heading to Jacksonville to cover Florida-Georgia, I can’t help but to notice no one is giving the Florida Gators a chance to win.

I don’t blame you for having your doubts about this team right now, I’m here to say that when the ball is kicked off Saturday at 3:30, mine, yours or anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter as long as the 85 players in Florida uniforms believe.

I’m often reminded of the great Paul “Bear” Bryant and some of the famous quotes he has credited to his name and I found one that describes what Saturday has to be about for the Florida Gators players.

“If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit – you’ll be a winner,” Bryant said before one game. “The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.”

That reward on Saturday would be for the Gators to snap a three-game losing streak against the Georgia Bulldogs and let the seniors go out with a win in one of the biggest rivalries in the SEC.

The biggest questions most of us have are if these players can put aside all of the talk about Will Muschamp’s job security and whether or not this team has quit on itself and can they hang with a Georgia, who is on a tear? Those are things the 85 players will have to ask themselves before they walk out of the locker room on Saturday afternoon.

Now I can’t answer the questions for these guys, or play for them, but my advice to them is to simply go out there and play for the name on the back of their jerseys and the school on the front. What they do on Saturday will be a reflection on what kind of character they have. A lot of eyes will be on them; playing as a team is a must.

“People who are in it for their own good are individualists,” Coach Bryant once said.  “They don’t share the same heartbeat that makes a team so great. A great unit, whether it be football or any organization, shares the same heartbeat.”

Playing as a team behind freshman quarterback Treon Harris is going to be key because he’s going to need leaders like Max Garcia, Matt Jones and even his predecessor Jeff Driskel to help him manage the game and work his way through a tough Georgia defense.

Now Harris and the offense will probably struggle some to start the game, but the Gators will rely on that stingy defense that we’ve seen throughout the Will Muschamp tenure to keep the Gators close in the second half.

Getting to the second half in a close game is exactly what Florida has to be hoping for and once they get there it has to be all about playing out of your mind and doing what it takes to make the play, whether that’s a block, a catch or simply advice from someone on the sideline.

Whether you like Will Muschamp and his staff or not shouldn’t be the question on Saturday. That doesn’t matter right now. What matters is this is a defining moment for this team and as a Gator fan your biggest question should be whether to wear the blue shirt or the orange. The players will take care of the rest.

Andrew Spivey

About Andrew Spivey

Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.

  1. snowprintOctober 30, 2014, 8:05 am

    Andrew, this team doesn’t have any leaders. You list Driskel as one, but have you ever seen him get in anyone’s face or see other player’s go to him for guidance? This team says they are much better and have great chemistry this year, but it’s just words. What we saw on Homecoming should have erased any illusions about this team.

    • Andrew Spivey
      Andrew SpiveyOctober 30, 2014, 2:59 pm

      I said he needs to be one. No matter what has happened in the past, the Gators must come together this weekend.

  2. drewrichmondOctober 30, 2014, 8:49 am

    The same comments over and over from folks are just so disappointing. We get it “Snowprint”, We’re all reading and following articles, and twitter with some hope our program will weather the storm.

    JD sucks!
    No leadership!
    Staff needs to be fired!

    These are not groundbreaking ideas, so I think I speak for all of GatorNation when I say just keep it to yourself.

  3. malscottOctober 30, 2014, 10:37 am

    While we have all offered up our opinions on this teams coaching, the players, the offense etc., one thing remains the same for me, even in the throws of unending frustration…I’m a Gator, they are Gators, you folks are Gators, and with some adjustments anything is possible. One more catch, one more tackle, one more block,…I’m completely supportive and ready to support them as they take the field in Jacksonville. It is my hope that driving over the bridge will get the juices flowing and offer up some emotion to rise to the occasion. While I don’t expect a win, I will hold them in that possibility!!!Go Gators-upset the Dawgs :)

    • Andrew Spivey
      Andrew SpiveyOctober 30, 2014, 3:01 pm

      agreed it’s time to get a win in this rivalry.

  4. trippo7October 30, 2014, 8:43 pm

    It’s time that we get in the Gators corner. We need to *all* be all in. The team needs our support. I have made comments, we all have made comments. My thoughts on the QB situation and the coaching staff are now put on the back burner. This team needs our complete support for the rest of this season without question. The Missouri game is over. It’s time to beat Georgia. Stay strong Gator Nation, and as always Go Gators!

    As for Snowprint…I think it is time we simply ignore every comment he makes from here on out. He says the same thing and we’re all guilty (myself included) of having fun with him and fueling his fire. It’s fun to point out his mistakes and his obvious hate for the Florida Gators football team which clouds everything he has to say. The guy is obviously not a Gator fan. It’s time we simply ignore him. There really is no reason to read what he says anyway, right? We all know what it’s going to be.

    BTW….Winston just threw another pick. Go Cards (tonight) and Go Gators, always!

  5. milehighgatorOctober 31, 2014, 12:21 am

    Andrew, a stingy defense through the Muschamp tenure…. Very untrue. Look at how poor our defense played most of last year including vs. crappy teams like Ga. Southern and Vandy with backup players .. This yr vs Alabama, LSU,, Ky our defense has been horrible !! Sunday, I think an announcement is coming”

  6. ajjaxgatorOctober 31, 2014, 1:01 am

    Agreed. Be in the moment, enjoy the Gator camaraderie and cheer loud.

  7. EDGATOROctober 31, 2014, 6:27 pm

    Go Gators!!! Beat Georgia!!!That’s all that matters right now no matter what happens next.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/florida-gators-kicker-francisco-velez-florida-football-2014-kentucky-the-swamp-overtime-leap-fans-11-150x150.jpg Andrew Spivey FeatureFootball ,
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As I sit here on Wednesday afternoon just days before heading to Jacksonville to cover Florida-Georgia, I can’t help but to notice no one is giving the Florida Gators a chance to win.

I don’t blame you for having your doubts about this team right now, I’m here to say that when the ball is kicked off Saturday at 3:30, mine, yours or anyone else’s opinion doesn’t matter as long as the 85 players in Florida uniforms believe.

I’m often reminded of the great Paul “Bear” Bryant and some of the famous quotes he has credited to his name and I found one that describes what Saturday has to be about for the Florida Gators players.

“If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit – you’ll be a winner,” Bryant said before one game. “The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.”

That reward on Saturday would be for the Gators to snap a three-game losing streak against the Georgia Bulldogs and let the seniors go out with a win in one of the biggest rivalries in the SEC.

The biggest questions most of us have are if these players can put aside all of the talk about Will Muschamp’s job security and whether or not this team has quit on itself and can they hang with a Georgia, who is on a tear? Those are things the 85 players will have to ask themselves before they walk out of the locker room on Saturday afternoon.

Now I can’t answer the questions for these guys, or play for them, but my advice to them is to simply go out there and play for the name on the back of their jerseys and the school on the front. What they do on Saturday will be a reflection on what kind of character they have. A lot of eyes will be on them; playing as a team is a must.

“People who are in it for their own good are individualists,” Coach Bryant once said.  “They don’t share the same heartbeat that makes a team so great. A great unit, whether it be football or any organization, shares the same heartbeat.”

Playing as a team behind freshman quarterback Treon Harris is going to be key because he’s going to need leaders like Max Garcia, Matt Jones and even his predecessor Jeff Driskel to help him manage the game and work his way through a tough Georgia defense.

Now Harris and the offense will probably struggle some to start the game, but the Gators will rely on that stingy defense that we’ve seen throughout the Will Muschamp tenure to keep the Gators close in the second half.

Getting to the second half in a close game is exactly what Florida has to be hoping for and once they get there it has to be all about playing out of your mind and doing what it takes to make the play, whether that’s a block, a catch or simply advice from someone on the sideline.

Whether you like Will Muschamp and his staff or not shouldn’t be the question on Saturday. That doesn’t matter right now. What matters is this is a defining moment for this team and as a Gator fan your biggest question should be whether to wear the blue shirt or the orange. The players will take care of the rest.

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