Podcast: Recapping the Florida Gators 31-29 lost to Alabama

    GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators 31-29 lost to Alabama on Saturday afternoon.

    Andrew Spivey and David Soderquist breakdown how the Gators looked on offense behind Emory Jones and how the Gators ran the ball at will on Saturday.

    Andrew and David also breakdown the defense and the keys to the game and what Florida must improve on going forward.

    nesville. Largest crowd since:en personally. It rivals that:

    From the time we got on campus, David Bowie and myself, our photographer, we were headed to SEC Nation. Lots that are normally half full away from campus for tailgating and stuff was just jampacked full of campers and RVs. It was insane. It was really what the Swamp’s about. I talked to several Alabama people about it, and everybody that I know from Alabama said that’s the loudest stadium I’ve ever been in. Those are Alabama people who’ve been in 100,000 seat stadium at Bryant-Denny. Obviously, it’s a little bit different, because the noise stays in.

    Props. Absolute props to everyone involved. The guys fed off of it. It was insane. It was great for what the game was, and that’s a really good game with really good recruiting, and the atmosphere was electric.

    David: Looking at some of the tailgates, I usually hang out at that Harmonic Woods tailgate out on Museum Road. That tailgate had more people there than I’ve ever seen it. I wish I was there. I wish I could have went. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. You heard a lot of things about these five-star and these top 100 recruits saying this is the loudest stadium they’ve ever been in. The atmosphere was electric. You could hear it.

    Even just watching it on CBS on my television from where I was staying at with a buddy of mine, he’s a UF alum, he has a surround sound system, and it was freaking loud. You could hear the crowd in the surround system, and some of the announcers, even on some of the plays, were having to scream, because it was getting so loud in there. I’m thinking to myself, I can imagine what it sounds like inside of the stadium, because they dumb down the noise on television.

    Andrew: We could not hear. We could not hear the refs make calls on the field. Could not. We were going strictly by hand signal. Late in the game, when the clock wasn’t operating, those guys at the clock had no earthly idea what the refs were saying. They had zero clue. It was that loud. A couple of the recruits said they had headaches from it, because it was loud. It was. At moments through the stadium, you felt the stadium shake. You felt the vibration in the stadium.

    You talk to all kinds of guys, Azareyeh Thomas, the DB, said it was crazy and electric. Makiyah Williams, the D line committed to USC said it was the best he’s ever seen. Guys that I think have been around for several games for other places all said it was the best. That’s what the Swamp is. That’s what fires me up. This is what Florida football is about, the Swamp being the most hostile environment in the country, you not wanting to come there and play. It was. It was that on Saturday, and I am absolutely jacked to see it.

    The game didn’t turn out the way it was. It was 31-29. We’ll get into that in just a second. Even when it was 21-3 in the first quarter, the fans were still going. I turned to a couple people, and I said, please don’t let this crowd leave. Please don’t let it leave, because it’s going to be a good ballgame sooner or later, as soon as Florida settles in, and they didn’t. To their credit, they didn’t. They stayed. At the end of the game, it was still a good ballgame.

    David: Right. We talked about it last week how the crowd factor is going to be a huge factor in this game. You do not want the crowd leaving, because that’s the last thing that you want to do. Me watching the game, especially how Florida came out in that first quarter, Alabama started out with an eight play 75-yard drive for a touchdown in less than four minutes. I really wasn’t worried. It started the game. You’re still trying to figure everything out with whose offense is going to do what, whose defense is going to do what. I expected us to come back and drive it down the field, which we did, but ultimately it wound up in a field goal. When you kick field goals, you don’t need to be kicking field goals against Alabama. You need to get touchdowns instead of field goals, because Alabama can go quick.

    Andrew: It’s frustrating, because they did. They had a really good drive on that first drive. Emory missed a couple of receivers and a couple of holes for the running backs just didn’t open up as needed. Dan thought about it. He did. He really thought about going for it there, and then they had to call timeout. People were saying you should kick it and get the points. I’m sitting here thinking, you’re not beating Alabama by field goals in the long run. Field goal should have tied it.

    I would say this. What popped into my head was Emory has been really good on the scripted drives. When I say scripted drives, most college football and most coaches in general, I know for me, when I was coaching ball in high school, we had our first 15 plays scripted. Obviously, it can change a little bit if it’s 3rd and inches or whatever it may be, but you have them scripted. Florida did that on their first drive, and Emory looked good. The second and third drives is when he struggled a little bit, and that’s exactly what I worried about. I was like, oh no, here he goes. He’s going to struggle when it’s not scripted plays, but he didn’t. He settled in.

    I think the story of that first quarter, David, is DBs not being able to make tackles in space.

    David: 14 total missed tackles in the first quarter. 14.

    Andrew: It was just one on one. Tre’Vez Johnson versus Brian Robinson, Jr. Kaiir Elam, all those people one on one, and they just couldn’t make the plays. It was like last year, where you were frustrated, because it was like they’re in position to make the play, they should have stops, and they just didn’t. I’m glad it settled itself out, but for that moment it was frustrating. People were getting on Grantham, and I’m sitting here to myself thinking--

    David: It’s not Grantham.

    Andrew: It’s not Grantham’s fault.

    David: There was 14 total missed tackles. We talked about it last week about the dink and dunk plays. Alabama was handling pressures like nothing. I think we only had two total sacks that whole game. Credit to Florida’s offensive line though too. Florida’s offensive line only gave up one total sack that game. I have nothing but great things to say about Jean Delance, and I’m not trying to change the subject here. Nobody can talk smack about Jean Delance anymore. I picked him last week. I picked him two weeks in a row. He’s greatly improved.

    s really improved since the:

    Andrew: Let me stop you there, before we go to quarterback play. For the first time, and I’m fired up, nothing gets me more fired up than offensive line and trench play that just freaking dominates their opponent. I have not seen a Nick Saban team get dominated up front like they did on Saturday. This is coming from an offensive line that was really bad last year. This is coming from an offensive line that me, myself, trashed and questioned big time. Questioned the guts of some of these guys, questioned the ability of some of these guys, questioned the will of some of these guys. On Saturday, they lined up man to man, mano to mano, and said, we’re going to run the ball, and Alabama knew they were going to run the ball, and they put up 258 yards rushing. It was coming, and they knew it was coming, and they couldn’t stop it.

    Multiple times they knew Malik was about to run the ball up the middle. They would have guys there, and the pulling guard, whether it be Reese or Braun or Ethan White, whoever it may be, was just mauling him. Ethan White had a phenomenal game. Kingsley, phenomenal game. Like you said, Delance had a really good game. Those two guys, White and Kingsley, absolutely dominate. I got on Ethan White a little bit in the second quarter on the missed block on the screen, but outside of that, really good game.

    Again, I just don’t think people understand. When you can line up like Florida did on Saturday and just absolutely dominate a Nick Saban coached football team, and I say Nick Saban coached football team, because he loves line of scrimmage, control the clock kind of game, and Florida whipped him on it. I think if you’re taking something away from this game, fans and everyone else, and you want something to be positive about, that’s what to be positive about. The gap of physicality has closed. Closed. I couldn’t say that last year. I’m not saying the gap in recruiting has closed, because it’s not. Florida still has room to grow and a lot to do there, but for Dan Mullen last year to be all passing and this year second in the nation in rushing and to line up and just smash them.

    On the goal line, everybody knew what was coming. When they went empty, everybody in the world knew Emory was taking it right up the middle, and he did it over and over and over game. Every single time, he got it. The two-point conversion play, that was just you have to watch that play. There was a missed assignment, a missed alignment. 258 yards, David. That doesn’t happen.

    David: It doesn’t happen to Alabama. For a team in Alabama that was averaging over 400 yards of offense, Florida held them to 331 yards, which I don’t think any team in the nation has ever been able to do that thus far this year. Obviously, Miami or Mercer was not able to do that. There’s so many emotions that are going through my head. At the same time, most of the emotions are positive. There’s really not any negatives. I think the negatives, if you go to some of the missed calls by the refs, and I hate to make excuses about refs and missed calls, because refs and missed calls happen every game.

    Andrew: Not that bad.

    David: Not that bad. You had that pass interference call on Elam that they scored 7 points on that could have been turned back over in your favor. There were some key things, like the missed tackles we talked about, the bad calls from the refs, the dropped interception from Brenton Cox. That was one of them that we would love to have back, but that sort of stuff just happens, but you got to catch that ball. Questionable play call. The dink and dunk plays that killed us in the first quarter.

    The thing about Florida is they played three quarters of the game, but in football you got to play all four quarters to win. That first quarter they dug themselves in so far of a hole that they were able to come back, but just did not have enough time to come back.

    Andrew: They lost the game on special teams. Well, they lost the game on special teams, but they didn’t lose the game on special teams. The two critical plays for me on special teams cost them. The missed PAT. You cannot miss PATs in big games. The Ja’markis Weston touching the ball and allowing them to have to go 99 yards. Florida scored, but they took a ton of time off the clock that could have been there for the end of the game scenario where should have been tied, but it wasn’t. They were down by two. Instead of having 10 seconds to go on the clock, they could have had three minutes to go on the clock. A 75-yard drive compared to a 99-yard drive, who knows? They may not have scored on 75-yard drive. Those two plays.

    There’s a couple plays that I look at in this game, and I say that cost them. The interception on the third drive of the game allowed for a short field. Can’t have that happen. Cannot have that happen against Alabama. First of all, you can’t turn the ball over, but you definitely can’t turn the ball over in your own territory. That was a killer. The PAT miss, the kickoff, the misalignment on the two-point conversion, and then the stupid penalties that were called.

    Kaiir Elam ain’t no more hit a pass interference on that play than a man on the moon. Tre’Vez Johnson ain’t no more hit a man in the moon, and that back judge didn’t see a thing, and he is as crazy as crazy can be for not calling that. Those two plays were huge for Alabama. Another play on that, on the Kaiir pass interference, the entire offensive line and the running backs for Alabama were moving at the snap.

    David: That was a false start that wasn’t even called on top of that. Then you had the horse collar in front of the referee on Dameon Pierce. The referee’s looking right at it. Doesn’t even call it.

    Andrew: Right.

    David: I’m sitting at home, and I’m just baffled. A lot of guys will say the referees are paid, blah, blah. I don’t know. I have no clue. When you obviously have a horse collar tackle right in front of your eyes, and you’re blowing your whistle at the end of the play, and you see it all the way down, and you don’t call it, it’s a little questionable there. At the same time, the referees have been quite bad anyway in SEC play. It’s not just this game.

    Andrew: No.

    David: A lot of people will complain about it. They’ve been terrible in a lot of SEC games. As far as that goes, I don’t like to make excuses about refs. It is what it is. Calls get missed. Referees suck, and that’s the end of it.

    Andrew: What frustrates me, and I say this all the time, and I may be stupid when I say this. People may get on me and say it was an excuse. I can understand a call. The Kaiir Elam, it is what it is. The guy was there. He was in position, the ref was, to make the call. How he made that call, I don’t know, but whatever. The call on Tre’Vez Johnson, the dude was 25 yards away, wasn’t even the ref that should have thrown the flag, and he’s going to throw the flag. I’m like, what are you doing? How are you making that call? You no more, a man on the moon, seen that call. Your buddy didn’t see that call, but you did?

    Another call that went missed, and that was crazy to me, was Josh Jobe for Bama. He threw a punch at Justin Shorter’s head on a helmet after they were talking a little bit. Right in front of the ref. Boom, he hits him.

    David: Not smart. You know what I would have done, if I was Justin Shorter, I would have just flopped there and see if the referee would have pulled the flag.

    Andrew: He backed up in front of the ref. I’m thinking, the ref’s about to get him here, and the ref just talks to him. I’m like, oh brother, here we go again.

    Now, to say all that, Bama had a touchdown when they got a field goal, and just stepped out of bounds. Not paying attention. Just stepped out of bounds. They dropped another touchdown, but they ended up scoring on that. At the end of the day, they do kind of even out, if you look at it. Bama did have 11 penalties for 75 yards. Florida only had 7 for 67, so it balances out.

    I think Emory, and you and I have went back and forth on this. We’ll talk about here. We’ll air it out here. You said you feel like if Richardson’s in the game it’s a different ballgame. I agree with that.

    David: It totally is.

    Andrew: I think it is a different ballgame, but I will say that Emory Jones played well enough to win that football game on Saturday.

    David: He did.

    Andrew: He played well enough. That interception was terrible. The throw to Copeland was terrible. A couple of his decisions on speed option when he should have pitched it sooner were bad. He had his moments. The difference between first half Emory and second half Emory were night and day. I’ve been around Emory a good bit during his recruitment and stuff. He’s an energetic fun guy. First half, he did not look like he was having fun. Second half, he looked like he was having fun. Again, would Anthony have made a difference? Sure, he would have. Anthony’s a good player. But Emory didn’t lose the game.

    David: No. He didn’t lose the game. That’s one thing that was I was going to say before or after I said that is Emory Jones didn’t lose the game. Emory Jones played well. I’m proud of him. He’s going to start next week, and I’m okay with that. As long as he keeps playing like this, we can run the ball. We can dominate with our offensive line, dominate with our defense. I have no issue with Emory Jones being the starting quarterback, as long as he can take care of the turnovers. That’s it. That’s all you got to take care of. Everything else takes care of itself.

    You come out. You kick a field goal. Alabama scores again. They eventually will score again on that one pass interference that got called on Elam that should have been our ball, but they scored on that one. Then you start hearing the crowd booing Emory Jones. 21-3. They’re starting to boo Emory Jones after that big turnover that cost them some points there. For Emory Jones to tune out the crowd of 90,000 people, come back in there, lead a drive for a touchdown. I think that was the big Malik Davis run there with the huge double block there. Malik Davis scores that with about 26-yard touchdown and gets Florida and this crowd back in the game. That’s what I was worried about. When we went down 21-3, I said, can we score a touchdown? If we can score a touchdown, the crowd will be back in this game, and we’ll have the crowd on our side. Because if they go up 28-3, I guarantee you right now that crowd ain’t going to be as in the game as they were.

    Andrew: At that point it was 21-3, and Florida was getting the ball right back at the beginning of the half.

    David: After halftime, so you needed that score.

    Andrew: Right.

    David: You go into halftime with your head held up high, knowing you’re going to get the ball after halftime, and that’s what Florida would do. After halftime, Florida would lead a drive right down the field. What was it? It was like a 10 play 75-yard drive. It was four minutes. It was less than four minutes. A less than four-minute drive for a touchdown. You make it 21-16. You completely flip the game around from a 21-3 deficit to 21-16 within 10 minutes of football play. That really sparked that offense and that defense and that crowd, and it got the crowd back into the game, and it made for a lot better of an atmosphere and a lot better of a game going forward.

    Then unfortunately, right after that, Alabama would lead a 13 play 75-yard touchdown drive, which would make it 28-16. Florida, they fought. The next drive they would lead an 11 play 99-yard drive. Four minutes again. 28-23. Right now, you’re thinking Florida’s not done. They’re fighting. That’s what you wanted to see. Good defensive line play. Huge sack by Gervon Dexter, by the way, that would make Alabama have to punt off the ball there. You just saw the extra spark that Florida needed. You saw the crowd getting into the game, and Florida was back in this game.

    Like I said, the first quarter you started off really slow, and Florida’s going to have to perfect that. They can’t start off slow against any team. You start off slow against any team, you let somebody go up almost three touchdowns, it’s kind of hard to dig yourself out of a hole like that. It can be done, but it’s hard.

    Andrew: 172 yards for Bama in the first quarter. 152 through the rest of the game.

    David: Yeah.

    Andrew: You did what you needed to do the rest of the game. Florida in the second half won 20-10. They put up 239 yards. Bama put up 149. The second quarter Bama had three yards. You look at the game. First of all, let me say this. I don’t have moral victories. I don’t believe in participation trophies. I don’t believe in moral victories. At the end of the day, Florida lost the football game.

    David: Right.

    Andrew: But I am taking a ton of positives away from this game, and that’s not moral victories. That’s simply a team who Dan Mullen and a program that Dan Mullen is trying to build up. Florida took that next step. Obviously, the next step is to win that game. Hopefully, you get that in Atlanta, but you took that next step. You showed fight. The physicality was there. That was definitely there. You had a chance to win at the end of the game.

    David: I came into this game, and I even told my wife before the game, I said, if Florida gets to a close game, I don’t want to be that guy at the end of the game that’s saying, we were almost there, but so-and-so, so-and-so.

    Andrew: Right.

    David: Last year you had six points within the SEC Championship. This year, two points. I don’t want to be that guy, and I hate being that guy that says we were almost there, but we couldn’t quite get the job done. This isn’t Georgia. So, at this point, I’m thinking about this game, and I’m like, we may have not gotten the job done now, third week of the season. If we win out the rest of the schedule, whether Alabama makes it to the SEC Championship or not, you’re going to get a shot at the SEC Championship. You’re going to get a shot at going back to the playoff. You’ve got to beat everybody.

    Andrew: 100%.

    David: You have to beat everybody on the schedule. This schedule is very winnable until you play Georgia. That’s it.

    Andrew: Here’s the thing for me. That’s what it’s all about. Guess what? If Florida beats Bama yesterday on Saturday, we’re still talking about that, because Georgia’s not losing another game. That’s just it. Maybe. Maybe they get upset, but they’re definitely not losing two more games if you lose to them in Jacksonville. At the end of the day, your goal is to win in Jacksonville. Your goal is to get to Atlanta. Then you have to go win that game. Whether you won on Saturday or not, you have to go win that football game.

    Again, the reason that I think this is a building stone is Florida just won that game for the majority of the game. They showed physicality. They showed that stuff. I posted this on our message board. I was talking to a couple people around the program, and they all told me, they were like, you didn’t see everything. Anthony’s packages were gone. I know a lot of people wanted Anthony to play. Anthony wasn’t healthy.

    David: No.

    Andrew: He did his backflip, and I know people are like, he’s healthy. No, he wasn’t. He hardly practiced this week. He was getting treatment all week. There’s a lot of packages for Anthony Richardson. You didn’t get to see him on Saturday. There’s a lot of things that could have been done. Guess what? You should be able to see that in Jacksonville against Georgia, because he should be healthy by then. You don’t play him this week against Tennessee. You shouldn’t need to. They’re trash.

    David: Tennessee sucks.

    Andrew: Yeah. You shouldn’t need that. You give him some rest. You saw a lot of things that should make you feel good about this team. Emory Jones is not a bad quarterback. Does he make some silly mistakes, is he a little late on some decisions? Sure. It’s still Week 3 of him playing, and he has shown me enough to show me that he’s progressing. In the first quarter, he missed a couple of underneath routes when he was trying to look deep, and he took off running. Later in the game, he just started hitting those. That back shoulder throw to Xzavier Henderson was one of the best throws I’ve seen in a long time. Then again, he missed one to Jacob Copeland where he should have had it. He’s making mistakes, but he is improving.

    Again, you do have Anthony Richardson that’s going to play again and is going to play a lot. Your running back group’s really good. Your tight end group performed better. Dameon Pierce, five touchdowns out of 18 carries this year.

    David: That is crazy. It’s something you wouldn’t have thought you would see last year or the year before.

    Andrew: Nay’Quan Wright. Nay’Quan Wright’s a baller. I don’t think people understood when we talked about it so much. Nay’Quan Wright’s a good ball player. 8.3 yards per carry on Saturday. He’s starting for a lot of teams.

    ve ever thought about that in:

    Like you said, the good part about Anthony Richardson is the fact that now he gets time to rest. These teams coming up suck. Tennessee’s bad. We all know about Kentucky, Missouri. They don’t look too great either. The only team you got to worry about on the rest of the schedule is Georgia, to be honest. Samford ain’t beating you.

    Andrew: Let him play LSU. Let him play Georgia, and get ready.

    David: Yeah. Get ready. Then maybe you’ll have him for the SEC Championship game, if you win. If you win in Jacksonville and you win the rest of these games. Personally, if they have to sit Anthony Richardson, I don’t care. I’m more than confident with Emory Jones that we can win games and win the rest of these games until we play Georgia on the schedule.

    I still think with the way that this team’s defense played, how they were getting pressure on the quarterback, Alabama was good at scheming around the pressures and getting the ball out quick, but how they got pressure plus how the offensive line played, this team could smoke Georgia. They could. Georgia has one of the best defenses in the nation though. I’m not going to lie. Their defense is pretty stout, but I just don’t see anything fantastic from JT Daniels. They played South Carolina yesterday. Should have beat them way more than what they should have. I honestly think Florida can win the whole schedule, to be honest. That’s not me being a homer either.

    Andrew: I think Georgia’s defense is good, but I don’t know that they’re as great as maybe I thought they were, because you look at what Clemson’s doing. Clemson’s still not scoring points. Clemson still can’t score points. We all thought it was great because they just shut Clemson down. Maybe it was a little bit of both. Maybe it was Clemson’s just not good, and maybe Georgia’s defense is pretty good. I don’t think either one of them are great.

    David: Yeah. You got a bunch of freshman quarterbacks playing.

    Andrew: Right.

    David: Clemson has a freshman quarterback playing. We pretty much have a first year quarterback playing. I want to say this too. Everybody’s talking about Emory Jones has had four years in the system. I’ve even said it, but practice is different from actual in game play.

    Andrew: 100%.

    David: You got to give Emory Jones a break. This is his first year starting as a quarterback. He’s still trying to get acclimated to the system and how they’re going to run it. He did fantastic yesterday against the #1 team in the nation. I can’t blame him. He deserves to start against Tennessee. He deserves to start. I still think you’re going to see Anthony Richardson sprinkled in here and there, because Dan said he was going to run two quarterbacks. Probably like a Tebow-Chris Leak kind of thing. There’s no reason right now that I’m going to tell Emory that he has to sit on the bench, and he’s Quarterback 2. No way.

    Andrew: Three guys for me defensively, David. Jeremiah Moon, Brenton Cox, and Zach Carter. I know people are getting on Brenton Cox for his interception. First off all, asking Brenton Cox to cover is crazy to me, but whatever.

    David: He’s a lineman.

    Andrew: He should have had the interception, but, again, he’s a lineman. He was getting pressure all night long. Moon was filling those holes really good. Carter, everywhere. You said Gervon Dexter was playing good ball. Those are a lot of guys. I called Brenton Cox out on Friday. I said, is Brenton Cox better than Khris Bogle or what? Well, I think he put that to bed. I will say we were all talking about Ventrell Miller and could they hold the running game down without Ventrell? 91 yards. You hold an opponent under 100, win. Win. Win all day long.

    Again, are there some questions, do you still have some questions at that second cornerback spot? Did Avery Helm play great? Did Jadarrius Perkins play great? Did Jason Marshall play great? They played okay. They didn’t play bad. Tre’Vez Johnson struggled in the first half, but he picked it up in the second half. Safety wise I thought they played pretty good. There’s a lot of people bashing Grantham and everything else. Some of his blitzes just drive you nuts. Yes. But you have to know that that’s what you’re getting with him. Also, his defense played well, and a lot of times they were in position to play. What more can you ask on the screen play? You have your guy right there to fill it. He’s one on one, and he just don’t make the tackle.

    David: Right.

    Andrew: I don’t know that I can blame Grantham for that. You can only as a coach put a guy into position to make a play. It’s the same thing in basketball. You can only start your best five. In baseball, you can start your ace in Game 1, but if your ace sucks, what are you supposed to do?

    David: Right. I’m not trying to trail off of this. I was actually watching the game with a Georgia alum too. He’s a big Georgia fan. He saw what we did yesterday, and he said, oh my God, Florida might beat us. That’s exactly what he told me. He said, Florida might beat us. I’m scared. I’m just like, you got one of the best defenses in the nation, but we’ll figure that out in Jacksonville. He was even coming away impressed. He said what Dan Mullen’s done with the talent he’s recruited, and he hasn’t recruited on a level like Clemson and Georgia, Alabama, he said, what Dan Mullen’s done with the talent that he’s had, that he’s got now, he said, I’m scared. He’s like, I don’t think Dan needs a highly ranked recruiting class to win a National Championship.

    I think he’s the best coaching and developer in the nation. That’s personally me. Between coaching and development, with Coach Savage and all that, and last year was an anomaly. You had Covid. Obviously, you couldn’t workout with Coach Savage. You couldn’t do anything. This year, you finally get them back in the Savage treatment. You get them back in the program, and look what they’re doing. They’re having two point games against Alabama. They could have won. They outgained Alabama in total yards. I think they had over 400 yards of offense to their 331. You outgained Alabama.

    You outplayed Alabama, except for the first quarter. Play all four quarters next time you play Alabama. Clean up that first quarter stuff. Get off to a faster start. You see them again in the SEC Championship, you’re taking them to the woodshed. You’re going to beat them. I think you’re going to beat them, if you have that same kind of play that you did last year, especially with no turnovers. You only had one turnover, and that was a key that I said to this game is no turnovers. We had one cost us points. Could have won us the game. Lots of other factors that did cost us the game. I’m not going to go into it anymore. I’m really proud of this team. I’m really proud of the defense, really proud of the offensive line.

    Hey, I’m ready to be in the Swamp again next Saturday and watch them take it to Tennessee. I hope they put up 60 points on Tennessee.

    Andrew: Here’s the thing for me. It’s all about building. We talk about it all the time. There’s always building blocks of programs. There’s a building block, and this one you conquered it, of being physical. The next building block is take the same energy that you just had and carry it over. Championship teams don’t have letdowns. You can’t have a letdown this week against Tennessee. Tennessee’s trash. Guess what? They are SEC. They do have some decent players. If you allow them to, they’ll beat you.

    David: Yeah. A lot of people are talking about FSU had their moral victory against Notre Dame, and then we just find out Notre Dame sucks. Alabama is not Notre Dame. Alabama is way better than Notre Dame. I don’t think we’re going to have some kind of FSU hangover, go into a game and then lose games that we shouldn’t lose. I think this is going to drive the team to play better, to be honest. When you’re against the #1 team in the nation, and you almost beat them, and it’s only Week 3, you’re pissed off already, because you feel like you should have one. So now, that’s going to drive you to play against these teams, beat the teams you got to beat, beat Georgia, get back to the SEC Championship.

    This isn’t a game that I think any of these players were ashamed of. I think they’re ashamed and pissed off that they didn’t win the game, but I don’t think they’re ashamed or pissed off about their efforts and what they did in the game. I don’t think this is going to be a hangover game whatsoever. I think they’re going to go into Tennessee at home in the Swamp, they’re going to beat Tennessee. They could turn over the ball twice and still beat Tennessee. I ain’t worried about it.

    Andrew: I think I need to clarify kind of where I was going with that a little bit. Not just at the game, but in practice. This team’s not perfect. This team’s not where they need to be. The team that played Saturday doesn’t beat the team that Alabama brings to Atlanta in the SEC Championship game, if you’re lucky to get there.

    David: Right.

    Andrew: The team that is here doesn’t beat Georgia. You have to improve. Bring that same energy and same pissed off attitude that you came into this game with to practice Monday. Get better on Monday. Get better on Tuesday. Get better on Saturday than you were this past Saturday. Keep doing that, and you will find yourself in Atlanta. You will find yourself having the ability to play Alabama or whoever it may be in the SEC Championship game. You will have the opportunity to do that, if you continue to improve. You look at this team. It’s a young team in a lot of different areas. Continue to improve.

    That has been the downfall of this team, this program, the last few years is allowing one loss to filter into multiple losses, allowing one loss to bring the mindset of the program back down. You can’t allow this loss, even though it’s a loss, you have to take some pride that we played really well. Couple keys did not go our way. A couple mistakes did not go our way, so we need to improve on that.

    David: Right. They earned respect. AP poll just came out. We’re recording Sunday. They’re still at #11, even though losing a game, a close game to Alabama. I think that’s fair. You almost beat the #1 team in the nation. Granted, you shouldn’t be able to move up because you lost, but at the same time, you almost beat the #1 team in the nation, and it was a close game. It’s not like they won convincingly, and then you beat them in total yards and everything else.

    AP poll, 11. I think Florida’s better than Ohio State. I think Florida’s better than Cincinnati. I think they’re better than Penn State, Iowa, all these people that are up in the AP poll. It doesn’t really matter, because when the College Football Playoff poll comes out it’s all going to be different anyway. You get coaches together, and they decide who they think the best teams are, and then that’s what the College Football Playoff poll is. I’m not really worried too much about the AP poll, but it is good to see that the nation is giving Florida some respect now.

    Andrew: You could be Florida State and be 0-3, or Miami, who just got trashed by Michigan State. You could be like those teams.

    the first time since:

    Andrew: Right. Things could always be worse.

    David: It could always be worse. Yes, it could.

    Andrew: Again, this is a team that, like I said, they have some growing pains to go through still, but they did improve. I’m happy with it. Again, I don’t take moral victories, but I’m happy with the progress they made as a team on Saturday.

    David: Dan Mullen in his presser alluded to that was a fun game, fun atmosphere, and you always want to play teams like again, and hopefully we’ll play them again this year. His mindset’s already on playing them again this year. He wants to get there. I think Dan Mullen’s a little pissed off he lost that game. We’ll see though. We will see coming up, I guess.

    Andrew: That chess match is awesome. I say it all the time. That chess match between Dan Mullen and Nick Saban is awesome. I love it. It’s awesome. It’s awesome to see.

    Mullen at Mississippi State,:

    Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. I love that chess match that they have. I love just the back and forth that the go. Alabama had their moments on Saturday where they were really good on defense. Then Florida had their moments on Saturday where they were really good on offense. Again, a lot of positives. A lot of things to clean up. Overall, good game. Swamp was awesome. Recruits loved it. Now, show up against Tennessee and spank Tennessee.

    David: That’s it. Spank Tennessee. USF, Miami, and Florida State all lost too, so they can’t say anything. They lost to way worse teams.

    Andrew: UCF did too.

    David: UCF lost, yeah. The fighting national champions. They lost.

    Andrew: Poor Gabriel though, man. What a freak injury.

    David: Oh yeah. I forgot about that injury he had. That looked rough. Who won the players this week? We picked players last week. I know I picked my man Jean Delance.

    Andrew: You had Delance and who?

    David: I think he gets a W.

    Andrew: Yeah.

    David: I had Delance. I think I picked Bogle, but Bogle didn’t play that much.

    Andrew: Yeah. You had him. I’m trying to think back here of the guys. Here we go. Let’s see how bad I failed this week.

    David: I don’t know. Just about every person on defense and offense played pretty well, except for maybe the wide receivers didn’t get a lot of catches. More tight ends got catches than anything.

    Andrew: Here we go. You had Trey Dean.

    David: I think he played decent. I don’t know if he played as great as some of the other defensive guys did. I don’t like moral victories, so I won’t take him.

    Andrew: I can’t give you a moral victory. J Moon, that’s a win, my friend.

    David: That’s a win. I’ll give you that.

    Andrew: That’s a win. I’ll give you Delance, because he had a really good game. Let’s see here.

    David: A lot of people thought he wouldn’t. They thought he would struggle against the #1 team in the nation. He didn’t. Jean Delance, baby. That’s my boy.

    Andrew: You had Bogle.

    David: He didn’t play that much. I’ll take an L.

    Andrew: I don’t know that I can give you that.

    David: Not that Bogle’s not good. He just didn’t play enough.

    Andrew: Let’s see here. You also, I believe, had Richardson, right?

    David: Anthony Richardson?

    Andrew: I had Malik. That’s a win.

    David: Malik Davis, yeah. That is a win. That’s a for sure win.

    Andrew: I believe you had Kaiir.

    David: He did pretty well against Metchie.

    Andrew: I’m going to give Kaiir a win.

    David: He had a few where Metchie caught him. I think it was only one or two passes Metchie caught on him, and the rest of him he had pretty well defended. He got called for a bullcrap call, but that is what it is.

    Andrew: I think they tested him more than anybody, and outside, like you said, the dumb PI, really good play. He had a really good play on that ball he hurt his knee on deep. That’s something to watch this week. He was icing his knee big time after the game.

    David: Props out to Delance too, now that you mention it. He got hurt, and he came back in the game and still played.

    Andrew: I thought it was his ACL. They immediately went to the ACL test, and when they were touching for the ACL he was pounding the ground hurting. My last guy was Zach Carter.

    David: You get a win for that one.

    Andrew: I’m going three for three.

    David: You did go three for three. I went two for three.

    Andrew: You went two for three. So, I’m taking the lead.

    David: You got the lead on me now. I’m going to have to be careful next week.

    Andrew: I’m taking the lead. I’m going to take the lead here, and I’m not going to let it go, because next week’s Tennessee hate week, and we don’t wear orange. It’s going to be a big week. I’m excited.

    David: I’m picking some wide receivers next week.

    Andrew: Yeah. That’s exactly right. We’re going to have tons and tons of recruiting updates over the next couple days on the site, so make sure you’re checking that out. Going to get ready for this Tennessee game. It’s a big one, man.

    David: Huge game. We’ll see how Florida responds after the loss.

    Andrew: Huge game, because it’s the next game.

    David: Huge game is the next game. That’s right. We’ll see how Florida responds to the Alabama loss.

    Andrew: Are they still a rival?

    David: Who? Tennessee? No.

    Andrew: Tennessee.

    David: No, man. They’re Tennessee. They’re Tennesuck. That’s what I call them.

    Andrew: Not a rival anymore.

    David: You know what the first three letters start with ten? It’s because that’s how many wins we usually have over them just about every decade is ten, so they never win a game.

    Andrew: There you go. They’re bad. They’re really bad.

    David: They had a moral victory this week. They played, I don’t even know who they played. They played some really bad team, and they lit them up.

    Andrew: East Tennessee State Western Kentucky something something.

    David: This is what usually happens every year. Tennessee gets their hopes up thinking they’re back, and then we crush their dreams. That’s probably what’s going to happen next week, and I’ll be in the Swamp. It’ll be my birthday, September 25th. David turns 37.

    Andrew: Night game in the Swamp too.

    David: Night game.

    Andrew: Bring that same energy. They did beat Tennessee Tech 56-0. Kentucky found a way to beat Chattanooga 28-23. Mississippi State went down 31-29 to Memphis. Arkansas just smashed on Georgia Southern. A&M won 34-0, despite not having Haynes King as their quarterback. That’s it, David. I think we can wrap this one up, my friend. It’s been a good weekend of football. Outside of a win, best case scenario.

    David: Best case scenario. Let’s drop 60 on Tennessee next week.

    Andrew: That’s right.

    David: For Andrew Spivey and for your boy David Soderquist, this will end the GatorCountry.com podcast. You can follow me @SoderquistGC on Twitter, and you can follow Andrew Spivey @AndrewSpiveyGC on Twitter as well. As for next week, I will be down there if you guys want to meet me at the Harmonic Woods tailgate. Until then, that’ll wrap it up for this episode of the GatorCountry.com podcast.

    Raymond Hines
    Back when I was a wee one I had to decide if I wanted to live dangerously and become a computer hacker or start a website devoted to the Gators. I chose the Gators instead of the daily thrill of knowing my next meal might be at Leavenworth. No regrets, however. The Gators have been and will continue to be my addiction. What makes this so much fun is that the more addicted I become to the Florida Gators, the more fun I have doing innovative things to help bring all the Gator news that is news (and some that isn’t) to Gator fans around the world. Andy Warhol said we all have our 15 minutes of fame. Thanks to Gator Country, I’m working on a half hour. Thanks to an understanding daughter that can’t decide if she’s going to be the female version of Einstein, Miss Universe, President of the United States or a princess, I get to spend my days doing what I’ve done since Gus Garcia and I founded Gator Country back in 1996. Has it really been over a decade and a half now?