Publisher Profile

THE INSIDER AUTHORITY ON GATOR SPORTS

  • he Florida Gators football team runs out against Ole Miss- 1280x855

    The Florida Gators football team runs out against Ole Miss- Gator Country photo taken by David Bowie

Breaking down the Florida
Gators win over Missouri: Podcast

  • Home
  • Feature
  • Breaking down the Florida Gators win over Missouri: Podcast
Written by Andrew Spivey, October 12, 2015, 0 Comments,
Print Friendly

Gator Country’s podcast is back and the guys break down the Florida Gators big road win over the Missouri Tigers on Saturday night  in Columbia, Missouri.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre also go in-depth on some of the offense’s big plays, plus break down Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier’s performance against Missouri on Saturday.

Andrew and Nick finish off the podcast by recapping their break out players from last Friday’s podcast, plus they give you a quick look ahead at the Gators game against the LSU Tigers on Saturday in Baton Rouge.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:                 Hello, Gator Country. The Gators are 6-0 after a defensive slobberknocker, 21-3 Gators win. Nick, you and I kind of had the feeling that it could be sloppy. I think I made the point to you that I thought it was going to be a boring football game. I was pretty close. It was a boring football game for the most part. Gators win. Offense still put up 337 yards. It was just 337 yards of quiet yards. Overall impressions?

Nick:                         I said it earlier in the week, those gigantic Las Vegas casinos don’t build themselves. Vegas is not in the business of losing money. I think on Monday I said it. I don’t know what Vegas knows that I don’t, and then by the time Friday came around I said, Vegas knows more than me. I thought Florida would win the game, that it would be a close game, go under that 40 point over-under spread that Vegas put out. That’s exactly what we got. It’s just another way Florida has now won a game. You’ve won in comeback fashion, in blowout fashion, late. You’ve won early. This is the first time Florida scored a touchdown on their opening drive since the South Carolina Gamecocks game in November, when Skylar Mornhinweg led a touchdown drive up in Columbia, South Carolina. Florida’s showing you that they know and are learning how to win in different ways, and that’s what good football teams do.

Andrew:                 It’s kind of what Coach Mac said after the game. He said, it’s a win, and it is a win. I think that it’s weird, because when you look at the stats, Florida 337 yards, 129 rushing, 208 passing, you think they actually had a pretty good offense, but that was mostly in the first half. I just kind of felt Will Grier was playing uncomfortable. It just looked like he was uncomfortable. Coach Mac said after the game he looked spooked, and I think that’s a fair assessment. Will didn’t set his feet like he’s been setting the last few games. It showed in his accuracy. He didn’t look to run every time. He was never getting set. He was throwing off his back foot a lot, and that ended up showing. Kelvin Taylor had a pretty good night, 99 yards. Should have had 100, but Dillard allowed a defensive tackle to blow him up for a loss. Still 3.5 yards per carry. That’s not bad. The one thing that in my opinion showed was Demarcus Robinson is really getting to be that big time go to guy in big situations, finally. He still loves that dancing with the stars crap.

Nick:                         That’s his game.

Andrew:                 It showed big time last night when he slid instead of getting hit, and then he made a beeline to the out of bounds instead of even thinking about getting hit. It was on display in a big way Saturday night.

Nick:                         None of this is new. He’s been doing this for three years. He doesn’t like getting hit. He’s danced for three years. I don’t know why I’m the only person that’s seen him dance for three years, but to your point, Florida only got 92 yards of offense in the second half. Really the offense did hit a lull. We’re sitting in the press box. It’s a late game. Somewhere in the 2nd quarter Florida’s got the ball, and we’re thinking up 14-3, if Florida gets a touchdown here I can start writing my story, because that’ll be all she wrote. 21-3, that’ll probably be it for Missouri. Just never got it. Didn’t get it until the defense scored a touchdown with Jalen Tabor’s pick six.

You would have liked to see Florida’s offense be able to put together at least one more drive, really score a touchdown. It’s what they did last week against Ole Miss, keep your foot on the other team’s throat. Keep it there and take them out of the game. Even at 14-3, Missouri’s a touchdown away from making it really interesting, especially at home. Hats off to the Florida defense. They have played two SEC road games, and they have allowed 0 touchdowns on the road. That’s big time football.

Andrew:                 Bit time football it is. Last night it was a different team, same old story. Drew Lock, there was times I thought he just caught the ball and said, hell with it, I’m throwing it. There was times he didn’t even look at a receiver, didn’t think anything about it. He caught the ball, and he was getting hit. Joey Ivie, in my opinion is player of the game on defense. It may not show up in the stats. I don’t have the defensive stats in front of me. What did Joey Ivie finish with?

Nick:                         The defensive stats were kind of odd. It was really spread around. Joey Ivie finished with 3 tackles, 2 solo, and ½ a sack, also ½ a tackle for a loss.

Andrew:                 If you go back, and you look at the game, he abused his guy play after play. He even lined up a little bit of defensive end last night when Bullard was inside a defensive tackle when they went into their dime look, a little bit of a dime look. Ivie went to defensive end. I thought that was good to see, but he just abused guys. Then can’t forget about Khairi Clark. Khairi Clark had a few good plays in the game as well. That’s something different. Thomas Holley looked okay on the defensive line. Cece Jefferson just continues to abuse people there. Missouri’s defensive line is one of the best in the country, no doubt about it, but Florida outplayed them again.

Everybody talks about DBU, and Florida’s DBs are good, but Florida may end up being the best defensive line the country. It showing night in and night out that pressure is coming. The stats don’t show a ton of sacks, but the defensive effort, the 151 yards of total passing yards for Missouri was affected by Florida’s defensive line.

Nick:                         We’ve talked about it before. Defense, it’s all intertwined. Up front Florida being able to get some pressure is going to help the defensive backs. The defensive backs, everyone’s heard of coverage sacks, Florida has a great defensive back field secondary. They also have a great front four, front seven really, because Jarrad Davis and Antonio Morrison have been playing well. That’s all intertwined, and those groups feed off each other and make each other better. You could have a great secondary with great individual talent, but they’re not going to be able to cover guys for 9, 10, 11 seconds. You have to have some kind of pass rush. Even Vernon Hargreaves would tell you that. He’s like, I’m not going to cover somebody for 12 seconds. We got to get some kind of pass rush to get the guy to throw.

Then the other way around. It doesn’t matter if you have a great defensive line that’s only giving the quarterback a couple seconds to throw the ball. If they can get a hot out and get a quick pass, and now your secondary’s running into each other, it doesn’t matter if you can get to the quarterback and affect him. It’s all intertwined, and right now Florida’s defense is probably playing, I would say other than Michigan, the best football in the country right now of any team. I say Michigan, because they pitched three consecutive shutouts.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s big plays after big plays for the defense. What’s going to be very interesting is coming up here next week against LSU. We’re not going to preview that today, of course, but the defensive line will be tested. They’re going to have to play a different style of football, and we’re going to see. Are they just a pin their ears back pass rushing team, or can they stop the physical run? We’re about to see. It’s going to be big boy football next week in Baton Rouge, followed by Jacksonville against Georgia in three weeks.

Let’s turn our attention a little bit to the offense. I want to go to a couple guys real quick. I sent you a text in the first half, 1st quarter, and I said DeAndre Goolsby is blocking his ass off. I said, he’s getting chip blocks after chip blocks. Goolsby sprung Kelvin Taylor for big plays a couple of times. There was a couple times where he was the outside guy, and he was just straight getting a chip block on his guys. Very good play by him, and then he continues to be a big target for Grier. Three catches, 37 yards in the game.

Then my last guy I want to go to real quick is Ahmad Fulwood. I know he only had 1 catch for 21 yards, but he finally played like a 6’3”, 6’4” receiver, went up and got the football. That was something that I thought was great to see from Ahmad Fulwood, and you notice he got some more time after that, so I think it was a confidence booster for him. Maybe that’s something that springs someone to have a good second half of the season.

Nick:                         It’s kind of a coach thing, but it’s I’ve told you for months now, play like the 6’4” receiver you are, and it’s a way to instantly reward a player. That’s what I meant, now get back out there. Instead of he doesn’t go up and get that, alright Ahmad, come back over here. Someone’s taping in. The offense, to me yesterday, looked like what I expected them to look like. There’s drives, like the first drive of the game, you get a penalty from Missou, but for the most part just methodically moving down the field into the end zone for a touchdown, and then big lulls.

I thought this offense, because they’re so young, would have drives where you looked at them and you thought, why can’t they just do that every single time? Like that first drive, and then you would get into periods like the second half where you get 92 yards, and it’s punt, punt, punt. Johnny Townsend had 9 punts last night, both teams punters kicked the ball 9 times. Florida’s offense struggled. I did love the way that Kelvin Taylor ran the ball. Starting from that first drive, it was like he was shot out of a rocket, running with intensity, and running pissed off.

Andrew:                 Patient and physical I guess is the best way to say it.

Nick:                         Yeah. I asked him again last night how big of a difference it’s been for Tim Skipper. His eyes just kind of light up. Kelvin Taylor really loves being coached by Tim Skipper, and I think we’ve said it before, other than Marcus Maye there is no other player on the team that benefited from the coaching change. Not only did Kelvin get a fresh start, but I think he’s really buying into Jim McElwain, everything he’s selling, and Tim Skipper, everything that he’s selling. This is a 100% committed Kelvin Taylor, and he’s finally showing what he can do and living up to his expectations.

Andrew:                 I those two guys challenged him. Brian White’s a dufus. I don’t care what anybody says. He coached Ron Dane in 1945 or whenever he coached Ron Dane. What has Brian White done since then? You and I both know he’s a weird fellow. Kelvin Taylor is not good with him, but I don’t want to hit on that too much. I got a couple of points I want to hit on real quick. One of them is I noticed a couple people said Florida’s offense is extremely slow. Their pace is bad. The pace wasn’t bad in my opinion last night. The pace was bad in the Tennessee game, but it was Florida dictating the pace. I hate to call him out, but our good buddy, Dan Thompson, he was bad about that on Twitter, down on the offense. I thought they were getting the plays in. They were fine with that. They were just trying to dictate the clock, and time of possession shows that, 37 minutes, almost 38 minutes for Florida to just 22 for Missouri. Overall Florida dictated that pace of play.

My second point that I want to hit on real quick, and maybe you’re different from me here. Maybe you see it differently than I did, but it looked like Nussmeyer changed up his game plan in the second half. He tried different things, like he was trying to experiment almost with some things. I said it on Twitter last night, Florida came in with some different stuff to make LSU prepare for it next week.

Nick:                         I think you made a great point there. Those Brandon Powell sweeps, stuff like that, really wasn’t affective, and people start getting angry, but I think you made a really good point there, and it’s now it’s on tape. It’s not on tape once. It’s on tape a bunch. Now that is something that LSU is going to have to …

Andrew:                 And Treon’s running the ball. That was a play that didn’t really work, but it was LSU you’re going to prepare for that, and guess what LSU also has got to prepare for now? Treon throwing out of that.

Nick:                         This level of college football is not checkers. This is chess, and coaches are setting things up all year long. You better believe that Florida, while they are, yes, anything we can do to win a football game, you have put stuff into the game plan this week, because you want your opponent next week to see it, whether you’re going to not use it at all, and you just want them to waste time preparing for it, or if you’re going to run something different out of that same look to catch them off balance. You talk about that little pitch that they threw on the jet sweep where Will Grier just kind of chucks it up in front of him, running a play action off of that. There’s so many different wrinkles that you can have off of that, and I think you make a great point there.

Andrew:                 I guess my question back to you again is did you not see that the second half looked like it was a different game plan? There was more shots taken, like trying to experiment with different things. It wasn’t the short, methodical passing game that Florida ran in the 1st half. It was more of let me see if I can get Fulwood on a post route. Let me see if I can get this, that, and the other. Some of that’s on Will, don’t get me wrong. Will made some bad decisions in the second half, some very bad decisions, didn’t set his feet, but overall it looked like there was a different game plan. Am I off the tracks there, or did you see that as well?

Nick:                         Yeah. In the press box, when you’re at the game live, in the press box we’re so far away we can see all 22 people on the field pretty easily. He missed a lot of open receivers, and I think that’s something that Jim McElwain will mention on Monday after going over the tape of the game. There were so many times where, even with Missouri staff sitting behind us, not football staff, communication staff, sitting behind us, even they’re pointing out guys, like 4’s uncovered. No one’s on 11. Why isn’t he throwing there? There were so many times where Will just kept his focus on one side of the field, and maybe it’s what you were saying. Maybe it’s game plan changed, let’s try to hit some deeper stuff, and him just locking onto that. Every quarterback wants to throw that pretty rainbow, 45 yards down the field, hit his guy on the post in stride for a touchdown. There were check downs. There were the shorter stuff that has been effective, and it seemed like Will was just locking onto those bigger routes.

Andrew:                 Let’s talk about Grier for a second on a couple of his balls.

Nick:                         Will Grier hit the Y button last night. You never want your quarterback to hit the Y button. We need to get Will Grier over to Kevin O’Sullivan at McKethan Stadium and teach him how to slide.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         We don’t need Will Grier trying to Todd Gurley hurdle anybody.

Andrew:                 He needs to learn to throw it away a few times as well. There was a couple plays that stood out to me with Grier that really showed why, in my opinion, he took the starting quarterback job on the horns, because of his arm strength. One of them was the Jake McGee play, and it was in the 1st half. It went incomplete, and I’m trying to remember the route concept. I know it was an underneath route, crossing route, by Powell, and McGree ran kind of a hesitation play where he’d block for a second, then release down the seam, and it was one on one, and he had the safety beat, and Grier threw a beautiful ball, but it was just a slightly overthrown ball. Beautiful ball though, they’re going to hit that.

Then the second one was 3rd and long, 3rd and about 11 from the left hash. Grier throws a strike, an NFL throw on a comeback route to Demarcus Robinson on the far sideline. That’s an NFL throw that, in my opinion, showed that Will Grier’s a good quarterback, but it also showed that if it’s 3rd and 7 they can run that route to any part of the field and LSU and the rest of the teams in the country are going to have to respect that.

Nick:                         That was probably the most impressive throw I’ve seen Will Grier make at any time this season.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It was beautiful. It was a beautiful ball. Good arm strength. I think you said it. You were like, that’s an MLB fast ball, and that’s exactly what it was.

Nick:                         He needs to learn to throw a changeup sometimes. There’s a couple of those short underneath routes where he’s still throwing the heater. Needs to learn to take a little bit off of those, but that comes with time. I really tried not to get down on the offense at all yesterday. They did struggle, but we’ve got to remember, Will Grier made his 5th start last night. There’s times where there’s three freshmen in the lineup on the offensive line. Antonio Callaway got another start. This is a really young offense. When they have a game as good as Ole Miss I think it’s easy to fall into they’ve taken the next step, so now that’s their floor, and they’ll only get better from that. When it could just be, they executed the game plan really well.

They had a good game. They might not be that good consistently, and that’s okay, because they are young. I don’t think you should get down on Florida’s offense. I’m not going to get down on the play calling. I’m not going to get down on Will Grier. I’m not going to get down on the offensive line. They didn’t play as well as they did the week before, but what they did was they scored enough points to win the football game.

Andrew:                 You’ve got to remember also, and I’m not calling you out, you know I don’t call you out, but I think you and I underestimated how good Missouri’s defense really was.

Nick:                         Yeah. I think so. You have to give credit to Missouri’s defense. They did well. We’ve talked about Florida’s offense getting better. Defensive line did get some pressure.

Andrew:                 They made open field tackles. That was the biggest thing for me.

Nick:                         They made open field tackles. I think their secondary was a mess, because Will didn’t find them. There were a lot of Florida Gators running wide open last night, but making the open field tackles, Florida’s got a lot of guys that can make you miss. That to me was good for them. Getting back a little bit to Florida and the offense, I think Will Grier is being asked to do what Jim McElwain’s Alabama quarterbacks did, and that was…

Andrew:                 Manage the game.

Nick:                         Manage the game. Don’t turn the ball over. Jalen Tabor said this after the game. “We feel like if our offense puts up 14 points it’s going to be hard to beat us.” He’s probably right. If Florida can just manage 14 points, they’re not going to lose a lot of games with the defense playing the way they are.

Andrew:                 Here’s the thing for me. I am the biggest Dan Quinn football fan in America. Rise up. Go Falcons, but Geoff Collins and Randy Shannon are making some hell of adjustments at half time and making adjustments as the game’s going on. I’ll be honest. I’ll be straight up honest. That was one thing I was very skeptical coming into the season, but I do remember a couple of guys at Mississippi State at the Senior Bowl telling me that Collins was a mastermind at making adjustments at half time. We’re seeing that. I tweeted out a stat in the middle of the 4th quarter that Missouri’s first five drives in the 2nd half netted a total of 20 yards. I don’t care if that’s Missouri, A&M, South Alabama, whoever that is, five drives 20 yards, that’s terrible. Props to the defense overall there. Like you said, Will Grier is not asked to the Heisman Trophy quarterback. He’s asked to manage the offense, do well. You go back, you look at Alabama’s teams, McElroy, Parker Wilson, AJ McCarron as a young guy, neither one of those guys put up spectacular numbers. They just won football games.

Nick:                         Right.

Andrew:                 At the end of the day that’s what you’re judged by, winning football games.

Nick:                         Whether that’s right or wrong that the quarterbacks get all of the praise for wins and get dumped on for loses, that’s the case. Florida’s defense though, in the middle of that game, obviously you get into some garbage time towards the end. They give up some more yards, but in the middle of the game, 2nd, 3rd quarter Florida gave up 69 yards on 35 plays. That is 1.9 yard per play. Then if you look at it, that first drive went for 60 yards. Florida only gave up 29 yards. Let me do my math right. Florida gave up 30 yards the rest of that 1st quarter after that first drive. Really the defense kind of I think were surprised that Missouri came out and hit a couple big plays, but then really buckled down. On 3rd down Missouri was 1 of 14 and Geoff Collins includes 4th into money downs. Missouri’s 0 for 1 there, so 1 of 15.

Andrew:                 Florida cashed out.

Nick:                         Let me tell you why Florida was so good on 3rd down.

Andrew:                 3rd down for what?

Nick:                         Missouri had 3rd down and 11, 10, 19, 10, 9, 3rd and 10, 3rd and 18. Three 3rd and 6s. Only three of their 14 attempts were with five yards or less. So Florida did a great job playing football on 1st down and 2nd down, forcing the Tigers into those long situations on 3rd down. That’s when you pin your ears back, let Jon Bullard and Alex McAllister go eat, because you know what’s coming. 1st down, 2nd down is what creates that ugly 1 for 14 on 3rd down.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Now we’ve kind of broken things out on offense and defense. I want to hit on a point real quick. You brought it up in the press conference about the 2 minute drill. I have a very strong opinion on that play, on that series, and nobody’s going to be right or wrong. That’s just the way it’s going to be. My opinion of why that situation played out like it was, it was at 2 minutes and 10 seconds, Missouri was about to punt. A, Missouri’s punter’s been bombing the crap out of the ball, but also the two drives prior to that Florida had looked awful on offense. The pass protection was bad. The run protection was bad. Grier was looking very shaky.

I honestly believe McElwain was okay going in at the half to have 14-3 and not having a turnover in his own territory after that punt. That’s my opinion of why that happened. Again, you can be right or wrong with that. If Florida busted a long play, and they run out of time on the 5 yard line he’s wrong. It’s a play that can go either way. I just don’t think McElwain had confidence in the offense after that prior two drives. Could be right or wrong there.

Nick:                         Either way, I see what you’re saying. Do you call a time out? Sure. Then you’ve got 2 minutes. To me, in college football, you always call the time out, because when you get 1st downs the clock stops. It’s not like the NFL where you need those time outs, because the clock doesn’t stop at a 1st down. In college you can run a 10 yard in in a 2 minute drill, because if you get that, and you get the 1st down, the clock’s going to stop. To me, I would have called the time out there. Again, we’re nitpicking.

Andrew:                 It is.

Nick:                         Jim McElwain called me out in the press conference. I was just asking a question, and he was really enjoying the win. He’s right. It’s been really fun watching this team this year, kind of the different ways they’ve won, and it’s been fun watching Jim McElwain. The first couple weeks I talked about how quickly he moved on to the next one. These last two weeks, make no mistake about it, he’s moving on to the next one, but these past two weeks as we’ve gotten into bigger SEC games Jim McElwain is really soaking this in. He’s soaking in the environment at Ben Hill Griffin, which has been electric the past two weeks. He’s soaking in going on the road. There was a smear the Grier sign in the student section yesterday, and Jim McElwain really revels in that, in the whole history, going on the road, and leaving fans upset. Going on the road and having people yelling at you. He really enjoys that, and he was really enjoying that win last night.

I think it goes back to something you and I have talked about also. Jim McElwain, when the team is playing well will get on them, and will be critical of them. When the team isn’t playing that well, like the offense last night, he will be a little softer with them, coddle them a little bit more. I think he does a very good job of knowing what kind of coaching his team needs after their performance.

Andrew:                 I think it’s a situation of this. Florida had no damn confidence last year. I didn’t have confidence. You didn’t have confidence. Nobody had confidence.

Nick:                         I was the opposite. What’s the opposite of confidence?

Andrew:                 I don’t know, but I didn’t. Now they have confidence, and I think that that’s what McElwain’s the most impressed with, and I think that he’s trying to stay in the middle ground there of if they have a bad play try to bring their confidence back to where it was. If they have a great play, try to keep that confidence right where it was. I think that’s the biggest thing. The key for me is this. McElwain’s a coach that loves these players, and I think that’s the biggest thing in my mind that I see right now. He understands the crap, the awful football coaching, everything that these guys have gone through. You look at guy like Kelvin Taylor. Three years of terrible football. It’s awful for him, and I think he understands that, and I think he puts a lot of joy in it. It’s great to see that.

I just think it’s awesome to see that a football coach can have a game plan and execute his game plan to success. You look at the fake punt, fake field goal. That was nothing but to throw a middle finger to LSU and tell them, prepare for this. That’s all it was, but it was fun. Everybody’s like, what the heck’s he doing? It was fun. Let’s see what happens. They don’t cover McGee, they pop it to McGee, and it’s a touchdown. Everybody’s laughing and cutting up about it. Just have fun with it.

Nick:                         I agree. Also, Jorge Powell has missed a couple 30 yarders, that would have been a 40 yard kick. It’s revisionist history. It’s the couch coaches that, what are you doing? We need those 3 points.

Andrew:                 That damn field goal wasn’t going in. Let’s just be honest.

Nick:                         Yeah. If you hit that fake, Jim McElwain’s the smartest man in the room. I like the call.

Andrew:                 I loved the call.

Nick:                         I liked the call. Punters are people too. I enjoyed seeing Johnny run around a little bit there, hit somebody with the pass.

Andrew:                 Chris Thompson again. Another BS call.

Nick:                         That was a terrible call.

Andrew:                 You go back, and you look at the freeze play. First of all, 1 yard, I would love them to know what 1 yard means. That’s 3 feet, right?

Nick:                         You aren’t great at math, but that is 3 feet, yes.

Andrew:                 Actually, I have a degree in math. You can kiss my butt. I’m good at math, unlike you. I’m just not very good at English. I don’t know what I speak. I speak Alabamian. If you go back and look at that in the freeze frame, Thompson’s a good yard and a half back. What is funny about it is the dude didn’t even catch the ball, and you’re going to throw a flag on that. That’s just dumb. In my opinion the rule needs to go back to like it used to be. It has to be a 3 yard area. 1 yard is too tough for anybody with the human eye to see. In my opinion, if he catches the ball they don’t throw the flag there.

Nick:                         How do you have a kick catch interference and the kid catches the ball?

Andrew:                 I mean, it’s a dangerous play if there is no kick catch interference. You could have a guy in midair launching. You have to have something there, but the Missouri kid was a moron for not fair catching the ball there.

Nick:                         Maybe not.

Andrew:                 Maybe not. He got 15 yards.

Nick:                         You take a licking, that’s a good 15 yard gain. That’s a big gain.

Andrew:                 I do think this. This is something that I want to say. Punt coverage has been really good. Kickoff coverage was pretty good. Punt return coverage is all right. Kickoff coverage, I’m not even blaming it on the kickoff coverage anymore. Brandon Powell, you have a lead blocker in Valdez Showers for a reason. Let him lead you, Brandon. Let him lead you. It’s got to be fixed. LSU has an awful kick return coverage too. South Carolina took one to the house yesterday.

Nick:                         They do have a great running back. Florida is now 2nd in rushing defense, only allowing 99.2 yards per game.

Andrew:                 Will it be tested?

Nick:                         The storyline this week.

Andrew:                 I thought it was going to be passing.

Nick:                         A couple notes. Andrew gets the win for the players he picked. He went with Will Grier.

Andrew:                 Who won last week?

Nick:                         We tied.

Andrew:                 Bull crap.

Nick:                         We tied, but I gave it to you.

Andrew:                 No. We did not tie. You told me Will Grier. Nick, I want you to say the two words, you were right, again. Three words.

Nick:                         Last week we both got all three picked, but Will Grier had such a good game I said, I’m going to give it to you.

Andrew:                 That’s fine. You gave it to me. You can’t take it back now, you Indian giver.

Nick:                         I wasn’t. Unbelievable. I wasn’t taking it back. I was explaining.

Andrew:                 You just said I didn’t win last week. Either I won last week, or you’re an Indian giver. What is it, Nick?

Nick:                         Unbelievable. You had Will Grier. You had Brandon Powell, and you had Jalen Tabor, who has his second pick six. Guess how many interceptions Jalen Tabor had in four years of high school?

Andrew:                 I believe it was three.

Nick:                         One. He told us he had one interception in high school.

Andrew:                 Wow.

Nick:                         And that one was not returned for a touchdown. Doing all right here. I had Vernon Hargreaves, Keanu Neal, Antonio Callaway. Antonio Callaway, 1 catch, 6 yards, not much on special teams. Keanu Neal and Vernon Hargreaves okay on defense, but we’re going to give this to Andrew again this week.

Andrew:                 What about Marcus Maye though? Marcus Maye played a very good football game. He had the drop pick that was a tough pick. It was tough. It was over his head. It did. It hit his hands, and I say it all the time, it’s a drop. It was tough, but it was a drop. Then he had a spectacular play. I’m telling you what, Marcus Maye is playing very good football right now, boys and girls.

Nick:                         Yeah. Marcus Maye is probably your defensive MVP right now.

Andrew:                 Game ball yesterday went to Joey Ivie.

Nick:                         Or in the Top 2, Top 3 there for the season with Marcus Maye.

Andrew:                 Right. Quick thing for you. Updates on the injuries. Morrison went down. He came back in the game, correct? Brantley went down. He came back as well, correct?

Nick:                         Yes.

Andrew:                 Both of those came back.

Nick:                         Mac will address those on Monday. He didn’t talk about them last night. I don’t think that there was anything significant last night.

Andrew:                 I’m trying to think back, and I think that’s about it. I believe it was just Morrison and Brantley that went down, and I remember both of those guys getting back.

Nick:                         Sitting over here knocking on wood.

Andrew:                 Day to day on Austin Hardin with the hip flexor. You know how that is. It’s kind of like a hamstring. It’s one day it may feel good, and the next day it may not feel good. That’s there. Nick, before we get out of here, buddy, we got to talk about the toilet bowl that happened up in Neyland Stadium.

Nick:                         Real quick. Nick Chubb sustained a pretty gross looking injury. His mom posted on Facebook on Sunday. I’m sure Georgia didn’t like that. Posted that Nick has a PCL tear along with two other ligaments. It’s not nearly as bad as it could have been. They’ll wait for the swelling to go down to decide when to have surgery, possibly in two weeks. Nick is in good spirits. Mom on the other hand is just trying to hold it together. Nick Chubb will not face Florida when they play in a couple weeks, in three weeks. Florida catches a break. You never wanted it to happen like that. Safe recovery to Nick Chubb, who’s in my opinion one of the best running backs in the country.

Andrew:                 That was bad, very bad dealings from their training staff as well. The guy was in obvious pain and had him on the training table forever, then tried to help him walk to the locker room, and he passes out. That’s very bad. If I’m the Chubb family I’m pissed off at the way that happened. Whatever they want to do up there. It’s kind of bad situation. Like you said, prayers for speedy recovery. He’s got another year in college, hopefully he’ll be able to come back for spring ball and be ready to go. Antonio Morrison showed it can happen.

Talk about that toilet bowl that happened up there. I was hoping for a 2-0 win by somebody, but Mark Richt, he still let anybody in the country know he can’t win a big game, and Butch Jones, don’t get happy, buddy. You didn’t do very much. Georgia gave you the football game. It was loser versus loser, which one was going to lose less.

Nick:                         Was Georgia ranked?

Andrew:                 Were they ranked? He got his second win. Congratulations, Butch. I did see a stat yesterday, Nick. Through the first three seasons, at this point in time, guess who has the better record, him or Derek Dooley?

Nick:                         I thought they had the exact same record.

Andrew:                 They do. That’s embarrassing.

Nick:                         Trick question. I was on top of it.

Andrew:                 That’s right. Derek Dooley, the little moron that’s running on the sidelines in Dallas with his little orange deal.

Nick:                         Derek Dooley rocked the hell out of those creamsicle pants.

Andrew:                 He looked like a moron.

Nick:                         Derek Dooley pulled that. Not a lot of people can pull off that pale putrid sickly shade of orange, Derek Dooley pulled those pants off.

Andrew:                 Anybody that can listen to Rocky Top forever, they can pull off that. He probably was barfing, and that’s the barf that came off. Good Lord, that was a nasty game. For Gator fans though, Gators have a methodical, not methodical. What’s the word I’m looking for here? Whatever word I’m looking for.

Nick:                         I don’t know what you’re saying, but Florida right now has a two game advance.

Andrew:                 That’s what I was trying to say. They don’t have a two game lead in the standings in the loss column, but whatever that word is they basically have a two game lead.

Nick:                         They own the second place. What a time to be alive. Kentucky is second place in the SEC East right now. Florida would need to lose two games, because if they finish with the same conference record as Kentucky the first tie breaker is head to head. Florida would take that if there was a two way tie between them and Kentucky. 4-0 in the conference.

Andrew:                 They’re going to get Georgia too.

Nick:                         Say it again.

Andrew:                 Big weekend for Georgia and Missouri. Missouri going to Athens to play Georgia.

Nick:                         Missouri is pretty much out of it. Missouri would need to win out, so that would mean beating Georgia, Tennessee, and they would need Florida to lose three more games, and they would need Kentucky to lose two more games. Missouri, not technically out of it, but pretty much out of it.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Definitely. Big week for Florida this coming week. Brett McMurphy says he has the Gators at #3 in the country. I taped a few games and was watching a few of them again last night while watching the President’s Cup. I did catch the tail end of the Rutgers vs. Michigan State game. Michigan State, they’re never going to look pretty, because they’re a defensive football team, but they’re a good football team. Utah against Cal, Cal gave them the football game with 5 interceptions, and then Kansas State vs. TCU, TCU has no defense whatsoever. Brett McMurphy has the Gators #3. I think that’s a little high, but I’m about to go on a rant, Nick.

Nick:                         Oh no.

Andrew:                 It’s coming. What the hell is ESPN doing taking Gameday to Michigan and Michigan State, a 1 loss Michigan team, and an undefeated Michigan State vs. a Top 10, potentially Top 8 matchup in Florida vs. LSU, or A&M vs. Alabama is a better matchup. Are you kidding me? Everybody that says ESPN has a bias towards the SEC is full of donkey crap. That is bull crap. They have SEC bias against the SEC, and I don’t care what anybody says. That is stupid, idiotic, imbeciles. Any other word you can say, that is Butch Jones stupid by ESPN.

Nick:                         It’s two different kinds of animal excrement.

Andrew:                 Yes. I don’t even know what to say.

Nick:                         Michigan is three shutouts in a row.

Andrew:                 It’s Jim Harbough, that is the problem. It’s not that Michigan’s playing good football. It’s because it’s Jim Harbough, and it’s the khaki pants. Who cares? ESPN owes it to the fans, owes it to the country, to go to the best matchup, the best game. That is what Game Day was built on. That is Florida vs. LSU this week. You can’t argue that, Nick.

Nick:                         My argue is that I don’t think they go to the best game every week. I think they go to different, they’ve gone to a Division III game.

Andrew:                 Yeah, but that was the best game. That was a good game for that. I have no problem with that. You can’t tell me Michigan vs. Michigan State, it’s bull crap. I’m sorry. You can’t convince me of that.

Nick:                         I don’t think that is, I’m not going to say it’s a better game. I’m saying I don’t think College Gameday picks their location anymore based on what is the best game. I think they look for those storylines, and now you’re talking about Jim Harbough. First time against Michigan State. Michigan’s pitched three shutouts.

Andrew:                 That’s a bigger storyline than the Gators being donkey crap on offense last year and being 6-0 in the best conference in America?

Nick:                         Yeah. I agree with you. I think they should have come. I understand that Michigan’s playing probably as good as any team in the country right now. I understand why they would make that move, definitely not as mad as you are about it.

Andrew:                 Only thing I want to do is see Samantha Ponder. Herby, he’s a Buckeye. He’s whatever, and the rest of them, I do like Corso. That’d be cool to see Corso. It is what it is. I don’t care. Nick, you and I will have fun next week. Rise up on Thursday night, followed by Baton Rouge for the game on Saturday. Should be a good one. Quick recruiting, Freddie Swain commits to the Gators on Friday. It’s a huge pickup for Florida. He’s a guy that can play all the receiver positions for Florida, just a really good pickup. He’s dominated the summer camps against the best in America, so it’s a good pickup there.

Probably a couple more weeks until you see another commit. There’s a couple guys. You’ve got a guy like Marcus Tatum, who knows when he makes his decision. He’s a huge Florida lean. You got a couple other guys that wouldn’t surprise you to pop up at any time. Couple road games, that hurts getting kids on campus, but good weekend this weekend against LSU to impress Christian Falk, the cornerback out of Louisiana. Also Shemar Manuel’s taking his official visit to LSU this weekend. Florida go out there and put a spanking on the Tigers could show good things there. Positive momentum, and as we say, winning continues to put the Gators in the spotlight, and that helps with recruiting.

Nick:                         When you win big games you get the opportunity to play in bigger games. Florida has won two big games in a row. This is now their next biggest game of the season, and I’m not going to talk about it like a coach. It’s not because it’s the next game. It’s because it’s the best player in the country in Leonard Fournette. We’ll break that game down next week.

Andrew:                 Do you agree with Tabor’s point that best player in the country versus best defense, and what a matchup? That was pretty cool quote.

Nick:                         That was a great quote. He is a great quote. Until somebody scores on Michigan I can’t say that Florida is playing as the best defense. I wrote Florida is the best defense last night. I think Michigan is playing better right now, just because they haven’t let anybody score.

Andrew:                 In the last three games and being it over time…

Nick:                         Different things. We’ll have plenty of coverage. We will be in New Orleans. I will be putting pictures of my beignets from Café Dumond on the message board. I’m going to eat about 30 of those things. We’ll be in Baton Rouge on Friday. Hope to see all of you guys there. If you’re going to be in town let us know. Hit us up on Twitter @NickdelaTorreGC, @AndrewSpiveyGC, @GatorCountry. Also hit us up on the message board. Let us know where you’re tailgating, what kind of food you have, and any adult beverages you want to offer.

Andrew:                 Anybody that knows the way to my heart is some Cajun chicken wings. I love me some Cajun wings. That is a LSU tailgating must. Anybody that has that definitely can let Nicholas and I know, and we’ll stop by. Real quick question, Nicholas. Is it rise up Thursday night, or is it who dat?

Nick:                         I don’t know if we will make it out alive. I’m probably going to wear blue. Maybe I’ll wear yellow. I’m going to wear something that neither team is wearing. I’m not rooting for anybody.

Andrew:                 I’m going to deck out in rise up gear.

Nick:                         I will not be sitting next to you. I will find somewhere to stand and watch the game separately.

Andrew:                 I’ll make sure to give you a big old hug, and when the hug cam comes around I’ll squeeze you even tighter. Let’s get off of here. Say those few magic words you like to say, and we’ll get off.

Nick:                         Hopefully Andrew does not get put on a kiss cam with me, because I don’t know if the Falcons are winning if he’d be able to control himself.

Andrew:                 Nick, you were a cute little kid, but not that cute.

Nick:                         As always, stay tuned. We got a lot of good stuff coming. We have some good guests planned for this week on the podcast. As always, stay classy, Gator Country.

Andrew:                 Butch, Mark, still not very good coach. Go Braves, and chomp, chomp.

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.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/The-Florida-Gators-football-team-runs-out-against-Ole-Miss-150x150.jpg Andrew Spivey FeatureFootballPodcasts ,,,,,,,,,
Print Friendly

Gator Country’s podcast is back and the guys break down the Florida Gators big road win over the Missouri Tigers on Saturday night  in Columbia, Missouri.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre also go in-depth on some of the offense’s big plays, plus break down Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier’s performance against Missouri on Saturday.

Andrew and Nick finish off the podcast by recapping their break out players from last Friday’s podcast, plus they give you a quick look ahead at the Gators game against the LSU Tigers on Saturday in Baton Rouge.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:                 Hello, Gator Country. The Gators are 6-0 after a defensive slobberknocker, 21-3 Gators win. Nick, you and I kind of had the feeling that it could be sloppy. I think I made the point to you that I thought it was going to be a boring football game. I was pretty close. It was a boring football game for the most part. Gators win. Offense still put up 337 yards. It was just 337 yards of quiet yards. Overall impressions?

Nick:                         I said it earlier in the week, those gigantic Las Vegas casinos don’t build themselves. Vegas is not in the business of losing money. I think on Monday I said it. I don’t know what Vegas knows that I don’t, and then by the time Friday came around I said, Vegas knows more than me. I thought Florida would win the game, that it would be a close game, go under that 40 point over-under spread that Vegas put out. That’s exactly what we got. It’s just another way Florida has now won a game. You’ve won in comeback fashion, in blowout fashion, late. You’ve won early. This is the first time Florida scored a touchdown on their opening drive since the South Carolina Gamecocks game in November, when Skylar Mornhinweg led a touchdown drive up in Columbia, South Carolina. Florida’s showing you that they know and are learning how to win in different ways, and that’s what good football teams do.

Andrew:                 It’s kind of what Coach Mac said after the game. He said, it’s a win, and it is a win. I think that it’s weird, because when you look at the stats, Florida 337 yards, 129 rushing, 208 passing, you think they actually had a pretty good offense, but that was mostly in the first half. I just kind of felt Will Grier was playing uncomfortable. It just looked like he was uncomfortable. Coach Mac said after the game he looked spooked, and I think that’s a fair assessment. Will didn’t set his feet like he’s been setting the last few games. It showed in his accuracy. He didn’t look to run every time. He was never getting set. He was throwing off his back foot a lot, and that ended up showing. Kelvin Taylor had a pretty good night, 99 yards. Should have had 100, but Dillard allowed a defensive tackle to blow him up for a loss. Still 3.5 yards per carry. That’s not bad. The one thing that in my opinion showed was Demarcus Robinson is really getting to be that big time go to guy in big situations, finally. He still loves that dancing with the stars crap.

Nick:                         That’s his game.

Andrew:                 It showed big time last night when he slid instead of getting hit, and then he made a beeline to the out of bounds instead of even thinking about getting hit. It was on display in a big way Saturday night.

Nick:                         None of this is new. He’s been doing this for three years. He doesn’t like getting hit. He’s danced for three years. I don’t know why I’m the only person that’s seen him dance for three years, but to your point, Florida only got 92 yards of offense in the second half. Really the offense did hit a lull. We’re sitting in the press box. It’s a late game. Somewhere in the 2nd quarter Florida’s got the ball, and we’re thinking up 14-3, if Florida gets a touchdown here I can start writing my story, because that’ll be all she wrote. 21-3, that’ll probably be it for Missouri. Just never got it. Didn’t get it until the defense scored a touchdown with Jalen Tabor’s pick six.

You would have liked to see Florida’s offense be able to put together at least one more drive, really score a touchdown. It’s what they did last week against Ole Miss, keep your foot on the other team’s throat. Keep it there and take them out of the game. Even at 14-3, Missouri’s a touchdown away from making it really interesting, especially at home. Hats off to the Florida defense. They have played two SEC road games, and they have allowed 0 touchdowns on the road. That’s big time football.

Andrew:                 Bit time football it is. Last night it was a different team, same old story. Drew Lock, there was times I thought he just caught the ball and said, hell with it, I’m throwing it. There was times he didn’t even look at a receiver, didn’t think anything about it. He caught the ball, and he was getting hit. Joey Ivie, in my opinion is player of the game on defense. It may not show up in the stats. I don’t have the defensive stats in front of me. What did Joey Ivie finish with?

Nick:                         The defensive stats were kind of odd. It was really spread around. Joey Ivie finished with 3 tackles, 2 solo, and ½ a sack, also ½ a tackle for a loss.

Andrew:                 If you go back, and you look at the game, he abused his guy play after play. He even lined up a little bit of defensive end last night when Bullard was inside a defensive tackle when they went into their dime look, a little bit of a dime look. Ivie went to defensive end. I thought that was good to see, but he just abused guys. Then can’t forget about Khairi Clark. Khairi Clark had a few good plays in the game as well. That’s something different. Thomas Holley looked okay on the defensive line. Cece Jefferson just continues to abuse people there. Missouri’s defensive line is one of the best in the country, no doubt about it, but Florida outplayed them again.

Everybody talks about DBU, and Florida’s DBs are good, but Florida may end up being the best defensive line the country. It showing night in and night out that pressure is coming. The stats don’t show a ton of sacks, but the defensive effort, the 151 yards of total passing yards for Missouri was affected by Florida’s defensive line.

Nick:                         We’ve talked about it before. Defense, it’s all intertwined. Up front Florida being able to get some pressure is going to help the defensive backs. The defensive backs, everyone’s heard of coverage sacks, Florida has a great defensive back field secondary. They also have a great front four, front seven really, because Jarrad Davis and Antonio Morrison have been playing well. That’s all intertwined, and those groups feed off each other and make each other better. You could have a great secondary with great individual talent, but they’re not going to be able to cover guys for 9, 10, 11 seconds. You have to have some kind of pass rush. Even Vernon Hargreaves would tell you that. He’s like, I’m not going to cover somebody for 12 seconds. We got to get some kind of pass rush to get the guy to throw.

Then the other way around. It doesn’t matter if you have a great defensive line that’s only giving the quarterback a couple seconds to throw the ball. If they can get a hot out and get a quick pass, and now your secondary’s running into each other, it doesn’t matter if you can get to the quarterback and affect him. It’s all intertwined, and right now Florida’s defense is probably playing, I would say other than Michigan, the best football in the country right now of any team. I say Michigan, because they pitched three consecutive shutouts.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s big plays after big plays for the defense. What’s going to be very interesting is coming up here next week against LSU. We’re not going to preview that today, of course, but the defensive line will be tested. They’re going to have to play a different style of football, and we’re going to see. Are they just a pin their ears back pass rushing team, or can they stop the physical run? We’re about to see. It’s going to be big boy football next week in Baton Rouge, followed by Jacksonville against Georgia in three weeks.

Let’s turn our attention a little bit to the offense. I want to go to a couple guys real quick. I sent you a text in the first half, 1st quarter, and I said DeAndre Goolsby is blocking his ass off. I said, he’s getting chip blocks after chip blocks. Goolsby sprung Kelvin Taylor for big plays a couple of times. There was a couple times where he was the outside guy, and he was just straight getting a chip block on his guys. Very good play by him, and then he continues to be a big target for Grier. Three catches, 37 yards in the game.

Then my last guy I want to go to real quick is Ahmad Fulwood. I know he only had 1 catch for 21 yards, but he finally played like a 6’3”, 6’4” receiver, went up and got the football. That was something that I thought was great to see from Ahmad Fulwood, and you notice he got some more time after that, so I think it was a confidence booster for him. Maybe that’s something that springs someone to have a good second half of the season.

Nick:                         It’s kind of a coach thing, but it’s I’ve told you for months now, play like the 6’4” receiver you are, and it’s a way to instantly reward a player. That’s what I meant, now get back out there. Instead of he doesn’t go up and get that, alright Ahmad, come back over here. Someone’s taping in. The offense, to me yesterday, looked like what I expected them to look like. There’s drives, like the first drive of the game, you get a penalty from Missou, but for the most part just methodically moving down the field into the end zone for a touchdown, and then big lulls.

I thought this offense, because they’re so young, would have drives where you looked at them and you thought, why can’t they just do that every single time? Like that first drive, and then you would get into periods like the second half where you get 92 yards, and it’s punt, punt, punt. Johnny Townsend had 9 punts last night, both teams punters kicked the ball 9 times. Florida’s offense struggled. I did love the way that Kelvin Taylor ran the ball. Starting from that first drive, it was like he was shot out of a rocket, running with intensity, and running pissed off.

Andrew:                 Patient and physical I guess is the best way to say it.

Nick:                         Yeah. I asked him again last night how big of a difference it’s been for Tim Skipper. His eyes just kind of light up. Kelvin Taylor really loves being coached by Tim Skipper, and I think we’ve said it before, other than Marcus Maye there is no other player on the team that benefited from the coaching change. Not only did Kelvin get a fresh start, but I think he’s really buying into Jim McElwain, everything he’s selling, and Tim Skipper, everything that he’s selling. This is a 100% committed Kelvin Taylor, and he’s finally showing what he can do and living up to his expectations.

Andrew:                 I those two guys challenged him. Brian White’s a dufus. I don’t care what anybody says. He coached Ron Dane in 1945 or whenever he coached Ron Dane. What has Brian White done since then? You and I both know he’s a weird fellow. Kelvin Taylor is not good with him, but I don’t want to hit on that too much. I got a couple of points I want to hit on real quick. One of them is I noticed a couple people said Florida’s offense is extremely slow. Their pace is bad. The pace wasn’t bad in my opinion last night. The pace was bad in the Tennessee game, but it was Florida dictating the pace. I hate to call him out, but our good buddy, Dan Thompson, he was bad about that on Twitter, down on the offense. I thought they were getting the plays in. They were fine with that. They were just trying to dictate the clock, and time of possession shows that, 37 minutes, almost 38 minutes for Florida to just 22 for Missouri. Overall Florida dictated that pace of play.

My second point that I want to hit on real quick, and maybe you’re different from me here. Maybe you see it differently than I did, but it looked like Nussmeyer changed up his game plan in the second half. He tried different things, like he was trying to experiment almost with some things. I said it on Twitter last night, Florida came in with some different stuff to make LSU prepare for it next week.

Nick:                         I think you made a great point there. Those Brandon Powell sweeps, stuff like that, really wasn’t affective, and people start getting angry, but I think you made a really good point there, and it’s now it’s on tape. It’s not on tape once. It’s on tape a bunch. Now that is something that LSU is going to have to …

Andrew:                 And Treon’s running the ball. That was a play that didn’t really work, but it was LSU you’re going to prepare for that, and guess what LSU also has got to prepare for now? Treon throwing out of that.

Nick:                         This level of college football is not checkers. This is chess, and coaches are setting things up all year long. You better believe that Florida, while they are, yes, anything we can do to win a football game, you have put stuff into the game plan this week, because you want your opponent next week to see it, whether you’re going to not use it at all, and you just want them to waste time preparing for it, or if you’re going to run something different out of that same look to catch them off balance. You talk about that little pitch that they threw on the jet sweep where Will Grier just kind of chucks it up in front of him, running a play action off of that. There’s so many different wrinkles that you can have off of that, and I think you make a great point there.

Andrew:                 I guess my question back to you again is did you not see that the second half looked like it was a different game plan? There was more shots taken, like trying to experiment with different things. It wasn’t the short, methodical passing game that Florida ran in the 1st half. It was more of let me see if I can get Fulwood on a post route. Let me see if I can get this, that, and the other. Some of that’s on Will, don’t get me wrong. Will made some bad decisions in the second half, some very bad decisions, didn’t set his feet, but overall it looked like there was a different game plan. Am I off the tracks there, or did you see that as well?

Nick:                         Yeah. In the press box, when you’re at the game live, in the press box we’re so far away we can see all 22 people on the field pretty easily. He missed a lot of open receivers, and I think that’s something that Jim McElwain will mention on Monday after going over the tape of the game. There were so many times where, even with Missouri staff sitting behind us, not football staff, communication staff, sitting behind us, even they’re pointing out guys, like 4’s uncovered. No one’s on 11. Why isn’t he throwing there? There were so many times where Will just kept his focus on one side of the field, and maybe it’s what you were saying. Maybe it’s game plan changed, let’s try to hit some deeper stuff, and him just locking onto that. Every quarterback wants to throw that pretty rainbow, 45 yards down the field, hit his guy on the post in stride for a touchdown. There were check downs. There were the shorter stuff that has been effective, and it seemed like Will was just locking onto those bigger routes.

Andrew:                 Let’s talk about Grier for a second on a couple of his balls.

Nick:                         Will Grier hit the Y button last night. You never want your quarterback to hit the Y button. We need to get Will Grier over to Kevin O’Sullivan at McKethan Stadium and teach him how to slide.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         We don’t need Will Grier trying to Todd Gurley hurdle anybody.

Andrew:                 He needs to learn to throw it away a few times as well. There was a couple plays that stood out to me with Grier that really showed why, in my opinion, he took the starting quarterback job on the horns, because of his arm strength. One of them was the Jake McGee play, and it was in the 1st half. It went incomplete, and I’m trying to remember the route concept. I know it was an underneath route, crossing route, by Powell, and McGree ran kind of a hesitation play where he’d block for a second, then release down the seam, and it was one on one, and he had the safety beat, and Grier threw a beautiful ball, but it was just a slightly overthrown ball. Beautiful ball though, they’re going to hit that.

Then the second one was 3rd and long, 3rd and about 11 from the left hash. Grier throws a strike, an NFL throw on a comeback route to Demarcus Robinson on the far sideline. That’s an NFL throw that, in my opinion, showed that Will Grier’s a good quarterback, but it also showed that if it’s 3rd and 7 they can run that route to any part of the field and LSU and the rest of the teams in the country are going to have to respect that.

Nick:                         That was probably the most impressive throw I’ve seen Will Grier make at any time this season.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It was beautiful. It was a beautiful ball. Good arm strength. I think you said it. You were like, that’s an MLB fast ball, and that’s exactly what it was.

Nick:                         He needs to learn to throw a changeup sometimes. There’s a couple of those short underneath routes where he’s still throwing the heater. Needs to learn to take a little bit off of those, but that comes with time. I really tried not to get down on the offense at all yesterday. They did struggle, but we’ve got to remember, Will Grier made his 5th start last night. There’s times where there’s three freshmen in the lineup on the offensive line. Antonio Callaway got another start. This is a really young offense. When they have a game as good as Ole Miss I think it’s easy to fall into they’ve taken the next step, so now that’s their floor, and they’ll only get better from that. When it could just be, they executed the game plan really well.

They had a good game. They might not be that good consistently, and that’s okay, because they are young. I don’t think you should get down on Florida’s offense. I’m not going to get down on the play calling. I’m not going to get down on Will Grier. I’m not going to get down on the offensive line. They didn’t play as well as they did the week before, but what they did was they scored enough points to win the football game.

Andrew:                 You’ve got to remember also, and I’m not calling you out, you know I don’t call you out, but I think you and I underestimated how good Missouri’s defense really was.

Nick:                         Yeah. I think so. You have to give credit to Missouri’s defense. They did well. We’ve talked about Florida’s offense getting better. Defensive line did get some pressure.

Andrew:                 They made open field tackles. That was the biggest thing for me.

Nick:                         They made open field tackles. I think their secondary was a mess, because Will didn’t find them. There were a lot of Florida Gators running wide open last night, but making the open field tackles, Florida’s got a lot of guys that can make you miss. That to me was good for them. Getting back a little bit to Florida and the offense, I think Will Grier is being asked to do what Jim McElwain’s Alabama quarterbacks did, and that was…

Andrew:                 Manage the game.

Nick:                         Manage the game. Don’t turn the ball over. Jalen Tabor said this after the game. “We feel like if our offense puts up 14 points it’s going to be hard to beat us.” He’s probably right. If Florida can just manage 14 points, they’re not going to lose a lot of games with the defense playing the way they are.

Andrew:                 Here’s the thing for me. I am the biggest Dan Quinn football fan in America. Rise up. Go Falcons, but Geoff Collins and Randy Shannon are making some hell of adjustments at half time and making adjustments as the game’s going on. I’ll be honest. I’ll be straight up honest. That was one thing I was very skeptical coming into the season, but I do remember a couple of guys at Mississippi State at the Senior Bowl telling me that Collins was a mastermind at making adjustments at half time. We’re seeing that. I tweeted out a stat in the middle of the 4th quarter that Missouri’s first five drives in the 2nd half netted a total of 20 yards. I don’t care if that’s Missouri, A&M, South Alabama, whoever that is, five drives 20 yards, that’s terrible. Props to the defense overall there. Like you said, Will Grier is not asked to the Heisman Trophy quarterback. He’s asked to manage the offense, do well. You go back, you look at Alabama’s teams, McElroy, Parker Wilson, AJ McCarron as a young guy, neither one of those guys put up spectacular numbers. They just won football games.

Nick:                         Right.

Andrew:                 At the end of the day that’s what you’re judged by, winning football games.

Nick:                         Whether that’s right or wrong that the quarterbacks get all of the praise for wins and get dumped on for loses, that’s the case. Florida’s defense though, in the middle of that game, obviously you get into some garbage time towards the end. They give up some more yards, but in the middle of the game, 2nd, 3rd quarter Florida gave up 69 yards on 35 plays. That is 1.9 yard per play. Then if you look at it, that first drive went for 60 yards. Florida only gave up 29 yards. Let me do my math right. Florida gave up 30 yards the rest of that 1st quarter after that first drive. Really the defense kind of I think were surprised that Missouri came out and hit a couple big plays, but then really buckled down. On 3rd down Missouri was 1 of 14 and Geoff Collins includes 4th into money downs. Missouri’s 0 for 1 there, so 1 of 15.

Andrew:                 Florida cashed out.

Nick:                         Let me tell you why Florida was so good on 3rd down.

Andrew:                 3rd down for what?

Nick:                         Missouri had 3rd down and 11, 10, 19, 10, 9, 3rd and 10, 3rd and 18. Three 3rd and 6s. Only three of their 14 attempts were with five yards or less. So Florida did a great job playing football on 1st down and 2nd down, forcing the Tigers into those long situations on 3rd down. That’s when you pin your ears back, let Jon Bullard and Alex McAllister go eat, because you know what’s coming. 1st down, 2nd down is what creates that ugly 1 for 14 on 3rd down.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Now we’ve kind of broken things out on offense and defense. I want to hit on a point real quick. You brought it up in the press conference about the 2 minute drill. I have a very strong opinion on that play, on that series, and nobody’s going to be right or wrong. That’s just the way it’s going to be. My opinion of why that situation played out like it was, it was at 2 minutes and 10 seconds, Missouri was about to punt. A, Missouri’s punter’s been bombing the crap out of the ball, but also the two drives prior to that Florida had looked awful on offense. The pass protection was bad. The run protection was bad. Grier was looking very shaky.

I honestly believe McElwain was okay going in at the half to have 14-3 and not having a turnover in his own territory after that punt. That’s my opinion of why that happened. Again, you can be right or wrong with that. If Florida busted a long play, and they run out of time on the 5 yard line he’s wrong. It’s a play that can go either way. I just don’t think McElwain had confidence in the offense after that prior two drives. Could be right or wrong there.

Nick:                         Either way, I see what you’re saying. Do you call a time out? Sure. Then you’ve got 2 minutes. To me, in college football, you always call the time out, because when you get 1st downs the clock stops. It’s not like the NFL where you need those time outs, because the clock doesn’t stop at a 1st down. In college you can run a 10 yard in in a 2 minute drill, because if you get that, and you get the 1st down, the clock’s going to stop. To me, I would have called the time out there. Again, we’re nitpicking.

Andrew:                 It is.

Nick:                         Jim McElwain called me out in the press conference. I was just asking a question, and he was really enjoying the win. He’s right. It’s been really fun watching this team this year, kind of the different ways they’ve won, and it’s been fun watching Jim McElwain. The first couple weeks I talked about how quickly he moved on to the next one. These last two weeks, make no mistake about it, he’s moving on to the next one, but these past two weeks as we’ve gotten into bigger SEC games Jim McElwain is really soaking this in. He’s soaking in the environment at Ben Hill Griffin, which has been electric the past two weeks. He’s soaking in going on the road. There was a smear the Grier sign in the student section yesterday, and Jim McElwain really revels in that, in the whole history, going on the road, and leaving fans upset. Going on the road and having people yelling at you. He really enjoys that, and he was really enjoying that win last night.

I think it goes back to something you and I have talked about also. Jim McElwain, when the team is playing well will get on them, and will be critical of them. When the team isn’t playing that well, like the offense last night, he will be a little softer with them, coddle them a little bit more. I think he does a very good job of knowing what kind of coaching his team needs after their performance.

Andrew:                 I think it’s a situation of this. Florida had no damn confidence last year. I didn’t have confidence. You didn’t have confidence. Nobody had confidence.

Nick:                         I was the opposite. What’s the opposite of confidence?

Andrew:                 I don’t know, but I didn’t. Now they have confidence, and I think that that’s what McElwain’s the most impressed with, and I think that he’s trying to stay in the middle ground there of if they have a bad play try to bring their confidence back to where it was. If they have a great play, try to keep that confidence right where it was. I think that’s the biggest thing. The key for me is this. McElwain’s a coach that loves these players, and I think that’s the biggest thing in my mind that I see right now. He understands the crap, the awful football coaching, everything that these guys have gone through. You look at guy like Kelvin Taylor. Three years of terrible football. It’s awful for him, and I think he understands that, and I think he puts a lot of joy in it. It’s great to see that.

I just think it’s awesome to see that a football coach can have a game plan and execute his game plan to success. You look at the fake punt, fake field goal. That was nothing but to throw a middle finger to LSU and tell them, prepare for this. That’s all it was, but it was fun. Everybody’s like, what the heck’s he doing? It was fun. Let’s see what happens. They don’t cover McGee, they pop it to McGee, and it’s a touchdown. Everybody’s laughing and cutting up about it. Just have fun with it.

Nick:                         I agree. Also, Jorge Powell has missed a couple 30 yarders, that would have been a 40 yard kick. It’s revisionist history. It’s the couch coaches that, what are you doing? We need those 3 points.

Andrew:                 That damn field goal wasn’t going in. Let’s just be honest.

Nick:                         Yeah. If you hit that fake, Jim McElwain’s the smartest man in the room. I like the call.

Andrew:                 I loved the call.

Nick:                         I liked the call. Punters are people too. I enjoyed seeing Johnny run around a little bit there, hit somebody with the pass.

Andrew:                 Chris Thompson again. Another BS call.

Nick:                         That was a terrible call.

Andrew:                 You go back, and you look at the freeze play. First of all, 1 yard, I would love them to know what 1 yard means. That’s 3 feet, right?

Nick:                         You aren’t great at math, but that is 3 feet, yes.

Andrew:                 Actually, I have a degree in math. You can kiss my butt. I’m good at math, unlike you. I’m just not very good at English. I don’t know what I speak. I speak Alabamian. If you go back and look at that in the freeze frame, Thompson’s a good yard and a half back. What is funny about it is the dude didn’t even catch the ball, and you’re going to throw a flag on that. That’s just dumb. In my opinion the rule needs to go back to like it used to be. It has to be a 3 yard area. 1 yard is too tough for anybody with the human eye to see. In my opinion, if he catches the ball they don’t throw the flag there.

Nick:                         How do you have a kick catch interference and the kid catches the ball?

Andrew:                 I mean, it’s a dangerous play if there is no kick catch interference. You could have a guy in midair launching. You have to have something there, but the Missouri kid was a moron for not fair catching the ball there.

Nick:                         Maybe not.

Andrew:                 Maybe not. He got 15 yards.

Nick:                         You take a licking, that’s a good 15 yard gain. That’s a big gain.

Andrew:                 I do think this. This is something that I want to say. Punt coverage has been really good. Kickoff coverage was pretty good. Punt return coverage is all right. Kickoff coverage, I’m not even blaming it on the kickoff coverage anymore. Brandon Powell, you have a lead blocker in Valdez Showers for a reason. Let him lead you, Brandon. Let him lead you. It’s got to be fixed. LSU has an awful kick return coverage too. South Carolina took one to the house yesterday.

Nick:                         They do have a great running back. Florida is now 2nd in rushing defense, only allowing 99.2 yards per game.

Andrew:                 Will it be tested?

Nick:                         The storyline this week.

Andrew:                 I thought it was going to be passing.

Nick:                         A couple notes. Andrew gets the win for the players he picked. He went with Will Grier.

Andrew:                 Who won last week?

Nick:                         We tied.

Andrew:                 Bull crap.

Nick:                         We tied, but I gave it to you.

Andrew:                 No. We did not tie. You told me Will Grier. Nick, I want you to say the two words, you were right, again. Three words.

Nick:                         Last week we both got all three picked, but Will Grier had such a good game I said, I’m going to give it to you.

Andrew:                 That’s fine. You gave it to me. You can’t take it back now, you Indian giver.

Nick:                         I wasn’t. Unbelievable. I wasn’t taking it back. I was explaining.

Andrew:                 You just said I didn’t win last week. Either I won last week, or you’re an Indian giver. What is it, Nick?

Nick:                         Unbelievable. You had Will Grier. You had Brandon Powell, and you had Jalen Tabor, who has his second pick six. Guess how many interceptions Jalen Tabor had in four years of high school?

Andrew:                 I believe it was three.

Nick:                         One. He told us he had one interception in high school.

Andrew:                 Wow.

Nick:                         And that one was not returned for a touchdown. Doing all right here. I had Vernon Hargreaves, Keanu Neal, Antonio Callaway. Antonio Callaway, 1 catch, 6 yards, not much on special teams. Keanu Neal and Vernon Hargreaves okay on defense, but we’re going to give this to Andrew again this week.

Andrew:                 What about Marcus Maye though? Marcus Maye played a very good football game. He had the drop pick that was a tough pick. It was tough. It was over his head. It did. It hit his hands, and I say it all the time, it’s a drop. It was tough, but it was a drop. Then he had a spectacular play. I’m telling you what, Marcus Maye is playing very good football right now, boys and girls.

Nick:                         Yeah. Marcus Maye is probably your defensive MVP right now.

Andrew:                 Game ball yesterday went to Joey Ivie.

Nick:                         Or in the Top 2, Top 3 there for the season with Marcus Maye.

Andrew:                 Right. Quick thing for you. Updates on the injuries. Morrison went down. He came back in the game, correct? Brantley went down. He came back as well, correct?

Nick:                         Yes.

Andrew:                 Both of those came back.

Nick:                         Mac will address those on Monday. He didn’t talk about them last night. I don’t think that there was anything significant last night.

Andrew:                 I’m trying to think back, and I think that’s about it. I believe it was just Morrison and Brantley that went down, and I remember both of those guys getting back.

Nick:                         Sitting over here knocking on wood.

Andrew:                 Day to day on Austin Hardin with the hip flexor. You know how that is. It’s kind of like a hamstring. It’s one day it may feel good, and the next day it may not feel good. That’s there. Nick, before we get out of here, buddy, we got to talk about the toilet bowl that happened up in Neyland Stadium.

Nick:                         Real quick. Nick Chubb sustained a pretty gross looking injury. His mom posted on Facebook on Sunday. I’m sure Georgia didn’t like that. Posted that Nick has a PCL tear along with two other ligaments. It’s not nearly as bad as it could have been. They’ll wait for the swelling to go down to decide when to have surgery, possibly in two weeks. Nick is in good spirits. Mom on the other hand is just trying to hold it together. Nick Chubb will not face Florida when they play in a couple weeks, in three weeks. Florida catches a break. You never wanted it to happen like that. Safe recovery to Nick Chubb, who’s in my opinion one of the best running backs in the country.

Andrew:                 That was bad, very bad dealings from their training staff as well. The guy was in obvious pain and had him on the training table forever, then tried to help him walk to the locker room, and he passes out. That’s very bad. If I’m the Chubb family I’m pissed off at the way that happened. Whatever they want to do up there. It’s kind of bad situation. Like you said, prayers for speedy recovery. He’s got another year in college, hopefully he’ll be able to come back for spring ball and be ready to go. Antonio Morrison showed it can happen.

Talk about that toilet bowl that happened up there. I was hoping for a 2-0 win by somebody, but Mark Richt, he still let anybody in the country know he can’t win a big game, and Butch Jones, don’t get happy, buddy. You didn’t do very much. Georgia gave you the football game. It was loser versus loser, which one was going to lose less.

Nick:                         Was Georgia ranked?

Andrew:                 Were they ranked? He got his second win. Congratulations, Butch. I did see a stat yesterday, Nick. Through the first three seasons, at this point in time, guess who has the better record, him or Derek Dooley?

Nick:                         I thought they had the exact same record.

Andrew:                 They do. That’s embarrassing.

Nick:                         Trick question. I was on top of it.

Andrew:                 That’s right. Derek Dooley, the little moron that’s running on the sidelines in Dallas with his little orange deal.

Nick:                         Derek Dooley rocked the hell out of those creamsicle pants.

Andrew:                 He looked like a moron.

Nick:                         Derek Dooley pulled that. Not a lot of people can pull off that pale putrid sickly shade of orange, Derek Dooley pulled those pants off.

Andrew:                 Anybody that can listen to Rocky Top forever, they can pull off that. He probably was barfing, and that’s the barf that came off. Good Lord, that was a nasty game. For Gator fans though, Gators have a methodical, not methodical. What’s the word I’m looking for here? Whatever word I’m looking for.

Nick:                         I don’t know what you’re saying, but Florida right now has a two game advance.

Andrew:                 That’s what I was trying to say. They don’t have a two game lead in the standings in the loss column, but whatever that word is they basically have a two game lead.

Nick:                         They own the second place. What a time to be alive. Kentucky is second place in the SEC East right now. Florida would need to lose two games, because if they finish with the same conference record as Kentucky the first tie breaker is head to head. Florida would take that if there was a two way tie between them and Kentucky. 4-0 in the conference.

Andrew:                 They’re going to get Georgia too.

Nick:                         Say it again.

Andrew:                 Big weekend for Georgia and Missouri. Missouri going to Athens to play Georgia.

Nick:                         Missouri is pretty much out of it. Missouri would need to win out, so that would mean beating Georgia, Tennessee, and they would need Florida to lose three more games, and they would need Kentucky to lose two more games. Missouri, not technically out of it, but pretty much out of it.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Definitely. Big week for Florida this coming week. Brett McMurphy says he has the Gators at #3 in the country. I taped a few games and was watching a few of them again last night while watching the President’s Cup. I did catch the tail end of the Rutgers vs. Michigan State game. Michigan State, they’re never going to look pretty, because they’re a defensive football team, but they’re a good football team. Utah against Cal, Cal gave them the football game with 5 interceptions, and then Kansas State vs. TCU, TCU has no defense whatsoever. Brett McMurphy has the Gators #3. I think that’s a little high, but I’m about to go on a rant, Nick.

Nick:                         Oh no.

Andrew:                 It’s coming. What the hell is ESPN doing taking Gameday to Michigan and Michigan State, a 1 loss Michigan team, and an undefeated Michigan State vs. a Top 10, potentially Top 8 matchup in Florida vs. LSU, or A&M vs. Alabama is a better matchup. Are you kidding me? Everybody that says ESPN has a bias towards the SEC is full of donkey crap. That is bull crap. They have SEC bias against the SEC, and I don’t care what anybody says. That is stupid, idiotic, imbeciles. Any other word you can say, that is Butch Jones stupid by ESPN.

Nick:                         It’s two different kinds of animal excrement.

Andrew:                 Yes. I don’t even know what to say.

Nick:                         Michigan is three shutouts in a row.

Andrew:                 It’s Jim Harbough, that is the problem. It’s not that Michigan’s playing good football. It’s because it’s Jim Harbough, and it’s the khaki pants. Who cares? ESPN owes it to the fans, owes it to the country, to go to the best matchup, the best game. That is what Game Day was built on. That is Florida vs. LSU this week. You can’t argue that, Nick.

Nick:                         My argue is that I don’t think they go to the best game every week. I think they go to different, they’ve gone to a Division III game.

Andrew:                 Yeah, but that was the best game. That was a good game for that. I have no problem with that. You can’t tell me Michigan vs. Michigan State, it’s bull crap. I’m sorry. You can’t convince me of that.

Nick:                         I don’t think that is, I’m not going to say it’s a better game. I’m saying I don’t think College Gameday picks their location anymore based on what is the best game. I think they look for those storylines, and now you’re talking about Jim Harbough. First time against Michigan State. Michigan’s pitched three shutouts.

Andrew:                 That’s a bigger storyline than the Gators being donkey crap on offense last year and being 6-0 in the best conference in America?

Nick:                         Yeah. I agree with you. I think they should have come. I understand that Michigan’s playing probably as good as any team in the country right now. I understand why they would make that move, definitely not as mad as you are about it.

Andrew:                 Only thing I want to do is see Samantha Ponder. Herby, he’s a Buckeye. He’s whatever, and the rest of them, I do like Corso. That’d be cool to see Corso. It is what it is. I don’t care. Nick, you and I will have fun next week. Rise up on Thursday night, followed by Baton Rouge for the game on Saturday. Should be a good one. Quick recruiting, Freddie Swain commits to the Gators on Friday. It’s a huge pickup for Florida. He’s a guy that can play all the receiver positions for Florida, just a really good pickup. He’s dominated the summer camps against the best in America, so it’s a good pickup there.

Probably a couple more weeks until you see another commit. There’s a couple guys. You’ve got a guy like Marcus Tatum, who knows when he makes his decision. He’s a huge Florida lean. You got a couple other guys that wouldn’t surprise you to pop up at any time. Couple road games, that hurts getting kids on campus, but good weekend this weekend against LSU to impress Christian Falk, the cornerback out of Louisiana. Also Shemar Manuel’s taking his official visit to LSU this weekend. Florida go out there and put a spanking on the Tigers could show good things there. Positive momentum, and as we say, winning continues to put the Gators in the spotlight, and that helps with recruiting.

Nick:                         When you win big games you get the opportunity to play in bigger games. Florida has won two big games in a row. This is now their next biggest game of the season, and I’m not going to talk about it like a coach. It’s not because it’s the next game. It’s because it’s the best player in the country in Leonard Fournette. We’ll break that game down next week.

Andrew:                 Do you agree with Tabor’s point that best player in the country versus best defense, and what a matchup? That was pretty cool quote.

Nick:                         That was a great quote. He is a great quote. Until somebody scores on Michigan I can’t say that Florida is playing as the best defense. I wrote Florida is the best defense last night. I think Michigan is playing better right now, just because they haven’t let anybody score.

Andrew:                 In the last three games and being it over time…

Nick:                         Different things. We’ll have plenty of coverage. We will be in New Orleans. I will be putting pictures of my beignets from Café Dumond on the message board. I’m going to eat about 30 of those things. We’ll be in Baton Rouge on Friday. Hope to see all of you guys there. If you’re going to be in town let us know. Hit us up on Twitter @NickdelaTorreGC, @AndrewSpiveyGC, @GatorCountry. Also hit us up on the message board. Let us know where you’re tailgating, what kind of food you have, and any adult beverages you want to offer.

Andrew:                 Anybody that knows the way to my heart is some Cajun chicken wings. I love me some Cajun wings. That is a LSU tailgating must. Anybody that has that definitely can let Nicholas and I know, and we’ll stop by. Real quick question, Nicholas. Is it rise up Thursday night, or is it who dat?

Nick:                         I don’t know if we will make it out alive. I’m probably going to wear blue. Maybe I’ll wear yellow. I’m going to wear something that neither team is wearing. I’m not rooting for anybody.

Andrew:                 I’m going to deck out in rise up gear.

Nick:                         I will not be sitting next to you. I will find somewhere to stand and watch the game separately.

Andrew:                 I’ll make sure to give you a big old hug, and when the hug cam comes around I’ll squeeze you even tighter. Let’s get off of here. Say those few magic words you like to say, and we’ll get off.

Nick:                         Hopefully Andrew does not get put on a kiss cam with me, because I don’t know if the Falcons are winning if he’d be able to control himself.

Andrew:                 Nick, you were a cute little kid, but not that cute.

Nick:                         As always, stay tuned. We got a lot of good stuff coming. We have some good guests planned for this week on the podcast. As always, stay classy, Gator Country.

Andrew:                 Butch, Mark, still not very good coach. Go Braves, and chomp, chomp.

Read previous post:
University of Florida head basketball coach Mike White fields questions during media day- Florida Gators basketball- 1280x852
Florida Gators basketball a finalist for Dontay Bassett

Forward Dontay Bassett visited the Gators basketball program and now has UF in his top two

Close