Bye week talk for the Florida Gators football team: Podcast

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we talk about the bye week for the Florida Gators football team.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down what the Gators have been doing this week, plus what the weekend holds for the team.

Andrew and Nick also talk about recruiting and who the coaches have visited during the bye week.



Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, Friday, no prediction podcast, because this is a bye week. Do the Gators win this week?

Nick:                         It’s going to be a tough game. Hard fought. Low scoring.

Andrew:                 You just rinse and repeat.

Nick:                         Yeah. That’s every game with Florida. No. It’s an important bye week for Florida. I think they really need to hit the reset button this week. Maybe let some guys just get out of town, recharge, and come back focused and ready to pull out the huge upset against Georgia.

Andrew:                 That’s the thing. Most of the guys are heading home. No practice Thursday, and no practice Friday, because of the speech on campus and the potential of whatever’s going to happen. Hopefully everything stays peaceful. We’re not turning this into a political podcast, so not going to talk about that. The guys are mostly headed home Wednesday night and Thursday. They’re mostly headed home. Good chance for those guys to kind of recharge the batteries a little bit, get their mind off of football, and get going. It’s one of those things. I don’t think people understand the importance of a bye week, especially with the way this team is going, and the way the last two weeks have gone. Getting away and just coming back with some energy next week might be a key.

Nick:                         Yeah. You look at, Georgia’s in the same boat. They’ll get a week off. When you look at the series, especially of late, when both teams have been given a bye the week before, I think that is really a huge factor when it comes to how unpredictable this game has been.

Andrew:                 Yes.

Nick:                         You give coaches two weeks to prepare. You get the players to be able to recharge their batteries. It’s actually like right in the middle of the season as well. USC plays this week, and the big talk about the Trojans was they don’t have a bye week. I think this bye week for both Florida and Georgia comes at a perfect time. It’s right in the middle of the season. Florida certainly, on the injury front, needs a bye week to get some guys healthy.

Also, just to go home, get away from the negativity. Every day they’ve been dealing with media and Twitter. You guys suck and this and that. Having to deal with that, that weighs on you mentally. You might even be hearing some of that on campus with people talking. Maybe not talking to you, but talking to each other about the football team. Just get away. Go home. Enjoy a free weekend. Watch some football.

I think really for both teams that’s kind of really played into that unpredictability. There’s always some trick plays. Mike McNeely running around. Who the heck is Mike McNeely? Stuff like that. I think that’s kind of what makes this Florida-Georgia game so competitive every year.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, it’s unpredictable, for sure. Like you said, it’s kind of a chance to go get a mental break from things. If you’re Georgia, you probably don’t want that. You probably want to continue on playing the game. If you’re Florida, you definitely want that. It’s a chance for Florida to get out, do some recruiting as well. They spent Monday and Tuesday out on the road, and then they’ll spend Thursday, Friday, and even some of Saturday, out on the road.

Then come back and get the battery charged. Like you say, try to get things going. Figure out a way. You got two weeks to come up with a game plan. You should have some kind of mindset for that. We’ll see. Again, I don’t have high hopes that much will change in the game, in the offensive game plan, that is. Just because of kind of where they are personnel wise. They’re limited, and the injuries are still stacking up, Nick.

Nick:                         Yeah. Injuries are a big thing. We’ll start with some season enders. Jordan Sherit, his hip injury will end his season, and likely his career at Florida. Tough break to see him go down. Certainly the last 10 games he played were probably the best 10 games he played at Florida. Tough for Jordan to finish his season like that. Nick Washington remains out with his shoulder injury. No idea if he’ll be ready with that shoulder to come back for Georgia either. That’s something to keep an eye on. Kadarius Toney is basically out for practice this week with his separated shoulder. Who else?

Andrew:                 Quincy Litton.

Nick:                         Who else is out? Quincy Litton just had meniscus surgery. McElwain didn’t specify that, but we here at Gator Country were able to figure out what the injury was. Had meniscus surgery. Kind of went in for a scope, similar to what Kyree Campbell had two weeks ago, where you go in for a scope, and they find out, that’s when they can see there’s a meniscus tear. Went ahead and fixed that. That would end his season as well.

James Robinson is still getting looked at, and they’re waiting for genetic testing to come back. I’m not going to speculate, but when you talk about genetic testing you look at some other things that it could be. They don’t expect those test results to be back until November, so consider James Robinson not playing this year either.

Tyrie Cleveland won’t practice this week, or didn’t practice this week, but I would expect him to be ready to go for Georgia.

Andrew:                 I would expect Tyrie. I’d expect Kadarius. I’d expect both of those guys to be back and ready to go. Like you said, don’t think Nick Washington will probably be back in that. If you do get Nick back, at what percentage? What amount is he playing at? Because it’s a shoulder injury. He’s basically playing with one arm out there. At what percentage do you get him back, and then at what point does he, not cause harm to you, but at what point is him being out there not as good as a guy like a Jeawon Taylor or Shawn Davis or Brad Stewart? Someone that is able to play at full capacity. Again, I would say he’s probably doubtful in that game as well. The good thing is those other guys have done well at safety.

Nick:                         That’s a huge thing, because I already think Nick Washington was playing with that shoulder in mind, and that makes you play slow. It makes you question yourself. I think he was already playing with that shoulder in mind, and really it’s something that you can’t have. He’s a great kid, but I like Jeawon Taylor. I was talking to him last week, and I think that’s probably the way you should keep going. Until Nick comes back 100%, and then still, in my eyes, you got to earn it in practice.

Andrew:                 Exactly. I mean, I don’t know. Injuries are there. Listen to this, and this is what you’ve said all along. Florida’s basically playing with a team under probation because of suspended guys and this, that, and the other. That’s rightfully so, but the offense, Nick, is just bad, brother. I don’t know what else to say. I’ve watched a little bit more film of the season, watched a couple of the games over again. I mean, I can understand that there is some play calls that are being made, and they’re right, and guys are open, and that kind of stuff. The quarterback play’s just really bad. Nick, when I go back and watch it, you know what’s coming. You know what’s coming before the play’s snapped.

Nick:                         There’s just so many promises of things with the offense, whether it was this or that. There were just so many promises made about the offense, and I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if it’s too complicated. I’ve been told it’s not. McElwain told me it’s very simple. If it was so simple, I don’t think the teams would be running so slowly. To me, I don’t get it. I don’t get why it’s so bad. I don’t get why there’s no changes to it. I don’t get why it’s so predictable. You got to find something. Offensive play calls are easy. You remember growing up. It’s as easy as just drawing in the dirt. You make a new offensive play. Is it that simple? No, but you don’t have to run the same stuff. If the stuff you’re running isn’t working, find something that your guys can run, that they can run fast, and something that works.

Andrew:                 Yeah. People have said to us all week long, “Why isn’t there a change?” I tell people, and you wrote about this on Thursday, and that is the offense is the same. Yes, Nuss moving out of the play calling duties would allow someone else to call the plays. The system’s the same, all that kind of stuff. My question to you is even with a different play caller what is going to be better, when the quarterback can’t make the play? I mean, he can’t make the simple throw. 3rd and 10, and you’re running a comeback route. You can’t make it.

This is a question that people’s asked me, and I’ve thought about it. We’ve all watched games all year long. Where is the back shoulder throw? Feleipe can’t hit a guy wide open, more less put a ball where someone is not. Yeah. Asking him to do that kind of stuff is not where he’s at as a quarterback right now.

Nick:                         We go back to the Treon Harris and Will Grier thing. It was Treon throws to open receivers. Will Grier throws receivers open. Right now you’re not getting that kind of passing from Feleipe Franks. He’s not throwing receivers open. He’s throwing to open receivers. The problem is you can get away with that at the high school level, because there will be separation. There’s less separation at the college level, and now you’re not getting a ton of separation from your receivers as it is, which is a whole different issue not on the quarterback. When you’re not having that anticipation when you’re throwing, now if your receivers aren’t getting open, now it’s a problem.

Andrew:                 That’s the thing. You’ve had the people all week say something about bring Zaire in. I mean, you can talk about Mac and Nuss and those guys, but if Zaire was lighting the world on fire in practice, can damn sure tell you they’d be putting him in, because Mac and Nuss are probably like the rest of America, and that is they’re tired of hearing it, and vice versa, they’re tired of hearing about how bad they suck. If Zaire was really lighting the world on fire in practice, I think we can all say that he would be playing.

Same thing with Jake Allen. If he was lighting the world on fire in practice, I think Jake would be playing. Anybody. If anybody was lighting the world on fire in practice, they’d be playing. I think it’s a simple concept that Zaire hasn’t picked up on things either. I say Franks hasn’t either, but I think Franks is probably further along in the playbook and knowing what’s going on than Zaire. My only thing with it is maybe find some packages for Zaire. That would be my thing.

Nick:                         Just to mix it up at least.

Andrew:                 Maybe they do. That’s kind of what Florida did in the later part of the season with Austin Appleby was they started putting the zone read in and that kind of stuff. Maybe that’s something Florida implements is something like that. I don’t want to say you can afford to get Feleipe hurt, by any means, but at the same time, it’s a situation where what are you playing for?

Nick:                         To me, you’ve got to let him run more. You’ve got to let him run more. I know the big runs he’s had, the picking up the 3rd and 13 against Michigan, and the 7 end yarder, I know those aren’t designed runs, but start throwing some designed runs in there, man. We talked about with Grier, you wanted to limit Grier running, because you only had Treon behind him. Then when Grier went down with the suspension, you can’t have Treon run, because you only have Josh Grady behind him. Screw that. Listen, run him if it helps your offense. Put some designed runs in. Tell him. “If something’s not there, just take off. Go. Get out of there. You’ve shown an ability to be able to make plays with your feet, so go out and make them.”

Andrew:                 Then you also have to teach him. Listen, don’t take the big shot on the sidelines. Get out of bounds. Don’t take the big shots from the linebacker. Get down. That kind of stuff. That’s all part of it. Then taking care of the football. Feleipe did have a little bit of trouble with fumbling the ball, so take care of the ball. Again, anybody expecting this offense to come out against Georgia or the rest of the year and look like a different offense is crazy. It’s not going to happen. Things are not going to just boom and be better.

Nick:                         I’ll go on record saying if you started Malik Zaire, that the offense would be worse.

Andrew:                 You think it would be? Is that what you’re saying?

Nick:                         I think the offense would be worse with Malik Zaire starting. I think Zaire doesn’t fix any of the passing problems, and is probably worse off. All he gives you is a little bit more mobility, a different kind of mobility.

Andrew:                 See, my thing with Malik is, and we’ve only seen him a little bit and seen him a little bit in his time at Notre Dame, but it always looked like he was happy feet, get out of the pocket, that kind of stuff. That’s not something Florida exactly needs so much. I mean, their offensive line as a whole hasn’t been terrible. Feleipe’s ran into sacks. I don’t know if you really exactly need someone to just like get out of the pocket and run around as much as you just need someone to get back there, stand in, and throw the ball.

Nick:                         That’s true. We’ve talked about the offensive line and how much better they’ve gotten. The one play that really sticks at me from the Texas A&M game is they ran, I think you and I talked about this. They ran kind of like a flood concept, where everyone, all the receivers are running off to the left side of the field towards Florida’s side, on the west sideline. There’s no pressure, but Franks just rolls out right. It’s like, what are you doing? There’s nobody there. Then he’s still standing. He stops rolling out, and stands to look around. It’s like, you should know that nobody’s on that side of the field. If you’re running right, you’re running the scramble. He kind of just didn’t know what’s going on.

I think that’s a huge problem. That’s not all on Feleipe. Steve Spurrier used to say it. “Don’t blame him. I should have known that he wasn’t ready to play, and I shouldn’t have put him in that situation.” Spurrier used to say that. It was kind of like a nice way of telling players they sucked back in his day. Been here 22 months. Feleipe Franks has been on campus 22 months. There’s no reason that should be happening.

That’s on him, and it’s also on the coaching staff, because you haven’t gotten him ready. You haven’t prepared him for this moment, and you’re not doing the things you need to do to put him in situations to be successful. Kirby Smart and Georgia are doing that. Jim McElwain, incredibly, on the teleconference said, “Kirby Smart and Georgia, they’re putting Jake Fromm in great positions to be successful, and the guys around him are playing well,” and this and that. Why aren’t you doing that?

Andrew:                 I mean, yeah. You’re right. I don’t know the answer, Nick, because it’s just turned into an every year kind of thing of this quarterback’s not ready, or this quarterback’s not ready. You know what I’m saying? It just turns into that. I guess it’s just prove me wrong kind of deal. I say that in that do I believe Mac and Nuss can develop a quarterback? Do I believe their offense is a good offense? Yeah. I do, but I just wonder at some point or another where they almost, and I say this because Mac says this as well, and that is at what point do you just fit your offense around your player?

Nick:                         The first day you start. That’s when you do it. You fit your offense around a player the first day on the job.

Andrew:                 Right. What I’m saying is at what point, because you recruit a quarterback to fit your offense most of the point. At what point do you just get to the point and say, “You know what, this isn’t working. This isn’t working. He’s not getting it. We need to change it up.” I think that that’s kind of what they did with Appleby last year was when they got to the point where they were like, “Listen, he’s not able to run this offense. We’re going to have to put some things in for him,” and they did. He was successful.

Nick:                         Yeah. Then it almost seems like those things are only going on when the plays are scripted. Then it’s like, “We’re back to our other stuff the rest of the drives.”

Andrew:                 Don’t even get me started. It just seems like it’s two different teams. We say this all the time. People laugh and say, “That’s not true,” or this, that, and the other. I don’t understand what people are watching. What is going on? Why can these guys look like, not world beaters, because they don’t look great on the first drive. They look decent on the first drive. They actually look like they know what they’re doing, but then they go to the second drive and the rest of the game, and it’s just like nothing. Nothing. It’s nothing going on. It’s borderline embarrassing that it looks that noticeable. You shouldn’t notice that it’s that bad.

Nick:                         Why do you think that happens still?

Andrew:                 I have my …

Nick:                         Give us your theories.

Andrew:                 I have my theories that Nuss is slow with it. I don’t know. I mean, maybe it’s Feleipe, too. Maybe it’s Feleipe too, because Feleipe goes, and he knows what’s going to be called the first 10 plays. Maybe he’s going in and doing some extra homework or something like that to figure out what is going on. I don’t know. I don’t know, Nick, because it just seems like it’s a different team, it’s different players, it’s different everything. It’s almost embarrassing that it’s that noticeable, because it almost shows up that it’s a lack of coaching, and it’s a lack of IQ level from a quarterback standpoint. I mean, again, I put a lot of this blame on Feleipe, just as much as I put on Doug Nussmeier.

Nick:                         We talked about this before. Then can you circle back around, if you’re blaming Franks, circle back around to the coaches?

Andrew:                 Right. At what point, Nick, do you look at Feleipe and say, “Feleipe, you want to be the quarterback at the University of Florida, and you don’t know the playbook?”

Nick:                         22 months.

Andrew:                 That’s what I’m saying. At what point is it his fault?

Nick:                         That’s true.

Andrew:                 At what point do you blame him? I mean, you can have the world’s greatest professor in the world, but if that student doesn’t want to study and do his homework, that professor looks like a dumbass. That’s kind of what Nuss is. I say this, and the reason I say this like I’m saying this is because this has been an issue forever. It was an issue with Treon. It was an issue with Appleby in that there was guy’s running wide open. I mean, is the offense that complicated that they’re not able to read that? Is that the case? What is it? I think that that’s why you have to blame Nuss as well as you have to blame Feleipe, because it kind of seems like it’s a little bit of both.

Nick:                         Here’s the thing. I wrote about this, and that story went up on Thursday. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is. It doesn’t matter who the offensive coordinator is. This will be thought of as Jim McElwain’s offense.

Andrew:                 Yes.

Nick:                         The buck stops at his desk. The responsibility is his. I don’t get, and we’ve talked about why he wouldn’t call plays, but I think it’s something Steve Spurrier said on his radio show. I don’t get why offensive coaches, who get to where they are by calling plays, give that up. Mac, I think, called plays at Michigan State, which got him a job calling plays at Fresno State, which got him a job calling plays at Alabama, which got him a job being the head coach at Colorado State. Then he gave up the play calling duties after Year 1, and then comes to Florida and never tries. To me, if that’s what’s gotten you to this point, why are you trusting somebody else?

I wrote that Mac is, almost to a fault, loyal, and he’s trusted Doug Nussmeier with calling plays to get them through, to build an offense, to build a legacy at Florida really. I think it’s gotten to the point where that loyalty’s starting to hurt him. You got to make a decision. People ask me all the time. I’m sure they ask you all the time. “What’s Mac’s involvement?” Mac’s involved throughout the week. He’s in every offensive meeting, and he’s involved in the game plan, and then when it comes down to the game he’s not as involved as he has been all week. I don’t understand that.

Andrew:                 Let me say this. When he becomes the head coach, he takes on a lot of burden that isn’t there as an offensive coordinator. I mean, you think about what Mac has to do. He has to do teleconferences. He has to do media. He has to do a lot of other things. I understand the concept of that, but I never understood the concept of turning it completely over to your offensive coordinator. Again, this is your offense. You’re running that offense. You’re the guy that is, like you said, the buck’s going to stop there with you. You’re the guy that if the offense sucks, guess what? You’re in trouble. It’s not the offensive coordinator’s offense anymore. You can blame …

Nick:                         Andrew Spivey can be calling plays for Florida, and it would still be Jim McElwain’s offense. That’s the perception.

Andrew:                 You can blame Randy Shannon for his defense. You can blame Geoff Collins for his defense, or whoever, just like at Alabama. You can blame Lane Kiffin for Alabama’s offense, because guess what? Nick Saban’s a defense guy. Now, Jim McElwain has a defense he wants to run, and Nick Saban has an offense he wants to run. Like you said, the buck stops with Mac.

I guess it’s the standpoint of me wondering why Mac isn’t in there saying, “Listen, Nuss. Listen, Seider. Listen, Dixon. Listen, Nord. You’re going to run XYZ. It’s going to be done like this. This is how we’re going to do it.” If that means him getting in Feleipe and having him in the building until midnight every night going over plays, you would think that would be something Mac would do. Mac’s worked with some guys. To be fair, he’s worked with some very smart quarterbacks. I think that’s the thing we’re missing here. You don’t have exactly a smart quarterback there.

It just seems like there’s some disconnect of the offense between Nuss and the quarterbacks, because there’s guys running open. The play calls are there. The concepts are there. It’s just the quarterback’s not making it happen.

Nick:                         There’s just no answer. There’s no answer behind Franks.

Andrew:                 No. It’s not. I go back to this, Nick. Everybody can laugh. That’s why you don’t take these quarterbacks.

Nick:                         I don’t even think he was a take. I think they wanted Haskins that year.

Andrew:                 I know they did.

Nick:                         Why are you in this situation in Year 3 where you don’t have another answer at quarterback?

Andrew:                 I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m being honest with you. I don’t know. I don’t know why you’re not. I mean, people can laugh, but the better option in that class is in a walking boot right now.

Nick:                         Kyle Trask.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         Why didn’t Kyle Trask come out with the job out of camp?

Andrew:                 You and I have both been told that it’s because of him not being able to lead. He’s quiet, that kind of stuff. I mean, listen, Kyle Trask is a film guru. He loves watching film, that kind of stuff. That’s just where he is. I think if he wasn’t in a walking boot you might be seeing him.

Nick:                         I probably agree with that. I think if Kyle Trask isn’t in a walking boot you see him. Kyle Trask is the kind of quarterback that you say, “Throw that back shoulder thing.” Because of the football IQ, because of the hours he spends doing that kind of stuff. Yeah. I think the offense would be better with him too.

Andrew:                 I mean, I don’t know if there’s another answer there. I think you and I both can agree that Jake Allen is a good guy, good kid, all that stuff. He’s just not ready. He’s just not ready. You’re saying all the time it’s not the normal for a freshman to be ready. It’s the elite of the elite, and that’s nothing against Jake. It’s just he’s not ready.

Nick:                         No. Not a viable option for this year.

Andrew:                 Anyway, we’ll see where things go. It is a good week for them to get out recruiting.

Nick:                         Let’s turn an uptick. Let’s find out where the coaches are and what they’re doing.

Andrew:                 You’re going into this week. You’ve lost basically all momentum from the summer, from that LSU win, from that Kentucky win and Vanderbilt win. You’ve got guys, and they’re not flipping or anything like that, but you’ve got to now, what’s the word I’m looking for? Head off bad stuff, I guess is the best way to say it. You’ve got to head off the other guy’s negative recruiting against you. You’ve got to get out there and do that.

You did a good job of really getting out to the commits. On Friday, Doug Nussmeier will be out in Cali seeing Matt Corral. Tim Skipper was supposed to go out there, now is going to go up to South Carolina to check with Channing Tindall. That’ll be big for that to happen, just for them to get out there, see Matt, talk to Matt, make Matt feel wanted still, feel loved, all that good stuff. It’s also a chance for them to kind of expand the board.

When you look at Florida being basically on probation with the numbers as they are, you’ve got to expand the linebacker board. Now you’ve probably got to take an extra tackle, with Kadeem Telfort missing. You’ve got to start expanding the board a little bit, and that’s something they were able to do this week, go out and see some new guys, send out some new offers. Your senior year film is something that’s big, so some of these guys that maybe caught their attention on film that they haven’t evaluated, they’re able to go out and see them in practice. That was something Brad Davis did this week, went out and seen a Rutgers commit, and went out and was able to see him in person, give him and offer. He’s an offensive tackle.

It’s good, Nick. I think it’s an opportunity for them to get recruiting momentum back a little bit, and they’re off for a month from home, so there’s no visits for home. I think that’s what a lot of people remembered. Florida won’t be back until they play UAB at the end of the month of November.

Nick:                         That’s a big thing. It’s literally four weeks. This week, and then going into all the way to November 18th is the next time Florida will be at home. It’s really only those last two games at home. You had a nice little three-game stretch, and kind of dropped the ball with losing two games during that stretch of home games. It is what it is, and you make up for it now.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s just a good time. It’s a good time to get out there and see those guys. You’re able to get them on campus and all that good stuff, but this is your opportunity to go out there and see them, make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to do, and also get that good old academic check in. We all know how important that is.

Nick:                         What’s the academic check-in?

Andrew:                 Where they go in and see the counselor, make sure that they’re passing, doing everything they need to be. If they’re a guy like Matt Corral, that is going to early enroll, do they have the necessary classes? Is there a night class they need to class? Is ACT up? Just all that good stuff to make sure they’re still on par to qualify, especially if they’re an early enrollee, where they’re going to be having a month, month and a half, before they’re done with school. That’s the biggest standpoint as well, they’re able to kind of get in there, check out the transcripts, talk to the counselors and the teachers, to make sure they’re there.

Nick:                         You get to a point there when that can also bring up some questions and get some guys dropped, can’t it?

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         Maybe not necessarily dropped this week, but kind of like that’s not what you had told us. Maybe you just tell a guy, “You’re not going to get into Florida with those grades. You got to bring that up.”

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s a case, like a guy last year, and I’ll say his name, a guy like Jordan Scott, who was supposed to be losing weight, and was gaining weight. That’s something else. I mean, I use this for an example, but for instance, if they go out to see Matt Corral, and this is totally not—never mind, I’m not going to use Matt, because somebody else. Just say they went out and seen Curtis Dunlap, the big offensive lineman at IMG, who’s going to early enroll. If he’s going to be one credit short, they say, “You can take this night class real quick and be ready to early enroll.” That’s it. I wasn’t going to use Matt, because there would be some dumbass who says, “Matt’s a credit short.” No. I’m using that as an example that if Doug Nussmeier goes out there and finds that out, he can say, “Real quick you need to take this class, so that you can be good.”

Nick:                         You’re getting yourself in trouble over there, Spivey.

Andrew:                 You know what I meant. Was that not very clear what I meant?

Nick:                         Trying to get yourself in trouble over there, Spivey.

Andrew:                 You know what I meant, Nicholas. From your standpoint too, let me ask you this. How big is it for the coaches to kind of get a mental break?

Nick:                         Yeah. They’re tired of getting asked these questions by me and people every week. Go out and make sure that the recruits aren’t feeding into that message too. Listen, everyone’s on social media. They see it. They see what fans are saying, nasty stuff fans are saying. Mean stuff that people are writing, they see all that. Go make sure you’re not losing recruits. This is when coaches get fired. Coaches get fired when they lose boosters, and when they lose recruiting classes. So go make sure you’re at least not losing the recruiting class.

Andrew:                 Exactly. It’s a good time for that. It’s a good class already. We’ll just say it like it is. Florida has struggled this year with getting big names on campus. They’ve had some really big games, and just had poor showings for the games. This is an opportunity for those guys to go there and say, “Listen, we have two more home games left, UAB and Florida State. We’d love to have you in town for one of those two games. If you can’t make that, we’d love to have you come on an official visit.” That kind of stuff. That’s the important thing that we have to remember. There’s always a motive behind this. They can’t exactly “talk” to the players, but they can talk to the high school coach, and that high school coach can relay that message.

Nick:                         How many coaches can be out on the road again?

Andrew:                 They have the nine. They can have the nine out.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 The thing is, I think the number is 46. They can only visit 46 days between the nine of them during the season, and they’ll use most of those during the season. For instance, on Tuesday Doug Nussmeier, Randy Shannon, Greg Nord, and Kerry Dixon, they were in practice, so they were not on the road. The rest of the coaches were. That’s something. Mac is out on the road as well. You use most of your days during your bye week, especially like Florida, where they don’t go out recruiting during game week and that kind of stuff. Some of your smaller schools and stuff like that, they might go on the road and see a guy on a Friday night. Florida tends to not do that in most cases.

Nick:                         I don’t think they’ve ever done that.

Andrew:                 They’ve done it one time here and there. For instance, last weekend Georgia Tech was down in Miami for the Miami game, and they came in. They sent some of their coaches down on a Thursday night to watch after practice, to watch a game, and then to stay on a Friday. I guess that’s okay, but then you get into the whole deal of are you putting recruiting before your own players? Then if you do that, that’s an issue. I don’t agree with that.

Anyway, I think that’s the bottom line is get out, recruit. Try to salvage things. Try to get your mind right. Let’s pick a few games for this weekend, Nick. There is still some football. I’ll probably watch a little football as well.

Nick:                         I will be watching football all day long.

Andrew:                 I’m going to check out my South Alabama Jaguars for Homecoming.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 They’re playing Homecoming. They’ve got Louisiana Lafayette coming into town. Probably get smoked. It’s time for a new head coach in Mobile, for South Alabama.

Nick:                         They beat Troy, who beat LSU, who beat Florida. Therefore they are better than Florida.

Andrew:                 They beat Auburn too, because Auburn lost to LSU. Who knows? Let’s pick some games, Nick. Who you want to do first?

Nick:                         Syracuse at Miami. Top 10 Miami. This is my brunch special game. I’ll be at brunch on Saturday when Miami and Syracuse play at noon. Top 10 teams, playing at noon.

Andrew:                 Miami rolls.

Nick:                         I think they take down Dino. I’ll take Miami as well. We both take Miami. Big game. Rivalry game tier, USC, the Trojans, the fighting Sam Darnolds, at Notre Dame.

Andrew:                 USC. USC wins by probably double digits, 10 points or so. I don’t think that …

Nick:                         Not a Brian Kelly believer?

Andrew:                 Notre Dame’s defense can stop Sam Darnold.

Nick:                         Got you. I’m going to go fighting Darnold as well.

Andrew:                 I don’t believe in Notre Dame. That’s part of the reason why I don’t think Georgia’s offense is that good.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 What’s the next one?

Nick:                         The next one would be, let’s go with Michigan, night game. Michigan at Penn State. Penn State has been rolling, and Michigan, that loss to Michigan looks worse and worse for Florida as Michigan plays.

Andrew:                 I’m going with the upset. The Wolverines win in Happy Valley.

Nick:                         Really?

Andrew:                 Yup.

Nick:                         Tell me why.

Andrew:                 Front seven of Michigan’s really good. Penn State likes to run the ball. Defense wins ballgames most of the time.

Nick:                         Okay. No. I will pick Penn State.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         Probably large. Penn State large.

Andrew:                 I mean, if we’re going to pick the favorites, it’s not fun. You got to mix it up a little bit.

Nick:                         Sure.

Andrew:                 Got to mix it up.

Nick:                         Let’s see if you’re going to pick the favorites all the way through, or pick another upset.

Andrew:                 I’m not picking the Volunteers.

Nick:                         Okay. Let’s go Louisville at Florida State.

Andrew:                 Louisville wins, strictly because of Lamar Jackson.

Nick:                         I agree with that. I’m going to Louisville as well.

Andrew:                 I don’t think Florida State’s that good either. What if Florida State and Florida both miss bowl games?

Nick:                         I haven’t wrapped my mind around Florida missing a bowl game yet. I don’t see it happening. I haven’t wrapped my mind around that. Florida State’s got to win four more games. What’s the rest of their schedule look like?

Andrew:                 They’ve got Clemson.

Nick:                         That’s a loss.

Andrew:                 They’ve got Florida.

Nick:                         I’m pulling this up. Florida State’s schedule. They’re, what, 2-3?

Andrew:                 Yes.

Nick:                         They are 2-3. 0-2 at home. Okay. That ULM game probably hurt them right now, getting that cancelled. The rest of their schedule, they have Louisville. That’s a nooner, this week. That could be, let’s say they win that. 3-3. Beat Boston College, 4-3. That’s a Friday night game. Syracuse, not necessarily a win, not necessarily a loss. They’ve got four more wins on the schedule. Delaware State is still hanging out there. Delaware State, Boston College. You got to beat Syracuse.

Andrew:                 Clemson’s at home, or at Clemson?

Nick:                         Clemson is at Clemson. That’s a loss.

Andrew:                 Yes.

Nick:                         That’s a loss. It’s tough. They’ve got to beat …

Andrew:                 They could get in with five wins.

Nick:                         Louisville, Boston College, Syracuse, Clemson, Delaware State, Florida. They have to win four of those six games.

Andrew:                 They could get in with five.

Nick:                         Florida actually has a higher APR score than they do.

Andrew:                 Right. They still could get in, because of the hurricane and all that good stuff. We’re both taking Louisville? Okay. Go with the next game.

Nick:                         I’m going Louisville. I picked Louisville. Next game. We don’t ever pick point spreads, but we have to pick it with a point spread here, because there is no way you’d pick Tennessee to win this straight up. Tennessee at Alabama. They have been playing football for a very long time, and this is the largest spread in series history. 36 points. If you don’t understand how points spread works, that means if you bet Alabama, they have to beat Tennessee by 37 points for you to win your bet. Vegas is saying that Alabama is 36 points better this Saturday than Tennessee. Who you got, Andrew? Alabama, -36.

Andrew:                 Let me explain this for a second. Nick Saban’s a smart man. Does he make this a 15 point game to save Butch’s job?

Nick:                         No.

Andrew:                 No. Saban wins by 50.

Nick:                         Yeah. I got Alabama covering that 36 too.

Andrew:                 Butch fired on Sunday?

Nick:                         No.

Andrew:                 Makes it throughout the year?

Nick:                         Yes.

Andrew:                 Okay. Is that the last game we got?

Nick:                         That’s the last game.

Andrew:                 Okay. There we go.

Nick:                         Last week, we should have picked Dolphins and Falcons.

Andrew:                 Go to hell. Go to hell. Last week it was terrible. Let’s bring up a comment real quick. We got two minutes. We got two minutes here, and I want to bring up the statement. Gus Malzahn says he went conservative in the second half because he didn’t think LSU could score enough points. Bozo statement, or no?

Nick:                         Say again.

Andrew:                 Gus Malzahn last week said that he went conservative in the second half on offense, because he did not believe LSU’s offense could score enough points on his defense.

Nick:                         That’s a bozo statement, because I can’t even think of why you would say that. You just lost.

Andrew:                 That’s what I think, Nick. Especially an offensive coach. That’s an offensive coach saying that. Had Will Muschamp said that, I think I’d have been okay with it.

Nick:                         Yeah. Almost. That’s almost a different thing. You can say that, because I didn’t think they’d score on my defense, but it’s an offensive coach.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out. We’ll see everyone on Monday, and it’ll be Georgia week. You guys know I don’t like Georgia.

Nick:                for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can also find the podcast on iTunes. Search @GatorCountry. Subscribe. Leave five stars. Leave a comment. Let us know how we’re doing. Find us on social media, @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter, @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. Find me, @NickdelaTorreGC, and him, @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 Quick update for you, you’re not doing a good job.

Nick:                         I’m doing a great job.

Andrew:                 You’re not calling the right plays.

Nick:                         I’ve called every right play. I’ve called all the best plays.

Andrew:                 Okay. Got you. All right, everybody, we appreciate it. Couple of quick housekeeping notes real quick. Got a new basketball guy, our guy Eric. Nick and I will both tell you, that guy’s going to be awesome. If you guys are looking for basketball content, check him out. The Canadian from up north, Mr. Eric is going to be doing awesome. He does some great basketball stuff. Check us out. If you haven’t joined yet, hit one of us up. We’ll get you a coupon code to get you on board. Come check us out. If football’s messing with your life, maybe basketball’s the right thing. That and recruiting will get you by. Guys, we appreciate it. As always, chomp, chomp. Go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

Previous articleFlorida Gators recruiting mailbag: October 19th edition
Next articleBreaking down the Florida Gators basketball defense
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, 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.