GC PODCAST: Prediction podcast for Florida Gators vs. Missouri

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we preview the Florida Gators vs. Missouri game on Saturday afternoon in Columbia, Missouri.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down what the Gators offense with Malik Zaire starting at quarterback and what Florida can do differently this time.
Andrew and Nick also predict some games around the country, plus name three players to watch from the Gators this week against Missouri.

Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, game week. Friday prediction for Missouri, and breaking news. There is a game this week.

Nick:                         Yeah. Not really an exciting game, on paper, but there is a game this week.

Andrew:                 A game this week, and Randy Shannon made some breaking news on Thursday morning. Quarterback Malik Zaire will get the start. Nick, I think you and I both agree, and if not, I’m speaking for you, and you can say you disagree here. I think that we both agree that that was going to be the case. When Shannon opened up the competition, and then didn’t name a starter on Tuesday, and didn’t name a starter on Wednesday, pretty much knew Zaire was going to be that guy, or at least I did. Just because of the way it was. I think, just from the standpoint of Shannon saying, “Let’s see something different.”

Nick:                         Yeah. I wrote it. Might have been harsh when I wrote it, but you’ve seen what you get from Feleipe Franks, and it’s gotten you a 3-4 record. Like I said on Wednesday’s podcast, or Monday’s, you’ve seen what you get from Franks. Randy Shannon is, right now, whether he’ll admit it or not, auditioning for his next job as a head coach. I know what I’m getting from one guy, let’s try the other one. Let’s shake things up, and see what it gets us.

Andrew:                 Here’s my thing to you, Nick, and I think we said this as well the other day, and that is had Franks been the guy and had looked good, and everyone in the world thought he was going to be your quarterback of the future, then you keep him in there and let him continue to learn or do whatever he’s been doing this year. He hasn’t been learning, because he hasn’t gotten better. Whatever he’s been doing, you would do that. I think the world knows that Feleipe Franks just isn’t going to be that guy for the future, and, at the end of the day, you still owe it to your team. You still owe it to your program and to your university to make a bowl game, and if that’s with Zaire, you got to do it.

Nick:                         Do you think he has a quick leash? Do you think he has a long leash? What do you think we’ll see?

Andrew:                 I think he has a long leash. You don’t want an interchangeable quarterback going on here. My question, Nick, is what do they do? Do they mix it up a little bit? Here’s the thing, and we said this last year, and I don’t want people to take it the wrong way, but you can allow Zaire to run the ball and take that risk of him getting his helmet knocked off, or him having to leave the game for a play and Franks coming in, because he has played. You can run that risk, in my opinion, of letting Zaire run the ball and take some hits and all that good stuff, because you do have Franks in the wings.

Nick:                         Yeah. That’s something we got into the past, however many years, where you’re not taking advantage of Treon’s running ability, because you didn’t have anyone behind him after Will Grier was suspended. Then it was the same thing Appleby. Listen, if you got a quarterback that can run, let him run. If he gets hurt, figure it out later. If you got a quarterback that can run, let him run.

Andrew:                 Don’t you agree that the biggest thing this week is to see how the offense chances up?

Nick:                         Yeah. I just don’t know how it changes.

Andrew:                 Let me reword the question to you. Not so much changes, I don’t think that it changes. I would say that I think it has a little bit more of a wrinkle involved, I guess is the best way to say it, because you go into the game now thinking that Zaire will pull it a little more. You’re still going to run the hell out of the ball. I mean, you’re still going to, but maybe it’s more of a read option, where Zaire keeps it, and that’s something teams didn’t respect with Franks. They didn’t believe he was ever going to keep it, even though I think he could a little bit.

Then there is that rollout. You’re still able to roll out with Zaire, and then kind of what you saw in the Georgia game a little bit, and that is if the pocket does break down, he does have the ability to break things open. Franks does too, but he hasn’t done that. I just think that you may see a wrinkle or two, not so much that the offense will change. I don’t think you can change the offense.

Nick:                         Yeah. When you said change the offense, my mind just got stuck on same guy’s calling plays, and so that’s kind of where I got stuck in my mind there.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Again, here’s my thing to you, too, Nick, and that is what does that do to Kadarius Toney in the wildcat? Do you still have him there? What about this, what about having Kadarius and Malik in the backfield together? I think you could do some things back there, and make things happen. I’ve been a proponent of that all year. Why is Kadarius Toney or Dre Massey not in the backfield on the 3rd down, when you know you’re going to slip the back out? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Nick:                         So you think it takes out. I would like to see a backfield of Toney, Zaire, and Perine.

Andrew:                 Why not? Especially if you’re going to try the shovel pass, like they did last week.

Nick:                         Yeah. That didn’t work. That got swallowed up.

Andrew:                 It does get swallowed up when you have no spacing, and you don’t set it up. When it’s set up correctly, it’s one of the best plays in the game.

Nick:                         More serious question for you.

Andrew:                 Okay. I thought everything was serious around here.

Nick:                         Malik Zaire’s sleeves. Good or trash?

Andrew:                 I love them. I love it. I love it, Nick. People harp on it all the time, and I know some people are going to say, “He’s bringing attention to himself.” I like it, man. I guess that might be a little bit of my baseball background, but I love the wristbands, the eye black. I mean, it shows personality. Who cares?

Nick:                         I’m not a huge fan of them.

Andrew:                 Of course, you’re not, because I said I did. If I said I didn’t, you’d have been a huge fan of them. Of course. This podcast has to turn rational again here, Nick. Why not? I think it’s cool. For me, Nick, and to get back to a serious point, I think Malik Zaire is going to take this opportunity. This is what he came to Florida to do, and that was to be the starting quarterback. We joke about he hasn’t done this and done that, but at the end of the day, he’s got four games here to either get him a shot in the League or to end his football career. I think this is a big step for Zaire, and I personally think he will. As much as he hasn’t played, I think he’s still a good player, good competitor, and we’ll see what he can do. He’s a good athlete, that’s for sure.

Nick:                         Good athlete. To me, it’s going to be interesting to see where he is as far as accuracy throwing the ball. Timing with receivers is going to be a huge issue, I feel like. Another thing that we really haven’t talked about is how cold it’s going to be in Columbia. That’s probably something that Zaire is used to, having played and lived in Indiana for four years.

Andrew:                 Do you have the weather forecast pulled up?

Nick:                         I looked it up yesterday. It’s not going to be as bad. Right now it’s freezing. They had snow warnings, I think it was on Monday, Tuesday, but the weekend is supposed to get a little bit better. At an 11 AM kick it’ll be chilly on Saturday. Highs of 50, lows of 37 Saturday. Sorry, I’m looking at next weekend. Not bad at all. Lows of 59, between 68 and 59, with showers in the morning.

Andrew:                 That won’t be bad then. That’ll be a good game for them. Here’s the thing, if there is wind you have to worry about Missouri’s passing game. We’ll continue focusing on offense a little bit here some more. Zaire, Franks, Kadarius Toney, whoever it may be, go with what has won you some football games this year. Run the rock. Just run the rock. Pound the ball.

Here’s the thing too. Pound the ball with Perine, and then bring Thompson in. I would even say bring Lemons in before Thompson, just because Thompson still runs so upright and afraid at times. There’s times where he runs the ball really well, and if he’s going to do that, then play him. If he’s having one of those days where he’s running soft, bring Lemons in the game.

Nick:                         I agree, if the kids knows the plays by now.

Andrew:                 If you got to tell him the plays, tell him the plays.

Nick:                         You know it doesn’t work like that.

Andrew:                 Sometimes it does. I mean, there’s been rumors in the past of teams around the country where the quarterback had to tell the players what to do. If he makes plays, and he’s going to run you the rock, why not?

Nick:                         I don’t see it. To me, if you don’t know the plays, you can’t get on the field. I can’t. Every time you’re on the field, you’re running the ball. I don’t trust you by saying, “You need to block the guy that’s coming through the B gap,” and you’re sitting there like, “What? You mean you’re not handing me the ball?” Then it gets to a situation where every time you’re in the game you’re getting the ball. No thank you.

Andrew:                 We’ll see. One interesting thing Randy Shannon kind of hit on big time was that he wanted to take shots downtown, that’s what he said, to Tyrie Cleveland. I think that you may see a little bit of that. I say it kind of joking a little bit about this, but maybe Shannon gets on the headset and tells Nuss, “Remember, go downtown,” because we’ve heard this in the past so many times. That is they’re going to take shots down field, and it hasn’t happened. I think you and I are both in agreement that it needs to happen. Especially if you’re running the ball well.

Nick:                         If you’re running the ball well, yeah. I think that’s where it all starts for Florida. I don’t know what Zaire’s deep ball looks like really, but if you can throw it, good. I think there’s just more that goes into throwing the deep ball than just saying, “We’re going to do it.” You can get to a point where you’re forcing it, and then I see it where you and I are talking during the game and being like, “Listen, you got to stop throwing the ball 30 yards down field on 1st and 10, because now you got 2nd and 10, and it’s just not working.”

Andrew:                 2nd and 10 is an automatic run.

Nick:                         Exactly.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Let’s go to defense, Nick. This is where you and I argue, and go ahead. Defense needs to play with some urgency. They need to get pressure up front, and when they get pressure up front, they need to make things happen. They’ve got to mix it up a little bit. They cannot allow Drew Lock to sit back there and get comfortable. If they Drew Lock to get comfortable, he’s going to put points on the board, and I think you and I are both in agreement Zaire, Franks, Kadarius Toney, you or me, whoever it is playing quarterback for Florida, they’re not going to score 40 points in this game. If they do, it’s probably because there’s going to be some defensive scores. You’ve got to hope that your defense can put some pressure and make things uncomfortable for Drew Lock.

Nick:                         How do you think the defense changes with Rumph calling plays?

Andrew:                 Rumph’s going to be aggressive. If his time at Clemson and that kind of stuff is there, and as a defensive line coach, he’s going to be aggressive. Here’s the thing. He don’t want his defensive line looking ragged, just like Shannon didn’t want his safeties looking ragged. He’s not going to want his defensive line. I expect Rumph to bring some pressure.

Here’s another thing, Nick. This is what you have to remember in this game, compared to other games. I hit on it briefly in my mailbag. In this game, now that Drew Lock and them are going to be four receivers, they’re going to be a spread attack, you’re going to be more nickel, some dime, in this game. You don’t have to worry so much about your linebackers being caught in coverage.

Nick:                         Yeah. Certainly. Also, Kylan Johnson’s out, so guess that comes at a good time, because you’re already down a linebacker. It’ll be more time for Moon in the game, and more time from Christian Garcia as well.

Andrew:                 Exactly. You’ll need that presence of CJ Henderson and probably at times you’ll see some other DBs. You might see Joseph Putu some. May see CJ McWilliams some, and maybe even Shawn Davis gets in the action. Anyway, you’ll see more DBs in this game, because they’re going to be able to go nickel and dime. That’s something they weren’t able to do against Georgia. Wasn’t really something they were able to do against LSU, because they were more of a running team. You’ll see that more.

I don’t know about you, Nick, but I need to see some pressure in this game, because if allow Lock to sit back there, he’s going to beat you.

Nick:                         If the defense, as you like to say, plays not to lose this week, then maybe it’s not Randy Shannon?

Andrew:                 No. Here’s the thing, Nick. I would say no, but is Randy really just pulling out completely? I think that’s tough. Yeah. I would say that. It’s a little bit of both of them to blame, because it still is Randy Shannon’s defense, but now I guess the play call would be on Rumph this week. Unless we find out that Shannon’s involved.

Nick:                         To me, I think it’s kind of like Mac with the offense. It was I’m involved all week, but then when it comes down to it on Saturday I’ve got a bunch of stuff going on. Randy’s down on the field now. To me, it’ll be Chris Rumph calling plays, and maybe you make adjustments. Randy talks to guys when they’re on the sideline, make adjustments when you’re in the locker room at halftime, but I think it’s going to be Chris Rumph. I’m interested to see what he does as far as X’s and O’s and calling plays.

Andrew:                 Right. It’ll be interesting to see that, because it’s something we haven’t been able to see in the game. We’ll be interested to see, kind of like you said, how does he mix things up? Is it more blitzes? Is it more man, or is it more zone? How is it? I’m interested to see.

Nick:                         What do you want to see as far as coverage? Randy said on Tuesday they need to mix up the coverage, because Missouri has a junior Lock, senior receivers. They have a lot of veterans in offense. It’s about keeping them on their toes, and not just playing straight up man, or not just playing cover two. It’s mixing things up and making them second guess, try to slow them down by making them think at the line of scrimmage.

Andrew:                 I want to see, like you said, a mix up. I want to see some man. I wouldn’t even mind seeing some zone blitzes. God forbid if we see a safety blitz every now and then, or nickel blitz, or something. I just need to see some pressure. Like Randy said, I need to see some creativity and some mixing it up. I mean, at times it looks like Florida runs the same defense over and over.

Here’s another thing. I’m saying this to Rumph himself. Almost get rid of the stunts inside, because I don’t know if it’s just the guys that are inside aren’t good enough, but, Nick, I don’t know about you, but the stunts this year just haven’t worked. When they’re stunting up front and running twists and different things like that, it seems like that’s where they’re struggling, especially with Khairi Clark.

Nick:                         I don’t know if I’d call out Khairi. I would say go ahead and call Taven. Mix up the stunts. It doesn’t always have to be a stunt for your end. You can stunt with your tackle too. I think Taven Bryan’s got enough speed if you’re doing a stunt for him where he can come back around. That’s could work. I wouldn’t say get rid of the stunts. I would say get rid of the stunts to Khairi Clark. Mix them up. Don’t if Florida runs a stunt it’s going to be the same thing. Mix them up a little. There’s things you can do there.

Andrew:                 Right. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about when I say that they haven’t been working a lot, especially in the Georgia game. Khairi Clark and Jachai were running stunts back to back plays, and both times they were just stonewalled. It was like, what’s going on here? That’s where I’m at in that.

I just need to see some things that are different, that’s all. Would like to see more blitzes in the game, and putting pressure on Lock. A guy like Lock, if he has seven seconds back there to do it with the receivers getting open, they get open really well. Not only Florida being young in the secondary, but just any secondary in America that has seven seconds to guard a receiver just is going to be tough.

Nick:                         Yeah. Then when you’re calling plays that’s a situation of if we don’t get to him, now we’ve got man. It’s interesting. This Missouri team gives you a lot of things to think about with how well they throw the ball. I know they haven’t looked very good against SEC opponents, but they had two creampuffs to get ready for this game, and certainly going to be confident.

Andrew:                 Right. Confident for sure. That’s the thing that they’re going to go in. I mean, if you’re going up against this Florida team, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, but why wouldn’t you be confident? Why wouldn’t you be confident? Florida’s had a terrible week. I don’t mean a terrible week, but they’ve had a week of a lot of distractions, and they’re coming off of a beating to Georiga. Then also, their whole mindset, goal of getting to Atlanta, is gone.

Nick:                         That’s one thing. You talk about do you play inspired, because of you lost a head coach, you’re playing for a new coach, and you’re mad, versus at the first sign of adversity do you just kind of check out? If Florida checks out in this game, it’s going to be ugly. It’s an early game, 11 AM local time, and if you check out against this Missouri team they’re playing for a bowl game as well, and they’re playing for their head coach.

Andrew:                 That’s another good point. They’re playing for their head coach. Like you said, it’ll be interesting to see. I am in the belief that Florida’s going to come out and play inspired football and play well. What that means, we’ll see. As far as an outcome of the game, we’ll see. I will say that I do think that Florida is in better spot this week with Zaire running at quarterback than it is with Franks. That’s just my opinion.

Nick:                         Yeah. Wrinkles on offense. How much do you think Randy has been involved in the offensive game plan? Do you think he’s been around?

Andrew:                 I think that’s just a persona that he’s putting on, that he’s putting his word in. I don’t mean that in a bad way towards him at all. I don’t mean no disrespect for him at all. I do think maybe he’s saying like, “We need to do something different,” but I don’t think he’s changing the offense or anything.

Nick:                         That’s why earlier in the podcast I kind of said like I don’t know how the offense changes. Do you add some more zone read stuff with Malik Zaire? That’s something that I noted all the way back in, I think, early fall, where it was even when they’re going through routes on air, Zaire was the only one that was doing zone read stuff. He’d take the ball and fake the handoff, and then go to throw, and that’s kind of a timing thing with him, if that’s what you’re going to do with him. Interesting to see how they do it. To me, like we’ve said, the biggest thing is timing with receivers. Zaire has not been throwing with the first team all year.

Andrew:                 Exactly. We’ll see. We’ll see where that goes. Wanted to hit on a couple things real quick. We wouldn’t be doing justice to our podcast if we didn’t talk about the latest coaching rumors, Nick. Everything you and I have heard, and, again, I’m speaking for you, so if you don’t and you have something different to say, then say it, but Scott Frost is a guy that Florida’s focused on. I believe they’re going to make him say no before they move on. Could I be completely wrong here? Sure, but I do. I really believe they’re going to make him say no. From everything I’ve been told, they’re going to make him say no, and now it looks like his buyout isn’t as big of a deal as we all thought it was.

Nick:                         No. His buyout was never really a big issue there.

Andrew:                 No, but some people were saying it could be north of the $3 million mark, closer to $5. Now it looks like $3 million is the max that it’s going to be, and that’s something that at $3 million can be negotiated and get down.

Nick:                         Yeah. You’ll never know that he said no, because Florida, any school, a job is never officially offered until it’s already been accepted, because no school wants to have it out there we were turned down by so-and-so.

Andrew:                 Right. That’s something you’re going to get. Period. Isn’t going to happen.

Nick:                         If they go out and hire Mike Norvell or Dan Mullen, or anybody else, I agree with you 100% that Scott Frost told them thanks, but no thanks behind closed doors.

Andrew:                 Right. I will say this. Everything we’ve been told is that money’s not going to be an issue here. Florida’s boosters, their big money people, are willing to pay what they need to pay this time around. I will say this, and that is when Jeremy Foley was around things were done cheap. I don’t think things are going to be done cheap this time. I really don’t. I don’t think things are going to be done cheap. I think boosters are realizing we have to pay money if we want to win. I think that’s where it’s going to go.

Nick:                         Yeah. Another interesting thing, they’ve been on baby watch all week with Scott Strickland. His wife is expecting.

Andrew:                 Scott Frost.

Nick:                         Sorry. Scott Frost. They’ve been on baby watch in Orlando all week, and I started following some of their beat writers, and that’s how they, “Scott Frost is at practice today, so the baby hasn’t come.” We’ve been told that he won’t coach Saturday if his wife is in labor, so that’ll be interesting to see. I think a lot of what’s going on at UCF right now is you’re undefeated, ranked in the top 20, with an outside chance of winning out and going to a New Year’s Six Bowl, and what would the team look like without Scott Frost on Saturday?

Andrew:                 Right. Nick, I wanted to hit on something else too. Some people are talking on our message boards, and I’ve seen it around, about comparing the staff that Scott Frost has to Willie Taggart. I think that’s unfair, Nick. I think that’s unfair, because what these staffs are going to look like at Florida could be completely different. At UCF, Scott Frost is limited in the amount of money he can pay his assistants. Same thing with Willie Taggart, not so much at Oregon, but Willie Taggart at Oregon hired guys who have connections to the West Coast there. I don’t think it’s fair to judge anybody by the staffs they have at these certain schools, especially if they’re at smaller schools. It isn’t fair to say that. I think it’s easy to say, for me, that if Scott Frost comes to Florida, he’ll have a different staff.

Nick:                         Just based on the schools.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, because of the amount of money they can bring. Not only that, but is he going to attract a top defensive coordinator at UCF? No. Is he going to attract one to Florida? Yes. A lot of that deals with at Florida they can pay upwards of a million bucks a year, or close to it. At UCF it’s probably $300,000, $400,000.

Nick:                         I’ve been asked this. I did a bunch of radio this week, and I’ve been asked this question a lot. Who do you think stays on staff, if anyone?

Andrew:                 I’ve been very vocal in saying that I think Tim Skipper and Ja’Juan Seider both deserve that opportunity to stay. I mean, when you look at what they’ve done in recruiting. Then you look at how versatile they are as a coach. I am very vocal that both of those guys need to say on staff, and I think you could even make the argument that Brad Davis could stay on staff.

Nick:                         You think there would be three?

Andrew:                 I don’t think so. I think you can make the argument that three should stay. I don’t think it happens, but you can make the argument. Offensive line coaches are usually …

Nick:                         Retained.

Andrew:                 Retained, but also are the guys that are easily let go, especially an offensive guy like Frost. He has a particular offensive line coach he likes, and that’s it. I will say this. A lot of times, especially if I was coming in, I would want an offensive line that speaks the same language as I do, that has the same tempo, that has the same mindset as I do. I mean, let’s face it, Nick. An offensive line coach is a lot of times the face of your offense. Your offense goes as your offensive line does. It is. It just is.

Now, Florida offense has moved better this year because of the offensive line. Their offense hasn’t been better, but that’s because of quarterback. Usually quarterbacks aren’t as bad as Feleipe Franks.

Nick:                         That’s rough.

Andrew:                 Is it true?

Nick:                         It’s just so rough.

Andrew:                 Should we just start sugarcoating shit around here?

Nick:                         No.

Andrew:                 Okay. At least we’re in agreement here that we don’t need to start sugarcoating stuff. Anything else you feel you need to add here?

Nick:                         No. I think it’s a big game for Florida. If you lose this game …

Andrew:                 Bowl game out the window.

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t have them winning next week against Will Muschamp. I think you said it the other day, UAB is a tough team, a bunch of kids from junior colleges that got wavers that were able to play. Then that game against Florida State, it’s a rivalry game. It’ll be whatever. I think you got to win this week. You lose three in a row, you haven’t won a football game in a month, and guys start making business decisions that are leaving early. I think you’re going to have a lot of the draft eligible guys leave early now, even guys who we didn’t think would, just because of coaching changes.

Andrew:                 Here’s the deal. Florida’s got to beat Will Muschamp next week. It just is. Will Muschamp’s a shitty football coach.

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t know. We’ll see. Right now, based on what I’ve seen, and that’ll change after what we see on Saturday, or maybe it won’t. I don’t have them winning.

Andrew:                 Okay. We’ll pick that again next week. Nick, let’s go to some games. Pretty good weekend.

Nick:                         Great weekend of football. Let’s jump right into it. LSU at Alabama, the big one in the SEC this week.

Andrew:                 Is it the game of the century again?

Nick:                         No, not this week.

Andrew:                 We see there’s a game of the century every couple weeks. Alabama by 14. LSU just don’t run the ball against Alabama. Period. You don’t run the ball against Alabama.

Nick:                         I’m going to go with Bama too. Bama’s coming off, I’m sure it’s being spun that they’re disrespected, and nobody thinks we’re any good, because we’re 2nd in the country. Georgia’s ranked ahead of us. I’m sure that that’s a big thing in Tuscaloosa this week. That was my first thought when College Football came out, NCAA People, sorry. When that came out I was like, geez, as if Nick Saban needed one more thing to motivate his football team.

Andrew:                 It’s rat poison, Nick. Go to the next game.

Nick:                         Penn State at Michigan State.

Andrew:                 Penn State pissed off, comes back, rolls.

Nick:                         I agree.

Andrew:                 Okay. Penn State probably doesn’t get back into the race either, and that’s tough, because they were in control of that game for the majority of the game against Ohio State.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Next?

Nick:                         Auburn at Texas A&M.

Andrew:                 I’m going to go with the upset. Texas A&M, and here’s is a surprise for you, Nick. This officially puts Gus Malzahn on the hot seat. I am saying Gus Malzahn does not return to Auburn next year.

Nick:                         Interesting. I’m going to go with Auburn wins.

Andrew:                 Okay. It’s at A&M too.

Nick:                         Yeah. I understand. At A&M. I think Auburn is just a better football team. That’s not a good football team at A&M, I don’t think.

Andrew:                 That’s not a good football team at Auburn.

Nick:                         I think it is a good football team at Auburn.

Andrew:                 Whatever. Whatever you got to make yourself believe over there, de la Torre. Wes Byron’s not kicking field goals anymore, so you don’t have to root for them.

Nick:                         Oklahoma at Oklahoma State.

Andrew:                 That’s what I was going to hit at. Man, this one’s tough. I actually went back and forth on this game. I’m going to say Oklahoma, but I’m not convinced.

Nick:                         I went Oklahoma.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         Feel free to change your pick, if you want.

Andrew:                 No. I’m going to go Oklahoma, but Oklahoma State can throw the ball.

Nick:                         They can. I think Oklahoma gets it done. They’re still playing for a College Football Playoff as a one loss team.

Andrew:                 Absolutely. The big one, in my opinion.

Nick:                         VA Tech at Miami.

Andrew:                 Go ahead and make your pick.

Nick:                         I’m going to make the same pick as you. I’m going to go VA Tech.

Andrew:                 I’m going to go VA Tech as well. Mark Richt always finds a way to lose football games late in the season. He always does. Mark Richt moving from Athens to Coral Gables does not change that. Mark Richt will find himself a way not to make the playoffs. Sorry. Is what it is. Richt, you fail.

Nick:                         I agree. I think they have a narrow game, what is it, next week? They’re like at Virginia next week.

Andrew:                 Yes. He’ll find a way to lose the game he ain’t supposed to lose too.

Nick:                         Yeah. That’s right. That’s what I told my friends back home, my Miami friends back home. I said, “Mark Richt will find a game. That Virginia game looks real nice.”

Andrew:                 Real. I mean, he swept away North Carolina. He had no business even being close in that game, and he found a way to make that game close.

Nick:                         Getting to the players?

Andrew:                 Let’s go. Let’s go with the players. You’re first pick. Go ahead.

Nick:                         My first pick is Lamical Perine. Going to run the ball, and he’s the only one to do it.

Andrew:                 Okay. I’m going to go with the Notre Dame transfer. Malik Zaire gets in the end zone rushing and passing, one and one.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 That’s my pick.

Nick:                         I’m going to go Duke Dawson. Last time he’ll play Missouri. He’s a senior. He seemed completely unaffected by Jim McElwain being fired. I’m not sure Jim McElwain, as a player’s coach, but not sure he ever really grabbed the whole team. Also, Duke Dawson’s a guy who had already been through Muschamp being fired, so not someone I’m worried about being affected by a coaching change middle of the year.

Andrew:                 Yes. I agree with you on that. He’s been through it, so kind of understands it. Let’s face it, he’s got four games remaining. My next pick is going to be the other corner, Mr. Marco Wilson. Hasn’t gotten his pick yet. It’s been close, but Drew Lock might test him. When he does, Marco Wilson will get pick #1.

Nick:                         Okay. Don’t want I’m thinking going with two offensive guys, but I’m going to go with Tyrie Cleveland.

Andrew:                 I don’t know what I’m thinking either, but I’m going to go back to the 251 and hit Mr. Kadarius Toney. I think Randy Shannon understands that if want to win you get the ball to our playmakers, and the best way to do that is get the ball in 17’s hands. So 17 and Zaire hook up and have a decent game. I’m going to go with 17, Kadarius Toney.

Nick:                         Two of us. The two of us going with two offensive guys. What’s wrong? We’ve given up. We’ve packed our bags.

Andrew:                 Packed our bags and headed out. Nick, first of all, can we get a $6 million buyout? Because I’ll quit today.

Nick:                         I don’t even need to pack my bag. I’ll buy new stuff.

Andrew:                 I’ll quit making predictions today if somebody will give me $6 million. Anyway, let’s go. Missouri-Gators. Nick, who you got?

Nick:                         I’m going to go with Florida. I think it’ll be a close game, but I think this is the game where they rally around each other, and I don’t know how long that lasts, but I think this is the game where they rally around each other. I’m going to go with Florida beats Missouri close.

Andrew:                 Any idea of a score?

Nick:                         We’ve been doing this for like four years. I never give a score.

Andrew:                 I’m saying high scoring, low scoring. What you got?

Nick:                         Oh. I think it’ll be a game in the twenties.

Andrew:                 Okay. Florida 27, Missouri 21.

Nick:                         27-21.

Andrew:                 27-21. That is what I’m going with. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens. Special teams doesn’t do bad this week.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 That is the pick. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ve got a lot of hot stuff coming on at Gator Country. Basketball going on. They play on Thursday night against Jacksonville. We’re taping on this Thursday. Check us out on Friday. We’ll have a recap there for you. Plenty of that kind of stuff going on. Got film breakdowns going on. You name it, we got it. Coaching search, Nick and I have been blasting away with that kind of stuff. Our message boards are on fire. Recruiting news, all that good stuff. We have coupon code. Nick will tell you where to find all that good stuff.

Nick:                         www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. Podcast is also on iTunes. Search Gator Country, and you’ll find it there. Subscribe. Never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. It’s @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter, @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 There you go. Nick, our baseball picks were atrocious, but that was such a fun World Series. Such a fun postseason. Houston strong. I’ll say this. It wasn’t the two teams I predicted, but I would watch that series over and over and over.

Nick:                         Yeah. Give that series every year.

Andrew:                 That was fun, and that was the best two teams in baseball. In all honesty, it did. We’re just 140 days away from Opening Day again though. Thank God. Go Braves. We’ll see you guys on Monday with the recap from this weekend, and maybe some coaching news. Who knows? Maybe a little hot take. Maybe someone’s hired over the weekend. Just kidding. Just kidding, but maybe someone is. Nick, as always. Chomp, chomp. Go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

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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.