GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we’re joined by former Gators golfer Billy Horschel and Auburn QB Jason Campbell as we continue to preview the Florida Gators vs. Auburn game on Saturday.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre talk with Horschel about what’s going to be like to be Mr. Two Bits with his wife Brittany on Saturday, plus we get his thoughts on Dan Mullen and the program.
Andrew and Nick also talk with former Auburn QB Jason Campbell to get his thoughts on this Auburn team, plus ask him about his time playing in the Swamp as a player.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, we’re back. Today’s a special podcast. We haven’t had these in a while where we had special guests. It’s time to do one, and we’re going to do a doubletake today.
Nick: Special edition. Fourth podcast. I guess this is the third. The fourth will be the normal Friday preview. We’re happy to have on Mr. Two Bits, Billy Horschel. He’s a friend of the podcast. I think this is his second time on the show. And former Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell will be joining us. Just another voice to kind of break down the biggest game of the year.
Andrew: Exactly. I’m pumped. First of all, Billy Horschel’s a smart guy. I say that not ever thinking he was not a smart guy, but Billy Horschel really, a lot of athletes say I follow the team. Billy Horschel follows this team. Billy Horschel watches them, has been around the program a little bit with Dan Mullen, all that. It’ll be interesting. Excited to talk to him. Then Jason Campbell’s a guy who he’s been there, done that. Been in the Swamp.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, these teams used to play all the time and don’t anymore. Career highlights. SEC Championship. Parade All-American in high school. Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year. Music Bowl MVP. SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Sugar Bowl MVP in 2005. Was the 25th pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. Credentials come big with Jason Campbell.
Andrew: Also handed off to Cadillac.
Nick: Cadillac. And Ronnie. Weren’t Ronnie and Cadillac in the same backfield?
Andrew: Yeah. They were. I grew up watching Jason Campbell play. So, he was on the same team with your buddy, right? Or no?
Nick: No. Wes Byron, he graduated high school with me, so his freshman year was 2007.
Andrew: Okay. Yeah. That’s right. So, he was a little after that. To go back to Billy Horschel, you and I talked about this a little bit on yesterday’s podcast, but Billy was a guy who turned down this opportunity to be Mr. Two Bits several times. Kept saying I don’t think I’m the right guy, I think there’s Gators that are probably deserving of this more. I think you and I would say Billy Horschel is pretty deserving of it. The final, I guess, tipping point was when they said him and his wife Brittany could both come on and do Mr. Two Bits.
Nick: Yeah. Good reason to do it. Get your wife involved. She played golf. She golfed at Florida as well.
Andrew: Yeah. I didn’t know that until yesterday, when the Two Bits story came out. I mean, I follow Billy on social media and watch her play and everything else, but I didn’t know she played.
Nick: That was news to me yesterday.
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. Well, let’s go to Billy. We’ll talk to Billy, and then right after we talk to Billy we’ll talk to Jason Campbell, and then you and I will come back, and we’ll wrap this thing up.
Nick: Do it.
Andrew: Guys, we’re back with a good friend of the show, Mr. Billy Horschel. Mr. Big Time PGA golfer. First of all, Billy, how excited are you for the game, just in general, and then excitement for Mr. Two Bits?
Billy: It’s really exciting to have a game of this magnitude. It’s been a while since we’ve had a top opponent come in where we’ve been both inside the top 10 of the standings, where this has playoff implications, SEC Championship implications. That’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing the stadium the way I saw it when I was a student in the late 2000s, when the stadium was packed early. There was a ton of energy. The crowd was into it. That was a lot of fun back when I was in school. I’ve been to games since, but that atmosphere, the closest that atmosphere has been that I’ve been at a game was the Ole Miss, when I think they were top five. They may have been #1 in the country. I think they were probably #4 in the country. It was in Jim McElwain’s era with Will Grier, early in that stage. This is a big-time game. It’s nice to have College Game Day come back.
It’s nice to see what Dan Mullen’s done. I was so excited when Dan got hired, just knowing him as a person a little bit, knowing him as a coach, knowing that he was going to do the right thing to get our football program back to what I believe Gator Nation expects on a yearly basis. To see him do it in less than a year, really a year and a half, and just see that he’s laid a great foundation down going forward, there’s a lot of excitement going forward beyond this game.
Then you add in the Two Bits that my wife and I are doing. It’s going to be pretty cool. I’ve been asked a couple times to do Mr. Two Bits. I’ve turned them down, due to I felt like there was other Gator greats that I felt deserved more of a chance to do it before me. I was actually going to turn it down again, because I wasn’t sure I really wanted to do it, and then my wife, she said, if I ever got the opportunity, I would really do it. I would love to do it. So, I called our people, and said I’ll do it if my wife can do it. They said sure, no problem at all. My wife being a former golfer at the University of Florida, we both have ties there. We both were on the golf team there. It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re really excited to have a great weekend.
Nick: Does this become a whole family affair? Do the kids come out? Do you have little Two Bits ties for the kids?
Billy: No. The kids are actually going to stay home. We were thinking about bringing my oldest daughter Skylar, who’s five, about a month ago, but a friend of mine who’s a booster, who we sit in his seats, in his box, during the game, it’s obviously going to be a big game, so the tickets he had already allotted had gone out. He was like, if one opens up I’ll let you know. I could have got her another ticket, and we could have worked her into the box no problem, but it’s just going to be a fun weekend with my wife and myself, and then my younger brother Brian and his wife are coming up to go to the game with us. It’s going to be a cool weekend, and we’re looking forward to it.
Andrew: Obviously, you’ve been around the program, so you know Mr. Two Bits. Anything in particular stand out about that for you during your time, just seeing George Edmundson? Then how special is it to do it just a couple months after Mr. Edmundson passed away?
Billy: When you think of other universities around the country and some iconic things they have, George Edmundson as Mr. Two Bits is one of the things that if you know the University of Florida, you’re at least somewhat familiar with it. You know about Mr. Two Bits. It’s no different than Ohio State and the dotting of the I, or another program that has something special of that magnitude. That’s what I think of when I think of George Edmundson as Mr. Two Bits. I think that’s just something that’s such iconic in our history of Florida football, and to be able to represent him, especially with him passing away a couple months ago, it’s just very special. It’s going to be a special moment to be able to be known as Mr. Two Bits for a day.
Andrew: You kind of got into this talking about Coach Mullen and the excitement, but as a former Gator, how excited are you now around this program? Nick and I, we see this on a daily basis where former Gators are saying the excitement’s back, the momentum’s back, but can you speak on that just a little bit? How’s the excitement from your standpoint?
Billy: For me, I’ve known Dan for a little bit of time now, and he’s been great to me. He’s offered for me to come over to practices, and I’ve gone over there and seen practices. I had a really cool opportunity where at one practice after practice was over, I had dinner with the team and the coaches. Then he’s like, we’re going to the film room to break down film, do you want to come? I’m like, hell yeah. I’m not turning down this opportunity. It’s just something I love. I love the game of football, but I love preparation for anything. For golf, the way I prepare and the way I take it on a day to day basis and trying to get better. It’s really cool to be getting an opportunity to see it firsthand in football and what they’re doing. That’s what gets my juices going is preparing for the game. How are you going to get yourself better? What are we going to do to be able to win this game?
So, to be able to go in the film room, break down the film with the coaches and the players in there, I just thought it was a really neat opportunity to see how they went about it and how they scheme. This was before the Mississippi State game, and there’s a couple plays that they had, some trick plays they had worked on. Dan’s like, when you watch the game on TV, and you see this play, you’re going to be like, I was there when they did that, or when they practiced that in practice.
I just think the coaches that he has on his staff, I think what their expectations of the players is what Gator Nation has always had. I think Muschamp had a really good, he expected a lot from the players, and everything he did was really good. He just couldn’t figure out the offense and a couple other things. McElwain, I liked McElwain, but I never got the feeling that he really embraced the Gator Nation, he really embraced what the tradition of Gator football was. Then you hear things about how the practice wasn’t intense, and they didn’t really expect the players to bring it all every practice or every workout.
Nick: The workouts.
Billy: So, it was soft. That’s not what we are. We work our asses off in practice, and we bring it hard. So, when we get in games, and we’re in those tough situations, the players can fall back on. And this is what when I was able to speak to the team last year, I said, when you practice to your fullest ability on a daily basis, and you give everything you’ve got, when you get into those games, and you have one of those hard spots where you guys are struggling a little bit, or you’re not sure you can give it all, you can fall back on your practice and say, I wasn’t sure I could do this all in practice. I wanted to give up, but I gave myself more, and I realized I had more. So, you can expect more from yourself going forward.
That’s what I think Dan and his staff has always talked about, the Gator standard. That’s what I love. I think that excitement, and I think that’s why you have so many former, you say athletes, but you see everyone in the Gator Nation, alumni, they’re so excited about what Dan is doing, because this is what we’re used to seeing. This is what Urban Meyer did. This is what Steve Spurrier did. I think there’s a bright future ahead. I mean, are we where we want to be yet? No. Do we still need to get some better players in there, get more depth on the team? Sure. But you can already see that the building blocks have been set, and going forward we’re going down the right path, where before we weren’t always sure if we were on the right path.
Nick: Yeah. I think you hit the nail on the head. There was a lot of talk about is Florida going to go after Scott Frost? Are they going to go after Chip Kelly? They settled on Dan Mullen. I think I said when he was hired, I don’t know if he’s the right hire, but he’s someone who knows the expectations, and more importantly than knows the expectations, he helped set the expectations when he was here as an offensive coordinator, and he’s somebody who embraces that pressure. He would get yelled at on his way off the field if Florida scored 34 points back when he was offensive coordinator, because that wasn’t enough. So, he understands it, and I think embraces it. I think you’ve seen that.
Billy: Yeah. I had the opportunity to talk to Scott Strickland when we were interviewing coaches. I was over in Gainesville, and we had a little chat. We were talking about stuff. He just asked my opinion. What do you expect from the Gator football team? Not that he’s going to take my advice entirely. I just said, we’ve got to hire someone who understands the tradition of Gator football, what the fans expect.
I told him, I said, I met McElwain, and I had seen him around the country at certain things, and we had talked, but I’ve not spent a lot of time around him, but I never got the feeling that he fully understood the Gator Nation and what the fans expected. I think we were all sort of really excited during his first press conference, because he sounded like Steve Spurrier in the things he said, but really he was a fake Steve Spurrier. He wasn’t anywhere near what that first press conference, what everyone was so excited about. So, for me, I just mentioned to Scott, we need someone who’s going to expect the coaches, the players, everyone around, the entire football staff, even the people in the athletic department, they’re going to make people expect more and have a higher standard than what we’ve had.
Andrew: That’s a good point.
Nick: What’s more pressure, Billy, standing on the 18th or in a playoff hole with Jason Day at the Byron Nelson or in front of what might be 90,000 people leading the Two Bits cheer Saturday?
Billy: Let me just say this. There’s pressure in both, but I would rather be on 18 in the playoff with Jason Day than 90,000. The last thing I want to do is ass this up before the football throw to start the game. I know I can’t mess it up. It’s not like it’s hard, but you want to make sure you do it right. My wife and I have watched enough of the Two Bits. We’ve both seen him in college, but we’ve watched enough of the honorary Two Bits. They’ve put their own little wrinkle on it. Might not be exactly what George did, but the biggest thing is just being a fan, getting a ton of energy, getting the place raucous.
I think I’m going to probably put on radio, on social media today or tomorrow, asking for the fans, really the students, to get there before game time. I was talking to a friend of mine who played on my golf team, college golf team, dad was a golf coach. Tyson Alexander, Buddy Alexander’s son. He was on our team. We were talking yesterday about even when we were great, and we were #1 in the country, we had Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow, and we knew we were going to win that game, we still showed up early. We may not have stayed the entire game, but we were there before kickoff. We saw Mr. Two Bits. The entire student section was packed before games. You’re not seeing that now, and to me that’s a little frustrating.
Billy: Embarrassing. Slap in the face. If you’re going to have tickets, you got to get there for the game and support the team and the university. I may be up on my soapbox here, sort of sounds like I’m whining or crying, but I just want the fans to really, and like I said, the students, to really show up early and get there and support our players. If we can get an atmosphere like I had when we were in the late 2000s, where there was many times the stadium literally shook, because we were going crazy. The fans were yelling. That’s what I want before game time, because that’s going to give us that edge that we need to beat Auburn.
Andrew: Billy, this is the most important question we’re going to ask you all day. Who gets to pick out the attire, Mrs. Horschel or you, Billy?
Nick: That’s good job all the way.
Billy: You know, when we were on the phone with our associate AD, Mike Spiegler, and they were asking, I’m forgetting the marketing person who does the Two Bits, I forget her name. They asked, do you want to wear the button-down and a tie, or do you want to wear the t-shirt and tie? My wife immediately said, I want to wear a t-shirt. I said, okay. Then we went back and forth after we made a decision. We’re going with the t-shirts. That’s what we feel the most comfortable. That’s what we want to wear, so that’s what we’re doing.
Andrew: Nick has a line, happy wife, happy life.
Billy: Exactly. She’s like, if you want to wear the button-down and tie, I’m fine with that. She may have done it. She may wear a t-shirt. I was like, no, I’m good with a t-shirt. I’m happy with it. That’s going to be enough. That’s the way I would like to do it.
Andrew: There you go.
Nick: It’s like you said, you’ve been offered before, and you and your wife, her story is public. I think it’ll just be a really special thing for the two of you to share. Congratulations on it. You’re an incredible ambassador for the University of Florida and for Florida athletics. Congratulations. If you trip, don’t blame me. It wasn’t my fault. I’m sure you’re going to be fine out there before the game, Billy.
Billy: I don’t think I’m going to trip. I was trying to think of some way to, after doing the Two Bits cheer, figure out some way to really get the fans, keep it going even more. I was thinking about buying like a stuffed tiger animal, one of those fake little toys you get for your kids, and after I did the cheer bring that out and punt it across the field to get the fans to go crazy. I don’t know if I’m going to do that.
Nick: Tee it up. Bring your PXG driver out. Tee it up, and smack that tiger.
Billy: I was joking about that with Tyson yesterday. I was like, that’d be really cool, but I’d be dead nervous. If I don’t get it up and out of the stadium, this could hurt somebody. Then the stuffed tiger, this is a little toy. I’m sure someone would be offended that I kicked a tiger that was fake. I don’t know.
Nick: PETA’s coming after you.
Billy: Yeah. So, I’m like, you know what, I think I’m just going to do the cheer, try to get everyone going crazy, and then have fun with it.
Andrew: I told Nick, were you going to bring out the PXG and do something with that to incorporate it. It’d be a great, PXG, I took the sponsorship to the next level.
Billy: That would be really cool, but I think I’m just going to keep it with my Gator stuff. I mean, Bob Parsons would probably love that a lot, but I think it may not look great if I do something along that line.
Andrew: There you go. Billy, last thing for you before we get you out of here, what are you thinking Saturday, score wise?
Billy: You know what, I’m not nearly as nervous with this game as I was when we played Kentucky before the game. I was really nervous about that Kentucky game. I’m not sure why I have this sense of calm about the game. I think it’s going to be a really good game. I think we got to do something thing. I think offensive line play has got to be really good, and we got to be able to run the ball. I think Kyle back there has done a really good job of commanding the offense. Feleipe is great, and I liked Feleipe, but Kyle is just a better pure passer than Feleipe, so we need to be able to run the ball and maintain clock, or whatever you want to call it.
Then I think our defensive line and linebackers have got to play really well. Getting Zuniga back is going to be huge. Getting CJ Henderson back is going to be huge. I think we’ve got to stop the run and really make Bo beat us. I don’t know Dan and Todd Grantham are thinking, but for me, you got a young quarterback there. I just saw a stat yesterday that when he’s pressured his completion percentage is 24% when he’s pressured. He’s one of the last in the SEC in completion percentage when he’s pressured throwing the ball, so if we can stop their run and put a lot of pressure on him and make him try to beat us passing, I think we got a really good chance of winning. I think it’s going to be a low scoring game. Shoot, I’m biased on this score, because I think we’re going to win, but I think it’s a 20-17 game maybe, or 23-17 us. That’s my score prediction.
Andrew: That’s awesome. Billy, listen, we really appreciate you coming on with us. Nick and I will be watching you closely on Saturday. Wish you the best of luck. Wish your wife the best of luck. Nick and love watching you play, so good luck in your PGA career.
Billy: Awesome. Thanks, guys.
Andrew: Thanks, Billy.
Nick: Thanks, Billy.
Andrew: Guys, we’re back with former Auburn Tiger quarterback and SEC great, Mr. Jason Campbell. First off, Jason, how are you these days, and what are you up to these days?
Jason: How you doing, guys? Thanks for having me. I’m doing pretty good. I’m doing a lot of different things nowadays. I do IT staffing and recruiting company that I started up four and a half months ago, and then I also do radio for home games for Auburn, with the Auburn sports network. Then I also, I started my own podcast show with Taylor Beth Davis, who works with SEC Network and ESPN. She’s a former Auburn graduate herself. So, our podcast is Bleav in Auburn, and then you can find us on bleav.com. You can look up Jason Campbell and Taylor Beth Davis podcast. Those are things I’m doing nowadays. By the way, I help Coach Porter vet the high school football, so pretty interesting schedule right now.
Nick: You sound busy.
Nick: He just barely squeezed us in here.
Jason: Pretty interesting schedule. No problem. Glad to be able to come on with you guys.
Andrew: Jason, this is a rivalry, and Nick and myself we’ve talked about this. We don’t know. There’s a lot smarter people in this world than he and I, but do you feel like this is a game that should be played more often than it is?
Jason: Oh yeah. Most definitely. I always say the Auburn-Florida game should definitely be played more. The simple fact that it’s the good rivalry. It’s not like an Alabama-Auburn type rivalry where it’s just people break up families or whatever. It’s one of those fun rivalries. Auburn, we wear similar colors, and I have some buddies that played for Florida. Lewis Murphy was my receiver with the Oakland Raiders, and he’s one of the best receivers to come through Florida as well. Of course, he hasn’t hit me up this week. I’m still waiting for him to call me. I enjoy it.
Nick: Friendly smack talk this week.
Jason: I paid for enough of his meals. I need him paying for a few of mine anyway.
Nick: This is a rivalry built on respect. I think Florida’s got Florida-Tennessee, Florida-Georgia, that’s just pure hatred. Florida, I think, the rivalry with LSU is one that’s built on respect, and I think, at least for the people who remember when this was an every year game, they would probably say the same thing. This is more of a respect than the Iron Bowl or Florida-Tennessee, that pure hatred.
Jason: Right. Exactly. We respected the program at Florida. They respect us. It’s always a fun game, because most of the time when Auburn and Florida play each other it’s a pretty interesting game. It usually goes down to the end, to the wire. The interesting thing about this game is you look at Dan Mullen, he was at Mississippi State and Gus was here at Auburn, so the familiar territory with each other I think pays big dividends in this game. So, it’s not like it’s a complete, it’s different players, but it’s not a complete new foe when you’re talking about from a coaches standpoint and a matchup standpoint. I’m pretty sure both of these guys are studying film on each other from their past matchups, and they’re probably looking at things and trying to figure out how can they get the edge on each other. It’s definitely going to be a chess match back and forth.
You look at Florida’s defense, and they’re built on speed and everything. You look at our defense, we’re built up front with size and speed on the backend. So, I think this game will be a lot low score than some of the other games have been. I think it will be more of a smash mouth game, but at the same time who can get the big plays and who can convert more on 3rd downs.
Andrew: What have you see different, Jason, from Gus Malzahn this year? We were talking to Tom Green of AL.com, who covers the team, yesterday, and he talked a little bit about Gus being more relaxed. He said he wasn’t as bored this year. What have you seen from Gus this year than the last few years? Obviously, the hot seat talk was out there, and probably still is out there, but what have you seen different from him?
Jason: Reason I was chuckling at that is because Gus even knows that himself. Sitting down having a conversation with him this spring and this summer, he was saying I need to be a little bit more open and a little bit more openminded. Not just with the players, but he was just saying even with his family, even with former players coming back and everything. He’s taking that approach, and I can honestly say he has become more open this year. He has become giving people a little bit more leeway in ways that he probably wouldn’t have in the past.
The other thing that he’s done really well, I think, is he’s been more animated on the field. I think guys are responding. He went on a receiver in the Texas A&M game. I was watching on TV, and I was like, whoa. I talked to him last week at the pregame. I said, Gus, I saw you went off. He said, guy gets an opportunity and his chance to make a play, and he’s not ready and prepared. He was like, you don’t know your opportunity comes again. I was like, you’re right. You’re exactly right about that. I think he’s taken on the approach of I’m going to be a little bit more fiery, not on purpose fiery, but just more, Gus, let your personality show. I think that’s what he’s doing more this year is he’s letting his inner personality show, where he’s before kind of held back a little bit.
This year I feel like, yes, coming into this year was people saying he’s going to be on the hot seat and everything. Well, that could be true or not, but at the same time I think he probably feels like I want to get back to doing what got me the head coaching job. A lot of the times when you look at people, when they become head coaches, they forget about what got them the job. What got you the job was your play calling and your design of plays. I think, even though he was the head coach and not the offensive coordinator, that means there’s another mind that’s thinking differently than him that’s calling plays. I think he’s now has gotten back into is comfort zone, which is I’m calling plays, because I know the players that I have, and I know how I want to utilize them, without relying on somebody else to think the same way that he may be thinking. I think that has a lot to do with it as well.
Nick: We brought that up. Steve Spurrier said that about Jim McElwain. Said, you got the job because of your play calling, why would you give that up? I mean, Steve Spurrier never gave his play calling duties up. I think if he coached a 10-year-old flat football team he’d still be dialing up ball plays right now.
Andrew: Jason, let’s move on here and talk a little bit. Obviously, the big center point this week is Bo Nix for Auburn. He’s a freshman quarterback. I had the opportunity to kind of get to know Bo a little bit during the recruiting process. He’s a very even keeled kind of guy. Doesn’t seem like the game gets too much of him. You had the opportunity to play in the Swamp. I guess, what would your advice be to him about what he’s about to face on Saturday in the Swamp? You and I both know it’s going to be loud, and it’s going to be packed, and it’s going to be an electric atmosphere.
Jason: Yeah. I would just tell him to embrace the atmosphere, embrace the moment. What I mean by that is don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed or too high up because of the magnitude of the game and everything. Just kind of stick to what you’ve been doing to get you here. He’s really matured over the last couple weeks. If you watch the first game against Oregon, the first half it seemed like he felt like he was trying to make every play, and he kind of got into a lot of trouble. At halftime he’d adjusted that, and I think he understands now that I have a really great defense. I have really good players around me. Let me just do my job and not try to feel like I got to do everything, which may cause us to be in a position where we put our defense on a short field and into a bad circumstance.
I think he’s matured over the couple weeks of protecting the football. I think he just has to put in his mind just let me continue to protect the football and let me take the plays that are there. Then once I’m more comfortable on creating other opportunities, as I continue to grow and mature, let those just happen for me, but don’t try to force them.
I think the one thing he has going for him that a lot of kids don’t, his dad played at Auburn. His dad has played at this level. His dad has played in Florida in this stadium. I’m pretty sure there’s been many conversations between him and his dad. You can tell he’s a kid that’s been coached and everything, because his demeaner does not waver. Sometimes you can’t tell if we’re behind by 20 or up by 20. He pretty much has the same kind of demeaner, even keeled in both levels. I think a lot of that has to do with crediting his dad, his upbringing, and being around the game of football his whole life. He came up to me and said, Mr. Campbell, I remember watching you when I was a kid. I’m like, whoa, I’m that old?
Andrew: Don’t be making me feel that old.
Jason: Yeah. I was like, man. I got to think about it. I said, yeah, I guess he was about four years old, five years old, my last year at Auburn. So, I guess so. He’s a good kid. He’s a fiery kid, and I think he’s learning how to play within the system of Gus Malzahn.
Nick: You don’t let him call you Mr. Campbell when you talk to him, right?
Jason: Yeah. He called me mister, and that just made me sound like …
Andrew: Jason, I’ll make you feel real old here. Florida is going to host an official visitor this weekend, and it’s going to be Emmett Smith’s son.
Jason: Oh wow.
Andrew: We’re really getting old, Jason.
Jason: That’s a good thing. That means we’re still here, right?
Andrew: That’s right.
Nick: You’re still here, and you’re still relevant. You’re 10 toes down, and six feet above ground.
Andrew: We could have a 9:00-5:00 job not getting to talk about this stuff, so we’re good. Jason, this is something that I always find interesting. You were an opposing player that went into the Swamp. Everyone really talks about how the Swamp is different as far as holding the sound in and that kind of stuff. You had the opportunity to play in a lot of stadiums. How is the Swamp different? Does it rank as one of the louder places you’ve played in?
Jason: I’d say it ranks in the top three to five. Everyone knows that LSU at nighttime is ridiculous. Then in my pros, playing in the Superdome in New Orleans was super loud. I’d probably say next to that would probably be, I would probably say Florida, out of all my experiences playing football, college and pro, Florida at nighttime gets rocking. It’s probably within the top five. Auburn is definitely up there at nighttime at home, but I’m just talking it’s being an opponent. I would say Florida’s in the top five.
They do a really good job, at the end of quarter I always say don’t look up. They do that swaying back and forth, and you get caught being dizzy for a minute. You feel like your eyes or your mind are playing tricks on you. What? Then you realize they’re swaying. It’s a fun atmosphere. It’s one of the better college atmospheres. That’s what I tell kids. This is why you come to Auburn. This is why you go to Florida. This is why you go to Georgia, Bama, all the SEC schools. This is the reason you want to play in this conference, because you’re going to get some of the best college experiences that you will ever see in your life, if not some of the best experiences in football, even in the pros, if you’re fortunate to play at that level. It’s just phenomenal.
With this being a top 10 matchup, it’s going to be ridiculous. Like I tell guys, these are the type of games that you make yourself known in. These are the type of games that you go out, you don’t have to do anything extra that got you to this point. You just got to do what you do best. Make it ordinary and everything. I just feel like this matchup, as far as quarterback standpoint, we have Bo, who’s a young kid, but then you look at Florida who lost Franks a couple weeks ago, and the backup has not looked bad. He’s actually playing pretty good. So, every kid is just waiting for their opportunity. It makes competition better around you.
Nick: I think, at least we over here are kind of looking at this game as probably a defensive battle, field position game. I guess, what are your keys for Auburn to win? We had a Florida guest on. He gave us his keys for Florida to win. What does Auburn need to do on Saturday to leave the Swamp with a win?
Jason: I think for us one, first and foremost, is protect the football. The reason I say that, when you’re on the road, and you’re in a hostile environment, you cannot allow yourself to give the home team a short field and allow the crowd to feed off that momentum. So, protecting the football would be one. The next thing, I would say the kicking game, because the kicking game creates the field position. Your punt returners, your kick returners, flipping the field and everything else. It’s real key.
The other thing is which quarterback thrives best on 3rd downs. Which quarterback is going to have the best percentage on 3rd downs come Saturday? The reason I say that is because whoever keeps the ball the longest, their defense is on the field longest. With both of these teams being really good defenses, the team that’s on the field the longest is going to be the team that kind of wears down a little bit late in the fourth quarter, when it gets to that point. I think the keys for Auburn is, like I said, three keys, protect the football, flip the field and the kicking game, and then stop the run of Florida. Make Florida one dimensional.
Andrew: I like that.
Nick: Florida’s been doing a good job of stopping the run on their own. They’re not a very good running team. I don’t think, if you wanted to get your running game going, this isn’t the defensive line or the defense that you’re thinking, we’ll do it this week.
Jason: Right. That’s why I said it’s really going to come down to which quarterback shows up 3rd down and which quarterback can make the biggest plays.
Andrew: I think it’s going to be a really good game. I’m excited to see it. I grew up in Mobile, Jason, so I know a lot about this Auburn-Florida rivalry from watching it as a child. I think it’s cool. I’m ready to see it. One last thing before we get you off here. Tell everybody again where they can find your podcast and everything you got.
Jason: Yes. You can find our podcast at Bleav in Auburn. You go to bleav.com. You can find our podcast on there. It’s Jason Campbell and Taylor Beth Davis, our podcast. We usually air on Thursday or Friday. We usually have a guest on each week. This week will be Ben Grubbs, who used to play offensive lineman for Auburn back in the day. You also can find me @JCampbell17 on Instagram, if you really want to, if you need to find out some more details. Sometimes I post it on there when we’ll be airing a show.
Andrew: Absolutely. Nick and I will tag it. Jason, we really appreciate it so much coming on. Hope you enjoy the game this weekend. I know Nick and I will. We’ll look forward to talking to you again.
Jason: I appreciate it. Make sure Lewis Murphy plays for my dinner.
Andrew: We’ll make sure to tag Lewis and get this going. Thanks, Jason.
Jason: Thank you. Appreciate it.
Andrew: Guys, we’re back. Thanks to Billy. Thanks to Jason. Really good stuff. Very good stuff from Billy. Really like the whole conversation about Dan Mullen. Something I didn’t know. I didn’t know that he talked to Scott Strickland and told Scott Strickland about that. I thought that was good. Props to Scott.
Nick: Scott reaching out left and right. Making sure it’s the right hire.
Andrew: Making sure his alumni base is happy.
Nick: Not bad.
Andrew: Billy still has that FedEx Cup money, so Scott may come calling in a couple months when it’s time to start building that new football facility.
Nick: You got a Billy Horschel sauna in the new football facility.
Andrew: No. Who was it, South Carolina? Yeah. South Carolina put up a driving range simulator in theirs. The Billy Horschel driver simulator.
Andrew: He could probably get PGX to play for that.
Andrew: PXG, whatever. Anyway, then good stuff with Jason. I know some people will say why have an Auburn quarterback on, that kind of stuff. I was telling this to Nick before we taped, I like to hear from the opposing team and to hear what it is. Not only that, but Jason’s been through the battle. I thought it was interesting to hear his take. To hear him say the Swamp is top five all time for him I think should say something about the Swamp. Be interesting to see.
Nick, everybody keeps talking about these defensive battles. Are we going to have a 10-7 or 13-10 game?
Nick: I don’t know. I’m not going to spoil my pick. I’m starting to round it out. I’ve been going back and forth all week. Not going to spoil my pick, but I might even hit you with a score prediction tomorrow. I do think a tight close game, and I’m going to talk about it more on the Friday podcast, but this is the week, Spivey. This is the week for Tommy Townsend’s Heisman run. This is when he has his Heisman breakout game. They talk about Heisman moments. Tommy Townsend, you’re up.
Andrew: Nick, you’re going to have to find something.
Nick: Don’t even think about picking Townsend for one of your players. I’m already picking him.
Andrew: I’m not. It’s October. We’re taping this October 2nd. People are listening to this October 3rd. You have 10 months, Nick, actually a little less than that if you want to do the spring game, but you have got to come up with something cool for the man down under’s gif for next year.
Nick: I’ve got time.
Andrew: Okay. I need you to start working on that. That one should be special. There’s a lot to work with there.
Nick: Yeah. I’m not going to tip my hand. Might wait until his first actual punt, but it’ll be done.
Andrew: There you go. I keep thinking, and I don’t want to spoil my pick either, I just keep thinking this game is low 20s.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, you got to think that you got a good field goal kicker.
Andrew: Not only that, but it just feels like, and maybe I’m giving him too much credit now, but it just feels like both of these offenses will find a way to put a couple drives together. Not only that, but both teams could easily get an interception and house it.
Nick: Yeah. Tom talked about it on the Wednesday podcast, a veteran secondary for Auburn. I think Jason might have hit it on the head. I think both teams might end up struggling to run, and it’s going to come down. I think both teams probably are coming into this game thinking, make the quarterback beat us.
Andrew: I think I’m going to have fun this week with Gus Malzahn though. In the game, when he starts calling boring plays, I’m just going to say bored Gus is back.
Andrew: #boredgus. Yup. Maybe that’s why he likes his crazy wife, because his wife’s nuts.
Nick: That’s a conversation where I will just back out and let you have that one all on your own.
Andrew: You haven’t watched that interview with her?
Nick: I’ve watched nothing.
Andrew: Oh. People will tell you. Kristi Malzahn is nuts. She’s crazy. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Friday for our Friday podcast. We hope you enjoyed this one with Billy and Jason. Lewis Murphy, I know you’re listening, because who wouldn’t listen to the podcast? I guess you or Jason, one of y’all are going to have to pay for dinner.
Nick: Someone’s paying for dinner. www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. As always, wherever you find your podcasts, wherever you listen to them, just search Gator Country. Subscribe. Never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: There you go. Really good stuff. Appreciate both of those guys coming on. Getting excited for this week. As always, chomp, chomp and go Braves. I hope to be talking about a Braves win.
Nick: No thanks. You stay classy, Gator Country.