Podcast: Friday prediction for the Florida Gators LSU Tigers

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we bring you our Friday prediction podcast before the Florida Gators take on LSU in Baton Rouge on Saturday night.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down their keys for the Gators on both offense and defense and give you their x factors for the Gators.

Andrew and Nick also pick several games around the country, plus we pick our three players to watch for the Gators on Saturday.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:​What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, we’re back. LSU-Florida week is here. Well, you guys are listening to it, and it’s 24 hours till game day. Let’s get going. Let’s talk about this game some more. Nick, I just feel like, and this is just me, but I feel like it’s a replica of last week, where there’s not too many people around the country who even gives Florida a chance this week. You and I have talked about this. 13.5 points is a lot of freaking points. We were pulling this up before we started. They’re expecting 55 points in this game, and Florida to lose by 13.5.

Nick:​Yeah. So, that’s like, what did we say? 20-34 LSU win, based on the spread and the over-under.

Andrew:​Yeah. I don’t know if people have watched this series, but this series hasn’t been out of control. There’s been a few games that’s gotten out of control over the years, but this is a series that for the most part is a pretty close series.

Nick:​I mean, some fans have had a conspiracy theory mindset where there’s a conspiracy against Florida. Listen, there’s no conspiracy when it comes to spreads. Vegas doesn’t care about your feelings. They care about making money.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​They’re not to make a point and not give Florida respect and make this, no. They watch the games, and they make points based on how they think they can make money. I just don’t see 13.5. I think that’s crazy. I mean, betting hasn’t brought it back down.

Andrew:​Let me just go through this. 2018, 27-19 Florida wins. 2017, 17-16 LSU wins. 2016, Florida won 16-10. 2015, 35-7. 2014, 30-27. 2013 is 17-6. That’s the biggest margin of victory, except for in 2011 when LSU won 41-31. The biggest victory for Florida in the last 10 years is a 51-21 win by Florida in 2008. You’re talking about 11 years and only two times would that game have covered the spread.

Nick:​Yeah. I mean, we’ll get into the game. When the spread came out, when it first came out, I was like that’s like an offshore site. Then no. That’s the spread. It’s 13.5. It was too high for me then, and it’s too high for me now.

Andrew:​I’m a person, and we say this a lot on here, but it’s one of those things where we look at the history. We talk about Florida-Georgia, and I tell you every year I’m going to pick Georgia until Florida shows me they can beat them, and vice versa with Florida-Kentucky. History doesn’t show me that this game is going to get out of control. It just doesn’t. I may be wrong for that. I may end up looking stupid and come back and Florida loses 41-11. I don’t think so. I’ve seen Treon Harris go into this game. I’ve seen Austin Appleby go into this. I’ve seen Skylar Mornhinweg play in this game. I’ve seen some bad players play for Florida in this game, and it be a close football game.

Nick:​Yeah. I’m not into conspiracy theories, but I don’t think Florida is getting the respect in terms of people are thinking that LSU is just going to run all over Florida or throw all over Florida. I don’t think that’s the case. I think this is a Florida defense, like we’ve said, that is legit. They’re going to keep Florida in, I think, just about every game that they could play, and Florida’s offense is good enough to make enough plays to win. We used to say that about Muschamp’s teams. Florida’s defense can keep them in any game, but is their offense going to turn the ball over at the five-yard line and hand the team points? If you give the defense field, possession, what am I trying to say? If you give the defense good field position, they’re not going to give up 35 points. If you give them the ball in the red zone a bunch, they might eventually break. To me, it’s just I don’t think Florida’s getting enough respect in terms of 13.5 is not a score I see Florida losing by, unless the offense has a complete meltdown.

Andrew:​Unless Kyle Trask fumbles the ball or throws interceptions or that happens, then no, I don’t see that as being really a problem for Florida. Again, I don’t know that Joe Burrow, a lot like Kyle Trask, I don’t know if they can just run up and down the field. I mean, Joe Burrow is completing 78.4% of his passes. I don’t see that happening against Florida. I just don’t. I don’t see that happening.

Nick:​So, this is obviously going to be the best defense LSU has played, not even close. Texas is okay offensively, but they’re also, I think, the worst passing defense in the Big 12, where they don’t mind or even bother practicing passing defense, so they’re the worst of the worst in the Big 12. This is going to be the biggest test for LSU. I get why LSU gets a lot of credit. We’re not used to watching LSU pass the ball like this. I mean, Joe Burrow, in the 12 games since he’s played against Florida last, is averaging over 300 yards passing. He has 33 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions. He’s looked like a different quarterback, but I think Florida will be able to get to him. They sacked him five times last year. I think they’ll be able to get to him again this year. I just don’t see it playing out. Basically, they’ve got it as an LSU blowout.

Andrew:​Here’s the couple stats that I want to share with you. I think these are going to be keys to this game. Joe Burrow hits a lot of his passes in the middle of the field under 10 yards. Crossing routes. Okay. To me, that tells me that those receivers are catching the ball and breaking tackles. He also, let’s see here. He has gotten 69 passes he’s thrown down the middle of the field less than 20 yards. That’s what he’s completed. They’ve went for over 1,000 yards. To me, that tells me, Nick, again, that they are catching the ball and making people miss. So, that tells me Florida needs to do one thing. Tackle. Wrap up, tackle, and not have the situation where they have the miscommunications like they’ve had once or twice in every game.

Nick:​Then that’s the situation that we’ve talked about all year with Ventrell Miller and with David Reese. If LSU’s scheming, like last week …

Andrew:​No offense to David Reese, Nick, but I don’t need to see him much this week. I love David Reese, but David Reese, your time to make money is not in this game.

Nick:​Yeah. Last week, second play of the game, Florida gets into a set, and they’ve got KJ Britt covering Freddie Swain in the slot. That’s not a good matchup for Auburn. What happens? You get a one on one matchup. You get the ball to Swain, and Swain scores.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​You can’t let LSU get you into situations, and we’ve seen it before, going back to like when Antonio Morrison was here. You get into a pre-snap, and you’re looking at like, shoot, Antonio Morrison is covering a slot receiver. That’s not good. I know where the ball is going.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​So, if you’re Florida, you need to know, even if they’re using pre-snap motion, we need to make sure that we don’t have Ventrell or David Reese covering a slot guy, that we move a safety down or have Amari Burney on the field or have whoever is playing star at the time move over to take that, because you don’t want a situation where you’re man on man with one of your linebackers, one of your two middle linebackers, up against a tight end or up against slot receiver.

Andrew:​Right. Exactly. That’ll be a big thing. That’ll be the key, one of the keys. Does LSU motion that out to where they have one of their tight ends or one of their receivers matched up, or a running back matched up? Thaddeus Moss has had a decent year for them. Had a really good game against Utah State, and he’s a big guy too. I mean, you can’t have David Reese or Ventrell Miller or James Houston, any one of those guys, covering those guys. Amari Burney needs the majority ofthe snaps here. Again, David Reese, your time to make money is in other games, not in this game.

Nick:​Yeah. This used to be the David Reese game.

Andrew:​Yeah.

Nick:​Not with the offense that they’ve changed to.

Andrew:​Right. I mean, that’s the key. Then like we said with Marco and Shawn Davis and CJ and the rest of those guys, wrap up. Tackle. Wrap up. Live to see another day. If it’s 3rd and 10, wrap up for an 8-yard gain and see another day, or if it’s 2nd and 10, wrap up and force it. LSU’s going to be smart enough. Joe Burrow’s a veteran quarterback. He’s going to understand where the pressure’s coming from. I may have to take that check down to my running back or whatever it may be. That’s when you got to wrap it up.

Nick:​Yeah. Missed tackles. Ever since, maybe not the Miami game. Obviously, they were bad in the Miami game.

Andrew:​UT Martin they were pretty bad.

Nick:​Yeah. I haven’t noticed it as an issue since then. It’s kind of like we said, you’re tackling those padded donuts in practice all off season, and you’re only thudding. You’re not wrapping up and taking down to the ground. Tackling, because of where football is right now, is kind of one of those things that it’s going to maybe take you a month of tackling live in game to actually get used to it again and to start doing it right.

Andrew:​Yeah. I mean, it may. You’re exactly right. It may. Again, the last few games, I would say starting with probably the Tennessee game, you haven’t seen very much of that. I thought in the Auburn game it was the best it’s been all year, by far. That’s a big thing. You look at this game, and I go back to what I said last week, and I was kind of made a fool, because it didn’t work out that way, but usually the team that doesn’t commit turnovers, wins special teams, wins this football game. Florida didn’t do either one last week, and they won, so obviously there’s a little bit of a hole in that, but still, especially on the road, if Florida is to win this game. Here’s the thing for me. I may be wrong, but I think this game is hard to pick. I really do. If I was Vegas, I would give LSU the typical three points for being the home team.

Nick:​Give them 3.5. I would have even 5-7.5 I would have felt fine. To me, 13 makes no sense. If I was a betting man, I would have hammered this line already.

Andrew:​For sure. Offensively though, for Florida, Nick, you look at this LSU defense. There’s some players there. Neil Farrell, a guy we’re very familiar with, leading the team in sacks at two sacks. He’s a decent ball player. I think the biggest thing is can they get back Rashard Lawrence? If they get back Lawrence this week, that could be a factor. You look at this Florida team, I mean this LSU team, just like we did against Auburn. Florida’s got to find a way to extend the running game without being able to run the ball.

Nick:​Yup. We keep saying that.

Andrew:​Right. Again, I give Dan Mullen a lot of credit for his play calling. This is one of those games where Dan Mullen usually brings out his best.

Nick:​Hopefully. Dan needs to be in his bag.

Andrew:​Dan needs to be in his bag. Yeah. Get out that bag of tricks, Dan.

Nick:​Yeah. I think we saw, what I really think we saw last week on a lot of the plays, like let’s go for that fake counter. So, Lamical Perine was standing next to Kyle Trask, and it’s a fake counter zone read, and really then they run from that. Then they run into that speed option.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​That’s a play that you have now shown a couple times. You can have motion come off of that. You can have on the other side of that play that they run successfully, on the other side of the play, let’s say Lamical’s on Trask’s right, they’ve had receivers stack to the left that are running a screen that they haven’t thrown to, so I probably have seen that play now four times this year. I haven’t seen them throw the screen. That’s a wrinkle that, unless you’re paying real close attention to in the defensive meeting room, you’re easy to skip on it. Saying, when they do this, they’re going to run an option to the right. All of a sudden, Kyle Trask turns and throws to the left, and you’ve got maybe man coverage out there with receivers who can block. That’s also a play where you can have a tight end slip, and you can run the shovel pass to it.

​I think that they’ve run plays recently, probably starting with Towson, that you’re like they’re running different things now that I can see wrinkles off of those plays. They’re running these specifically to show something on film, and that when they get into a situation, they’ve got something else that they’ll run, but that looks the exact same, to catch a team off guard.

Andrew:​Right. And the reverse comes off of that. You got the reverse that easily comes off of that. You can easily pitch it to Krull, and then have Krull throw it back. You have plenty of options that are off of those things. Nick, I’m going to say this, and I’m still waiting for it. I’ve been waiting for it for two years now. Sooner or later, they’re going to flip that ball to Van Jefferson, and Van Jefferson’s going to sling it, or Trevon Grimes is going to sling it.

Nick:​I don’t know if Van can throw. Tre’s a lefty, so that’s interesting.

Andrew:​They did it to Kadarius in what game last year, Nick?

Nick:​Kadarius threw, man, I can’t remember what game that was. Oh, no, I do. Kadarius hit Kemore.

Andrew:​Yes.

Nick:​No. Hit Moral Stephens for a touchdown. That was at Tennessee?

Andrew:​I think so. Off the stand pass.

Nick:​Yeah.

Andrew:​Yeah. So, it’s there. Now let’s see it in this game. Again, I think this is a game where, again, Mullen will get creative with it, and he’ll do something to keep the momentum on his side. That’s what I’m trying to say. If momentum’s slipping away, he’ll do something to get the momentum back.

Nick:​No. It was Mississippi State, which makes your point. It was a game that was going to be tough. It was on the road. It was something that they hadn’t really shown. All of a sudden, boom. You got it.

Andrew:​Yeah. Again, you’re going to see some wrinkles. I’m interested to see that. I’m always, as a X’s and O’s junkie, I love to see the mental game that Mullen brings, because he always brings a mental edge in these big games. I mean, we can talk about what he should do against Towson and UT Martin and all that, this is where you earn paychecks. This is where Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain lost their jobs.

Nick:​Got to win the big games. You don’t have to win all of them, but you got to be competitive in them.

Andrew:​Jim Harbaugh would love to be competitive in them.

Nick:​It’s like I said, you beat Auburn, which makes this a losable game. You can lose this game. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer here, but you can lose to LSU and then go ahead and beat South Carolina, beat Missouri, beat Georgia. You’re in the SEC Championship.

Andrew:​Right. Yeah.

Nick:​I think if you would have told fans before the game last week, Gators are only going to win one game, go ahead and pick it. They’re going to beat Auburn at home or beat LSU on the road. You can only have one. You probably say beat Auburn at home, just because you want to continue bringing the Swamp back, and you want to keep winning at the Swamp. It’s easier to say, play LSU tough on the road, but that’s a tough environment. That’s a good football team.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​You’d rather probably win at home, at least in my opinion.

Andrew:​Yeah. Obviously, you want to win both, and that’s the plan, but you’re exactly right. If you had to pick one of these games to win, you would have probably picked that Auburn game, for the simple reason that it was at home. You want to win those games at home. Like you said, you lose this game, yes, everything is still out there for you, but you don’t want to.

​Nick, I think, as we continue to get into this, I still think Kyle Trask has got some room to heave the ball deep a little bit here. I think that this is a defense that, Derek Stingley may be their best defender and all that. At the end of the day, he’s still a freshman.

Nick:​He missed practice on Wednesday. I’m not sure if that’s precautionary or if that’s …

Andrew:​Oh, he’s playing. He’s playing.

Nick:​Right. He hasn’t looked like a freshman. He’s looked really good. It’s easier to play early when you’re playing away from the ball. I think they’ve kind of had to have him, they kind of had to shuffle around, like James told us on Wednesday, had to shuffle around that secondary.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​With safety and nickel and moving things around. So, that’s interesting. Something to watch. I still believe, and I don’t know if fans do, I think you do, if Kyle Trask has time to throw, he’ll find the right passes to make. I still believe that.

Andrew:​Oh, 100%. We’re critical of the offensive line. To be fair to the offensive line, for the most part they’ve given him time to throw the ball. The one thing that does concern me is his fumbling situation.

Nick:​Yeah. Like we said, I feel good about Florida’s defense not giving up points, unless you’re giving LSU’s offense short fields to go at.

Andrew:​Right. Let me look at this real quick. I was trying to see. Yeah. LSU’s done a decent job on punt returns. They got two returned for touchdowns. Punting, Zach Von Rosenberg. They don’t have an Australian this year.

Nick:​No Brad Wing.

Andrew:​Yeah. No Brad Wing. Averaging 45 yards a punt, so that’s something to look at there. Let’s see here. Placekicking. Cade York. What a name. He’s 7 of 8. Made a long of, doesn’t say. So, 7 of 8. He’s a freshman as well. You think going into this game, and it’s LSU, so special teams at LSU is going to be just at fine. You think that this game will come down to who’s able to keep the drives going. I say this, and I feel like I continue to say this, but which team is able to go and have sufficient drives. I just don’t see either team. I don’t see Dan Mullen putting Kyle Trask in a situation to create turnovers, and I don’t see Burrow getting into many situations to create turnovers.

Nick:​I can see Joe Burrow being put into positions to create turnovers. I think this is the best defense. So, I don’t even think …

Andrew:​Oh, it’s by far the best team that he’s played.

Nick:​He’s completing 70% under pressure, but this is a different kind of pressure, in terms of getting the quarterback, and then once you get to him having the talent on the backend to not be like, okay, here’s my dump off. Here’s my check off.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​Being like we’re here.

Andrew:​Yeah. We’ll see. Again, I don’t see him making a ton of turnovers in this game, but, again, I think it’ll be which offense is able to drive the field.

Nick:​Yeah. Like we’ve said, the turnovers make you not have to drive the field. So, protect the football.

Andrew:​Exactly. Protect the football.

Nick:​We’re walking around it. Let’s just go into keys to the game.

Andrew:​Okay. Keys to the game for me are simple. Don’t turn the ball over.

Nick:​Yeah.

Andrew:​That’s my biggest key. Don’t turn the ball over. Then defensively, wrap up.

Nick:​Don’t turn the ball over and tackle.

Andrew:​Yup. Wrap up. What’s your key?

Nick:​I’m going to jump on those two, and then I’m going to add. There’s going to be an initial surge of adrenaline when the game kicks off. It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be crazy. LSU will use that. If LSU comes out and scores on the first drive, okay. Hold the ball on offense your next drive. Get points on the board. Don’t let that initial surge become something insurmountable. Don’t let that initial surge become a 21-0 deficit out of nowhere.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​The other thing that I think Florida needs to do is on offense. We talked to Dan Mullen about it, and I have a story going up Friday about it. Dan Mullen says when he’s a game plan all three, I mean, he’s making the offensive game plan. Next door, Todd Grantham is making the defensive game plan. But they’re constantly going back and forth. Okay. This is what we’re thinking. How does that work with what you guys are doing? How does it mesh? Then that also goes into special teams. I think Florida needs to, or will try to, limit the amount of offensive possessions that FSU has.

Andrew:​LSU.

Nick:​Sorry. LSU. LSU has. By keeping their offense on the field, sustaining longer drives. To do that, you’re going to have to run, or like we said, using some of those swing passes and plays that are going east to west, at least at the beginning, to start, kick drive your running game, and keep LSU’s defense on the field. Wear their defense out by sustaining long drives, and then limiting FSU’s, LSU. Why do I keep saying FSU? LSU’s possessions to a minimum.

Andrew:​Yeah. Control.

Nick:​Make them. How many times can you score if you only get eight offensive possessions this game? Nine offensive possessions.

Andrew:​Right. Control the clock again. Win that time in possession. That’s a big key. Like you said, control what you can control, but don’t allow, because when LSU comes out they’re probably going to take the ball, and it’s going to be a loud son of gun on Saturday night.

Nick:​I think they would. If I’m LSU, I would do the same thing Florida did.

Andrew:​I would too.

Nick:​Put your defense out there.

Andrew:​You know Orgeron. He likes to put his offense out there. It’s just going to be a loud son of a gun. I’m like you though, don’t allow a 7-0 or a 3-0 lead venture into a 17 or 21-0 lead. Don’t venture into an insurmountable deficit that you can’t come back from.

Nick:​Withstand that initial emotional run.

Andrew:​That’s right. Here’s one for you, Nick. This is something Joe Burrow hasn’t seen. Now added to the Chuck Bednarik watchlist is Mr. Jonathan Greenard.

Nick:​Totally deserved.

Andrew:​28 tackles on the year. 6.5 tackles for loss. 4 sacks. 1 INT. 1 forced fumble. 3 pass breakups.

Nick:​DBU.

Andrew:​I did read this today. I thought it was funny when I read this, but it said, how does LSU consider themselves DBU when Florida has over the last few years put more DBs in the League? I think that’s just LSU being LSU.

Nick:​Who has more? Or you say that Florida does have more?

Andrew:​No. Florida has more.

Nick:​Yeah. I mean, Texas tries to get involved, but it’s really between these two. It’s really between these two schools. Virginia Tech tries to get involved, and I put my money on Florida for DBU.

Andrew:​Yeah. Exactly. Any other final thoughts before we move on?

Nick:​I’m excited. You and I are going to be down there. I’m really looking forward to seeing Baton Rouge. I’m looking forward to, I’m flying into New Orleans, so I’ll be driving up day of the game. I’m excited to drive around. If you’re going to the game, I have a story up on the site telling you, I have my friend Ross Dellenger, who’s lived in Baton Rouge most of his life, he gave us places to go, eat, drink, and things to see. So, it’s up on Gator Country. Check it out if you’ve never been, or if it’s been a little while.

Andrew:​Yeah. It’s fun. I tell people this all the time, but if you got a bucket list of college football games to attend, Baton Rouge better be on one of them.

Nick:​Yeah. Tiger Stadium is incredible. It’s kind of like Florida’s.

Andrew:​Go see the tiger too.

Nick:​I went and saw Mike the first time I was there.

Andrew:​Yeah. I remember he almost jumped at you.

Nick:​Yeah, dude. The fencing, I don’t know what level of fencing would make me feel comfortable, because when you see an actual tiger in real life, that’s a big cat.

Andrew:​That’s a big old boy.

Nick:​That’s a really big cat. I was looking at the fencing, and I’m like, I don’t think if he was really hungry, I don’t think that fencing is stopping him. I probably look tasty, so I’m looking to see if there’s like a little kid. I’m like, stay close to the little kid, because you can outrun the little kid.

Andrew:​You can outrun the little kid.

Nick:​You don’t have to be faster than the tiger. You just have to be faster than the slowest person around the tiger.

Andrew:​Right. Exactly.

Nick:​I’m not outrunning a tiger, but I can outrun you next to the tiger.

Andrew:​That’s a big boy. Yeah. Let’s go. Let’s pick some games, Nick.

Nick:​Good slate of games. Let’s get started with the Red River Rivalry. That is a game. I thought, honestly, I thought maybe a game that would have stolen GameDay from Florida-LSU. #6 Oklahoma, I’ll say at Texas, because Texas is the home team, but it’s a neutral site game. Big rivalry. Who do you got?

Andrew:​I don’t even know if this is a question. Is it a question for you?

Nick:​No.

Andrew:​Yeah. I mean, for me it’s OU. I think Texas is okay. I think OU is one of the top teams in the country.

Nick:​Yup. I think Oklahoma’s a playoff team, and Texas is not. I think they’re ranking at 11 is inflated, and I think they’ll drop into the 20s.

Andrew:​I wish Lincoln Riley would take Dan Quinn’s job. Lincoln Riley with Julio Jones and Matt Ryan could be special.

Nick:​Well, there’s Andrew. He’s still mourning another Atlanta upset. It shouldn’t be an upset.

Andrew:​That one hurt.

Nick:​That’s what the city of Atlanta does. You’re already trying to replace. You’re on to football season, and you’re trying to replace your coach, who’s a friend of the show.

Andrew:​I love Dan Quinn. I love Dan Quinn. I’m in mourning. It’s no doubt about it. That one hurt. That one hurt really bad. It is what it is. Next game?

Nick:​Virginia. #20 Virginia. Shout out to Jake McGee and the Hoos. They’re going to down to Miami. Do you, noted Miami home, Andrew Spivey, do you pick Miami again?

Andrew:​No.

Nick:​You picked them last week.

Andrew:​I did, because Virginia Tech was bad too.

Nick:​You picked them last week. It’s another team from Virginia.

Andrew:​They were bad though. They were bad, bad, bad. I mean, Miami’s bad, bad too, but still. No. Virginia wins this game singlehandedly, easily.

Nick:​Okay. We both got UVA. N’Kosi Perry. The quarterback shuffle continues in Miami.

Andrew:​Manny Diaz has already ruined Jarren Williams.

Nick:​You want to win, let Tate spin.

Andrew:​Let Tate go out there and spin it.

Nick:​All right. We’re picking a game against the spread here, because we know who’s going to win the game.

Andrew:​Yeah.

Nick:​FSU up in the fake Death Valley in South Carolina. They’re playing Clemson. The spread is -27.5. FSU is getting four touchdowns on the road.

Andrew:​It is also 60, is it 60 on the dot? Yeah. 60 on the dot is how many points they’re expecting. I guess they’re expecting a lot. Clemson wins, and I think Clemson covers the spread.

Nick:​I’m going to say Clemson too, even though that is a monster spread. FSU is in shambles. They’re not a good football team, not a good coaching staff. Last time Florida State was this big of an underdog it was to Florida, and they did not cover.

Andrew:​Yeah. Clemson covers easily.

Nick:​Okay. Interesting one here for you. I’m not sure which way you’re going to go. #10 Penn State on the road at Iowa.

Andrew:​Penn State.

Nick:​I’m going the same way. I believe in James Franklin.

Andrew:​This is a game though Iowa finds a way to win after looking awful last year, last week.

Nick:​Last week.

Andrew:​Last week. Yeah. Last week. That’s how Iowa does. They look horrendous one week, and they’re liable to shutout Penn State and win 2-0.

Nick:​Yeah. That’s kind of what I said yesterday, or last week. Sorry. That’s what I said last week. It was I’m picking Michigan to win, because they’re not supposed to, because Iowa’s supposed to win this game. They’re favored.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​So, I’m picking Michigan to win. It’s not a game that Michigan should win. Iowa, it’s a game that he should win, but they won’t.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​I’m sitting here thinking, Iowa’s not supposed to win this week, maybe they will win. But nope, I like James Franklin. I like Penn State.

Andrew:​Penn State wins.

Nick:​Picking another game against the spread here. #1 Alabama on the road at Kyle Field playing Texas A&M.

Andrew:​What’s the spread?

Nick:​Spread is 17.5.

Andrew:​Oh, Alabama covers.

Nick:​Yeah. That’s bad. That’s a really bad football team. That’s a bad football team. I’m going to go Bama too. We picked all the same games. We’re all the same this week.

Andrew:​They’re covering. I mean, that’s not a good team.

Nick:​Yeah. Bad football team.

Andrew:​It’s not a good team. Alabama’s pretty damn salty. We won’t pick Florida yet. We’ll pick them in just a second here. Who’s turn is it to go first? Mine, right?

Nick:​Yours. Your turn to go first.

Andrew:​I’m going to steal your player.

Nick:​Damn it.

Andrew:​Mr. Jonathan Greenard.

Nick:​That hurts. I was going to go for a month straight of picking him.

Andrew:​Too bad, too sad.

Nick:​Okay. I’m going to go with, I was planning on going with Greenard. I didn’t even have a backup plan. I’m going to go with Shawn Davis leading the team in interceptions. He’s coming off of a SEC Defensive Player of the Week. I think Shawn has a big game.

Andrew:​Yeah. I agree. I think Shawn’s been doing really well. I think he has a big game. I’m going to turn it around though. Two weeks in a row he’s done me well. The Texas gunslinger.

Nick:​Big game. If Kyle Trask has a big game in this one, Florida wins the game.

Andrew:​Well, I think he has a big game.

Nick:​All right. I’m going to go with Josh Hammond. I was back and forth between Hammond and Swain. I’m going to go with Josh Hammond.

Andrew:​They like to rotate having big games.

Nick:​That might not make any sense, but that’s the only reason I went with him over Swain.

Andrew:​They do.

Nick:​Yeah.

Andrew:​That’s what they do. They like to rotate. Because now, this week they’ll put all of their coverage on Swain, and Hammond will break free. I’m going to go back with the Kyle to Kyle. Pitts has a big game.

Nick:​This might be the week, the way you’ve picked, this might be the week that you get back into it. Let’s see. Let me scroll up. I have a two player lead. I’ve picked 11 out of 18 correctly. You’ve picked 9 out of 18.

Andrew:​I like Kyle to Kyle.

Nick:​Kyle to Kyle. I’m going to go with, you talked bad, not bad, but you talked down on David Reese a little bit. I’m going with Amari Burney. I think with the way LSU wants to attack Florida in the middle of the field, how much success they’ve had attacking the middle of the field, I think this is a game where Amari Burney will probably get the start and will probably be on the field for a while.

Andrew:​Yeah. Let me just say. I’m not in no way down on David Reese. I think David Reese is a hell of a football player, will play a lot on Sundays.

Nick:​Just not his matchup.

Andrew:​Just this is one of his games, it doesn’t fit him. I mean, that’s okay. You’re going to have games in the NFL the same way. Nothing against him. Give me an X factor.

Nick:​X factor for me, it’s not good for Florida. The X factor for me is Tiger Stadium.

Andrew:​Okay.

Nick:​It’s a thing. Gator fans haven’t really wanted to hear it this year, or this week, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say the Swamp was electric, the Swamp was great last week, it affected Auburn, and it did. You can’t say it’s not going to happen to us at Tiger Stadium. It might not happen, but that’s because Florida took Tiger Stadium out of the game. Tiger Stadium is going to be crazy. You’ve got 102,000+ Bayou Cajuns that have been liquored up all day long. There’s not enough gumbo.

Andrew:​And selling alcohol in the game.

Nick:​There’s not enough gumbo in the state of Louisiana to soak up the amount of alcohol that the people in the stands will have consumed by the time kickoff comes. That place is going to be crazy. You’re going to have to not let it consume you. Like I said, walk out in the field, enjoy it. Let it overwhelm you before the game, while you’re warming up, and take in how cool it is and this and that. When kickoff happens, you got to be ready to go. Like I said, withstand that early surge of adrenaline, that early surge of emotion, because it’s going to be there. Like we said, if you’ve never been, that should be a bucket list for you to see in terms of college football stadiums. So, my X factor is that and how does Florida handle Tiger Stadium?

Andrew:​Me and you should open up a liquor store on campus in the tailgate zone. We could make a retirement fund in like a year of football games there.

Nick:​Easy.

Andrew:​Easy. My X factor, to go along with what you just said, is the offensive line, and not for run blocking. No false starts. This is a game where it’s going to be silent count. You’re going to have to rely on communication by hand signals, that kind of stuff. Don’t have false starts, because when Florida gets in trouble offensively is when they get behind the sticks. They can’t get behind the sticks in this game.

Nick:​Don’t want to get behind the sticks. False starts goesinto what I said. You’ve been working all week on the silent count, and Van Jefferson has told us that they’re putting in stuff to kind of combat that noise.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​But you’re not playing UT Martin. This is a series and a game that you don’t have to play perfect, but you’re going to have to play really good, and really good is not starting half your drives on 1st and 15.

Andrew:​Right. Exactly. Nick, what’s your pick?

Nick:​I’ve gone back and forth all week. I’m going to go with the upset. I think Florida wins this game. Not against the spread. I think they win outright.

Andrew:​Okay. I’ve went back and forth. I don’t even know. I’m just being completely honest here. I don’t have a good feeling either way on this game. I’m going LSU, because they’re at home.

Nick:​These are two really good football teams. They’re two really well coached football teams. I can’t fault you, but I hope the message board does, and I hope Twitter faults you.

Andrew:​I could easily see it. I could easily see Florida winning this game. It would not shock me at all. It would not shock me if LSU won. I’ll be honest. I think it’s somewhere 20-17, 20-14 range. That’s where I see this game going. I don’t see it being much more than that, and honestly, if you told me Florida’s going to win 20-14, I’d say you’re probably right. If you told me LSU was going to win 20-14, I’d say you’re probably right there too. I think it’s a coin flip. The last time Florida went to LSU and won, I picked LSU, so that was the deciding factor for me.

Nick:​So, your reverse juju.

Andrew:​That’s right.

Nick:​Okay.

Andrew:​So, we’ll see.

Nick:​It’s going to be a great atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be chilly.

Andrew:​It’s going to be chilly. GameDay is going to be there. Will Corso put the head on again?

Nick:​Corso’s putting on Mike the tiger’s head. Let’s just go out there and say that. Don’t be surprised.

Andrew:​Did you know this? I didn’t know this. I did a radio show, and I was told this. Do you know that Corso’s not allowed to put the Auburn tiger head on?

Nick:​Yes. I was told that. It’s not a tiger head. It’s a full body suit.

Andrew:​Oh.

Nick:​The head is sewn into the body, and Auburn treats that costume as like a sentient being. They don’t like it to be in weird places. They treat Mike the tiger, the costume, like a real person. Yeah. I don’t know if Corso was going to pick Florida anyway.

Andrew:​He could have put on an Auburn beanie or something. He’s done that before. I didn’t know that.

Nick:​A helmet. Yeah.

Andrew:​I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that until last week.

Nick:​Yeah. Learned that last week.

Andrew:​There you go. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. See everyone on Monday, hopefully recapping a win for the Gators. We’ll talk about this game.

Nick:​ www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast wherever you consume your podcasts. 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. He’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:​There you go. Guys, we appreciate it. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.

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.