Podcast: Friday prediction for the Florida Gators vs. Texas A&M

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we bring you our Friday prediction podcast for the Florida Gators vs. Texas A&M game on Saturday.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre give you their keys for the Gators to beat the Aggies on Saturday on the road.

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


Andrew:​What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, we’re back. We’re ready for Friday predictions for Gators-Texas A&M. My oh my, does the week just go by so much better when there’s games on Saturday to play.

Nick:​Yeah. It certainly does. Got a good slate of games. You got the Red River, they’re calling it the Red River Recession, with Texas and Oklahoma. Tennessee and Georgia. Florida and A&M. Miami-Clemson. Got a good slate of games this week.

Andrew:​Finally we’re getting into that heart of the SEC schedule that has pretty much not changed. You look at next week. It’s Alabama-Georgia, Florida-LSU. The SEC schedule that was kind of scheduled already before all this, so we’regetting into some normalcy in the country a little bit. Obviously, Florida-A&M wasn’t a scheduled game, but still should be interesting. Looks like the weather’s going to be good out there, even though the hurricane did move a little bit more west. Moved the LSU-Missouri game to Missouri, moved the Alabama-Ole Miss game back in time a little bit. Looks like weather will be good, and Florida should be going into the game pretty healthy, for the most part.

Nick:​Yeah. Just a bit of news, because I’ve been asked about it a bunch. LSU-Missouri was supposed to be a night kickoff at LSU. That game has changed, because of the hurricane. They’re playing at Missouri, and they’re kicking off at noon, 11:00 AM Missouri time. That did not change Florida’s kickoff. They’re still at noon on ESPN.

Andrew:​From what I heard, the reason for that was the traveling back and not having two nights of hotel stay, and also with LSU being the home team, they kind of got to change that game to get back early to have preparations begin for Florida early on Sunday, instead of having to travel back. That’s kind of what I heard as to why the game was changed. Some people were asking why it wasn’t 9:00 in Columbia, and simply because LSU was the home team, so they’re not going to punish LSU for the hurricane, even though Joe Alleva likes to punish people for it.

Nick:​The other thing is too, I don’t like telling people what to think, but I think people are mad about the early kickoffs. Right now, wouldn’t you rather just an early kickoff? If you’renot going to be at the game, wouldn’t you rather just wake up, eat your breakfast, and then watch your team, and then enjoy the rest of the day? I get it when you want a night game, especially a home night game and have that rowdy crazy environment, but you’re not getting that anywhere.

Andrew:​Right. I think game times this year are a little overrated, for that standpoint of the crowd and that kind of thing. I do think it’s a little overrated. I know some people would rather have that primetime spot at 2:30, but the way I look at is I think every time slot is primetime this year, because everybody is wanting to watch the games.

Nick:​So hungry for any kind of football. You can start kickoff at 9:00 AM. The Pac-12 is about to have noon kickoffs California time, which is like a 9:00 AM kickoff. Breakfast with the Pac-12. Let me do it.

Andrew:​They’re going to be kicking off early and going. I get what you’re saying. Again, I do see some people saying they’d rather have the late, primetime, so they can get up and do things on Saturday morning, and I see it both ways. I’m not for or against it. For me, just like you, I’m all for the early kickoffs, and then I can watch the rest of the games around the country and kind of enjoy it while doing a little bit of work. For me, I’mokay with it.

Nick:​Yeah. I like it. I totally get it. Obviously, I always talk about I like a noon game, because I get to finish work earlier. I love the atmosphere of a night game though. When we were at LSU last year, loved that it was a night game. The atmosphere there was crazy. When it was Florida vs Texas A&M a couple years back, that was a night game in Gainesville. I thought that was awesome. Don’t mind leaving the stadium at 2:30, 3:00 AM. For me, it’s just this year you’re not going to get that same kind of homefield advantage, so to me it just doesn’t really matter when you play. You got 15,000 people there.

Andrew:​Again, it’s one of those things where as long as the team is awake and ready to go, I’m all for it. Let’s move deeper into this game a little bit, Nick, and just start breaking down a little bit more on this. I went back and everything we kind of heard from our buddy Brauninger and went back and watched some stuff and looked at some things. I definitely am intrigued by this matchup of Florida’s offensive line versus Texas A&M’s defensive line a little bit more than I was. I think it’ll be a good test for Stewart Reese and Brett Heggie and Richard Gouraige. I think that running the ball might be a little tougher this week than maybe I even expected.

Nick:​I think, after talking to Ryan Brauninger, that’s where I think I really got that sense. Listen, he’s an A&M graduate, an A&M fan, but he’s also very realistic. He’s not going to come our podcast and talking with us and blow smoke.

Andrew:​He don’t want to get fired from the podcast. Whatyou talking about?

Nick:​He would get fired from the podcast if he did that. So, if he says that their D line is good, I’m going back, and I’m watching their games. Obviously, it’s tough to watch someone play against Alabama and really come away with a great perception of who they are, because Alabama is going to make everyone look bad.

Andrew:​Right. Yeah. It is. A couple people were posing the question to me on our message boards, and that is do you expect Tyron Hopper to play a little bit more with the tight ends for Texas A&M being such a big threat in their passing attack? My response was, and will remain, that I’ve expected Tyron Hopper to play a lot, and everyone that I’ve talked to expected him to play a lot, and he just hasn’t. So, what the reasoning for that is iskind of beyond me, because everything we’ve heard is he had a really good camp and everything else. So, I think you would expect him to play, because, again, he’s your best cover tight end that we’ve seen. I definitely don’t trust any of the guys who’ve been playing so far, and that’s no disrespect to Ventrell Miller or James Houston or none of those guys. That’s simply just not their game.

Nick:​I mean, right now Ventrell Miller is putting together a season that will have him winning an award in the SEC at some point, I think, but, like you said, that’s just not his game.

Andrew:​Right. I would expect to, but then again, I would have expected to see Tyron Hopper more early on, and we just haven’t. Does the game plan change a little bit with Brad Stewart being back on the field and playing more dime package, nickel package, that kind of stuff? Possibly. Again, I’ve seen enough of Florida’s tight ends in coverage to know I don’t trust them.

Nick:​I just don’t know that we’ll see Tyron Hopper. You know what I mean?

Andrew:​Yeah. That’s kind of where I’m at too. We just haven’t.

Nick:​We haven’t seen him yet. I agree with what you’resaying. I don’t know if I can say that he’s your best cover guy, just because we haven’t seen him.


Nick:​But I agree with what you just said, that we have seen the other guys in coverage, and you know what you’re getting there.

Andrew:​Right. Again, we know what we were told in fall camp. We weren’t able to see it.


Andrew:​Kind of a tale of two worlds a little bit, and that is you trust what you’ve been told, but when you don’t see it, it’s kind of like, what’s going on?

Nick:​Yeah. Wanted to move into one thing here, talking about the game. I have a story coming out about it Friday. How much do you put into Jimbo Fisher and just his record against Florida and his familiarity against Florida?

Andrew:​I think I do a little bit, but then again, he hasn’tfaced Dan Mullen. Yes, it’s definitely to be talked about, but then again, it’s not to be talked about in a way too. I know I’m kind of sounding cliché there, but it’s a lot easier to fire your guys up at Florida State when they know everyone on the other side of the field, when it’s Dalvin Cook, who was committed to Florida or whoever it was that was going to go to Florida. It’seasy to get those guys fired up to play than it is Texas A&M, when half of those guys have never even been to Gainesville, never even been to the state of Florida.

So, yes and no. Obviously, Jimbo does know a lot about some of the talent at Florida, and maybe that gives him a little bit of a step up, but, again, he hasn’t faced Dan Mullen as a head coach, so I don’t know how much it is. I don’t think he can fire his guys up anymore than he can fire his guys up against any other SEC school, just because of the fact that they’re not a rivalry.

Nick:​I think my conclusion was that it was more just a media thing. Jimbo Fisher, I think he’s 7-1 against Florida, but he was playing some really bad Florida teams, and he had a national championship caliber defense and a Heisman winner in Jameis Winston. To me, it’s like, sure, Jimbo Fisher has played a team that wears orange and blue and has Gators on their helmet, but not this team. Not this program even.


Nick:​So, to me, it was kind of just more of a media talking point. But if you’re a Gator fan, you don’t forget those beatings that Jimbo Fisher and Florida State gave you. If you get the opportunity, you’re going to be yelling at your TV to have Dan Mullen just score 50.

Andrew:​Oh yeah. If you’re a Florida fan, you’re not forgetting that at all. Nick, I believe this is the first game though, right, between Dan Mullen and Jimbo as head coach, right?

Nick:​I think so. I’m pretty sure.

Andrew:​Yeah. Because I know they faced each other as coordinator several times, but I’m 99% sure that’s what I read in the media notes is this is the first matchup of them as head coach. Again, I don’t buy too much into it, simply because of that. A rivalry game is different. You and I always talk about it. Anybody can win a rivalry game because of what it is. This obviously isn’t a rivalry game. But again, it’s a good storyline. SEC football. I’m good for any storyline.


Andrew:​Move on a little bit to Kellen Mond. Do you feel like he’s going to have a big game this week because of the defense at Florida, or do you feel like with Florida’s pass rush they can kind of keep him in the pocket and not allow him to really hurt them with their feet per se?

Nick:​I’m not sure. I’m not sure that I’m totally comfortable with Florida being able to say they’re going to keep contain.


Nick:​I don’t think I’ve seen Jeremiah Moon keep contain in the five years he’s been at Florida.

Andrew:​I haven’t seen a Florida tight end keep contain there in a long time, in general.

Nick:​A Florida tight end?

Andrew:​I mean defensive end. Sorry.

Nick:​Defensive end. Yeah. So, no. I think that’s a big thing. When I look at him as a passer, I’m not overly concerned. I mean, this year he’s 42 of 72, 58%, 500 yards, seven yards an attempt. Really not overly concerned with him as a passer, unless we’re talking about Wydermyer. Shoot, we need to go back and listen to Brauninger say that for us. But really notoverly concerned with him as a passer. Even against Vanderbilt, a really bad Vanderbilt team, 17 of 28 for 189 in a 17-12 win.

The whole mindset this week in practice has been and needs to be don’t over pursue. Keep contain. Make him sit in the pocket and throw the ball. To me, that means if you’re on defense you’re probably not going to be happy if you’re a Gator fan that wants a more aggressive defense this week. I think if you’re thinking about that you’re probably only bringing four, dropping into coverage, and saying we’re just going to try to keep Kellen Mond in front of us and make him beat us with his arm.


Nick:​Which means if I’m Jimbo Fisher, I’m running crossing routes, drags, throwing the ball over the middle of the field, because if you’re going to only blitz four, we’re going to put our quarterback in the best position to make plays. And that’s short passes in what we deem as advantageous matchups for us, which is wide receivers and slot guys catching passes when there’s linebackers and whoever is at star covering those guys over the middle. You’re not making big deep 25-yard shots with Kellen Mond all game.

Andrew:​Yeah. I don’t trust Florida’s safeties right now to cover across the middle of the field, so that’s a concern for me. If Florida doesn’t bring the pressure or does more of the contain of Kellen Mond, does that allow more time, and it will allow more time for Kellen Mond to go right across the middle, and that’s where Florida struggled. We say this all the time, and that is I don’t think Florida’s going to have any problems whatsoever scoring in this game, but can Florida’s defense stop them enough to let the offense put the game away?

Nick:​Yeah. I think it’s a great spot to be in. I think it’sexciting to think, because I agree with what you just said. I don’t, outside of Alabama and maybe Georgia, I’m not even ready to say Georgia. I’ll say Alabama, but what defense Florida will be going up against where I’d be like, don’t feel super comfortable with that one.


Nick:​But it’s such a weird place to be in where I’m going into a week, and I’m sitting here thinking I’m not comfortable. I don’t know what Florida defense will show up this Saturday.


Nick:​It’s such a weird place to be in, given how long we’ve been covering this team, Andrew. I don’t think I’ve ever said that.

Andrew:​Right. Yeah, no. I’m with you. I don’t think outside of, I would say Georgia’s a team that, I’m not going to say that they’re going to stop Florida’s offense, but I think that they’re a team that can slow Florida down a little bit in their passing attack. I think they can slow them down a little bit. Don’t think they can stop them. I think really, outside of Alabama, I’m not really concerned about a team stopping, and I don’t know if Alabama fully stops this offense. I think Alabama could slow them down a little bit, but I don’t think they could stop them.

Nick:​You might just get into a shooting match with Alabama. It’s just whoever has the ball last wins, whoever throws an interception wins.

Andrew:​Was it Mullen or Grantham that talked about needing to really put that foot on the throat this week?

Nick:​Both of them did.


Nick:​I wrote about that. You need to have that killer instinct.


Nick:​I used the analogy with Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren. Masvidal runs out of his corner, throws a knee, and gets a knockout five seconds into the fight, and the referee has todive between him and Askren, because Masvidal’s punching an unconscious opponent. Listen, that might be a brutal picture for some people to see, but that’s the kind of attitude that Dan Mullen and Todd Grantham want from their team. It’s not over when you’re up 21. You keep throwing punches when you’re up 21. Don’t let off and be like, there’s only 18 minutes left in the game, we’re up 21, it’s fine. That’s not the case.


Nick:​Florida’s missed an opportunity the last two weeks to get a guy like Tyron Hopper in, to get a guy like Mordecai McDaniel in, and to get those guys in that haven’t played yet that could get experience. If you’re up 35 points in the 4th quarter, we can get those guys in.

Andrew:​Right. Yeah.

Nick:​But you’re up 21 in the 3rd, and then all of a sudden, the defense gives them a touchdown, and the offense goes three and out. Now it’s a two possession game, and they have the ball. We’re not in a blowout anymore.

Andrew:​Right. No, you’re exactly right. That analogy’s right. Keep throwing punches until the game’s called off, or until the fight’s called off. The thing is, and I say this, and it’s going to come off the wrong way, I know, but I’m going to say this, and hopefully it makes sense. This team’s still learning that killer instinct, and a team like Alabama is accustomed to that. So, I think Florida will learn that over the course of the year. And again, this is not a bad thing at all, but I think that this is something Florida’s still learning as a team. Just because we’reup by that doesn’t mean we can quit. Keep going.

I think that’s what kind of makes Nick Saban and some of those guys go like that, Urban Meyer back in the day. They had even their backups come in with that kill punch, and the backups were in there, it’s our time to shine. We’re going to go out there, and we’re going to try to score four touchdowns by ourselves.

Nick:​Yeah. I asked both coaches, can you teach that? Can you teach that mentality? Both said that you can, and I’m not sure that you can.

Andrew:​I don’t know that you can or can’t.

Nick:​You’ve either got that killer instinct, or you don’t, you know what I mean? Maybe you can teach it, because Alabama has it every year, and it’s not like they’re recruiting different players. I might get yelled at for that, but they’re all recruiting the same players. So, I think maybe you can. Maybe you can teach that killer instinct.

Andrew:​I think it’s a coaching mindset, to be honest with you.

Nick:​It’s also just human instinct to be like, we’ve done so much work, and now this is the situation we’re in. We can cruise. Let’s take the rest of the afternoon off. We’re not going to lose this game. I guess you can probably coach against complacency, and maybe you’re developing that killer instinct. Sorry. I’ll let you talk.

Andrew:​No, you’re good. I just said I think that you’re at a point where if you’re Dan Mullen, or if you’re Brian Johnson, that you need to keep the foot on the pedal from the playbook standpoint. I think at sometimes last week and before where they’ve went to more of a, I would say, grind it out, kind of kill the clock mentality a little bit, and if you’re trying to teach that with your guys, then don’t change the play calls at all either.


Andrew:​I’m with you.

Nick:​I agree with you there though that we’ve seen the play calling change. Todd Grantham has even said that he’s changed the play calling. He goes, sometimes you’re playing the clock as much as you’re playing the opponent.


Nick:​I get it. Listen, like South Carolina’s last drive, if you’re content with eight and a half minutes left, down 14, to run a seven and a half minute drive, cool. We’ll let you do that. We’ll play 10 yards off the ball and give you six, seven yards at a time.

Andrew:​Yeah, because at the end of the day the key is to win the football game.

Nick:​Yeah. But don’t change the offensive play calling when you’re up 35-14 in the 3rd quarter.


Nick:​Go score 55. Go score 60.

Andrew:​Right. Yeah. Go do whatever you need to go do as an offense. Again, Georgia. I think that they’re getting there, or Alabama, for sure, and if you’re lucky enough to play Ohio State or Clemson in the playoffs, guess what? They’re not taking the foot off the pedal. Their offense is capable of scoring in a matter of seconds. They’re able to turn a 21-point lead into a tied ballgame in a matter of minutes, if you’re not moving the ball.

​I get what you’re saying. I don’t know if it’s fully coachable or if it’s fully not coachable. I think some people have that mentality of that dog eat dog kind of world, where it doesn’t matter, like you said, if the guy’s on the ground, I’m going to continue punching, just because that’s their mentality. If you ask some guys, they would say, he’s down, and he’s hurt, let me back off.

I do think that it can be predicated and dictated a lot with the coaching style. If you’re still calling the normal plays in the game, then your quarterback’s going to execute, and your offense is going to execute, and you’re going to do that. I just feel like last game against South Carolina, where they went two straight runs up the middle, and then it was a short pass, it’s kind of like we’re content with allowing our defense, but this year you’re not content. Your defense is your offense this year.


Andrew:​I think more teams are going to do that to Florida, trying to go more 17, 18 long play drives to keep the ball out of the offense’s hands.

Nick:​It’s what everyone tried to do against LSU last year.

Andrew:​It’s what Florida did.

Nick:​What Florida tried to do against LSU last year.

Andrew:​Yeah. You’re going to expect that. If you’reFlorida, you need to be able to hold onto the ball.

Nick:​Yeah. I mean, listen, unless you’re going to be scoring like 2000 Miami, and you’re going to be scoring in 30 seconds, then yeah. You’re going to need to be able to counteract that.

Andrew:​Right. That’s kind of where I’m at. Again, are we nitpicking? Yes.

Nick:​I think to a degree we are.

Andrew:​Yeah. But again, this is expectations for Dan Mullen, and that is this is no longer a team that’s content with just winning football games and becoming second place in the East. I would say Florida fans are not even content with just going to the SEC Championship. They expect to win the SEC Championship. If you want to do that, these are the steps to make you great. This is what made Urban Meyer great. This is what makes Nick Saban great. They have that killer instinct. For instance, go back to the Alabama-A&M game last week, where it was 14-14 at one moment. You turn it back on in five minutes, and it was 35-14, because Nick Saban said, let’s just go ahead and kick it into high gear.

Nick:​At least we’re in the position now that we’re able to nitpick. You’re in a good position. We’re in a good position if we’re able to start nitpicking stuff like this. We used to be talking about wholesale changes need to be made, how can Florida win this game?

Andrew:​How the hell can Florida score?

Nick:​Yeah. Now we’re sitting here nitpicking and being like, score more. You know what I mean?


Nick:​I don’t want it to come off that we’re sounding negative, because we’re sitting here nitpicking, but we’re in a great position. Florida’s in a great position that we’re able to sit here and nitpick. We used to talk about how can Florida justscore or just be good. Now we’re talking about this is what you need to do to take the step from good. You’ve been very, very good under Dan Mullen, but we’re talking about the small difference between good and great, between competing for an SEC East title and competing for an SEC Championship and a playoff spot, and then winning a playoff game and playing for a national championship.

Dan Mullen always talked about it was so much harder to go from 10 wins to 11 than it would be to go from 4 to 10. It’sinfinitely more difficult to go from being that good team, that team that finishes in the top 10, versus the team that’s actually competing for a national champion. That’s where I think we’re probably nitpicking, because I think we can see that this team probably can get there, if they make just a few adjustments and a few tweaks.

Andrew:​Yeah. Absolutely. You look at this offense in general. This is an offense that can. This is an offense that can compete with anybody and be fine with it.

​Give me a key this week that you’re looking for.

Nick:​Key. Listen, I don’t know how many other keys there can be. You’ve got to contain Kellen Mond. Keep him in the pocket. Make him beat you with his arm, and don’t let the tight end go wild on you.

Andrew:​Yeah. That’s me. Continue to see improvement by the secondary and tackle. Tackle is the key. Is A&M great? No. But A&M has some really good athletes. It’s like we always say with guys like Kadarius Toney. You let athletes get into space, they’re going to do crazy things. Don’t allow their athletes to get in space and make the tackles. When it’s there, make the tackle, and continue to get better on defense.

Nick:​Yeah. Those are easy keys, to me.

Andrew:​Yeah. Nick, got some games, and it’s a better week of games. Let’s go pick some games.

Nick:​Good slate of football games. I think there’s a good chance Florida’s the only team to come out with a win this week, if we’re talking Big Three.

Andrew:​Okay. Let’s do it then.

Nick:​Let’s start it. Down in the fake Death Valley, up in South Carolina. Miami travels to play Clemson. Miami fans are puffing their chests. We’re taking down Trevor Lawrence. We’retaking down Dabo. I say, you’re out of your damn mind. Clemson wins this game. Clemson covers the 14.5 points that Vegas is giving Miami.

Andrew:​Oh, yeah. This is one of those games where Clemson gets to show how good they are, and they don’t get many opportunities.

Nick:​This is the difference in what we were just talking about, Spivey. Miami’s a good team. They’re not even a very good team. They’re just a good team. Clemson’s elite. You see that on Saturday.

Andrew:​Yup. You see that on Saturday. They cover. They cover, and they win big. Manny Diaz goes back home saying, maybe I got some work to do.

Nick:​Yeah. Big game. The Red River Rivalry turns into the Red River Recession. Oklahoma is unranked. Texas is twenty-third? Who do you got? Herman. Oklahoma. Spencer Rattler. Lincoln Riley.

Andrew:​I don’t think that Oklahoma’s good, but I do believe in Lincoln Riley. Lincoln Riley doesn’t lose this Red River Rivalry, these rivalry games, too often. I’m going to go Oklahoma, just because I think they have more talent, and I don’t believe in Tom Herman.

Nick:​I’m trying to figure out, where are they playing the game? Still playing in the Cotton Bowl?

Andrew:​Yeah. I think they’re still playing at the fair, just there’s no fair.

Nick:​Got you. No fair and limited fans. Only the second time in 20 years that these two teams are meeting when both of them are not ranked inside the top 20. Just kind of tells you how good those teams are. I think we both are picking Oklahoma here.


Nick:​Yeah. I think Oklahoma. Probably stunned in Week 1, and then obviously I picked TCU last week, picked TCU to beat Texas last week. That works. I’m going to Texas loses two in a row.

Andrew:​Okay. Who we got next?

Nick:​Tennessee traveling to Georgia. We’re picking this one with the spread, because I don’t think either of us would pick Tennessee to beat Georgia, even though your boy is Jeremy Pruitt. He’s going to invite you over for Thanksgiving. Tennessee at Georgia. Georgia -12.5.

Andrew:​I’m going to shock the hell out of you.



Nick:​Noted Tennessee homer, Andrew Spivey takes the Vols.

Andrew:​I do not believe in Kirby Smart. I don’t. I just don’t.

Nick:​Now, would you pick Tennessee without the points?

Andrew:​No. No.

Nick:​You’re just taking the points. Got you.

Andrew:​No. I’m taking the points. I don’t think they cover. No, I wouldn’t take them without the points. I don’t believe in Georgia. I just don’t. I don’t think the quarterback play is very good. I do think Jeremy Pruitt is a good defensive coordinator, and I do think he will figure out a way to limit what they’re going to do in the running game, and I think that that will force Bennett, or whoever’s playing quarterback for them, to throw the ball. I haven’t seen it. I don’t know that they can do that. Is JT Daniels healthy? I think if JT Daniels was healthy, he’d be playing.

Nick:​Yeah. He’s not healthy. I’m just not a big believer in Tennessee. I saw what Georgia looked like. Georgia showed me against Auburn that killer instinct that we spent 20 minutestalking about in the podcast, so I’m taking Georgia. They’llcover that 12.5. They’ll win by two touchdowns.

Andrew:​Okay. I’m going to say they keep it close. I’mgoing to go with Tennessee in the points.

Nick:​Okay. We’re going VA Tech at North Carolina.

Andrew:​North Carolina’s wearing some bomb ass uniforms.

Nick:​Really? I haven’t seen that. I’m a big uniform guy.

Andrew:​Yeah. Check it out.

Nick:​I’ll check them out right now. Checking them out right now.

Andrew:​Looking good. I’ll go North Carolina.

Nick:​The navy blue. I love that. I used to play on a baseball team, the Florida Pokers, and those were our colors. I love that Carolina blue, and I think it looks so good with that darker blue as the backdrop.


Nick:​Do I pick them just because of that? I’m going VA Tech. I want to because of the uniforms. They’re good, but I can’t do it. We started off both picking Clemson, both picking Oklahoma. Now we’ve got two different games here. FSU at Notre Dame.

Andrew:​Ain’t neither one of us stupid enough to pick it, so what’s the spread?

Nick:​I’m looking it up right now. FSU might have won their only game that they’re going to win last week.

Andrew:​And they struggled.

Nick:​We’re supposed to stay unbiased, but I grew up, both my parents went to Florida.

Andrew:​Hell no. We don’t stay unbiased.

Nick:​A lot of my family’s gone to Florida. I like Miami. I’m from South Florida. I like Miami. I like when Miami’s good. I have no love for FSU. I never have. I don’t think I ever will. I like when they’re bad. I like watching them get beat up.

Andrew:​I just like social media when it is.

Nick:​Notre Dame is -21.

Andrew:​And they cover.

Nick:​A three-touchdown favorite against the fighting Seminoles from Tallahassee.

Andrew:​And they cover.

Nick:​The last time the two schools met was in 2018. A 4-5 Florida State team lost 42-13 in Willie Taggart’s first season. We’re both picking Notre Dame to cover. FSU’s bad. They’rereally bad, and they’re not close.

Andrew:​No. They have no promise.

Nick:​You can look at Miami and the way they’re recruiting and some stuff like that, and you could say Manny Diaz might make them a team that sneaks into the top 10 every once in a while, or a team that is a top 15, top 20 team annually. Florida State’s so far away from that right now.

Andrew:​They’re awful. Yeah. I got it. Let’s pick players before we pick.

Nick:​Pick our players, and then we’ll pick. It’s Week 3. I think we are tied right now, 3-3.


Nick:​In terms of picking players.

Andrew:​Are we going to go with the Pitts deal, or are we calling them off limits?

Nick:​It doesn’t matter. Whoever takes Kyle Pitts, the other is taking Kyle Trask. I just think it might get boring for people.

Andrew:​Okay. Let’s just call those two guys off. We’ll call the two Kyles off.

Nick:​Okay. I think it just gets boring for people if every week we know half the picks are going to be Ventrell Miller, Kyle Pitts, Kyle Trask. You got to pick somebody else.

Andrew:​Let’s just call those guys off. I’m going to go with the receiver position. I think he finally gets going, and that’s Trevon Grimes.

Nick:​You’re a fool. I’m using my killer instinct, and I’m taking Kyle Trask.

Andrew:​You just told me that we weren’t using them.

Nick:​It’s my killer instinct. I’m taking Kyle Trask and taking Kyle Pitts, and I’m taking Ventrell Miller. Those are my three players. I’m picking them all right now.

Andrew:​Okay. Go ahead.

Nick:​I’m just kidding. I’m going to go with Dameon Pierce. You picked Trevon Grimes. I think that’s a good pick. He’s a big guy. I think he matches up well. I think A&M’s got some size in the defensive backfield, but I think Trevon Grimes can match up. Good pick for you. I’m going to go with Dameon Pierce. For me, it’s honestly going to be a tossup each week. I don’t think either one’s going to get a ton of carries, but it’s probably going to be a tossup of who scores. I think I’m going to go with Dameon Pierce this week to get into the endzone.

Andrew:​He done me right last week, and I’m going to roll right on back to the table with the 251.

Nick:​Taking your boy Toney.

Andrew:​Toney. That’s right.

Nick:​I’m going to go back to Shawn Davis. It’s never good when your safety leads you in tackles, or if a corner leads you in tackles, but I think when you look at how we said, if I can’t take Ventrell Miller, and if you look at how we think A&M is going to attack Florida, I think Shawn Davis is your safety that can play in the box. He’s also your safety that can come up and make a play.

Andrew:​Right. I’m going to go with the guy who’s leading the SEC in Defensive Player of the Week, defensive line, and that’s Zach Carter. I think that he continues to show how good of a player he is and how much of a step he’s taken. I think a lot of the pressure and a lot of the focus is on Brenton Cox, and that allows him to kind of get a lot of single team action in the game. I’m going to go Zach.

Nick:​I’m sticking in the defensive secondary. I was going to go Brenton Cox, but I’m going to stick in the defensive secondary. I think Marco Wilson didn’t have a good game last week. He’s a very prideful player, and I think Florida may be able to stop the running game, and if you’re forcing Kellen Mond to pass, I think this could be a week where Florida finally gets some interceptions. Right now the only interception Florida has is from Gervon Dexter.


Nick:​I’m going to stick in the secondary, and I’m going to go with Marco Wilson.

Andrew:​If you had that in a bet, you won.

Nick:​If you had the prop bet of Gervon Dexter getting the first interception for the Gators this year, you won a lot of money.

Andrew:​Yeah. I think Marco will. Interested to see how Brad Stewart affects things and how that safety rotation goes in the game with him back this week. Should be a full secondary. No excuses going forward for the secondary. What’s the spread on the game?

Nick:​I believe it’s close. I have it pulled up already. I just got like 20 tabs pulled up right now.

Andrew:​I haven’t looked today.

Nick:​6.5. Florida’s a 6.5-point favorite.

Andrew:​What’s the over-under?

Nick:​I don’t have that pulled up.

Andrew:​Hold on. I actually do have that pulled up, and it’s 57.

Nick:​57. That means they think it’s going to be a low scoring game. You’ve got like a 30-24 game, something around there. I’m going to pick. We’ll do this. I haven’t done this before. I’ll pick the over-under. What’s the number again?


Nick:​Over-under is 57. I’m keeping track of all this for us all season, so I’m making some edits to my thing here. Then -6.5. Okay. I’m going to over 57 and Florida covers.

Andrew:​Yeah. I am going to agree with you. I don’t think this game is close in the second half. I think Florida shows the killer instinct, and I think Florida blows them out. This is a Texas A&M team that is reeling, and this is Jimbo.

Nick:​You think they’re pretenders?

Andrew:​Yeah. And Jimbo Fisher doesn’t have a Heisman Trophy. Florida covers on both.

Nick:​I agree. We’re both sitting there. I think we both think Florida, after two weeks of seeing and now being called out on not being able to finish, I think this is a team that they can do that on. I think we’re both expecting Florida to come out with a different mentality.

Andrew:​LSU’s not good, but it’s time to get ready for LSU. It’s time to get ready for Georgia. You know LSU is going to play Florida tough. They always do. It’s going to be a good football game. It’s time to get ready for that. Yeah. I’m ready for it. Let’s go for it.

Nick:​Agree with you. Big game. I’m excited for it. I’mexcited to be out there in College Station.

Andrew:​Tell everybody where they can find us, and we’llbe getting out of here.

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 listen to podcasts. Just search Gator Country. Hit 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 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.