GatorCountry brings you our Friday prediction podcast for the Florida Gators vs. Tennessee game on Saturday in the Swamp at noon.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre give you their keys for the Gators on both offense and defense on Saturday against the Vols.
Andrew and Nick also give you three players to watch for the Gators, plus we predict several games around the country including the Gators vs. Vols.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man Andrew Spivey here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, one more day and hate week concludes, as Gators will take on Tennessee in the Swamp. Good old noon kickoff. That should be mighty fun. Let’s get ready. Let’s talk. Let’s get some previews going here and pick some players.
Nick: Thank God it’s Friday. I hope you’re all enjoying. Hope you had a good week and that you enjoyed everything, that you had a good productive week. Tennessee week, Florida hosting the Vols. Trying to make it a two-game winning streak, yeah?
Andrew: Yeah. As we said last week, takes three to get to a winning streak. What’s the number, Nick? I feel dumb even saying this. What’s the series? Tennessee’s only won one game, but what is it, nine out of 10? Eight out of nine? What is it?
Nick: No. The overall series.
Andrew: No. I’m talking about lately. I mean, Tennessee’s only won once in the last how many years?
Nick: 13. In the last 14 years, Florida’s 13-1 in the last 14 games.
Andrew: That’s what I thought. I knew it was up there. I just couldn’t remember if it was 10 or what. 13-1. It’s not exactly anything big.
Nick: Tennessee’s only won, since 1996 Tennessee has only beaten Florida five times.
Andrew: How many times did Peyton Manning beat them?
Nick: Zero. Peyton Manning’s beaten Florida as many times as you and I have beaten Florida.
Andrew: That’s right. I always love that. I think that one’s good. Still like Steve Spurrier’s comment. It’s rocky bottom.
Nick: University of Titanic. Rocky bottom.
Andrew: Listen, I mean, I hate to continue saying this. I like Jeremy Pruitt, but, bro, what are you doing? That Titanic quote. Come on, man. You’re smarter than that. You’re smarter than that, Jeremy.
Nick: As everyone knows, this is our preview podcast. We preview the game on Friday. Two things we need to get into. First is heading back, we talked about it a little bit with Kash Daniel and Kyle Trask. A new angle came out. We asked Kyle Trask about it. We asked Dan Mullen about it. Twitter has exploded about it. The message board’s been exploding about it.
Andrew: It was a dirty play.
Nick: They asked Kash Daniel about it, and he said, listen, I’ve been hurt in the past. I had someone on my arm. Someone was stepping on my hand. I was trying to yank my hands out. From the endzone angle, from the skycam angle as well that was on the ESPN telecast, it looked like that was plausible. Okay. From that angle, it looked like maybe he was twisting it, but when he says, I was just trying to yank my arms out, and if you’ve got 300 pounds of somebody laying on you, and you’re trying to yank your arm, it can look violent. I think it was Nick Buchanan that had just fallen.
Nick: Trying to get Nick Buchanan off me, I’m going to do whatever I can to get him off me.
Nick: There was a Kentucky news station, TV station, that was on the other sideline, and that angle clearly, pretty clearly shows Kash Daniel with his left hand grabbing Kyle Trask’s heel, and with his right hand grabbing the top of his foot and twisting. So, funny that a Kentucky TV station, a Lexington TV station, finds that video the day after they ask Kash Daniel, and he gave this elaborate excuse as to what he was doing, that it wasn’t twisting. Then there’s a pretty close angle that shows, hey man, that’s not what you just said it was.
Andrew: Right. I mean, listen, there’s no room for that kind of stuff in football. Listen, it happens. It happens every time under the pile of that or a little punch to the gut or all that stuff. It happens in piles all the time. There’s no room for that in football. I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten suspended, to be honest with you. Surprised the SEC hasn’t come out and suspended him or anything like that. I mean, there’s no room for that, especially in that situation where Florida had already lost a quarterback and everything else. No room for that, but good try, Kash.
Nick: Good try. I do also feel like, you’re mad about it, I get it. It was a dirty play. Especially since what had just happened. There had been an ankle injury to Feleipe Franks right before that, so I get that also will make you feel some type of way about that as well. It’s also like don’t throw stones in a glass house kind of deal.
Andrew: Oh. Brandon Spikes.
Nick: Brandon Spikes literally tying to gouge somebody’s eyes out. I’m not saying that what Kash Daniel did is right, but when you’re sitting here, and you can attest, a lot of stuff like that happens. Not that it’s right. It’s just it’s not always caught by TV cameras. I would just say, don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house. What Kash Daniel did was wrong. He got caught. People are probably twisting, poking, grabbing, pulling every time there’s a pile. It just so happened that he got caught on camera this time.
Andrew: I would say that a Florida player probably did some extracurricular activity to a Kentucky player in the game.
Nick: In that same pile perhaps. You just couldn’t see it.
Andrew: Yeah. Perhaps. It happens all the time. Again, it’s football. Listen, here’s the thing for me, Nick. Let me say this. Kash isn’t right for that. You have no room for all that, but also let’s remember one thing. Football is a violent sport. No matter what the NFL is trying to make it to be, no matter what college and high school is trying to make it to be, football is a violent sport. Period.
Nick: Yeah. But there’s no place for that.
Nick: There’s no place for whistle’s blown, play’s dead, twisting the ankle of an opponent. There’s no way you can say that you weren’t trying to hurt him. If you do something like that, you’re trying to hurt somebody.
Andrew: Here’s the thing too, Nick.
Nick: You’re allowed to try to hurt somebody, not after the whistle’s blown, and you’re not allowed to grab and ankle and twist.
Andrew: Here’s the thing. Did anyone expect him to come out and say, yeah, I was trying to hurt him?
Nick: Yeah. That’s the other thing. He had a week to come up with something.
Andrew: That’s my thing. People are saying he should have just admitted it. Come on, man. You didn’t expect him just to come out and admit that, did you?
Nick: No. No. Kash Daniels said exactly what I figured he would say. You’re not going to admit that. Certainly not going to volunteer yourself to be suspended. You’re going to come up with something that sounds good in your head, and that’s what he did.
Andrew: Let’s move on, Nick. Let’s move on and talk about this Tennessee game some more. Dan Mullen on Wednesday on the teleconference didn’t really get into any injury updates. Do you expect CJ Henderson to play on Saturday?
Nick: I would say that CJ Henderson will probably be a game time decision. He’s been at practice. He’s done some things, but he’s not really a full participant. You know when the NFL has limited participant, questionable, all this stuff? To me, I would put him as game time decision. Go out there, run around a little bit, and see how it feels. Talk to a trainer. I expect a trainer would be in his hip pocket asking him, how that’d feel? How’d this feel? What are you feeling right now? How’s your ankle? He wants to play. He’ll try to play.
Andrew: Right. I agree. I think he’ll try to play. If I was a betting man, I would say that he probably plays some.
Nick: Yeah. I would say if he gets his way, he’ll play all, but he’ll definitely try to play at least a little bit.
Andrew: Right. That’s my opinion as well. I think he’ll play some on Saturday. It’ll be interesting to see how effective he is. I think the more important one is Amari Burney.
Nick: Yeah. Amari’s the one that you really want to get in. I brought it up with Trey when we were talking to him. I think the world of David Reese. Thought the world of Antonio Morrison. Love that kind of nasty, physical middle linebacker. They have a hole in their game, and they’re not as athletic. They’re not able to cover. That can be exposed. It was exposed last week. Amari Burney is really the answer to that for Florida at linebacker, so getting him back is huge.
Andrew: Right. Yeah. Need that to happen in there. I personally don’t know if I expect Jabari to play Saturday.
Nick: I would say Jabari is not going to play. He’s been in a walking boot the first three days of practice. To me, yeah, I don’t see him playing.
Andrew: I have him doubtful heading into the game. Nick, we always get into some big keys, that kind of stuff, for the game. In my opinion, Nick, I think it’s going to be a situation. Actually, before we get into that, let’s talk about the couple guys from Tennessee that are going to play. Go ahead. I know you had the list.
Nick: A couple guys that will play or will not play?
Andrew: Will play.
Nick: For Tennessee? I don’t have a list.
Andrew: What was his name? Bryce?
Nick: Oh. List. Yeah. That was the other one I wanted to talk about.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s what I was saying. Let’s just keep them all together.
Nick: So, Bryce Thompson was accused of domestic violence for threatening a girlfriend. He missed the first two games. He dressed out for Tennessee’s game against Chattanooga last week but didn’t play. Jeremy Pruitt was asked about him this week and says he will dress, and he will travel. Did not say he would play. He said Bryce Thompson needs to earn his playing time.
The interesting part, Thompson had a preliminary hearing for this. Now, it’s a very weird case. He’s been suspended. He was arrested. He did lay his hands on her. He was arrested for threatening the woman, and so for my, excuse the language, I’m just quoting this, but witnesses told campus police, Thompson threatened to slap the shit out of [the woman] during an argument. Then according to the arrest warrant, he also said he would shoot up the school. Clearly very angry during this altercation.
The woman who talked to police, the woman who’s the alleged victim in this, said she couldn’t remember the entirety of what had occurred between the two, because it was stressful and a volatile situation. She said the argument began in his dorm room, in Bryce’s dorm room, before moving to the stairwell of the dorm and continued for about 10-20 minutes. Bryce was in jail for one night. They posted a $3,000 bond. He admitted arguing with the woman but denied having any physical contact with her or making any threats. He also admitted to damaging a gate at the residence hall.
Nick: He had a preliminary hearing September 3rd, and there is now another hearing that will happen on September 23rd, which just happens to be 48 hours after Tennessee’s game with Florida. So, to me, it’s just how a coach is handling it. Bryce has missed two games. Technically, he missed three. He was in pads but didn’t play, so technically he’s missed three. Now he’s traveling. The legal system has not fully played out. As I just said, he has another hearing on the 23rd. The witness statements aren’t matching up with what the, the witness statements, so the girl’s, the accuser’s friends, the victim’s friends who are giving statements aren’t matching up with what the alleged victim is saying. So, to me, and having dealt with a lot of this with Florida players in the past, when stuff like that happens, when the witness statements aren’t matching up, and if there’s not cooperation from the alleged victim, these things tend to get thrown out.
So, this is just how Jeremy Pruitt’s choosing to handle it. The kid’s missed three games. He’s traveling to Florida. Just because he’s traveling doesn’t mean he’s going to play. You can like it. You can not like it. This is how Jeremy Pruitt is choosing to handle it. For me, we’ll see if he plays. If he does play, I don’t know if I agree with it, just from the stance of it’s still going, and nothing is settled yet in terms of the law.
Andrew: I mean, I’m with you. I think you have to settle it with that. It’s a bad look for that circumstances, that he has a trial case, or a hearing or whatever on Monday, so that kind of makes it look bad. I’ll say this. We say this with Florida players. We say this with everybody.
Nick: That makes it look bad. If Bryce Thompson has a pick to win the game on Saturday at 3:30, and then less than 48 hours later is in a courtroom having to answer questions about a domestic violence case. That doesn’t look good for the university.
Andrew: Right. That’s it.
Nick: Even if the case gets thrown out later on, it doesn’t look good.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s the only thing. It doesn’t look good there. I’ll say this though. You and I say this for Florida players as well. We don’t know the full details. Unfortunately, we don’t know what all has gone on behind the scenes. We don’t know what Jeremy Pruitt knows, that kind of stuff. Just like we say with Florida players, I’ll say it here. Innocent until proven guilty.
Nick: There’s always three stories, yours, mine, and the truth. I know this is probably not what Gator fans, and let’s be honest, Gator fans are the ones listening to our podcast, it’s probably not what they want to hear, especially during Tennessee week. We already try to be, whether it’s with Florida players or other players, always just try to take any kind of bias out of it, and we just try to be fair to everyone. That’s just where we stand as we record this right now.
Andrew: I mean, listen, it’s not a good look. That’s what I’ll say. It’s not a good look. Anyway, let’s move on, Nick. For me, Nick, a key this weekend, and we said this on Wednesday, and I’ll say it again, is which team is going to be better rushing. Is Tennessee going to stop Florida’s rushing attack, or is Florida going to be able to run on this team? I will say that I think Tennessee is probably the third best rushing defense they’ve faced so far this year, behind Kentucky and Miami. Tennessee’s better than UT Martin was. Who wins out? I think that’s a big thing. I’ll say it again, and that is this is the last chance before Auburn comes to town to show that your running game is much better than it is. Tennessee has given up 471 yards rushing. 471 yards rushing in three games.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, Florida can go out and run for 500 yards next week against Townsend, and I don’t care.
Nick: You’re not showing me anything against FCS Townsend that’s going to make me think you’ve figured it out.
Nick: So, yeah, this is the last week before Auburn comes. That’s the best defensive line Florida will face, I think, this year. Even tougher than Georgia. I think the Auburn defensive line is the best Florida will face this year. Show me what you got. Show me what you got this week. Historically, this is a series that the team who runs better wins.
Andrew: Exactly. I’m with you. I want to see what these guys can do running the ball. Vice versa if Tennessee is able to shut down the running game, it could be an issue, because again, do you really want Kyle Trask having to win this game on his shoulder throwing the ball 30 or 40 times? I mean, maybe Dan Mullen knows something I don’t, and he probably does, but I don’t know if I want a guy playing in his first game in an SEC game having to throw the ball 40 or 50 times, 30 times, whatever, to win the game.
Nick: Yeah. Where do stand? Listen, there’s truth to it, and I said Monday that it could be an excuse, but when we’ve asked John Hevesy, we don’t really talk to Billy Gonzales. He doesn’t like don’t media, but we talk to John Hevesy, who’s the co-offensive coordinator, every Tuesday, and we talk to Dan Mullen every Monday. Both of them have said, listen, we can only take what the defense gives you, and if we’re throwing the ball …
Andrew: I’m sick of the excuses, Nick.
Nick: If we’re throwing the ball successfully, why stop? I get it. Yeah. If you’re throwing the ball successfully, why stop? But they are trying. They are trying to get the running game going, and it’s just not. Yes, they are throwing the ball successfully, and if you’re doing that, keep doing it. Throw the ball 70 times if it’s working, but I think you’re getting to a point where you’re throwing the ball because you have to, because you can’t run.
Andrew: That’s an excuse, Nick.
Andrew: It’s an excuse. They’re trying to run the ball. You’re not going to tell me that Florida wants to throw the ball as much as they’ve been throwing the ball. That’s an excuse. That is John Hevesy saying, my offensive line is terrible, so we’re going to throw the ball. Yes, you take what the defense gives you, but the defense is not exactly shutting down the running game. Your offensive line can’t block a soul.
Nick: That’s got to get fixed.
Andrew: Yeah. Your offensive line is soft. That’s what it is. What it is. You’ve got to figure it out. You’ve got to figure it out. Now, this Tennessee running attack has gotten a little better, so I think that that’s, I don’t see that being a problem for Florida this week at all defensively. I think they’ll be fine. I think the game plan for Florida defensively has got to be get pressure on Jarrett. Get pressure. Force Jarrett to do what he does all the time, and that is turn the ball over. He loves turning the ball over.
Nick: He loves it?
Andrew: Yeah. He loves it.
Nick: It’s his favorite?
Andrew: I don’t know if it’s his favorite, but he likes to do it. He does it a lot.
Nick: Yeah. I agree. 100%. Get pressure on him. We already mentioned we don’t think that Jabari Zuniga will be doing that. To me, it’s find someone that can. Sure, Jonathan Greenard, Jeremiah Moon, there’s a bunch of guys. There’s a bunch of guys that Florida can. I did some radio this week in Tennessee, and they asked, when I said I don’t think Jabari Zuniga plays, can Florida still get pressure? Listen, man, there’s a lot of people. Florida’s got a lot of dudes that can get pressure on the quarterback, so not worried about it.
Andrew: I mean, you get Greenard. You get Moon. You get Zach Carter. You got some dudes that can step in. Khris Bogle probably gets a little more PT this week, so that will be interesting to see. You got several guys that I think you’ve got to go there. I don’t think it’s a big deal there. I do think them getting pressure there is big. You do not, and this is a big key, should have maybe even been my biggest key, do not want Tennessee getting out to an early lead, getting confidence. Come out, score early, go ahead and put doubt in their eyes, in their minds, early on that here we go again. Don’t let this team stick around.
Nick: Yeah. Come in right away, hit them in the mouth. We say it a lot, but it holds. Come in right away, hit them in the mouth, and take their hope away in the first quarter. I’ve wanted to see that from this Florida team for a while. Come out and score in the first quarter. Don’t have to wait until the fourth quarter. Fourth quarter I want Emory Jones just to be playing by himself. Kyle Trask with a headset on again.
Andrew: Yup. You want this game, if you’re Florida, you want this game to turn ugly. You want this game at halftime to have a multiple score lead, just to keep doubt in their eyes. That’s a thing that I think, if you’re Florida, you have to feel at least confident that we can come out and do that.
Nick: Starting from early. Starting from kickoff. No excuses for a noon game. No excuses for nobody’s here yet. It’s a noon game. Just right away, jump on them.
Andrew: Quick thing, real quick. This came across Twitter. That radio station has deleted that Kash video.
Nick: The TV station. Yeah. They updated their story and removed the video portion of the portion. I mean, it was out there.
Andrew: It’s out there.
Nick: It’s already been downloaded and saved, and the video’s still on Twitter. Here’s the other thing. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t think the SEC comes out. It’s the third video replay. It’s definitely way more definitive and shows the full picture of what happened.
Nick: But it came out on Wednesday. I think it would be a far stretch to see Kash miss this game, miss Kentucky’s game this weekend against Mississippi State. Maybe they do something for later on in the season, but I don’t think they would do something for this week. You got to make a big decision, and you’re 72 hours away from a game right now.
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t see that. Give me a key, Nick. What’s your key?
Nick: Key for me for Florida, we’ve talked about in terms of running more plays, and that’s don’t turn the ball over. Protect the football. I think that’s really been an issue for Florida this year. Don’t turn the ball over. Don’t drop it. Keep the ball clean. Keep the ball off the ground.
The other one for Kyle Trask is, if you do turn the ball over, how do you handle it? We haven’t really seen that from him. I think he will handle it well, but that’s just what I think and what I know of him. We got to see it in how he handles it when it actually happens.
Andrew: Yeah. I agree. I think it’s a situation where if you’re Kyle Trask, how do you handle a little bit of negativity? When you turn the ball over or if you have a couple series where you go three and out or don’t score, how do you handle that? How does the team handle that around you? Here’s a thing I’ll say. Maybe I’m giving Kyle too much credit. I don’t know that that’s going to affect Kyle too much. He just seems too even keeled.
Nick: Yeah. We talk about it in baseball a lot. Don’t get too high on your highs. Don’t get too low on your lows. That’s him. He’s just middle of the road. Yeah, he’ll get excited and celebrate something.
Andrew: At least I don’t have to see him yelling into a camera telling somebody to shush.
Nick: No. That’s not his personality.
Andrew: Thank God.
Nick: Just pulled the stat up. Florida’s tied for 11th in the SEC in terms of losing turnovers. Not their turnover margin. The margin is still -2, which is not good. They’ve gained four, and they’ve lost six. Only Kentucky, who has lost seven turnovers, is worst than Florida.
Andrew: Big thing this week. You need to start creating those turnovers and going. Like we just said with Kyle, it’s a situation for this defense where you faced a little bit of negativity last week. You kind of got embarrassed a little bit in the secondary. How do you respond this week? Jauan Jennings is not a bad receiver. Tennessee’s got some capable playmakers. It’s not like they’re absolutely terrible there. How do you respond? Then, if you can, make this game a game where you gain some confidence back picking on Jarrett a little bit. Overall, I think this is a game that you don’t want to overlook, by any means whatsoever, but it’s absolutely a game where you can gain some confidence.
Nick: 100%. 100% agree with that. After this game, you get essentially a bye week next week, and then you’re in the thick of it. Gain that confidence this week.
Andrew: Right. Absolutely. Work out the kinks. Would love to see Copeland play some more this week. Would love to see the offense be a little more creative this week. Would love to see just the play calling of last year return a little bit, of being diverse and having a lot of things go on. Some people came at me about it, and that’s fine. It’s whatever. I don’t care. I’m able to defend my opinion. They said, why do you want to throw the stand pass? Last week you were hollering for the stand pass. Why do you want to throw that when they were able to do things down the field? If the running game is not going, the stand pass is an extension of the run game, so go back to that a little bit some. Let’s see that.
Van Jefferson and Grimes, even Josh Hammond and those guys, they’re able to break that stuff, and they’re able to be physical. I say this, and I’ve said this for a long time. I think that play became even more popular with Julio Jones, and Julio Jones is a specimen when he gets the ball and is able to do crazy things. Trevon Grimes and those guys, they’re able to do special things too. They’re not going down on the first tackle.
Nick: No. That’s one thing. It might be that Billy, and you’re not going to play for Billy Gonzales if you can’t block. I mean, they start all the time, they start every practice with like blocking drills. These guys are tough. They’re physical, and they’ll get their hands on you. They want to get their hands on you. To me, those are physical guys, and that kind of physicality that they learn in practice is just that translates to then being hard to bring down. They’re big receivers. We talked with Trey about Tennessee having big receivers. Florida’s receivers are pretty big too.
Andrew: Exactly. Nick, let’s go pick some players here, or you want to pick games first?
Nick: We’ll pick our games first.
Andrew: Okay. What you got?
Nick: Better week this week. We’ll start off out of the conference. Michigan at Wisconsin. #11 Michigan traveling to, what do they call that place up there? I can’t remember. They play Jump Around a lot. I can’t remember what they call it, but 11, Michigan, at 13, Wisconsin.
Andrew: Go ahead. Pick.
Nick: I got the Badgers.
Andrew: The Badgers.
Nick: Wisconsin learned how to play some offense, and they’re cooking right now.
Andrew: They are definitely cooking up there. I think Nebraska is a team that is starting to get some identity as well. I’m going to go with that as well. I just don’t believe in khaki pants.
Nick: You don’t believe in khaki pants or a certain person who wears khaki pants?
Andrew: Harbaugh, Mr. Khaki Pants. Mr. Walmart. Isn’t it Walmart? Isn’t that what it was? Yeah.
Nick: He’s in Lulu now. He’s in Lululemons. Shout out to Jim Harbaugh. Great selection on the pants. Lululemon.
Andrew: Whatever. He’ll be fired at the end of year probably. Anyway.
Nick: Staying outside the conference, before we jump into it. Louisville at FSU. The fighting Cards versus the fighting Taggarts.
Andrew: The Cards.
Nick: Yeah. Not going to pick. My friend, my colleague Matt Baker, covers Florida State, FSU, and Miami. I was joking with him last week, and he says, “Listen, until I tell you otherwise, don’t pick FSU to win. Don’t pick them to cover. Don’t pick them to do anything. They have no idea what they’re doing in Tallahassee.” I said, “I heard you.” I heard you, Matt Baker. Wasn’t going to pick FSU. We’ll be picking Louisville.
Andrew: I mean, they just keep finding ways to lose.
Nick: Getting creative.
Andrew: Getting creative. That’s for sure. I mean, Cards. That’s at Louisville too, right? Is it at FSU?
Nick: At FSU. Louisville is traveling to Tallahassee.
Andrew: It don’t matter if they were playing on Mars. Still got Louisville.
Nick: We got the University of ankle twisters at Mississippi State. Kentucky in Starkville.
Nick: Yeah. I’m going Kentucky too. I think Kentucky is a good football team, and Mississippi State coming off of a loss to Kansas State.
Andrew: Mississippi State is trash.
Nick: At home. At home.
Andrew: Mississippi State’s trash. I’m sorry.
Nick: No rankings in any of those games. #8 Auburn at Texas A&M. That place, that stadium is going to be a madhouse.
Andrew: I think that I am going to go with the fighting Jimbo Fishers.
Nick: Dude. Two weeks in a row, we’re just picking the same teams. I think Auburn, people are already talking about, Auburn’s undefeated and people are already talking about, like you, about a new coach. About Gus being gone and who’s going to replace Gus.
Andrew: Bro, I don’t think you understand.
Nick: Crazy. Wait till they lose a game.
Andrew: I don’t think that you get this. This is what I tell people all the time. We talk about the gap between Florida and Georgia, right?
Andrew: This is a gap in the state of Alabama that is tremendous between the Crimson Tide …
Nick: Way bigger. Way bigger than Florida and Georgia.
Andrew: And the Tigers. That is not cool. Auburn fans do not understand and do not ever want to admit that they’re second tier to Alabama.
Nick: They are.
Andrew: Nick Saban’s not walking through the door for Auburn. Period. End of discussion. I don’t care who you go hire, fire, whatever. Unless Bill Belichick is coming to town, you’re not going to find another Nick Saban. Whoever comes in is going to get fired in a few more years, unless Nick Saban retires. It’s happening. Gus isn’t going to be around long.
Nick: They’re a little brother. That’s for sure.
Andrew: That’s exactly it. People will soon get that, maybe. I doubt it. What’s the next game?
Nick: Next game. I’ve gone out of order, so give me a second. South Carolina at Missouri. Will Muschamp out in Columbia. Columbia versus Columbia.
Andrew: I’m going to surprise you. I’m going with the fighting Will Muschamps. I like that quarterback. I like, what’s his name? Halacky? Is that how you say it?
Andrew: Hilinski. I don’t know. However you say it, whatever you say. I think he’s a good quarterback. I do. I think he’s a pretty good player, so I’m going Carolina.
Nick: First road test for him.
Andrew: That’s not a road test. Missouri ain’t loud.
Nick: There’ll be a good 15,000 people there.
Andrew: Give me South Carolina. Kid’s from California. He probably played in front of 20,000 in high school.
Nick: I’m going with the home team. I’m going with Missou. Don’t feel great about it, but I’m going with Missou.
Andrew: Oh, I don’t feel great about it either.
Nick: I don’t know if I would have felt great about picking any team to win that game, but they don’t let it end in a tie, so you had to pick somebody.
Andrew: I mean, it’s South Carolina. Let’s not go over here and act like they’re for sure going to win any game. They could play the directional school, and I still would be a little concerned.
Nick: Moving on. Big game, night game, CBS. #7 Notre Dame at #3 Georgia. I saw on Twitter a Georgia convenience store or shopping store, center, removed all of the Irish Spring soap from their shelves and said temporarily out of stock. Getting ready for the Irish to come into town. You’re not buying any Irish Spring soap in Athens.
Andrew: Nope. Nope. I don’t think this is going to be a close game, Nick.
Andrew: Dogs roll big time.
Nick: 14.5 points is the spread.
Andrew: I think they cover.
Nick: You think the Dogs cover. I had to pick that for the Alligator Sports, and I picked Notre Dame to cover the 14.5, but I think Georgia wins this football game, and we’re not picking based on points.
Andrew: No. I don’t think it’s close, Nick.
Andrew: I just don’t. I don’t think it’s close. I don’t think Notre Dame is that good.
Nick: Is it that Notre Dame’s not that good, or you think Georgia’s very good?
Andrew: I don’t think Georgia’s, I think Georgia’s good. I don’t think they’re very good. I don’t think Notre Dame’s good. I think Notre Dame’s slow.
Nick: Okay. We’ll see. We’ll see Saturday night. I’m pumped. No one else is pumped. Gator Nation is not pumped that the game’s at noon, but I sure as hell am, because I’m getting out of the stadium before 2:00 a.m. I’ll be in front of the TV with all my work done before that game kicks off. Might just be drinking a cold beer, like the rest of you, watching that football game.
Andrew: There you go. That’s it, right? That’s the last one?
Andrew: Okay. Let’s go to some players. Your turn to pick first.
Nick: I pick first. I started it back in, what year was it? It might have been 2015, the Trask train. Started it. I’ve been the conductor. I’ve been throwing coal into the engine for four years, while you guys laughed at me. Trask train gets rolling. First start. I think it’s going to be a big on for Kyle Trask, and I’m choo-choo. I’m on. Hope on board. We got room in the back.
Andrew: Raise your glass. Texas forever.
Nick: Texas. Texas forever, Andrew. Texas forever. Tough God tonight.
Andrew: Touch God tonight. The Texas gunslinger. I like that pick. I’m going to go on the defensive side of the ball. He had two last week. He’s going to get #3 this week. 31, the safety Mr. Shawn Davis.
Nick: Had a two-interception game last week, almost three.
Andrew: Almost three.
Nick: I’m going back to the well. When Kyle Trask, my first pick, came into the game last week, who was he throwing the ball to, Andrew?
Andrew: 12 and …
Nick: He was finding #12. It’s as if they were long-lost brothers, and they had a connection. He’s going to go in his first start at home against Tennessee going to the guy that he’s comfortable with. That seems to be Van Jefferson. I see that connection. Finding the painted area Saturday.
Andrew: That’s cool. I like that. I’m going to go to the guy who did find pay dirt on Saturday.
Nick: That was a run.
Andrew: That’s okay. He still found pay dirt. In the books it still has got six by it. I’m going to go #10. I think Hot Sauce has some hot sauce for this one. I think he gets six.
Nick: Hot Sauce Hammond. I can’t go all three offensive players. I’m taking Jonathan Greenard. Go and find you a sack, buddy. I need you to find a sack, because I need a three for three week.
Andrew: There you go.
Nick: My first two are already winners, Spivey, so I need Jonathan Greenard to pull through as my third pick and give me a third win.
Andrew: I think they’ll focus a lot on Greenard this week, and I think that’ll open it up for the man on the other side, Mr. J Moon will have a big game.
Nick: You’re an Alabama homer.
Andrew: That’s okay. Whatever. That’s cool. It’s whatever. It’s all good. J Moon though, I think he has a big game. He’s been showing that he’s on the verge of having one, so go out and get you on there, big dog.
Nick: So, BS or no BS. We asked Damien Pierce about Rocky Top, and he said, “I’m going to be honest with you guys, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what the song is. I don’t know it. I don’t remember it.” He’s like, “Is that the song they played last year?” He couldn’t remember it. He remembered that they played it last year in practice. Florida hasn’t been playing it this year. They played it last year, because they were going on the road, but he couldn’t remember the words or even the tune.
Andrew: I can’t remember the words or the tune either. All I know is it’s old Rocky Top.
Nick: So, you say BS or not BS?
Andrew: No, I think he’s correct.
Nick: He’s being truthful?
Nick: Okay. All right. Picking our last game. Florida versus Tennessee. Noon. Game’s on what, SEC Network or ESPN?
Andrew: SEC Network.
Nick: ESPN. SEC Network?
Andrew: You might be right. I don’t know.
Nick: I don’t know. This is why you come to the Gator Country podcast.
Andrew: For a bunch of I don’t knows. It’s on one of those two stations.
Nick: I’m pulling it up right now. It’s on ESPN. It’s on the mothership.
Andrew: It’s on one of those. Could be on like the old Channel 44 or whatever, as bad as Tennessee is.
Nick: I’m picking Florida. Who are you picking, Spivey?
Andrew: Oh, 100% I got Gators. I think it’s a 10-point win.
Nick: Line is at, depending on what sports book you’re looking at, between 12.5 and 14.
Andrew: Okay. So, yeah. I think, Nick, one more final prediction for you, on Monday I think I will be talking about the Bravos clinching the East.
Nick: Not a Braves podcast. We will not be talking about that.
Andrew: I am praying for that, praying for that. Also, maybe a Falcons win this weekend.
Nick: Probably not going to happen. You know what, sure. Let’s work for the Braves to win, because when they win the division it makes it that much more heartbreaking for you when they get bounced out in the divisional round.
Andrew: Whatever. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Monday to talk about a win over Tennessee and Braves clinching the East.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast anywhere 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. We will see you guys on Monday. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.