GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we bring you our Friday prediction before the Florida Gators take on Towson at 4 in the Swamp on Saturday.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre give you some keys for the Gators to work on during Saturday’s game as well as some guys they want to see play more.
Andrew and Nick also pick several games around the country, plus we pick our three players to watch on Saturday.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, Gators-Tigers for the first of three. I’m just kidding. This is Towson, not a best of three series, but the Gators do play three straight Tigers. It goes from okay to good to great.
Nick: Yeah. Then you get Missouri to cap off the fourth Tiger of the year.
Andrew: And that might be the worst of all the Tigers.
Nick: It might be. Who knows? That’s the weird series and the weird game.
Andrew: There you go. That’s a rivalry game. It has like a rivalry game feel, because of how bad Florida’s been against Missouri, but it’ll be good. It’ll be interesting. Another opportunity for the Gators to improve this week and continue to move forward. As Dan Mullen says, they have a ways to go as far as improving as a team. He’s stressed, and I think that it kind of reminds me of last year, Nick, and correct me if I’m wrong here, but kind of reminds me a little bit of what he did after the Kentucky game. It’s kind of weird the way he’s doing it, but he continues to stress that this team has to stay focused. I don’t want to say that it’s a problem, but I definitely think that it’s something he is concerned about.
Nick: Do you think it’s more of a concern, or it’s just really trying to drill it in and prevent it? I think it’s more preventative than him seeing something and commenting on it. I think it’s more if I just keep saying this, maybe it won’t happen.
Andrew: Right. Yeah. Maybe so. Like I said, you continue to hear it, and between that and injuries. I mean, we all know how bad the injury bug has been to Florida this year, but he continues to say, listen, we need to stay healthy and stay focused. That’s been a key for him. So far, I think that I haven’t seen the team not focused is what I was trying to say. I haven’t seen that be a problem.
Nick: No. I mean, I called it a trap game, and I think people didn’t take that the right way.
Nick: It’s a trap game in the sense of you’ve got a potential top 10 matchup in the Swamp next week.
Nick: That’d be the first time since 2012 that there will be a top 10 matchup. That was Florida-South Carolina back then. I’m not saying, listen, this is a great Towson team coming in, and Florida’s overlooking them. I’m saying it’s an FCS opponent, and you’ve got Auburn coming in next week.
Andrew: It’s Homecoming.
Nick: It’s easy to think about Homecoming and next week, and who the heck are these guys? They’re not even an FBS team. It’s easy to overlook Towson. I meant a trap game in that sense. I think that’s what Dan Mullen was talking about being focused. Don’t focus on the opponent. Focus on us. Because that’s what they keep preaching to the team is if we focus on us, and we play up to our standard, we’re not going to lose to a team like Towson. We’re not going to lose to a Kentucky or a Tennessee. If we play our brand of football and up to the standard that we’re trying to hold you guys to, we’re not going to worry about losing focus. We’re not going to worry about a trap game or anything like that. I think that’s really what he’s been getting at with hammering in the focus and worrying about us and what we can control.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, again, I get it. Florida had to learn the hard way last year, losing to Kentucky. Again, this isn’t a team Florida’s going to worry about too much. I don’t see Towson being a problem for Florida this week at all, by no means. I think that that’s something Mullen’s trying to preach for the long-term, that be Missouri or South Carolina or whoever it may be, that there’s no opponent that you should take easy. Let’s face it, the good teams, they don’t. The great teams don’t take that stuff for granted. The great teams don’t take an opponent so lightly that it takes a 4th quarter comeback to win the game or stuff like that. So, I think it’s good.
As far as the injuries go, Mullen has a right to be a little concerned about it. I mean, first it was Burney. Then it’s CJ. I think he’s definitely looking forward to getting that back. Something that the defensive guys said on Wednesday that I thought was interesting, and that is that they’re just now scratching the surface. We think about they’ve had a ton of sacks, that kind of stuff, and things have been really good for the defense, but really, outside of the Miami game, have they really had their full defense? The answer’s no.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, Zuniga.
Andrew: Yeah. A guy that was potentially a first team All-SEC guy.
Nick: We saw the impact that Burney had. To get him back is huge. I think you probably got lucky the way the schedule unfolded, with all these injuries. When CJ went down, and Kadarius Toney went down, I mean, you lost your quarterback for the year, so it’s not making excuses. It’s real concern.
Andrew: Nobody is going to take it easy on you because you lost your starting quarterback and starting corner.
Nick: No. It’s really concerning, when you look at it, but I think you’re on the mend. You’re getting healthy.
Nick: To me, just get through this week healthier than when you came into it.
Andrew: Right. Well, it’s like you said. I think that they kind of caught a break in a way. Florida was unlucky last year of having to play Georgia without CJ for the game, because he got hurt in the first or second play of the game. They were unlucky in that. Burney, if Burney plays against Kentucky, it’s a different game, in my opinion, but you still won the game. You get lucky there. You’d much rather have Burney miss the Kentucky game than you would miss the Georgia game or the LSU game, where they’re going to be throwing to the tight end a ton. Like you said, that’s a key. Getting back healthy. Again, Kadarius Toney is not needed this week. CJ is really not needed this week. If you can get those guys back for Auburn, LSU, Georgia, that’s when you need those guys.
Nick: That’s really kind of what we said when CJ and when Kadarius went down. I think we immediately opened up the schedule.
Nick: We’re like, okay. What’s coming down the line? For CJ it was Kentucky. It’s like, we know he wants to play, but he’s not going to play this game. Then after that, it’s like you can probably get away with him not playing against Tennessee.
Nick: Then it’s Towson, and then the meatier schedule. So, can you get by with him sitting until that week? And I think you’re going to be able to. Jabari Zuniga another guy I think you can get away with not having him. What a luxury it’s been to have the depth that Florida has on that defensive line.
Andrew: Yeah. And that was a question mark heading into the year for a lot of people was where is Florida going to get their sacks from.
Nick: Another injury. You lost Elijah Conliffe for the year before the year started.
Andrew: Yeah. You’ve had Greenard come in and play better than we all could have expected him to come out and play. I think Moon’s really, well, I think, first of all, Moon’s healthy, and that’s been a big key. I think Zach Carter’s played well. We talked about Luke Ancrum has played well up the middle a little bit. You’ve gotten that versatility a little bit that you’re not concerned about it. I hate to say this, but there’s not the talk of where is Jachai?
Nick: The only talk about where is Jachai is what practice team is he on right now?
Andrew: The Rams this week.
Nick: Yeah. That’s the only where is the Jachai. The question we had going into the year was where is Jachai, and who is replacing him? Now it’s what NFL team is he on this week?
Andrew: What team is he going to get cut by next?
Nick: Hopefully Dante Fowler takes him under his wing and can get his head on straight.
Andrew: I don’t know. That’s a question mark for himself that he needs to ask himself of what he needs to do to do that, but we’re not talking about that. Give me keys this week, Nick. I say keys, obviously we’re not talking about the keys for a win. Give me something you’re looking forward to seeing this week out of the team.
Nick: Well, looking at Towson, they’re really balanced. They’re a team that has run the ball 121 times. They’ve thrown the ball 136. So, that’s incredible balance. You got Joe Flacco’s little brother at quarterback. I mean, they’ve thrown for 1,000 yards through four games. They’re averaging 14 yards per catch.
Andrew: And 40 points a game.
Nick: 40 points a game. It’s a dynamic offense for Towson. They were the #5 FCS team in the country before they lost to Villanova in overtime last week. So, to me, it’s a good opponent on offense. Flacco’s done a good job, I think, of taking care of the ball. It’s a team that will present some challenges, and it’s a team in Towson that comes in nothing to lose.
Nick: Going to get some money from this team, and worst thing that happens is we lose a game we’re supposed to lose. For Florida, it’s just come in focused. Kind of like every week we say it, but it’s come out fast. I think we haven’t seen Florida really truly start fast. Last week was good. I mean, four plays. That first drive last week, you can’t script it and execute it any better. So, give me something like that. Come out right away, score. Give me 14 points in your first two drives.
Andrew: I want to see the offensive line get out and dominate an opponent. Again, they should dominate this opponent, but get a little bit of momentum, a little bit of confidence as you go into the Auburn game. Probably the best defensive line you’ll face all year, so go into that game with a little bit of confidence. I want to see Gouraige play more.
Nick: Towson is giving up 201 yards per game on the ground.
Andrew: So was Tennessee though, Nick.
Nick: 4.7 per rush. Come on. Get the running game going.
Andrew: I think we talk about this game the same way we talked about UT Martin. There’s not as much that we want to see that will impress us as much as we could walk away from this game saying this offensive line’s still struggling. That’s not what you want to do. You need to get some confidence somewhere, some shape or form. You need to get some confidence. Kyle Trask can throw all day against these guys. That’s not a question mark. Van Jefferson is going to be bigger, faster, taller than any corner they got. Trey Grimes is going to be bigger, faster, and taller. Pitts. They’re going to all be better than what they’re going to go against, and offensive line, you’re going to be better than the guy in front of you. Get some confidence going.
Nick: This would be a good week to do it. Hey, get your confidence going before this stretch.
Andrew: Ain’t going to get your confidence up against Auburn or LSU.
Nick: No. If you’re looking to build confidence, it’s not against Auburn and LSU. You like to have it going into those games.
Andrew: Yeah. Again, I don’t know that there’s anything I can see so much from that as much I can have things to worry about for that. Anybody you want to see that maybe you haven’t seen play, Nick? Or maybe somebody, like I said, I want to see Richard play more with the starting OL to get that experience. That’s one guy I definitely want to see.
Nick: Yeah. I think, to me, Richard is a guy that I thought after the way that he played and when he came in last week, already a guy that I thought probably start working him in, because I just think Jean Delance, I mean, to be honest, is kind of playing himself out of the starting lineup. They just need Gouraige to step in. It’s like, this other kid is giving you the opportunity to step in and be the starter. Just grab that and run with it.
Nick: Other guys I’d like to see get some playing time. I think I’d like to see Emory Jones. Maybe if you can get to a point in this game where you feel comfortable to sit Trask and let Jones run the full offense, because right now, when he’s coming in, it’s zone read, not really giving him a chance. It’s like Dan Mullen says, he’s running that package, that come in and mix it up zone read, quarterback run package. Let me see him run the offense.
Nick: Just like you have the offense when Feleipe was playing. Just like when the offense when Kyle’s playing. Let me see Emory run that offense. Hopefully, you can get to a point this week against Towson where, maybe if you’re not comfortable, because I don’t know why they’re not doing that now, maybe you’re not comfortable with him. Maybe you get a point to where this game you’re comfortable with Emory Jones going out, and we’re just running the offense. We’re not running your package. We’re running the offense.
Andrew: Right. Yeah. I mean, let’s face it, and we can joke about it all we want, but he’s one snap away from being the guy. I mean, that’s reality. If you told me that Emory had to come in and run the total offense right now, I’d be concerned.
Nick: Yeah. If Kyle Trask broke his foot again, are you comfortable with Emory running the offense, just running the rest of the year with Emory? Right now, I mean, I can’t say no, but I can’t say yes, because we haven’t seen it.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. Then defensively, I just want to see more of the young guys, more of the young DBs. Those guys have played well, so just want to continue to see more Chester, more of Elam and some of those young guys that we continue to see. I want to see Tyron Hopper more.
Nick: Really haven’t seen him at all.
Andrew: No. Seen him a little bit on special teams in the UT Martin game, right? Is that the only game we’ve seen him?
Nick: I think so.
Andrew: I don’t remember seeing him in Kentucky. I don’t even think he made the trip to Kentucky, and I don’t remember seeing him in the Tennessee game. Well, he didn’t dress in the Tennessee game. Yeah. Would have been the UT Martin game.
Nick: Then another one I want to see, I mentioned the passing. I want to see Marco Wilson build off of his Tennessee performance.
Nick: Great game against Tennessee. No completions allowed. He had an interception, a pass breakup. Build off that. CJ will probably be back next week. Your running mate’s back next week, but just build off that performance. Keep getting your legs back under you. You and I, our confidence never wavered in him, but we were taking some shots for still being on the Marco Wilson train, because some people were ready to give up on him.
Andrew: I mean, you knew Marco wasn’t going to continue to play bad. Do have to pick on his brother for a second. Quincy, I know you listen to our podcast. Man, why you have to tackle my boy Julio last week? Come on, man.
Nick: Got taken down.
Andrew: He did take him down. Then you had to get a win. Come on, man.
Nick: That’s a hard guy to defend. You tackle him if you need to.
Andrew: You do whatever you got to do there. I mean, like you said with Marco, Marco’s played well. You get your running mate back next week and get to rolling. I want to continue to see Shawn Davis play well. I thought he’s continued to play well. I think he’s playing his best ball as a Gator right now. Like we said last week with Tennessee, didn’t have the stats, but he had a great game, because he was in run support doing his job. Him not getting tackles isn’t a bad thing.
Nick: No. No. Anyone in that position, really.
Andrew: Right. I mean, that goes for corners as well. You don’t want Marco or CJ or Elam or Chester or any of those guys having multiple tackles. That means your front seven is not doing their job. Want to see that. Continue to see Amari Burney. I think he played really well last week, like we said before. Just continue to see him continue to go out there and look healthy and get out in space.
Nick: I don’t think we’re going to see him this week, and that’s unfortunate, because we haven’t seen him all year.
Nick: Tommy Townsend. I mean, I don’t know what Tommy did to piss Dan off.
Andrew: It’s called not wanting to punt the football.
Nick: Only six punts all year.
Andrew: We’ll move into recruiting a little bit, Nick. In the middle of the podcast, but the Gators did get a commit from an Australian punter. I think you might still get a punter next year.
Nick: Well, this is Tommy’s last year, so you needed a punter. It’s interesting how many, I mean, you used to get every once in a while you’d find this Aussie punter. Now, shoot, it’s like teams have a designated Australian recruiter, like go find a kid that can punt.
Andrew: Right. LSU kind of was the first one there.
Nick: Was Brad Wing the first one, or was there one before him?
Andrew: I thought it was Wing, right? The one that did the celebration.
Nick: Yeah. I know Wing. I just didn’t know if that was the first.
Andrew: I mean, I’m sure there was more before. That’s the first one I remember personally. In case you missed it, Florida did get a commit from Jeremy Crawshaw out of Melbourne, Australia. He took an official visit to Florida last weekend and is committed and will enroll early. Again, we talk about this all the time, but the way the game is moving that rugby style punt is becoming more and more popular, because teams aren’t returning it.
Nick: I’m not a fan of the rugby style punt.
Andrew: I’m not either, but, you know, it’s working.
Nick: It’s working. I mean, I think teams, you saw teams early, they’re getting better at it now, but like Tennessee tried to do it, to stop Brandon James, and they were just asking guys who weren’t used to that, used to doing that, to try to do it. I think it didn’t work out. You get these guys, I mean, if they grew up playing rugby, they’re used to running and booting a ball like that. But it works for directional, and then you get a nice roll. If the guys don’t get to it, you get a nice roll of it.
Andrew: Yeah. A lot of teams now are telling their guys to get away from it, and it is working. I mean, that was a big pickup. I guess, while we’re on the recruiting front, they also did pick up a 2021 defensive tackle in Christopher Thomas out of Dunbar. That was another big pickup. Now, we’ll go back to our regular schedule. I wanted to give you a little time to talk about your punters are people.
Nick: Punters are people, too. Dan, let Tommy kick the ball a little bit.
Andrew: I want to see Tommy run again.
Nick: Me too.
Andrew: Maybe we can get a wildcat punter package.
Nick: Dan Mullen is singlehandedly ruining Tommy Townsend’s Heisman campaign. I’m not here for it.
Andrew: Lordy. Any final thoughts on this game, Nick? I think we’ve kind of hit everything. Is what it is. It’s Towson. Florida’s not Tennessee, where I think you have to worry about this game. Like you said, come out, get out early, get Trask and the rest of the starters out by halftime, that way you’re not worried about giving Towson any confidence, and you’re not worried about anybody getting injured in the second half. So, play Emory. Maybe even play Sproles. Empty the bench.
Nick: Nick Sproles. That would be nice. Get to a point where you can empty the bench.
Andrew: Yeah. Empty the bench. Get some guys some PT and that. Any final thoughts on that?
Nick: No. No. I mean, just do what you need to do against Towson. Like we said, biggest thing here is get healthy and stay healthy.
Andrew: Right. Wanted to go around the country a little bit though, Nick, since we got a little bit of time here. Give me your top four right now.
Nick: My top four teams?
Nick: I think it’s Bama, Clemson. Could be Ohio State. I think Ohio State is good, and I think Justin Fields will keep getting better. I think Bama, Clemson. I’m not putting Georgia. I mean, the AP Poll has got Georgia and LSU at three and four, and I don’t know about that. I probably go Clemson, Bama, Oklahoma, and LSU. They found some offense. I don’t know where they left their defense, but they found some offense.
Andrew: No OU?
Nick: Yeah. No. Clemson, Bama, Oklahoma, LSU.
Andrew: Oh, okay. So, no Ohio State.
Nick: I left Ohio State out. Yeah.
Andrew: Okay. I mean, see that’s where I struggle with. I mean, Bama and Clemson are the two that I think are pretty much there, even though I don’t think Clemson’s as good as they were last year. Yeah. So, I have those. I like Oklahoma, because their schedule’s awful. I struggle with that, Nick, because you know me, I think the world of Justin Fields. I think he’s a phenomenal quarterback. I mean, what LSU’s done is on paper they’ve done well. Then like it or not, Georgia did beat a top 10 team, Notre Dame, even though we all know Notre Dame is not top 10. I’m going to throw it around though. I’m going to go with Fields. I’m going to go Bama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State.
Nick: Yeah. You can probably make the case for a bunch of teams.
Andrew: Now, here’s my next question. Who you got leading the Heisman?
Nick: Not Trevor. He’s not having the kind of year he had last year. I mean, Tua’s putting up crazy numbers. Joe Burrow is an interesting player.
Andrew: I just don’t think he can keep it up.
Nick: I know Gator fans have no love for him. Yeah. He’s got that same part of the schedule that, we talk about Florida. He’s still got Bama and Florida to play, so you still got real defenses to go against. I don’t know. I probably say Tua or Fields right now.
Andrew: No Hurts?
Nick: I was going to say, like you said with the schedule that Oklahoma will play, Jalen Hurts will get into the mix, because he’ll continue to perform, and they’ll keep winning.
Andrew: Right now I’ve got Fields as my guy. Might be a little biased there, but will not shock me at all to see Jalen Hurts go to New York.
Nick: Yeah. No, I don’t think I’d be shocked at all. That’s what Lincoln Riley does. He finds a transfer.
Andrew: I don’t think he’s got to find a transfer next year though. Or does he go after the King kid?
Nick: Well, that’s just a weird story. D’eriq King’s dad gave an interview saying that it was best for them to sit out this year and then leave, and then D’eriq came out and talked to reporters and said, no, I’m sitting out this year, but I’m coming back next year.
Andrew: See, Nick, this doesn’t make sense to me. If you’re sitting out this year, why are you sitting out and then going back to Houston? You’re having a career year already. I mean, he’s having a really good year already. Why would you not go ahead and go to the League?
Nick: Nobody knows. This is very weird.
Andrew: I mean, next year is Trevor’s year. Okay. You don’t want to come out with Tua. Do you really want to come out with Trevor and Fields?
Nick: I really don’t know what the thought process is behind that, to be honest.
Andrew: Was it a receiver or corner also? Another one sitting out.
Nick: I can’t remember, but there were two.
Andrew: Yeah. I will say this. I’d be willing to bet my next paycheck King’s not a quarterback in Houston next year.
Andrew: But I don’t think he goes to Oklahoma. Now, let me throw this at you, since we’re just throwing stuff around here. People say Florida should go after him. Yes or no?
Andrew: See, I say no too, because you have, you’re going to get Franks back next year. You’re going to get Trask back next year. You still have Emory, and you got Anthony Richardson. Why do you need a transfer kid?
Nick: Yeah. And you’ve got Del Rio for the year after that as well.
Andrew: So, why do you need a transfer? First of all, Mullen doesn’t like transfer quarterbacks. He’s a guy that likes to kind of have his guys seasoned. I don’t get it. Now, I could see him going to Georgia.
Nick: Yeah. I think Florida’s getting to the point where they don’t need to get. For a while they needed to get those guys. You needed every year to get a transfer, because, quite frankly, because you didn’t know what you had, and it was just one band-aid after the other. I think right now you’re fine.
Andrew: Right. No, I agree. I don’t think that it’s a necessity to go after one there. I think there’s other positions, like receiver, like possibly safety, offensive line for sure, where you may think let’s go find a grad transfer or a kid that’s going to transfer. I don’t think that’s one of the positions.
Andrew: Anyway. Any other things around the country we haven’t really talked about? I’m trying to think here.
Nick: No. It’s a rough slate of games this week as well.
Andrew: Yeah. I’m trying to think of any other big news around the country. It kind of seems like the news continues to come out. Do want to get onto Kansas for a second though, Nick. What do you think about that? The FBI thing. I know that’s a little basketball, but football’s involved as well. Do you feel like this is the NCAA saying, we’re about to take charge now and get this under control? What do you think?
Nick: No. I don’t think the NCAA wants to control anything.
Andrew: So, what do you think the motive is behind them now coming after Kansas? Embarrassment?
Nick: Yeah. If the FBI wasn’t involved, I think you never hear anything. The NCAA doesn’t care. They make a ton of money.
Andrew: Listen, they know what’s going on. You just can’t tell me they don’t know what’s going on.
Andrew: I mean, everyone knows what’s going on. Everybody knows how dirty basketball is, and everyone knows definitely that Kansas and Duke, the bluebloods of the country, are doing that. I guess we’ll do this. I wasn’t going to bring this up, but you’ve went to basketball media days on Tuesday. This is a basketball team that’s really, really good. I think that they have a lot of potential there, but they’re a young team as fall as chemistry goes. What were your impressions Tuesday?
Nick: First off, a ton of really big personalities on this basketball team.
Nick: A lot of guys laughing, joking around. A lot of talent though too. To me, it seems like it’s a really tightknit bunch, just seeing them interact with each other. Then, like you said, a lot of talent. I think it’s going to be managing that and managing those expectations. Some of the guys said that, yeah, no, we definitely hear it. Final Four, Elite Eight, whatever the expectations are. I think they’ve got the talent. For the first time, with these guys on the roster, the way that you’ve been playing. I mean, last year and the year before Florida’s playing four guards at a time, and then Kevarrius Hayes, and he was not a center, being asked to play center. Wasn’t even really stretch four, being asked to do some of that as well.
I think the talent you have right now with Kerry Blackshear. Getting Tre Mann, who some people at media day were talking about him being a one and done type player. Scottie Lewis, the way that he plays defense, and he told me that’s what made him a McDonald’s All-American is his commitment to defense. We all know Mike White. If you’re not playing defense, you’re not going to play.
Nick: I just think there’s so much talent. I mean, the schedule is brutal, so this team will have to grow up quickly. There’s 10 new faces, so a lot of new guys. How quickly can they gel? How quickly do they mesh? We’re going to learn quick.
Andrew: Last thing for you on the team. Mike White gets a lot of, I would say harsh criticism, maybe some unnecessary criticism. I mean, he followed a legend in Billy Donovan. He’s taken the team to the tournament and everything else. How do you feel like he handled Tuesday? He definitely tried to temper expectations, like any coach is going to do. I mean, they haven’t practiced yet. They practice on Friday, when you guys are listening to this for the first time. He knows he has a good team, but definitely tried to temper expectations. How do you think he handled that, Nick? I guess, give me your thoughts on Mike White.
Nick: I love Mike White. I think he’s a great basketball coach.
Andrew: I love his personality.
Nick: I think he’s a great basketball coach. I think he knows more, I think he’s forgotten more basketball than a lot of the people who are saying he should be fired will ever know.
Nick: I honestly think, I understand being frustrated, because you become accustomed to a certain level that Billy got you to, but I think then you get lost in the fact that it took Billy a while to build that. It wasn’t immediately the ‘04s and that level of success.
Andrew: Look what Billy left too. It wasn’t the best.
Nick: Yeah. No. Mike White’s finally, going into this year, finally gotten rid of the guys that weren’t his guys. This is his full team. I get wanting to win and expecting to win, but I think, if you’re trying to run Mike White off, you’re running off a really good basketball coach that can be successful and can win championships at Florida.
Andrew: Right. No, I agree. I love his personality. He doesn’t seem like, never seems like the situation or the moment’s too big for him. I loved Kerry Blackshear’s story of how he landed him and how he celebrated it, everything like that. I do. I’m like you, Nick, I think that sometimes maybe the criticism is unwarranted because, like you said, Billy Donovan didn’t win two national championships his first year when he arrived on campus or anything like that. I think that people just forget that it does take time. Listen, we had Eric on here, and he Eric was someone who said that this could be the rest recruiting class Florida ever had as far as stars and that kind of stuff, if you want to read into that, that Florida ever had. I think that speaks volumes to Mike White.
Nick: Yeah. I agree. I agree with that. I agree with that 100%. I can’t say enough good things about him. I think we’ll see that this year.
Andrew: Right. Nick, let’s get back to football. Let’s go around the country and pick some football games, even though it’s a terrible week. Let’s go pick some games. Give me some games to pick.
Nick: We’re going to start out West with, I think it’s our only top 25 matchup of the week.
Nick: #21 USC heading out to Washington.
Andrew: I think Washington gets the win, simply that I think Clay Helton is worried about his job.
Nick: You should be. New AD coming in. You got to keep winning. Good for them to be ranked. You’re figuring some things out, but I’m going Washington at home as well.
Andrew: Yeah. Clay Helton, he’s getting fired.
Nick: Big one here for our schedule, as it’s coming up. Auburn and Florida next week, like we mentioned before. Top 10 matchup in the Swamp. Auburn has to get past Mississippi State this week. They’re at home to do it. Like Dan Mullen said, you come to Florida to play in games like a top 10 matchup in the Swamp, but if you lose this week, you won’t have that opportunity. Auburn facing a little bit of a tougher test than Florida.
Andrew: Yeah. I think it’s closer in the first half, and then Auburn pulls away. I have Auburn winning the game.
Nick: Yup. I’m going with Auburn. Auburn’s going to win the football game.
Andrew: They’re a better team. Mississippi State’s not that good.
Nick: I’m giving you another opportunity with your boy here. Kentucky at South Carolina. How many times will you go to the boom well and get losses?
Andrew: Not going again. Give me Kentucky. Give me Kentucky by 50. By the way, Will Muschamp, you got to beat the off week? Shut up, man.
Nick: So, you’re going Kentucky.
Andrew: Yeah. That whole, I get sick of listening to some of his trash.
Nick: It seems like Mark Stoops is approaching Butch territory for you.
Andrew: No. Will Muschamp said that.
Nick: Sorry. Will Muschamp. Yeah. He’s got some things to say.
Andrew: He’s dumb. Go ahead.
Andrew: Who you got?
Nick: Oh, I got Kentucky.
Nick: I’m not picking Will Muschamp and South Carolina.
Andrew: I didn’t think so. I had to ask.
Nick: Nope. Texas A&M at Arkansas. Arkansas is bad.
Andrew: A&M rolls.
Nick: Arkansas is bad. A&M is coming off a disappointing loss. I think they take it out on a pretty bad Arkansas team.
Andrew: Yeah. Come on, Chad Morris might get fired before the year’s out.
Nick: Back out West. Man, he was the hot name for the longest time. How’s that for a better job?
Andrew: Burt was doing better than that.
Nick: I love Burt. Miss Burt. Someone hire Burt.
Nick: Washington State at Utah. Speaking of love, I love Mike Leach.
Andrew: Give me the Utes.
Nick: Utes are good. Utes are good.
Andrew: But I like Mike Leach.
Nick: I like Leach. I’m going to go with Washington State, just because we’ve picked all the same games.
Andrew: I like Leach. He’s over here talking about which mascot’s going to win and that kind of stuff. Whatever, man.
Nick: Fantastic. He is a quote machine. Can’t wait to watch that HBO documentary with him. I hope he gets some good questions about government conspiracies in his press conference.
Andrew: I want to hear him talk about Minshew’s mustache.
Nick: Sure. Or Minshew’s naked stretching routine after games. That guy is a character.
Andrew: Yeah. By the way, I read a story on Yahoo last night. It’s something that I’m surprised doesn’t happen more, but Tarik Cohen for the Bears, did you see that story? Was Instagramming live after the game and caught one of his offensive linemen changing clothes, and the NFL is talking about fining him, because of having nudity on his phone.
Nick: I mean, that’s going to happen. There’s a lot of nudity in the locker room.
Andrew: Yeah. Whatever. Other game?
Nick: Last game is Towson and Florida, and we’re going to pick that against the spread. We normally don’t pick against the spread, but we’re going to do that this week.
Andrew: What is it?
Nick: The spread is Florida -35.5. That’s a lot of points.
Andrew: I’m going to go I don’t think Florida covers.
Nick: Okay. I got to pick this one. I’m going to say Florida covers.
Andrew: I just think that Florida, aw hell. Florida covers. I couldn’t think of a good enough reason.
Andrew: 35 is a lot, but then I’m sitting here thinking it could very well be 42-0. Yeah. All right. My turn to pick players first. I’m going to go with the Texas gunslinger.
Nick: Taking Trask. Smart pick. Smart pick. He’s throwing it all over the place. I think he’ll get a chance to. This is a game where we’ve talked about the rushing, getting the rushing game going, how many rushing yards. Towson gives up over 200 a game. Then I’d be tempted to take Lamical Perine. You want to get your senior going. Only 182 yards through four games. That’s 45 a game, not a great average. I just don’t know. I’ve talked myself into it. I think you got to get Lamical Perine and the rushing game going, and I think he’ll do enough before they bring in the other guys. I think will be a game where Lamical, I’ll say Lamical’s first 100-yard rushing game of the year.
Andrew: Glad you didn’t pick it, because I was going to go Damien Pierce, because I think Pierce comes in and gets the workload.
Nick: Yeah. At the end.
Andrew: I think Pierce gets it. I was scared you were going to go there, and I was going to have to go somewhere else. Yeah. Damien Pierce is my second pick.
Nick: I’m going to go with Amari Burney. We’re talking about guys that might get the other guys in. Burney’s a guy I don’t think you’re trying to protect him from injury right now, but you also are trying to get him back into game shape. I think he’ll get a lot of play this week. It’s a balanced team, so I think he’ll be involved in the run and the pass.
Andrew: Good. I think Jacob Copeland is going to have a big game, because they’re going to get him involved. So, I’m going three offensive guys. I think 15 finds the endzone.
Nick: Okay. I’m going to go back to, I think you went Freddie Swain last week.
Andrew: I went Hammond.
Nick: You went Hammond. That didn’t work out for you. It didn’t work out for you, so I’ll go with, I’m going back to the well with my boy Jon Greenard. He’s just going to collect wins for me every week.
Andrew: I just don’t think he gets enough.
Nick: He’s going to get all I need to get a win.
Andrew: Maybe. I just don’t know how much he plays. I was tempted to go Zach Carter in this game, but I didn’t. All right. That’s it. Tell everybody where they can find us, Nick. We’ll get out of here. We’ll get on here on Monday and recap the win and get ready for Auburn. Big weekend next weekend for Homecoming. Tell everybody where they can find us, and we’ll get 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. Never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: There you go. Next week we’ll also be talking about my Braves postseason. I’m pumped. I am jacked for that. Next week, Nick, on Monday or Wednesday, we’ll pick our postseason bracket, so be ready.
Nick: Yeah. I’m ready.
Andrew: There you go. Guys, as always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.