Podcast: Friday prediction podcast, plus talking COVID-shutdown

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we talk about the Florida Gators vs. LSU game being postponed this week due to a COVID-19 breakout.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre discuss everything that’s going on around the program, plus we are joined by former Gators safety Jeawon Taylor on the podcast.

Andrew and Nick ask Taylor about what he sees from the Gators defense and what he thinks can help the defense improved.


Andrew:​What’s up, Gator Country? Your man Andrew Spivey here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, we’re back. Man, we knew that this season was going to be wild, but Wednesday was a wild, wild day, my friend. We started off Tuesday knowing that Florida had shut down, or paused the program I guess is the better word to say. Then Wednesday afternoon the game’s postponed. We’ll see about the Missouri game. I would say that it looks bleak at the moment, but we’ll see.

Nick:​Yeah. You’re going to have to have a lot of stuff. We’re going to have to see what happens and if more players test positive, but the date that it’s currently scheduled on I would say probably unlikely.

Andrew:​You and I have heard that there’s a possibility of playing a midweek game. You asked Scott Strickland about it, and Scott Strickland said, it’s 2020, never say never. So, I’ve heard that’s a possibility with December 12th being the makeup game for Florida and LSU. Also something that I was looking at today, I think Yahoo had it out that there’s a possibility that maybe Florida-Georgia gets moved up to the last week of October. From everything I’ve heard, Nick, that’s not even possible, for the Florida-Georgia game to be moved up.

Nick:​I don’t know, because they’re not going to allow tailgating, so there’s less logistics to figure out this year than in other years.

Andrew:​Right. Yeah.

Nick:​But this is why you moved to an all SEC schedule. You moved to an all SEC schedule because you can do stuff like that. If we need to push Florida and Missouri back a couple days, we can do that, because we don’t have to worry about anything. It’s just us. It’s just our conference. We have total control over our conference.

Andrew:​It turns into a mess. Like you said, nothing’s been decided on the Florida-Missouri game, but we know from what we’ve been told that the building is shut down until at least Monday. Scott Strickland said until it’s under control. The thing is we know over 20 people have tested positive, and then the contact tracing, and those guys have to have a 10-day quarantine period. So, you’re looking at probably Tuesday or Wednesday before everyone’s able to hit the field again. Are you realistically asking your guys to be prepared in three days, be back in football shape? Then it becomes a risk of injury on top of that. That’s the kind of reason that I’ve been told that the Missouri game is in doubt.

Nick:​Yeah. Let me pull this up. The SEC quarantine protocol is 10 days in quarantine for a positive test from the onset of symptoms. So, we were told by Scott Strickland some players started feeling symptoms Thursday/Friday. Call it Friday.


Nick:​And didn’t report it. To me, Scott kind of said we think, we’re suspicious that this is where it came from, but they haven’t pinned it down 100% yet. A couple players felt flu-like symptoms, thought maybe it was allergies, headache or congestion, stuff like that. Felt it on Friday. Didn’t say anything, then got on a plane. Well, you’re on a plane with recycled air, so you’re breathing out, and you’re infected. You have the virus. You’re breathing it out, and now it’s going everywhere.


Nick:​And everyone else on the plane is getting it. Sorry. I’m getting sidetracked. 10 days of quarantine for them. 14 days in quarantine for somebody that is in contact with them but didn’t test positive. So, you’re talking 10 days from that Friday is October 19th. 14 days will be the 23rd. Okay. That means you’re getting potentially some of those 21 guys back before the 24th, when you’re supposed to play Missouri, but like the day before.


Nick:​No practice time.

Andrew:​Then it’s a question of does anybody else get it and everything else. I hate to say this, but I would say that the numbers are probably going to rise more, just simply because it seems like when you have an outbreak it does seem to get worse. You’ve seen it with your Marlins. The Cardinals had it. The Titans have had it. The numbers seem to get worse as you continue to test, and as new guys get it, because whoever was tested on Tuesday may have been in the early symptoms and just not be caught yet. So, Scott Strickland did say that everyone now who hasn’t already tested positive will be getting daily tested for the foreseeable future. It’ll be interesting. Like I said, nothing is set in stone on the Missouri game. I would just say that it’s in doubt. The biggest question is what they do with the schedule going forward.

Nick:​Yeah. I put this out there, how Florida could play. It sounds like a lot, but you’re really only changing two games.


Nick:​If Florida and Missouri don’t play on the 24th, when they’re supposed to play. Let’s say they push it back to the 27th, 28th, Tuesday, Wednesday. 29th is Thursday. Florida has a bye week after that, so they’re fine. It doesn’t matter if they play Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. They’re off on Saturday anyway.


Nick:​Missouri and Kentucky are supposed to play that Saturday, but they both have a bye week the following Saturday. So, if you push Missouri and Kentucky back one week, Missouri’s fine. They’re off this Saturday. They would get almost two weeks to prepare for Florida, play midweek, and then have that Saturday off. Florida would have that Saturday off. Then you would get Florida would play Georgia when they’re supposed to, first weekend in November, and Kentucky and Missouri would play that first weekend in November.

Andrew:​Right. There’s a lot of moving parts, a ton of moving parts. We got to wait and see. Nick, we have a special guest that we’re going to bring on now. Former safety for the Gators from last year and the last four years, Jeawon Taylor. Going to get Jeawon on here and ask Jeawon about some of the things going on with the defense. Even though Covid’s going on, the defense isn’t improving not playing. Some interesting things from Jeawon I think we’ll hear from talking to him a couple times about what he thinks. Maybe not the answers that everyone things it is. So, let’s go to Jeawon. We’ll talk to Jeawon, get his thoughts on the defense. You and I will come back and make some picks and finish discussing this Covid mess.

​Guys, we’re back with our man, Jeawon Taylor, former Gators safety. Jeawon, first of all, how’s things going for you? Staying healthy out there?

Jeawon:​Yes, sir. Going good. Staying healthy. Staying out the way.

Andrew:​What have you been doing? Have you been watching these games? I guess, what do you think early on about this team? This is a lot of your guys that you’re friends with and played with.

Jeawon:​Since we’ve been on 12:00 games, I’ve been watching College Game Day and going straight to the game. Haven’t missed a second of it. Kind of feels different being just a fan though. I like this team. I think maybe the defense is struggling because of lack of football. I believe they’ll get better.

Nick:​You mentioned the noon games. What was that like for you as a player? Fans love night games. I’m sure you love night in the Swamp. A game day, for people that don’t know, if you have a 7:00 game, you’re in the hotel, whether you’re in Gainesville or you’re on the road, and you’re kind of just stuck. Would you rather it be wake up, eat, get to the field and play at noon or have a night game?

Jeawon:​It really depends on who the opponent is. Say we’re on the road to Vanderbilt. We definitely want that to be a 12:00 game. They’re going to have the same fans regardless if it’s nighttime.

Nick:​It’s going to be all your fans. It’s not Vandy fans there.

Jeawon:​Right. So, it really depends on the opponent we’re playing. Say if we’re playing LSU, I would never want that to be a 12:00 game, either nighttime or 3:30. It all depends on who you’re playing.

Nick:​You like playing last year, nighttime Death Valley.

Jeawon:​That was a good experience there. I know we ended up coming short due to injuries.

Andrew:​Jeawon, you know this, and we talked about this when we said this, you know this defense better than anyone, because you’ve been in it. You’ve been able to experience what it is to play for Todd Grantham, what it is to play for Ron English. You’ve been able to see everything that goes on here. Let me ask you this. Is it time to throw away the excuse that Covid let these guys not have practice, not tackle? We talked about it. There’s a lot of veterans on this team. Is it time to throw that excuse away and say, they just have to do better?

Jeawon:​At some point you might be right, but with that lack of football it’s kind of a trial. On defense you’ve got to hit every day for it to be muscle memory. I know once you take that big break off then you got to restart over. So, I just look it as we’re going to say Ole Miss was our spring game, and we’re going to say South Carolina and A&M were our two fall camp scrimmages. We’re going to get back on the road. We’re going to get back where we’re supposed to be next game.

Nick:​So, what you’re saying is at some point the excuse, because there’s a difference between being in shape and being in football shape.

Jeawon:​Right. At some point you got to end it.

Nick:​The way you guys practice now, tell them. You’re not tackling to the ground in practice. Even in a scrimmage, Dan Mullen will say in the media, we’re doing a full scrimmage, but you guys aren’t hitting.


Nick:​You’re not going to hit Dameon Pierce or LamicalPerine the way you’re going to hit Clyde Edwards-Helaire when you were getting ready for LSU. You’re not even getting really that full speed hitting until you get into an actual game against somebody else.


Andrew:​Jeawon, let me ask you this. This is a loaded question here, so take your time and explain it, if you can. What are you seeing from the outside that is the issue here? I want to ask you this. I want to break it down into a couple things when I ask you this. It kind of looks like the team is just not lining up fast, and they’re not getting lined up at all. It seems like there is a lot of confusion and looking around after the play in the secondary. I say this a lot, all the time. I used to be in you guys’ shoes and coach, so knowing the coverage is a big thing. Are you looking at this and saying it’s just a matter of getting lined up, or what are you seeing is the major problem of why the team is not lining up quick enough and kind of just looking around confused?

Jeawon:​See, watching TV you really can’t tell. You can’t tell if they’re getting the signal fast enough, or is all 11 looking at Coach Grantham or Coach T Rob, who’s calling the signals. Some of that might come from no repetition, or it might come from tempo. The offense might be lining up quicker than what they practiced. I mean, I really can’t tell from TV. I really can’t see what the sidelines are doing as well as the players.


Nick:​Can you tell us how the process was, just getting the plays called in when you were there, last year or last two years, when you were with Grantham?

Jeawon:​We’re going to have a coach holding up signs for the personnel. That kind of gives us an awareness on what they’re going to run on offense, and then once the offense lines up, or getting lined up, everyone looks at Coach Grantham or Coach T Rob to see what the call is, and we get the call. Then after we get the call, we make our own calls that we’re supposed to make or adjust to whatever the offense has going on that we practiced.

Nick:​By that you mean, we’ve seen this on film, and we know what their personnel is, but they might have motioned somebody else, or they lined up a little bit differently. We know that. We’ve been taught that or looked at that this week, and we know what adjustment to make off of the little thing that they changed from film to what we’re seeing right now.

Jeawon:​Right. The defensive staff is definitely going to have [INDISTINCT] whatever the offense comes. If they don’t, that’s where we take the sideline adjustments, and they do great as well with that too.

Nick:​We all call the middle linebacker or a safety like the quarterback of the defense. Who is really in charge in Florida’s defense to make sure everyone’s where they’re supposed to be, that you did make that check, you did make that move, you saw that happen? Who’s the guy, the quarterback of the defense?

Jeawon:​The linebackers have the D line, where they make sure the front and stuff is set. The safeties control everything else.

Nick:​That fell on you?

Jeawon:​Yeah. The two safeties work together. They make sure. One safety starts on his side, then he can move to the other safety, and the other safety makes sure his side is correct, and they all get on the same page.

Nick:​Kind of meet in the middle.


Andrew:​Jeawon, Nick and I have talked about this. We’ve said that it looks like the defense is complicated. I’ve had conversations with you, and you say it’s not as complicated. Explain that a little bit. Do you think this is a problem of the defense being overcomplicated for some of these guys, or is just simply needing to adjust a little bit to what’s going on onoffense?

Jeawon:​I think it’s more of just adjusting to what’s going on on offense. We got veterans on the defense. They’ve been running the same system for what, three years, two years now?

Nick:​Third year. Yeah.

Jeawon:​Third year. Coach Grantham is going to put you in position to make a play, regardless. Maybe he might be too passive some plays, but that’s just play calling. He’s just trying to match whatever the offense is doing.

Andrew:​Go ahead.

Jeawon:​I don’t think it’s too hard. Whatever he adds in, he goes over over and over to make sure you know. I don’t want to say that.

Andrew:​Okay. Let me ask you this. This has been a critic that I’ve had. I’m going to ask you this, because you can probably explain this to me and make me look like a dummy. Jeawon, I know you. You want to make me look like a dummy, so here we go. We’ve seen this a lot, and I’ve been a very big critic of it, especially last week. It was 4th and 3, 3rd and 3 a couple times, and the DBs were six, seven yards off the ball. Kind of explain to me your thought process of kind of why that is. Is that something that you guys can check into to press a little bit, or is that a call from Grantham? Kind of explain to me why that is. On 4th and 3, you think you’d want to be in bump and run coverage.

Jeawon:​That’s really on us. We can control that. We got to have awareness of the sticks. We preach that. We preach that every day. 3rd down, we got to get off the field, so we got to know where the sticks are. That’s why we use the sticks in practice. That’s just lack of situational awareness right there. I mean, it happens. Maybe you get so locked in you just don’t take the extra step to make sure at four. You know they’re probably going to come with a couple stick routes at the sticks. I mean, that’ll get better. I believe it will get better. We got to start getting off the field.

Andrew:​Let me go a question for you here, and then I’ll turn it over to Nick a little bit. You know a lot of these guys. I don’t want you to say anything bad about guys, but what are some guys that you maybe are watching the game and saying, I really liked what this guy can do. I want to see him play more. Is there anybody that you’ve watched and said, I’d like to see this guy play a little more?

Jeawon:​I really want to see more of Khris Bogle, more of Summerville, Lloyd. I want to see more of the D line. Keep fresh legs on the field, so we can continue to get pressure. You know what I’m saying? I also want to see more of Trey Dean. I like the way he was coming up. He still had the corner mentality of not wrapping up. Usually corners just come up and whack you. I want to see more of the twos a little more. I’m not saying the ones are not working. I’m just saying to keep fresh legs out there. On most of the plays at Texas A&M I saw a lot of D line with their hands on their hips, and they’re running the ball seven plays in a row. Texas A&M O line was pretty decent.


Jeawon:​I just want to see a little bit more rotation to keep guys fresh, keep guys going 100% the whole time.

Nick:​I like that. I also think, and we talked about this on our Monday podcast, but guys were kind of just playing out of position. I think Zach Carter’s now playing tackle, and I think he’s probably better suited to be a strong side defensive end. Because Kyree Campbell’s not playing, you have to slide Zach over, which means now Brenton Cox, who’s probably better suited to playing buck, your blitzing linebacker. He’s probably now playing strong side defensive end. He’s out of position. Kyree’s not going to stop every 3rd down, but you can see how that ripple effect affects the entire defensive line there.


Nick:​One thing that fans, and maybe you can explain a little bit just about football, because a lot of fans think Florida’s playing a lot of off coverage, and I don’t know how much you can see when you’re on TV, but to me it’s the corner that’s on the boundary is playing press, because you’ve got the sideline right next to you. Then Florida seems to tend that the guy that’s on the field side is playing off. It almost seems like that’s almost always the case, whether it’s 1st and 10 or 3rd and 3. There’s a lot of stuff that’s getting underneath corners that are playing off in those situations. Can you tell us a little bit about just the coverage schemes? Am I right that you guys play the field guy is normally press, closer to the line, and the boundary guy is … Sorry. Field is back and the boundary guy is closer?

Jeawon:​It really all depends on the call. It’s not like an automatic thing. It’s always on the call. Most of the time I see a lot of trips with a Nub tight end, and you can’t press a Nub tight end, so usually the corner is off. A lot of people have been running the dig by the tight end. It’s kind of hard to stop. Plus you got your linebacker that usually release the running back, so it kind of puts your linebacker in a rough position. He’s got to make a play, but also the corner got to squeeze more. It depends on the call. I really can’t tell you if they are supposed to press, because I’m not in the room anymore.

Andrew:​I think you just answered kind of our question there, Jeawon, and that is it’s so much to do. I know you guys laugh at us at times, because we try to watch it from TV or from the press box and try to make the call. I think you would agree with me that you’re accustomed to it, that you know that’s going to happen, but it’s so difficult. I was telling this to Nick, and I’m sure you guys did this. When you watch film, the coaching staff has the play sheet in front of you. I know when I was coaching, and we were going through watching film, we would know it was supposed to be cover two with the outside linebacker blitzing. If it didn’t happen, then we know somebody was in trouble.

​I want to ask you a question real quick, and it’s breaking as we’re talking that the game has been postponed. As a player, what does this now change for you? You’re at Wednesday, and now the game is postponed. You had that happen in your freshman year. What goes through your mind now?

Jeawon:​Honestly, you can’t be down about it. Now you know that if you don’t take of business, you don’t wear your mask, wash your hands, protect yourself, you’re going to lose opportunities to get paid. So, now you got to look at the big stuff. Now you got to take the extra step to make sure a game doesn’t get cancelled. Of course, my freshman year, you can’t help the weather. You can’t help that. But you can help Covid. You can help that.

Nick:​It’s hard, Jeawon. I know you’re a big 2K guy, but it’s hard to stay away from Midtown. Maybe that’s just me. It’s just hard for me to stay away from Midtown.

Jeawon:​Not if you’re trying to get paid it’s not.

Andrew:​When you got a head like Jeawon over here, you ain’t going to Midtown. For all you guys that aren’t following Jeawon and I, Jeawon and I are close, so that was no disrespect to Jeawon. Jeawon knows what I’m getting at. Jeawon, before I get you out of here, I got one more question to ask you. Dan Mullen and this staff has improved a ton.


Andrew:​I think you would agree with me in that we both really liked Jim McElwain. I think you would agree with me. Just give me your overall impressions so far of Dan Mullen with your opinion of playing for him and everything. How has things changed? Just give me your opinion of Dan Mullen.

Jeawon:​He’s going to make sure the players come first, which Mac did as well, but you know what I’m saying. He just brought some energy we just didn’t have. He’s good at what he does. He utilizes his playmakers. He’s just a great overall coach, honestly.

Andrew:​Yeah. I agree with you on that. I think things have changed. Jeawon, man, we appreciate it.

Nick:​Before you get him out of here, what about on the other side of the ball with Todd? He’s getting a ton of heat right now, if you’re on social media. I can’t even post updates from his press conference on Twitter without being told that he should just be fired. What was your opinion? You played for a bunch of different coaches. What is Todd like? What is his defense like? I know you said that he’s going to put guys in positions to make plays. Do you think he’s a good defensive coordinator? Can he get the job done?

Jeawon:​Oh yeah. Most definitely. He’s probably the best defense I played under, honestly. That’s just on us. We got to get that heat off of him. We just got to make more plays. We haven’t caused a turnover. I mean, we caused a fumble and …

Nick:​Leading interception is a freshman D tackle.

Jeawon:​Off a tip pass and caught by a D lineman. I put that on us. We got to get the heat off my dog. We got to play better on the defensive side of the ball. I know all my boys. We just got to play better. There’s no way we should have lost the last game.

Nick:​Coaches can prepare you, teach you, get you ready, make a game plan, but when it comes down to it, it’s the players that are the ones making the plays.

Jeawon:​It’s still us. We got it. It’s still on us.

Nick:​Could you imagine Todd Grantham in coverage?

Jeawon:​Say that again.

Nick:​I said, could you imagine Todd in coverage? His playing days are gone, but he can coach some ball.

Jeawon:​Coach Grantham would definitely be in a one take, two take.

Andrew:​I know I lied. I said that was it, but I have to ask one thing real quick. I know you aren’t shocked about how good Kyle Pitts is playing this year.

Jeawon:​Most definitely not. He came in playing. He went from tight end to receiver, and he was balling at receiver, so I know he’s going to ball at tight end. That’s even better matchup for him. You got the little guys, and you got the slow guys.

Andrew:​Like yourself.


Nick:​He’s just disrespectful, Jeawon.

Andrew:​Jeawon knows I can’t run.

Jeawon:​Yeah. You definitely can’t.

Andrew:​Lord. We’re going to get you off of here. Jeawon, listen buddy, we appreciate it, man. You know we always got love for you. We just wanted to get some thoughts. You know this better than we do. We can armchair quarterback this all, but it’s good to get a perspective from you. We really appreciate it, buddy. Stay safe and go get paid, buddy.

Jeawon:​Yes, sir.

Andrew:​Take care.

Jeawon:​Thank you for having me. You too.

Andrew:​Nick, good stuff from Jeawon. You and I said it on the podcast when we were talking with him just a second ago, and that is he knows it better than you and I do. We’re armchair quarterbacks or armchair DCs. I found it interesting that he doesn’t blame Grantham for it, and I think that the biggest thing that I took away, and I’ll ask you the same question, is knowing that he said the defense has the ability to be closer in defense on 3rd and 3, 4th and 3, that kind of stuff, kind of irritated me a little bit, Nick. In that how do you not know that it’s 3rd and 3, and you’re playing eight yards off the ball?

Nick:​Yeah. He’s been in it, but like he said, he’s not in the meeting rooms now, so he’s kind of reluctant to be like, this is what’s happening.


Nick:​Because he’s not in the meeting room. But he’s also a really smart football player.


Nick:​So, when he says it’s not complicated, it might not be complicated to him, but he’s a guy that coaches always say, he’s a really intelligent football player. Huge football IQ.

Andrew:​Right. I was talking to someone about this inside the program, and I said we had Jeawon on, and they were like, he’s one of the smartest guys you could have on there. They said he’s a guy that we wish we had on our team this year and that he’d have redshirted, because he just wasn’t healthy. That’s something I continue to hear from people is that he just wasn’t healthy, and they wish he would have been able to be healthy and be on the field, because he’d have helped this team a ton.

Nick:​Yeah. Well, you’re getting a week off. I don’t know if I really consider it a bye week.

Andrew:​I don’t think you can, because you can’t do anything. They’re doing Zooms and that kind of stuff right now. Dan Mullen confirmed three, and we’ve heard that there might be up to five assistant coaches that have it, so how are they feeling? I know mild symptoms, but even mild symptoms do you feel like getting up and doing that kind of stuff?

Nick:​Strickland said that everyone that had it was either, like you said, mild symptoms or asymptomatic.


Nick:​So, that’s good. You don’t want anyone to feel truly terrible, but you’re not doing anything this week.

Andrew:​Yeah. That’s the bad thing. Here’s the thing. Granted, they could be doing a lot of stuff to improve the defense, and I’m sure Mullen and the staff are definitely watching more and more film and that kind of stuff, but you look at it, and you say, who are we preparing for? Are we preparing for Missouri? Does the game not work out to where they can play it before then, so are you starting to prepare for Georgia already? You know what I’m saying?

You’re at a situation where you really don’t know who you’re preparing for, and you don’t know what’s ahead of you, so what do you do? Obviously, you would like to say we’re self-scouting and all that good stuff, but that only goes so far. Again, if you’re changing some guys out, you wanted to see what those guys could do.

Nick:​Right. It’ll be interesting. I don’t really have a timeline either for when the next game will be. Really just kind of playing it by ear.

Andrew:​I don’t think nobody does.

Nick:​Yeah. You’re really just sitting here hoping that there aren’t more positive tests.

Andrew:​Absolutely. And you hope, like you said, if there is positive tests it’s asymptomatic or guys with mild symptoms. We talk about this virus, and the biggest thing we talk about is being able to play football, but at the end of the day, it is a lot of guys that are sick. I was talking to a couple staff members about it as well. They were like, we don’t want to take it home to our kids and that kind of stuff. You have to begin thinking about that as well.

​Nick Saban’s got it. He’s not invincible from it. I know we joke about that, but you see a spike. You had a number, what was it? Five games, Nick, that are cancelled this week from the virus?

Nick:​Four. Oklahoma State at Baylor postponed. Cincinnati at Tulsa postponed. LSU at Florida postponed, and Vanderbilt at Missouri.

Andrew:​You see all that, and it’s not just a Florida problem right now.

Nick:​No. Not just a Florida problem.

Andrew:​It puts you in a bad spot, because you’re at that. I’ll say this. If I’m Alabama, that hurts too. I know Florida State’s already went through it before. You’re thinking about this Bama-Georgia game, and from a Florida standpoint too, a little bad luck. Does Alabama still have more talent there? Yeah, but you don’t have the head man there.


Andrew:​I don’t know.

Nick:​I don’t even know the rules, like if he’s not on the field, what can he do?

Andrew:​He can have no communication unless he is in the stadium. The NCAA came out. It’s always been a rule, but the NCAA came out and clarified that that’s still the rule. That’s kind of why Hugh Freeze was laid up in his hospital bed, what was it? Two years ago.


Andrew:​If you’re in the building, you can have electronic communication, but if you’re not in the building, you cannot have any communication.

Nick:​That’s got to kill Nick Saban. Got to kill him. This is his biggest game, second biggest game. Nothing will ever trump the Iron Bowl, but Georgia’s a better team talent wise.

Andrew:​Not only that, but that’s Kirby. That’s Kirby he’s going against. Good thing for him is that don’t go on his resume as a win or loss, because he’s technically not the head coach for the game. I don’t know. We’ll have to see there.

​I will say this. I wanted to say this before we got too deep into this. I wanted to give applause to Scott Strickland and the way he kind of handled everything on Wednesday. It’s difficult. You’re in a situation where I don’t know, and people were pissed off because there was a bunch of I don’t knows, but at the end of the day, it is I don’t know, because who knows? Florida was hoping and praying that they got a bunch of negative or false positives to play this week, and it just didn’t happen.

Nick:​Yeah. This week stinks.

Andrew:​I was telling someone that. They’re like, you get a bye week, and I’m like, but when are we playing football again? We’ve had enough bye weeks here. We had all offseason of jack to do, so let’s figure this out.

Nick:​Hopefully. Hopefully, Andrew. My fingers are crossed. Not coming across in an audio format, but my fingers are crossed.

Andrew:​Not a good thing overall. It just kind of is what it is. One thing is Dan Mullen definitely walked those comments back. We were half joking the other day when we said that it was over with, but in reality it wasn’t, and he had to walk those comments back, and he did that on Thursday during the teleconference.

Nick:​Yeah. He kind of walked them back. I think he was told sternly to walk them back.

Andrew:​I don’t know that that was exactly his idea to walk it back, but yeah. He was definitely told to walk it back.

Nick:​Yeah. Especially because by Monday they’re already knowing and have in mind what is going on behind the scenes with Covid. Don’t triple down on a statement you made that is already causing national media attention, negative national media attention, when you’re already looking down the barrel of a gun that’s saying 21 positives potentially, 19 at the time.

Andrew:​Let me ask you this real quick, before we go into some picks. Do you think everything is being done that can be done right now? I’ll say this. I think it is. I think you have to make sure that guys understand it’s okay to tell us you’re coughing, or you got a fever, whatever it may be, whoever those guys were that got on the plane to go to A&M. You have to make them understand that this isn’t a decision that’s just affecting you. It’s affecting everyone. Again, yes, I understand people are upset that they got on the plane and everything else, but they’re competitors. I get it. They probably thought they just had a cold.

Nick:​Yeah. That’s it, but they’re expected. Like I know I’ve got a headache. It might just be a headache, and if I felt it on Friday, and I tell them on Friday, they’re not going to be able to test me quick enough. I’m not traveling.


Nick:​You’re a competitor, and I get why you would do that. I would probably do that, but this is the result of that.

Andrew:​Right. So, do you think everything is being done that can be done, and it’s just a simple keeping everybody in line, or is there something else? I’ll say this. I don’t know. I don’t know the best way to say this. It didn’t seem like Scott Strickland thought that on the road everything was being done. Did I take that the wrong way? It definitely to me seemed like he was thinking there’s some other things that could be done on the road.

Nick:​Well, you traveled to Ole Miss, and you were fine.


Nick:​So, they proved, and he said this as much, he said, we proved you can go on the road and do it.


Nick:​They had no positive tests after that Ole Miss game. They had only one in October.


Nick:​From when they came back in July up until October, 11 weeks, they had 10 positive cases.


Nick:​Then …

Andrew:​The outbreak.

Nick:​Then 21 something. There’s nothing else to call it other than an outbreak.

Andrew:​Right. It is what it is. There’s nothing you can say about it that will make it any better. Yeah. I don’t know. Like I said, I don’t know if there is anything you can do different. We talked about this before. You’re in college. You can’t have the bubble life.

​Nick, let’s go through. Let’s pick some games and try to enjoy whatever little bit we can enjoy for the week.


Andrew:​Bad week of games though.

Nick:​Not a great week. Definitely everyone sitting around kind of waiting for 8:00 kickoff with Alabama.


Nick:​8:00 on CBS. Waiting around all day for that one. We’ll pick that one last. Ole Miss-Arkansas. Ole Miss at Arkansas.

Andrew:​Laney boy is scoring more points. The question is do they even get to play?

Nick:​We’ll see. That’s the big thing. Ole Miss has a lot of players, according to Lane Kiffin, a lot of players. Let me see if there’s any updates as we’re doing this.

Andrew:​No. I checked before we came on the air, and there was nothing that had come out yet, but, again, I think they had that testing today. I would assume you’re hear something this evening, Thursday.

Nick:​Testing is every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday for the SEC.

Andrew:​Right. Yeah. Ole Miss wins, if they get to play.

Nick:​I’m going to go Ole Miss. Shoot. What if you’re at like 10 players? Maybe they do it.

Andrew:​I guess that could affect it some, but I still think good luck stopping them. That’s an offense that’s scoring points against everybody. No offense to Arkansas, Arkansas don’t have the defensive guys that Alabama does, and they ran up the field on Alabama. I just feel like they’re going to run up the field, and I don’t know that Arkansas can keep pace fully with them. Feleipe’s bound to throw a pick six somewhere.

Nick:​Yeah. We both picked Ole Miss. Texas A&M at Mississippi State.

Andrew:​You got to pick A&M. State had the one win, and now that looks like it was not as big of a win as we all thought it was going to be. Yeah. A&M.

Nick:​Yeah. I think A&M, I don’t think they’re that good. I think Florida played really bad on defense, but Mississippi State is reeling.


Nick:​Reeling. I even tuned into Mike Leech’s press conference on Monday, and he was not fun.

Andrew:​That tells you all it needs to. There was no pirate jokes?


Andrew:​No pirate jokes means he’s not in a good mood. Yeah. I thought when you watched the opening game of the year, and you saw State beat LSU, you thought they’re going to be pretty good, and then we all see how bad LSU is.

Nick:​Okay. We picked all the same teams so far. UCF-Memphis. At Memphis.

Andrew:​Even though they think they’re the national champions, I’ll still peg them, because I don’t think Memphis is great. I’ll go UCF, but they’re still not the national champions.

Nick:​Go Knights. Pittsburgh-Miami.

Andrew:​Hold on. Oh, you’re picking UCF?


Andrew:​Okay. Pittsburgh and Miami. Still don’t think Miami’s for real, but they’re better than Pittsburgh.

Nick:​All right. All same picks. The crème de la crème, the cream rises to the top, 8:00 Georgia at Alabama, no Nick Sabanat Bryant Denning.

Andrew:​We say there’s no Nick Saban. Let’s make sure there’s no Nick Saban. I’m saying this jokingly. Please, do not take it. He’ll be manipulating a Covid test here. He’ll be telling Greg Sankey, that test says negative, you can’t read. It says negative. With Saban I thought it was going to be a really good game, but I thought Alabama would win by two scores. I still think Alabama has the better team. I’m going to go Alabama, but I feel zero confidence with Steve Sarkisian running my team if I’m Alabama.

Nick:​I’m going Bama. I was asked even before the Sabannews came out. I’m like, listen, I think Georgia has looked really good. I think they looked really good last week too. I have a hard time picking against Alabama probably ever.

Andrew:​Yeah. Like I say, if I’m Alabama, I’m not feeling good about Steve Sarkisian calling my game.

Nick:​You created outs. Here’s the other thing they’ll say is I think the SEC is making a mistake. I think they’ve done a really good job in the way they’ve handled the season and handled all this. I think they’re making a mistake by using that 12-12 date as their first option of changing games to, because in my opinion that should be the last option. Now, Vanderbilt and Missouri, if something happens to Missouri, Missouri was fine. The reason that the game was postponed was because of Vanderbilt, but now if something happens to Missouri, 12-12 is gone for them. What happens if it happens after their original bye week?


Nick:​The NFL has kind of scrapped the normal schedule. They’ve got teams playing on Tuesday. I think you should be a little more creative than go, 12-12, no one’s playing, so there you go. Take it. That was a date that was after the season. That should be your last option to move a game to, because it’s the easiest one.

Andrew:​Right. Yeah. We’ll see. I think there’s a lot of moving changes. Nick, listen, we’re out of time here. We hope you enjoyed the talk with Jeawon and gave you some insight. Tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll be back on Monday and hopefully be able to talk about a game.

Nick:​www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news the podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast wherever you 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:​There you go. Guys, we appreciate it. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.

Nick:​You stay classy, Gator Country.

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.