Podcast: Friday predictions for Florida Gators vs. Missouri

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we bring you our Friday prediction podcast for Florida Gators vs. Missouri on Saturday in Gainesville.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown the game and give you their keys for victory for the Gators on Saturday.

Andrew and Nick also give you three players to watch for Florida, plus predict several games around the country this weekend.


Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, it’s Missouri week, and it’s Friday. The week is coming to an end, so let’s get this party started here and break it down for Homecoming.

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t know if we talked about this. Are you a parade guy? Parade tomorrow, on Friday. Are you a parade guy?

Andrew:                 It depends. Most of the time no, but every now and then. Depends on what it is.

Nick:                         Okay. Not for me.

Andrew:                 It just depends on what it is. I’m not the person who cares to be standing out amongst thousands and thousands of people and be catching a Mardi Gras bead. If I really want a Mardi Gras bead I’ll go to the store and buy a freaking Mardi Gras bead, or if I want a Moon Pie, I’ll just go buy a Moon Pie. I’m not going to stand and fight thousands of people.

Nick:                         Never been a big parade guy, no matter what it is.

Andrew:                 That’s kind of how I am. I mean, like I said, every now and then, just depends on what it is. Most of the time no. I do think it’s cool though. I do think the Homecoming parade is cool.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 I’ll say that.

Nick:                         Before we get into this, I wanted to get your opinion. Don’t know what Maryland is doing. It was Tuesday Maryland decided, came back and said they’re going to bring back DJ Durkin. Of course, former Florida linebacker coach, defensive coordinator, and interim head coach. Decided they were going to bring him back, and then there was some public outrage. Then Wednesday they said, never mind, we’re not bringing him back. He’s fired.

Andrew:                 Nick, I don’t know if I’m the person to ask about this. I don’t know enough about it. I will say that. I had good experiences with DJ Durkin. I know some people have said they haven’t had good experiences with him. Again, everybody has their opinion. Everybody has dealt with him in different circumstances. Me being a guy who deals with people in recruiting and at camps and that kind of stuff, it’s a little bit different. You see their good side 90% of the time. I’ll say that a lot of people I talked to didn’t have bad things to say about Durkin. Everyone I knew, I was close to Jon Bullard and some of those defensive linemen, Caleb Brantley, some of those guys that played under Durkin, all those guys love Durkin. I don’t know if something changed with him or whatnot.

This is my end kind of thing. I just think that there was no way, shape, or form he could come back. It was a toxic environment that, whether he was fully at fault or not fully at fault, he’s the head man. He’s going to be the one that takes the fall for it. There was just no way you could have brought him back to Maryland and justified it to the guy’s family who passed away, to the fanbase. It was just a no-win situation for all involved. I thought it was a mistake saying he was going to come back.

Nick:                         Yeah. I watched the press conference on Tuesday, and I don’t know how you can say, they basically said there was lack of institutional control, because players didn’t feel that they were safe, but that wasn’t DJ’s fault. I agree with you. All the players that we know that played under him love him.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         But if you’re the head coach, that’s your program, and everything that happens at your program.

Andrew:                 Is you. You take the fall.

Nick:                         The buck stops here. The buck stops at your desk.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. Again, I’m not taking up for DJ. I don’t know. It could have been a situation where he was running a toxic program. There’s been those reports that he’s went haywire up there, and maybe that’s true. You never know how a guy will react to being the head man to anything. I’ll say this. Some people were saying he didn’t care about his guys. If that’s the case, then that’s a different DJ Durkin than I know. Guys down here loved DJ Durkin. I mean, they thought the world of him. When he left, they didn’t like it. They were upset about it. Guys loved DJ Durkin, but it’s a no-win situation.

Nick, I think, when you make a brash decision like that, and then you back away from it so quickly, I think it’s setting a standard that I don’t know that you want to do. It’s like Tennessee last year when they were going to hire Schiano, and then public, Twitter and that kind of stuff, forced them otherwise. Is that really where we’re going in this day and age?

Nick:                         I don’t know what they’re thinking, what their thought process was, if they had any, to make a decision and then backtrack on it so quickly. I don’t know if there was really a thought process there. I agree with you. I never heard a bad thing about DJ Durkin, but, listen, somebody dies on your watch, I mean, it doesn’t get any worse than that, especially when you think about the parents of that player, who trusted their son to go to a program and to be treated right and to come back home. You don’t even think about that. I’ve heard nothing but good things about DJ Durkin from all of those former players.

Andrew:                 Again, I’m not, by no means, justifying anything up there, by no means. I don’t want anyone to take it that way. Someone died on his watch. That’s the ultimate bad thing that can happen. Whether it was him, whether it was the training staff, whatever it may be, something has to be done. The guy is not coming back. I’m not justifying that at all. I just think that the way it was handled in general was insane. If you’re going to say that DJ Durkin deserved to keep his job, then stick by your merit. Don’t allow public perception to change your mind on something. You should have had a general feel of what the reaction was going to be. If you say, I didn’t care, then don’t care, but don’t change your mind afterwards. It honestly makes you look weak.

Nick:                         Yeah. You got to make the right decision the first time, and you had months to make it.

Andrew:                 Why make a decision end of October, first of November? Why not take the rest of the season and then make a decision in the off season? No offense to those guys at Maryland, but they don’t deserve two coaching changes in the middle of the year. Now it’s three. They go from DJ to an interim to DJ coming back to the interim coming back, so really four. That’s not fair to those guys. That’s just my take. Again, prayers up to the McNair family on this, because, again, it kind of makes everything come back to light a little bit when all that comes about. That’s something no parent or family wants to go through. Again, I think all parties handled this super wrong.

Nick, I want to bring this point up to you real quick, and I know we’re getting off topic here a ton. We want to talk Florida-Missouri. At some point, Nick, these board or regents or whatever you want to call them, do they just need to go? Does it need to be an outside firm looking at this? I mean, the way the Ohio State matter was handled, terrible. Now the way this Maryland thing was handled. I mean, everybody is not on the same side here.

Nick:                         I think so. I think you need to go to an independent firm, one that doesn’t have strong ties to the university. You can say that we’re going to take our orange and blue glasses off or our red and black glasses off, but when you’ve got a board of regents that’s getting paid by the university, or they’re alumni, or they’re big boosters, you’re going to get decisions like this that aren’t the best decision for the family or for the victim or for the university, but it’s the best decision for the football team.

Andrew:                 Right. I mean, you’re exactly right on that. Here’s the thing. This may be the cowardly way to say it, but I’m honestly glad we’re not having to deal with that situation. I don’t mean that lightly, but that’s just a bad situation to be dealing with up there.

Nick:                         Yeah. It’ll be interesting. I wonder if Matt Canada gets a shot at being a head coach.

Andrew:                 Well, he’s almost got them bowl eligible, so we’ll see. Nick, let’s go talk our game here. Gators and Missouri for Homecoming in the Swamp on Saturday. Kickoff a little after four on the SEC Network, about 30 minutes after the CBS game kicks off. First off, Nick, I had a question for you. I might just be dumb and have overlooked it, but it used to be a situation where CBS wouldn’t have a competing game against them. Do you know when that changed? Was it when the SEC Network came about?

Nick:                         I think when the SEC Network came about. There’s not a 4:00 game every week. I think it is because this is a double slot for CBS. I could be wrong.

Andrew:                 Florida had the 4:00 game earlier in the year, so there’s been a couple. Then last week Kentucky-Missouri was a 4:00 game. You’re seeing more of it. I don’t want to say it takes away the spice from the 2:30 game, or the 3:30 game, but it just …

Nick:                         Listen, man, nobody outside of Florida and Missouri is watching Florida-Missouri. You’re watching Georgia-Kentucky, because the winner of that is going to the SEC Championship to get beat up by Alabama.

Andrew:                 Yeah. No. I mean, I’m with you. It was just something I was thinking about the other day when I saw all the 4:00. There’s a chance Florida plays at 4:00 next week as well against South Carolina. It was just one of those things where I kind of saw it and was like, what is going on here?

Nick, let’s dive a little deeper into this game. We talked about, and we hit on it a ton. It kind of goes back to what we say, and that is it’s forcing Missouri to be one-dimensional in this game. That is going to be tough in the game, but it will go back a little bit, Nick, to how the pass rush goes. Does Florida get a pass rush in this game?

Nick:                         We talked about it a little bit. It’s a veteran offensive line. You have to be able to get pass rush. If you want to win this game, it has to be done. I mean, every game you would like to get to the quarterback and affect the quarterback. I’m not saying you need to finish the game with eight sacks. That would be great, but you just need to affect the passer. You need to not let Drew Lock get comfortable standing back there. You can finish the game with one sack but eight quarterback hurries. Maybe not even getting a quarterback hurry, but if you collapse one side of the pocket and make him move, that’s affecting the quarterback. I think a lot of times we get lost in sack numbers and quarterback hurry numbers, but you don’t need to necessarily hurry the quarterback or rush or get a sack to be affecting him.

Andrew:                 Right. No. You’re right. It’s one of those things where you look back at the Georgia game, and they only had one sack in the game, but, Nick, I don’t know, I can’t count more than two or three off the top of my head where there was even a pass rush. I’d have to go back and look at the quarterback hurries in that game, but that’s a situation that they cannot have it again. If you do allow Missouri to sit back there and just kind of freewheeling be able to throw the ball at 10 and 12 seconds back there, like Georgia had at times, Drew Lock is going to pick you apart. That’s just the nature of it.

I mean, that’s just what Drew Lock is good at. He did that against Alabama, and he did that against Georgia. He’ll do it against Florida. That’s the situation that Florida was good at from Kentucky week all the way until Georgia week, getting pressure. It was week in and week out they were getting a ton of pressure. They were killing Joe Burrows with pressure, and that was something that was a difference in the game for them. It has to come back.

I think with CJ Henderson being back in the secondary that should also allow Todd Grantham to bring a little bit more blitzes and pressure that he just I don’t think was comfortable. Dan Mullen said a little bit that it affected them, but he didn’t want to come out and say it fully changed their mindset.

Nick:                         I asked Kyrie Campbell that, and he said, “The game plan doesn’t change, because everyone is expected to know the game plan.” But I think it’s a completely different situation when you’ve got CJ Henderson there versus literally anyone else, even Trey Dean, and I think Trey Dean is great. It’s going to affect, I think, the play calling, at least.

Andrew:                 Right. I mean, it has to, because it’s a situation where you go from feeling like you’re good, and you can lock down the other team, to I need to make sure that I’m playing off coverage a little bit here, and also allowing more guys to be in the backfield in case my four guys don’t get to him, or in case he’s able to break the pocket a little bit. Because you and I both know Riley Ridley was running by CJ McWilliams.

Nick:                         Absolutely. It affects you as the play caller, because now you’re thinking that. I got to leave somebody back to help. When you had those first couple guys, when you had Marco and CJ, it was I can have Marco blitz, or I can have CJ blitz. I can have a linebacker blitz, a safety blitz. When you don’t have that, you got to start thinking I have to leave somebody over the top to help out, because they’re getting beat. Now you’re not being able to bring those blitzes from all over the field. You’re left with rushing just four more.

Andrew:                 Do you expect Brian Edwards to play more this week?

Nick:                         I’d hope so.

Andrew:                 Something is up. Mullen is not saying much about it. I’m not hearing much about it, an injury, that is. Nick, I’m just going to be flat out honest with you here, and that is if Brian Edwards isn’t better than CJ McWilliams, he needs to rethink some things.

Nick:                         He started the year playing over him.

Andrew:                 He started the year playing over Trey Dean some. I’m trying to think here. Was it the Colorado State game, or was it Tennessee where he started over Dean?

Nick:                         I think it was Colorado State.

Andrew:                 It was one of the games where he started over him, and it was a head scratcher to a lot of us. You and I were talking about it, and I said okay, maybe he’s turned it on a little bit. Again, he’s playing on special teams, so he’s not fully hurt. I’m not hearing about an injury. Something is up.

Nick:                         Yeah. That, to me, is the big thing. If you’re injured, you’re not playing special teams.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. Yeah. I’m dumbfounded a little bit by it. I’m not going to say I understood that. Hey, maybe CJ has a bounce back week, CJ McWilliams that is, if he does get in the game some, because he’s got to play. Henderson and Dean aren’t going to play the full game. Florida hasn’t shown that they play those guys every snap, if they have the ability to rotate some guys in. So, we’ll see how that is. Then you get Brad Stewart back this week, and that should be a key.

Nick:                         Listen, when you got a team that can throw the ball like Missouri, it’s all hands on deck.

Andrew:                 Right. Here’s the next question for you. How much do you expect Emory Jones to play?

Nick:                         You got to be careful now, because he’s only got two more games to play. So, I think, if you look at this, would you rather him play, and if you want him to play in the bowl game, then you’ve got to pick one game between this, South Carolina, and Idaho and FSU. You probably say no to Idaho, because what’s really the benefit of that? You should beat Idaho with Nick Sproles playing quarterback.

Andrew:                 But also, your counter to that is that could be a game where he could get in and run the full playbook.

Nick:                         That’s true. I don’t expect, I guess I would right now not expect to see him play this game. I think you would wait and have him play maybe, with the point you made, maybe against Idaho. Maybe against Florida State. I would kind of expect to see him in the bowl game, because it’s a high pressure and a low pressure situation. It’s so cool to play in the bowl game, especially for a freshman who’s never done it before, but also a low pressure situation in that it’s the last game of the year. It’s not like we’re playing for a national championship. The bowl game is cool, but low pressure in that if we lose, we lose. It’s not the end of the world losing a bowl game.

Andrew:                 I’m going to throw a wild prediction out at you here, Nick. He plays in the rest of the games and don’t redshirt.

Nick:                         Okay. I can see that happening. I think I tried to make a point on Monday that a lot of people took the wrong way. I wasn’t calling for Emory Jones to be the starter, but I said I could see him playing in all four games the rest of the way, and you not redshirting him. People were like, why don’t you just start him then? I was like, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying he’s played in two games. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a fifth-year senior. I don’t think he’s going to be playing at Florida in 2022. If he is what you think he is, he’ll be starting at some point. If he isn’t, the nature of the position is he’ll probably transfer.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         So, what is the point of the redshirt? I’m a proponent of redshirting quarterbacks, but if that’s the way you’re going to go, I don’t see how much benefit, if you’re going to play him extensively in four games, I don’t see what the benefit of the redshirt is.

Andrew:                 I don’t mean this in any disrespect to you, to anyone, but at this point, zero reason to redshirt the guy. Zero reason to redshirt the guy. Dan Mullen brings in enough talent at the quarterback position that if Emory Jones is not your guy and is not playing, then he’s not going to be here for year five anyway. If he is good enough to play, he’s not going to be here for year five either.

Nick:                         Exactly.

Andrew:                 This is my thing. Again, should Florida need Emory Jones this week to beat Missouri? No. They should not. But if they do, okay. Play him. Should they need him against South Carolina? No. But throw the package in. Who cares? Get him some action. Should they need him against Idaho and Florida State? No, but, again, in the Idaho game you would hope and think that by the third quarter it should be out of hand. How nice would it be to let him come? It is Idaho, but, again, that’s not in the Swamp on Saturday afternoon. How cool is it for him, and how much of an experience is it to play that?

To me, this is just my take, and I could be wrong with it. Again, I mean this to no disrespect, but apparently Kyle Trask is never going to be the guy at Florida. That’s become perfectly clear to me. Has it become perfectly clear to you?

Nick:                         Maybe.

Andrew:                 Pretty much, right?

Nick:                         Maybe he wins the job in the spring and the fall next year.

Andrew:                 Okay. Would you say that it’s starting to become very, very unlikely?

Nick:                         Yes. I’ll go unlikely.

Andrew:                 Okay. Unlikely. So, Emory is your backup, most likely, if something was to happen to Feleipe. I don’t get the point now of redshirting him. He’s shown that he can go in and make plays in the Georgia game. You trusted him in the biggest game of the year, why not get him some packages? It’s not like this offense is setting it on fire anyway.

Nick:                         Yeah. You’re saying give Emory a package, whether it’s five plays or 20 plays, give him a package each game, the next four games. Five games including the bowl game.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Again, I just don’t think he’s here year five anyway, so what does it matter?

Nick:                         I think that is almost causing like a rift in the fanbase of people that love it and want to see him and people that want him to start.

Andrew:                 I do not want him to start. I do not want that.

Nick:                         I was about to say that. Neither of us think he’s ready to start, but you can put him in these packages and find some roles for him.

Andrew:                 Right. I in no way, shape, or form say he’s your starter. I don’t want that to come across or anyone take that as me saying that. There is no quarterback controversy at Florida. Feleipe is your guy, like it or not. He’s your guy. I just think you get him some packages. Again, I think these packages could lead to confidence for the spring and next year. Nick, as much as we’re talking about there’s no quarterback controversy this year, you and I both know in the spring there’s a quarterback controversy.

Nick:                         Between Jones and Franks.

Andrew:                 Maybe even Jalon Jones, as much as I don’t think he’s ready, or a freshman ready to play, but, again, I don’t know that Dan Mullen is confident with going with Feleipe next fall 100%. I don’t. I still haven’t personally ruled out that they find a transfer to come in as well. Again, that’s just my take. I mean, we’ll talk about that later on. I just think that you start now planting that seed of helping Emory.

Nick:                         I don’t see Jalon Jones starting. I don’t see Mullen starting a freshman. He’s never done it before. He’s not doing it this year. I don’t see it happening.

Andrew:                 He’s not ready from a standpoint of doing that. I’m just saying I think that it will be an open race.

Nick:                         I think it will be an open competition. Franks will take most of the first team reps, but I think you’ll see Emory starting to take more of the second team reps.

Andrew:                 Exactly. Any final thoughts here, before we get moving on to picks and all that good stuff?

Nick:                         Yeah. I think one point that I wanted to point out there, I think Florida it’s been maybe, I guess the buy week is in there, but I want to see another big play on special teams. I think it’s been a couple games since you’ve had a really wild play on special teams. I think you need to get back to that this week.

Andrew:                 Okay. I think that it’s the Kadarius Toney kickoff was a big play for me. I thought they did well enough on special teams in the Georgia game to win the game. I put it all on 13’s back and on Mullen’s back. Again, that’s part of being the quarterback and the head coach. I understand what you’re saying.

Nick:                         Block a punt. Block a kick. Something like that.

Andrew:                 Get some pressure on them in the game. I’m ready to see an interception or some kind of takeaway.

Nick:                         None versus Georgia, right?

Andrew:                 None versus Georgia.

Nick:                         Obviously, losing CJ Henderson, that’s going to change the deal, but Florida led the nation for the first five weeks of the season, and then haven’t had any. Got to get back on that, for sure.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. Nick, really good set of games this weekend. You want to pick them first?

Nick:                         Great set of games. Let’s pick the games. Every game that we’re picking has at least one team ranked in the top 25. I think three of them have top 25 teams going against each other. One was a top five matchup, and one is a top 10 matchup. Great set of games this week.

Andrew:                 Go ahead with the first game.

Nick:                         I already know who you’re going to pick, Spivey, because you never pick these guys. It’s #14 Penn State at the Big House, at #5 Michigan.

Andrew:                 Once again, not a Michigan guy. I don’t think that they’re good. They keep sliding by. They are the Jim McElwain Florida football teams, and that is they’re phony. They’re sliding by. They’re still not a very good football team. Give me the fighting Ja’Juan Seiders.

Nick:                         I’m going Michigan. They keep winning for me, every week.

Andrew:                 Okay. Fighting Ja’Juan Seiders. Question for you. If that happens, does Michigan drop out? If Michigan loses, do they drop behind Florida?

Nick:                         That should be a Florida win. Their first loss of the year. Their first loss was the first game of the year. I think Florida would be around nine. It would also depend on what happens with Georgia and Kentucky. Where does LSU drop? I’d say it would be close. Moving next to each other, Florida could sneak past them. It might be like Florida moves up to 10 and Michigan drops to 11.

Andrew:                 Okay. Sounds good. What’s the next one?

Nick:                         #20 Texas A&M, the Jimbos, heading to the plains, playing at Auburn.

Andrew:                 Gig ‘em. That Gus, give me a break. Gus falls. Gig ‘em.

Nick:                         You’re done with the Gus bus. Gus bus has four flat tires for you?

Andrew:                 I’ve never been on the Gus bus. Yeah.

Nick:                         I’m going with the Gus bus, at times.

Andrew:                 His axels are falling off.

Nick:                         His axels. He’s riding on his brakes.

Andrew:                 Who you got?

Nick:                         I got A&M too.

Andrew:                 Okay. A&M. After that Mississippi State loss, but A&M has had a problem finishing seasons. Does that continue under Jimbo or not? It happened at State last week, so we’ll see. That’s tough trips, Nick. To Starkville. Go home. Then back to Auburn. Some tough trips. Gig ‘em this weekend.

Nick:                         All right. I got the #13 West Virginia Will Griers at #17 Texas.

Andrew:                 Texas sucks. They’re overrated, just like Michigan. Will Grier and them don’t play defense, but give me the fighting Will Griers.

Nick:                         I’m going with the fighting Will Griers, no surprise on my end. I do think Texas is overrated.

Andrew:                 Texas is overrated. Give me the Griers.

Nick:                         #6 Georgia at #9 Kentucky. This one is for the SEC East title.

Andrew:                 Not a chance in hell Kentucky wins. I cannot, will not say it until it actually happens that Kentucky will be in Atlanta. The doggies win.

Nick:                         Close game, blowout? What do you see?

Andrew:                 Two touchdowns. At least.

Nick:                         I’ve got Georgia as well. I think a little closer than two touchdowns, but I got Georgia.

Andrew:                 Okay. I’m trying to think here. I think it’s 47.5 is the over-under. Let me pull that up. I’m trying to think here if I was going to go over or under. Let me go back and pull that up real quick. It is 44.5. I have the over.

Nick:                         You’re probably safe.

Andrew:                 Okay. Who you got next? What’s our next game?

Nick:                         Next game is a big one, probably the biggest game of the weekend. That is #1 Alabama at #3 LSU.

Andrew:                 This is not a big game. This is only a big game because of the rankings. Alabama wins by 21 plus.

Nick:                         I think it’s a big game, just because it’s LSU-Alabama.

Andrew:                 Sure, but it’s being overhyped. This game ain’t close. Alabama rolls. 14.5 spread is a disrespect to the Tide.

Nick:                         You got Alabama covering.

Andrew:                 I just said I thought Alabama won by 21.

Nick:                         Oh man. I’m going to take Alabama, because I’m not crazy.

Andrew:                 Do they cover? It’s 54 points.

Nick:                         They cover. I don’t know. I’m going to say they don’t cover.

Andrew:                 They don’t cover. Tua plays four quarters?

Nick:                         Yeah. They cover. Tua plays in the fourth.

Andrew:                 Okay. Way to go out on a limb there. We’ll save our game for last here. Picks, Nick. We didn’t pick them off the air, so it’s a surprise. You get the first pick.

Nick:                         Jachai Polite. We talked about it all week.

Andrew:                 Last two times he’s been picked he has failed us.

Nick:                         Yeah. I’m going with him again though. That’s my pick. First time, every time.

Andrew:                 Well, my first pick this week is going to be none other than 22, Lamical Perine gets back on the horn, gets going. Lamical Perine.

Nick:                         I’m going to go with Freddie Swain. I think he’s going to have another touchdown catch.

Andrew:                 Okay. I can roll with that. Had a big game, special teams and receiving, the other day. Big game for him. I am going to go with another guy this weekend. I’m going to go with #4, Kadarius Toney, to get back on a roll.

Nick:                         Okay. Any stat predictions of what’s going to happen there?

Andrew:                 Just think he gets back going and gets back going of his old school playbook, or the old playbook where he’s getting some touches. I just feel like this is a Missouri defense that he can get loose against.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 That’s my pick.

Nick:                         My third pick I’m going to go with a running back, and it’s going to be Jordan Scarlett.

Andrew:                 Okay. My next one is going to be the freshman cornerback. Mr. Trey Dean. Going to get him a pick this weekend against Drew Lock.

Nick:                         That would be a big pick for Trey Dean and big for the Gators. I think, like you said, interceptions, creating turnovers, whether it’s an interception or whether it’s a forced fumble, fumble recovery, I think you need to get that as well. Along with what I felt like they needed to get, that big play on special teams.

Andrew:                 I agree with that. As always, if there is a position or player to look out for, it would be?

Nick:                         I’m going to go Evan McPherson.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         Was that your pick for the Georgia game?

Andrew:                 Yes. Well, no. I had Moral, and I said if I was going to go different it would be McPherson. For me, Nick, it’s safeties, that tandem of Brad and Jeawon and Shawn Davis and Donovan Stiner. For me, it’s those four guys. They’re going to throw the ball around, and they’re also going to run, so they need to have big games this week. I’ll go with that safety position as a whole.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 That would be it. Again, I think we could have easily went with the defensive line, either one of us. A guy like Cece or Jabari, who probably had his best game ever in that Georgia game, but I just think that the safety is going to be there. I think pass rush will be fine this week. They’ve been able to bounce back.

Nick:                         Okay. Then you’re feeding my ego here with my pick for Jachai.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s a little tougher for him. He’s getting double, triple, quadrupled, five man teamed, whatever it may be, including arm wrestled to the ground.

Nick:                         Well, we got right now Florida-Missouri. Florida has not everything that they set out for the season ahead of them, but you’ve got a chance for a New Years Six bowl game. Chance to right a miserable, there is not one good thing we can say about the way Florida played at Missouri last year.

Andrew:                 They showed up, and they were there safely.

Nick:                         I guess you can say that. They got to and from the game safely.

Andrew:                 For me, Nick, too and the College Football Playoff came out Tuesday. Florida is #11.

Nick:                         I figured they’d be in the 11-13 range.

Andrew:                 Florida has a chance to be 8-10, 7-10 at the end of the year. Anybody who would have told you that at the beginning of the year.

Nick:                         I would have said you’re crazy.

Andrew:                 You would have asked them if they were crazy, if they were high or drunk or something. You’d have asked them that.

Nick:                         Asked if they were off their meds.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Take care of business. Go to a New Years Six bowl game. Take care of business. End the year 11-2. It’s not a successful, it’s a wonderful, great season. I mean, perfect scenario would have been to go to Atlanta, get thumped by Alabama, but you still can go to a New Years Six game, do very well, and recruiting will prosper because of that. We’ll talk about that here in a second, the visitors list. I think Florida goes into this game. They’re six-point favorite, 57.5 points is the over-under. I think that’s a little high in the game. I think it will be under that. I think Florida wins by two scores though.

Nick:                         Okay. I’m picking Florida this week.

Andrew:                 What’s the over? You think they cover?

Nick:                         What’s the line at right now?

Andrew:                 Six.

Nick:                         Yeah. I think Florida will cover this week. I think they’ll win by double digits, win by 10 points or so. I think this is a team, every team probably plays better at home, but I think Florida plays better at home, and I think coming off that Georgia loss they’re in the right headspace right now to come out and handle business, to come out and listen to everything the coaches are saying, to come out and handle business. I think they’re in the right headspace for that. I would expect Florida to win this week and not have much to worry about late in the game.

Andrew:                 I agree. To go to recruiting, not a big weekend. They will host one five-star on an official visit, Georgia defensive tackle Trevon Walker. He’ll be coming in. Florida not a huge threat right now for him but getting him on campus is big. He’s a defensive tackle, huge position of need. Then they’ll host that big defensive end out of South Florida in Khris Bogle. That will be big. Then they’ll have several underclassmen and several commits on campus. They’re setting up next weekend, the South Carolina game, to be the big weekend with Kayvon Thibodeaux coming in and a couple other guys coming in.

It’ll be interesting to kind of see what the returns are for Bogle and Walker this weekend, as defensive line is starting to creep up of a big need. When you talk about Polite leaving early. I mean, Jabari is playing himself into a position to have that decision to go. Again, it’s big to get those guys on campus, but even bigger to start getting some of those underclassmen on campus, Nick.

Nick:                         Start building that 2020, 2021 class, start building those classes up.

Andrew:                 Exactly. I mean, everyone has harped on Mullen for his instate recruiting. This is the opportunity with games in state to get these guys on campus and start building that relationship, and so far that’s what he’s doing. The big one this weekend is Gervon Dexter out of Lake Wells, the 2020 defensive end. He’s a big, big target for next year. He’s coming on campus. Start to build those relationships in state, and you hope to see those come to fruition next year about this time, when things start to wind down for the 2020 class.

Big weekend on campus. Homecoming. Recruiting. Then the game. As Mullen says, pack the Swamp. Let everybody know. Let the team know that 6-2, #11 in the country, hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Nick:                         Yeah. Don’t not show up because of whatever happened last week. I think it’s a situation where you come in, support the team that had a better season than, certainly, I thought they would. It should be a good game. This is a Missouri team that I think is 3-2 against Florida since they joined the SEC. It seems to always be back and forth.

Andrew:                 Sneaky. That’s what they are. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Monday to recap a Gators win.

Nick:                         There you go. www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. Podcast is also on anywhere you listen to podcasts. Just search @GatorCountry. Like, subscribe, leave a comment. We read those. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. You can find me @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 There you go. Guys, we appreciate it. We’ll see everyone on Monday. As always, chomp, chomp. Go Braves.

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.