GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we bring you our Friday prediction podcast before the Florida Gators travel to take on Vanderbilt on Saturday in Nashville.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre give you their keys for a Gators victory on Saturday and what to watch for on both sides of the ball.
Andrew and Nick also give you three players to watch for the Gators and they pick some of the top games around the country.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, it’s Friday, Vandy week, and then it’s a bye week. We’re not thinking ahead. Maybe the team is not thinking ahead. I don’t think they are. I think they’re ready to go. Nick, looking at the week as a whole, talking to everyone, how do you feel the team and everyone is prepared for Nashville.
Nick: First things first, more importantly, I can’t wait to get to Nashville.
Andrew: I knew that.
Nick: If you guys are listening, being at Vanderbilt on a Saturday is probably the worst game day experience in the SEC, just in terms of stadium, atmosphere around it. I think we were both at Bryant-Denny the last time that Florida played there. That’s incredible. That game day environment, that tailgating scene is incredible. The game day, in terms of being inside the stadium, is incredible. You’re not going to get that at Vanderbilt, but there is no city in the Southeastern conference that compares to Nashville. If you’re on the fence about making a trip to an away game, Nashville needs to be on that list, and pretty high up that list. It’s an incredible town.
Andrew: I mean, you can pick a lot of game days that are better, but I think you’re right there. Answer the second part of the question. How do you think the team is looking at this game? How do you feel the preparation has been this week? Do you feel like they’ll fall in that lull of it’s the week before a bye week, and it’s Vandy? Do you feel like that will be an issue?
Nick: Yeah. I think we got a good report on Monday from Todd Grantham. We got a good report on Tuesday from John Hevesy about the effort that the guys have been putting in. It’s absolutely something that has crept into the players’ minds. It’s just Vanderbilt. They’re 3-3. The bye week is coming up. I think Florida staff is doing its best, and I think it’s working. I think that the team, at least right now, as it stands, isn’t looking over or past Vanderbilt right now. Now, does that change when it’s 11:00am, and you’ve still got sand in your eyes, you’re still groggy from waking up? Does that change at 11:00 on Saturday? It could. That’s really, I think, my biggest thing this week. You can’t let that happen. You can’t come out and sleepwalk.
Andrew: Right. I think that’s the biggest key for myself as well. We talked about that. We talked about it. You can’t have that mentality of it’s 11:00, I can just sleepwalk. I’ll be all right. This is a Vandy team that hasn’t played well, yada, yada. This is, like I said, a Vandy team that still played Notre Dame tough, and this is a Vandy team that still plays you tough for the most part. Different coaching staff, but even under Urban at times they played the team tough. Again, I think it’s just a mentality of how you come into this game. If you can come into this game and come in with that attitude of this is a game that we can fine-tune some things before Georgia, I think you can roll in this game and get out to a comfortable lead and not have to worry about playing a tough fourth quarter game.
Nick: That’s another thing. Listen, Vanderbilt is going to be tough just defensively. This is a Derrick Mason team. Really the biggest thing to me is are you coming out strong? Are you coming out fast? Then we talk about it every time when you’re playing an opponent that’s going to be mismatched. Are you putting the game away, or do you let them hang around? The longer they hang around, they build confidence.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. That was the issue with Notre Dame. They let them hang around.
Nick: People were talking about Notre Dame as a playoff team, and Vandy will point out, we only lost by seven on the road, and that’s because Notre Dame let them hang around.
Andrew: Well, Notre Dame is not a playoff team. We’re going to talk about that here soon. Don’t worry. We’re hitting on that in this podcast, playoff teams. Nick, we’ve broke it down on Wednesday, talking about the deficiencies of this team for Vandy on offense, and at times on defense. Again, I’ve went back and watched some stuff. I think, as I look at it more, and this will kind of be shone a little bit more in my picks here, but this is a game that I think Florida’s linebackers are going to be the difference makers. Of course, I think CJ Henderson, like you talked about on Wednesday, will be key in this game as well. How do the linebackers do? You’re going to have Jacob Pinkney, the big tight end. You’re going to have him out there. In the Notre Dame game, he was the leading receiver. Didn’t have the most targets, but he was the leading receiver. How will they do in coverage against him? Then they have to do well in the running game.
Andrew: That would be my question to you, Nick. How important do you think that is? Are you now more comfortable with the guys at the linebacker spot than you were at the beginning of the year? I will say I am.
Nick: 1000%. My biggest concern, I think, was with Vosean Joseph, because he plays so fast, and that’s an asset to have, but it was always that he played so fast and then got himself out of position. He got to the spot he needed to be at, but he didn’t get there under control. He got there out of control, and then wasn’t able to make the play. It’s not because he wasn’t in position and didn’t know what he was doing. He knew what he was doing, knew where he needed to be, and just couldn’t get there.
Andrew: Right. I agree with you. I think that what we talked about, and prop my own horn a little bit here, but I said I thought he would be more disciplined, and for the most part he has. According to the college football, PFF is what I think it’s called on Twitter, Vosean only missed two tackles in the game on Saturday, and that was a key. If you’d have looked at Vosean last year, that number was sneaking up to double digits in the game. Gave up some catches in the game, but that’s okay for a linebacker. You don’t want to give up a ton. I think him and Reese, I still think that there’s some concern depth wise at the position, but I think overall I’m a lot more comfortable with how it is now than I was before the season.
Nick: I agree with that. My big question this week will be, I guess in pass coverage will be probably my big question. Then you’re looking at Vanderbilt, and they’ve got a couple good receivers. Lipscomb, and then the tight end, Jared Pinkney. Lipscomb is at 45 receptions already on the year, which is pretty crazy. Pinkney is at 19 for 323. Eight touchdowns between the two of them. Specifically with Jared Pinkney, when somebody is matched up on him, and it could be Jachai Polite that gets matched up on him. We talk about Jachai, and he’s had six sacks and stuff like that, but playing that buck spot he does drop into coverage at times. How does he cover? What Florida’s answer for a big physical tight end that can also catch the ball?
Andrew: That is a question. We look at how they did against Notre Dame, and Lipscomb had 11 catches in the game, was targeted over 25 times in the game. When you think about that against a Notre Dame team that’s pretty decent defensively, has its flaws on offense, you would think that’s pretty good. Again, I’m with you in that I think that having CJ Henderson kind of follow him and just shadow him all over will be a key in the game.
Nick: Do you think they will have him do that? It’s not something that they’ve asked him to do previously.
Andrew: Personally, no. I don’t think that Grantham is going to change his defense. I just hope Trey Dean has had a good week of practice, because, no offense, I’m not looking forward to seeing the other one there. If LSU exposed him, good luck. My key, I mean, the key to that, Nick, is simple. Make them be into passing situations where it’s 3rd and long, and then release the hounds. Let Jachai, let Jabari, let Cece. Let them go get him. Go get the quarterback. Don’t allow time for him to step back and throw Lipscomb the ball or Pinkney the ball over the middle of the field. Don’t do that.
Nick: I think that’s a big thing. I think Vanderbilt knows. The thing that Vanderbilt does, and Brian Kelly got all up in Vanderbilt for it after the game, Notre Dame’s game against Vanderbilt, was the cut blocking. I think that, when Vanderbilt knows that they’re undersized and outmatched on the offensive line, what do they do? What does any offensive line do when they’re facing a defensive line that they don’t think that they can block? They’re going to cut block.
Andrew: Right. Hold on a second. Let me hit on that for a second real quick. Okay. There are some that are cheap. I get that. Stop crying about cut blocks. It’s all part of the game. I get so frustrated with hearing coaches cry about it, Brian Kelly being one of them. Every coach in America teaches their offensive line to chop the you know what out of the opposing team’s knees on short passes.
Nick: I don’t like it. There’s so many rules protecting literally everyone except for defensive players.
Andrew: I mean, I get it.
Nick: You can’t go long on offensive linemen.
Andrew: Well, yeah, you can.
Nick: You’re allowed to dive at Jachai Polite’s knees, because I can’t block him, so I can just dive at his knees?
Andrew: You can go long, low, at the offensive line’s knees, as long as somebody is not going high as well.
Nick: We’ve got rules protecting the offensive line, not defensive.
Andrew: I get what you’re saying.
Nick: I don’t like diving at knees, no matter who it is. There was a bunch of cornerbacks all across the country that don’t like tackling, and they dive at knees too, and I don’t like that.
Andrew: I get it. I get what you’re saying. There’s a difference of trying to take out someone’s knee to hurt them, and a difference of … You know what I’m saying? A chop block isn’t exactly a knee takeout. I mean, it is taking out the knees, but it’s not hitting them directly on the knee. I get what you’re saying, protecting, but at the same time, it’s part of the game. I hate to hear people cry about it. If you don’t like it, figure out a way to get the rules changed.
Nick: We’re going to see it this week. We’re going to see it this weekend. There’s no doubt about it. Vanderbilt will be chop blocking, cut blocking against Florida, because that’s the only way they’re going to be able to move the ball on offense and have time to move the ball. Just get Jachai Polite on the ground to the point where he has to then pick himself back up to continue the play.
Andrew: Right. Again, I get it. It’s just, for me, it’s a difference, a little bit of a difference, and I get what you’re saying. You don’t want no offensive lineman to just dive at their knees, but you’re diving at kind of their calves, that kind of stuff, taking out their knee per se. That’s where kind of it is. I get it, but it’s also part of the game for the linemen. If you’re Jachai Polite, those guys, just don’t give them a chance. Don’t give them a chance to do that. For Florida on offense, Nick, just figure out a way to run the ball. Figure out a way to run the ball. Just run at those guys. Use your athleticism, your ability to be better than those guys, to your advantage, and just run the heck out of the ball.
Nick: Yeah. That’s okay. I’m there with that. I got a bunch of questions for us from Twitter.
Nick: I also wanted to ask you, I wrote down five things before the podcast, five things I want to see this week.
Nick: You saying just run the ball, run the ball, kind of made me want to bring it up now. One of the first things I want to see is I want to see Feleipe Franks take a next step. Throw for 250 plus, get a couple touchdowns. I think this is another game where you can run the ball, but it’s another game where it might be an opportunity like the first game where we can continue getting Feleipe some more confidence.
Fast start, come out of the gates, no sleepwalking in the first quarter. Come out of the gates. If you win that toss, Dan Mullen has been putting his defense out there first. If you win the toss Saturday, take the ball, run down the field on that first drive, and put six on the board. Put seven on the board.
I want to see Damien Pierce play the fourth quarter. The reason I want to see Damien Pierce play the fourth quarter is that means the game is out of reach, and that you’ve gotten that #2 done, that you had a fast start.
Win the turnover battle. That goes another thing we talked about earlier, which is not letting Vanderbilt hang around. I think if Vanderbilt is winning that turnover battle, that means they’re hanging around.
Then no complacency, and that’s from start to finish. That’s from getting on the bus at the hotel to how you finish the fourth quarter. No complacency this week, and I think Florida walks out with their sixth win of the year.
Andrew: I’m with you there. Again, I wouldn’t mind seeing Feleipe throw that. Couple of stats for you real quick. I’m looking up as we go. 165 a game on the ground, that’s what Vandy is giving up. I mean, that tells you everything you kind of need to know about their run defense. Then they’re giving up 233 through the air. They’re kind of more, they’re giving up the run more than the pass, but a lot of that has to do with teams being able to get up on them and not have to throw the ball.
I’m with you in seeing Feleipe take the next step. Feleipe has come off of a few good games in a row. We can debate how the LSU game was back and forth, but overall I thought he did okay in the game. I would like to see him take that next step of continuing to do that, continuing to take steps. This is a game that maybe he doesn’t have to throw it away every time. Maybe he can stay in the pocket a little longer. Some people are harping on him throwing it away, saying if he would see an unopen receiver quicker, he would not have to throw it away. My whole thing to that is maybe, but also maybe there wasn’t a receiver open, and he had to throw it away. I’m okay with him throwing the ball away. I’m completely okay with him throwing the ball away, compared to taking a sack. I wouldn’t mind seeing that at all.
Like you said with Damien Pierce, getting him in the fourth quarter would mean that the game was out of hand, and I’m perfectly fine with that. The complacency part, I think we’ve hit on that enough. Seeing this team take a step, elite teams don’t take weeks off. In the past, Florida hasn’t been an elite team, because they’ve taken things off and haven’t shown that. I’m with you. Start from finish, when they get on the plane tomorrow, today, we’re taping this on Thursday. When you guys listen to it on Friday, today they get on the plane. Go into there with business. It’s a business trip. Like it or not, it’s a business trip. Nashville and Vanderbilt is on the schedule. You got to go take care of business.
Nick: Good. Like all of that.
Andrew: I’ll throw in one more key, Nick. My key for this team is defensively. Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt. Take advantage of it. Don’t slack up any. Be as aggressive as you are, and that’s a message to Todd Grantham as well. Be as aggressive as you want to be. Be aggressive like you were against LSU. Be aggressive like you were against Mississippi State. Don’t go into the game and, I don’t want to say play prevent, but play a little looser in the game. Play aggressive ball. Go after those guys. Create the turnovers. Allow the game to get out of hand. Allow the defense to create some turnovers in this game. This should be a game that Florida does continue to add more turnovers.
Nick: Second in the country.
Nick: To Kansas. That literally rocked my world when I looked up, I think it was on Monday, to see who it was. Kansas. In football. We’re not talking about basketball. Kansas leads the country in turnovers.
Andrew: Who just fired their offensive coordinator, because their defensive coordinator is better than their offensive coordinator.
Nick: Give that man a head coaching job somewhere. Kansas leads the country in turnovers and turnover margin.
Andrew: The defensive coordinator scores more points than their offensive coordinator. That’s pretty funny. Nick, I will say this. We’ll get into this more next week, when we kind of take a turn back and look at the season that was so far in our bye week podcast, but I will say this. The turnovers, and this is wild to say, and, Nick, you may disagree completely with me when I say this, but I don’t feel like there’s been as many turnovers this year as there’s been in the past couple years, simply because of when those turnovers in the past couple years have come to win ballgames. Again, I may just be dumb. That may just be me being dumb, but it just doesn’t feel like that. It felt like they’ve had a lot more turnovers in the past, because they’ve been in situations where they’ve won the ballgames.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, turnovers also put you into those situations. What was the number last year? It was so low. I’m pulling it up right now.
Andrew: It was bad. I want to say four, was it four that went back for touchdowns? Three from CJ and one from Duke?
Nick: Yeah. I’m pulling it up right now. Last year, Florida’s turnover margin last year as -3, right now you’re at 11. That’s a 14-turnover swing. They lost 20 last year. They lost 10 fumbles, lost 10 interceptions. What were the interceptions? There was one punt block that was for a touchdown last year. CJ Henderson had the two pick sixes, Duke had one. That was it. Those were the first two games.
Nick: Got two against Michigan. Duke’s is against Michigan. CJ Henderson had one against Michigan, and then one against …
Andrew: Kentucky, right?
Nick: Yeah. Pick six against Tennessee.
Andrew: You know what I’m saying? It’s a different feel, because of the way those were. Listen, I’m not taking anything away from this defense. What they’ve done is incredible. I’m just saying last year’s craziness of having to look for pick sixes to score, I mean there was times in the game, Nick, where you and I would say, they better get a pick six here if they’re going to win this game, because that was the only way they were going to score. To see them not need that as much this year was there.
Nick, I’m going to throw one more key at you that I’ve been thinking about all week. When you think back to the big games of Urban and Mullen’s game, these are games where they just absolutely crushed the opposing team in special teams. These are the games where, I think it was Kentucky, where Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps both had punt blocks. These are the games where it seems like the backbreaking blows in the game are when they have the special teams turnovers. I think that could be something that you look at this team. When you look at special teams for Vanderbilt, while they’re okay, they don’t have their best players usually playing special teams there. This could be an opportunity for a CJ Henderson block or another Freddie Swain block or maybe even Freddie Swain getting to take one back to the house.
Nick: I remember a Vanderbilt game, and it was when Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps and those guys were running on special teams. Vanderbilt was terrified to punt the football.
Andrew: It was Vandy, not Kentucky.
Nick: Yeah. It was Vandy. It happened with Kentucky as well, back in those days. Just terrified. Every punt the punter would kind of see, where are they coming from, and he’d run the other way and rugby style kick. The punts were atrocious, like 15, 20, 13 yard punts, because they were just so worried about the punt block. Go and get you some this week then.
Andrew: Yeah. Go eat this week, guys. Go eat. Like you say, that’s a situation where you’ve practiced it all year, and this is a chance where I think without a shadow of a doubt Knox and the rest of the guys calling special teams play are going to say, you know what, go get it. Go get you some this week. Like you say, they’re going to call for that punt block. They’re going to call for that big return. They’re going to call for that kind of stuff. Again, I’m looking forward to seeing what that entitles. Is that the old special teams at Florida who can just go get you one and make a big play? Again, do I think that big play is going to be needed? Probably not.
I think it’s cool to see, and I think it’s a reward to those guys to kind of show them this is what you can do in not only a game against Vandy, but a game against Georgia maybe next week, or two weeks. When we start talking about Georgia, Nick, I can guarantee you one thing is going to come up from you and I both, and that is going to be if Florida can go out and win special teams and get some points there, or easy points there, that will help their chance for an upset.
Nick: Absolutely. Not help their chance, I think that’s one of the only ways Florida stays in that game is to create those kind of plays.
Andrew: We’ll get into that later on.
Nick: That’s a different podcast.
Andrew: I’m eager to see this LSU game this week to really make my final thoughts on Georgia, because still not sold on that team being as good as you and a lot of other experts want it to be.
Nick, go ahead and give us some questions.
Nick: This one was a big one, a lot of people asking about it. Kadarius Toney, and I know what my opinion is, but I’m not sure I know yours, especially since that’s a 251 boy. Kadarius Toney, why is he not getting more touches? Hold on. Someone told me that I should pick Toney as my standout player this week, because it’s an opportunity to get him more touches. There was one more. Are the coaches saving Kadarius Toney for bigger games later in the season? A lot of the questions that I got were about Kadarius Toney. Are they saving him? Why aren’t they using him? Are they going to use him more this week? What do you think?
Andrew: I don’t think they’re saving him. What are you saving him for? I mean, you’re acting like he’s like a broken piece that’s going to fall down or something. Kadarius is in a lot better shape than he is now. I think they’re still trying to figure out how to get him the ball more, but I think you’ve seen his role increase more. I don’t exactly buy into the fact that they’re saving him, that’s for sure. I mean, you’re in, what, Week 8 now? What are we saving him for?
Nick: I’ll say this. People will probably run with it, but it’s my opinion. Kadarius Toney is limited by what he is, and he’s not a receiver. He’s an athlete right now. You can see just by the plays that he’s in for that they don’t trust him to be out there for 30 snaps and to be able to run the routes that the receivers are being asked to run. Because of that, he’s limited to what they’re showing with him, which is he’s going to get some wildcat snaps. He’s going to get some stand passes, some screens, but that’s all they trust him to do right now. They don’t trust him, they’re not going to hand him the ball off in the backfield, and they don’t trust him to run a bunch of different routes. You can’t throw. You’ve got so many players on this team. You’re not going to throw him the ball.
You’re not going to throw him 15 screens in a game. How many times are you running it? How many times are you throwing to Van, to Trevon Grimes, to Tyrie Cleveland, to your tight ends? You’ve got an offensive game plan. It’s kind of what we say with players. The more you can do, the more packages and personnel you can put yourself in and show that you can play, the more you’ll play. I just don’t think Kadarius Toney has given the coaches confidence that he can play that X or Z receiver spot, so he’s limited, and he’s limited in the roles that the slot is running as well.
Nick: That’s why you haven’t seen more of Kadarius Toney.
Andrew: I get it. Trust me. I’m with you. I’m with you for that fact. I will say this. Neither was Percy Harvin.
Nick: Percy could run way more routes than Kadarius. They’re not even close, in my opinion. Not even close.
Andrew: He could run way more routes, but what I’m saying is he was a guy that was an athlete. Now, I am completely with you in saying Kadarius Toney is not a receiver. He’s not. He was a quarterback in high school for a reason, that kind of stuff. There is zero his ability to be a receiver who is going to run a post route or anything to that way. That’s just not him. Never was, never will be, in my opinion. He’s a guy that will have to continue to learn that to be a better receiver.
I do think there’s some ways to get him involved more, but I’m with you. He is a versatile athlete that they’re going to use in different ways. I don’t think that he is being saved or anything like that. I just think the coaches are also still in a little bit of a learning process of what he can do.
Nick: Yeah. I think that’s similar to what I just said too.
Andrew: Yeah. No, I’m with you. I don’t buy into the fact that …
Nick: They’re not hiding him at all.
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t buy into that. Again, I’m a little bit, I disagree with you a little bit in that he’s not a receiver that can run every route. Is he a great receiver? No. But again, I think there are some things he can do that maybe he’s not doing. Go ahead. Go to the next question.
Nick: I don’t subscribe to the notion, like you just said, that they’re hiding him at all.
Andrew: I mean, what are you saving him for? Georgia knows what he can do.
Andrew: Next question.
Nick: Next question. What do you think is a reasonable expectation for the rest of the year? Florida right now is 5-1. What do you think is the reasonable expectation to finish? What was your preseason prediction, record?
Andrew: I had them at three losses.
Nick: You had them at 9-3. I had them at 8-4.
Andrew: Yes. I say, this is going to come off crazy when I say this. It’s crazy for me to even say it, but …
Nick: Get crazy.
Andrew: Florida losing more than one game the rest of the year, in my opinion, is not a good finish. Think about it, Nick. South Carolina is on the brisk of not making a bowl game, because they scheduled two FBS teams.
Nick: Sounds like a problem Willy Muschamp had when he was at Florida.
Andrew: Yup. They’re going to have to win three of their remaining games, and they have A&M, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Florida, and Clemson.
Andrew: So, if they lose to A&M they have to beat one of Florida and Clemson. They probably beat Ole Miss, and they probably beat Tennessee. I don’t even know if they beat those teams. So, in my opinion, Nick, Georgia we can say if they lose that game, okay. If they win that game, you shouldn’t lose another game the rest of the year, in the regular season. You look at South Carolina. That should be a win. Missouri should be a win. Florida state should be a win. Idaho should be a win.
Nick: Yeah. I think Vanderbilt is a win. I think Georgia is a loss, so that puts you at 6-2. Missouri is a game that I think would give Florida trouble if they had injuries, if David Reese or Vosean Joseph were to miss the game.
Andrew: Or if it’s in Columbia.
Nick: Or if it’s in Columbia, yeah. I think if Florida gets through Vanderbilt and Georgia, and they’re healthy and they’re at where they are right now, I would call losing to Missouri a huge upset. I’m sitting here and looking at the schedule. Idaho, that’s a win. South Carolina, that’s probably a win too. Florida State is a dumpster fire. Good luck trying to get to a bowl out there in Tallahassee. I might almost subscribe to that if they lose more than one it’s not a good finish. I think Florida, I would say 9-3 would be worst case right now heading into a bowl game.
Andrew: That’s my thing as well. If you look at where you’re at now, anything more than two losses to end the year. Listen, if they have three losses, I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s a bad year. I’m not.
Nick: Not a bad year, just not a strong finish.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s a disappointing finish.
Nick: Listen, before the year I said 8-4, and they’ve already won two of the games that I had, or not two of the games. What did I have? Two of the games. I thought LSU and Mississippi State were losses. They’ve already won two of them.
Andrew: I tried to tell you I thought LSU was going to be Florida win, but you didn’t buy into that.
Nick: I picked LSU last week, you did not.
Andrew: I’m talking about at the beginning of the year.
Nick: No, no. You picked LSU.
Andrew: People gave me credit on Twitter.
Nick: It’s on the transcript. You picked LSU.
Andrew: I said I pick LSU politically. That’s what I said. Anyway, point being I’m with you. Again, it’s a situation where you and I talk about that, the team can’t think that.
Andrew: Next question.
Nick: Let me see. I’m scrolling through. There’s a bunch of them. What do you think was the reason that big boy did not play?
Nick: Slaton. Yeah. I was thinking Clayton. I couldn’t get Clayton out of my mind. Slaton. Why did TJ Slaton not play last week?
Andrew: Hadn’t been getting off the ball. I mean, he’s been getting pushed around.
Nick: Pretty unacceptable for someone that size.
Andrew: Better players right now.
Nick: Really, Shuler and Campbell. Kyrie Campbell has been, to me, a pretty big surprise this year. I didn’t really expect a whole lot of out of him. I was really high on Elijah Conliffe, and I was really high on Slaton, so I didn’t where Kyrie Campbell kind of fit into that, other than he’ll be in the rotation. He’s been a great surprise in my mind this year.
Andrew: I mean, I think there’s better players right now.
Nick: That’s tough, because that’s one of your guys that you thought, that I thought, would be a dude this year.
Andrew: Other dudes are starting to become dudes. There’s no reason TJ Slaton should not be pushing people around in the game. I have a question for you, Nick. Would you at this time at the beginning of the year that Scotty Frost and Chip Kelly would be a combined 0-10?
Nick: No. I did not think that UCLA was going to be great, but …
Nick: Yeah. That’s a dumpster fire. Chip Kelly continues to be a pompous you know what out there in LaLa land, out there in Berkeley. Scott Frost, I thought it would take time, because he would need to get his players, but I was talking to somebody who is pretty high up about Scott Frost, and I said if Scott Frost can’t win at Nebraska, I don’t think there’s a coach left that can. Nebraska is one of the most, if a lot of our listeners are younger, they probably don’t remember the time, I don’t remember the time, it’s before my time really. I mean, not really, because Nebraska beat Florida in what, ’95?
Nick: They were the ’96 National Champion, the ’95-’96 National Championship. Beat Florida for that, but you got to go back to like those Tom Osborne years where they were a dominant powerhouse in college football. It’s just so hard to recruit that area. You’re recruiting against James Franklin, Jim Harbaugh, Nick Saban. You’re recruiting against these huge, huge programs, and you’re trying to get kids to come to Lincoln, Nebraska. Listen, I’ve spent a lot of time in Omaha. I drove over to Lincoln two years ago. That’s a tough sell.
Andrew: Here’s the thing for me. You look at what Scott Frost is as a coach. Does it really fit Nebraska? I don’t know if it does.
Nick: Can he get those kind of players? That’s why I thought he was in a great position at UCF. The guys he wants, they’re all over the state of Florida.
Nick: Now you’re going to come in and get a kid from Carol City, a kid from Fort Lauderdale to go to Lincoln, Nebraska?
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. I mean, you’re thinking …
Nick: You’re going to go into California and get kids from Southern California, from Orange County, to go to Lincoln, Nebraska?
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. You’re going into Nebraska, where you’ll looking at 350 pound cornbread fed offensive linemen.
Nick: Run the ball. Run the ball behind Bubba.
Andrew: Yup. Nick, time to pick some games real quick, as we’re running out of time. Go ahead. What’s our first game?
Nick: First game, #7 Washington heading to #17 Oregon.
Nick: Going with Chris Peterson. Who did they lose to the first game of the year?
Nick: That’s right. That win doesn’t look great. I’m going to go with the upset here. I’m going to take Oregon. Probably biggest win for Cristobal.
Andrew: Okay. I mean, hey.
Nick: I don’t feel great about it. I’m going to go just to be different, and I like Oregon.
Andrew: Okay. What’s next?
Nick: Wisconsin at #12 Michigan, College Game Day is in Ann Arbor.
Andrew: Oh. What’s the rankings one more time?
Nick: Wisconsin is 15 and coming off of a loss.
Andrew: Michigan is what?
Nick: Michigan is 12.
Andrew: I’m just not a Michigan guy. Give me Wisconsin.
Nick: Let me see. Wisconsin lost last week. No. Wisconsin beat Nebraska last week. Wisconsin’s lost this year is to BYU. That was a 21-24 loss. That was back in September, September 15. Since then, they’ve beat Iowa by 11. They beat Nebraska 41-24, and they got Michigan this week. That’s a 7:30 night game. I’m going to go with Michigan.
Andrew: You always go with Michigan. You homer.
Nick: Never even been to the state of Michigan.
Andrew: Well, you’re a homer.
Nick: I flew into Detroit, I think once.
Andrew: You’re a homer. Go ahead. Next.
Nick: Game, Tennessee at Auburn. Does Tennessee get their first SEC win?
Andrew: No. No. Gus would be fired if he does. Auburn finds a way to win, even though Gus Malzahn is still overrated.
Nick: SEC game of the week.
Andrew: Who do you got?
Nick: Oh, I got Auburn. I’m not taking Tennessee. Are you crazy?
Nick: Get out of here. #2 Georgia at #13 LSU.
Andrew: That game is going to be rocking.
Nick: Tiger Stadium will be an insane asylum.
Andrew: Georgia wins.
Nick: No chance.
Nick: Small chance. You’re not going with Lee Corso, this will be closer than the experts think?
Andrew: No. I say 10 points.
Nick: I’m going Georgia as well.
Andrew: 10 points. Some Florida fans say they want to see Georgia lose. You don’t want a pissed of Georgia going into the bye week.
Andrew: Let’s go. Players. You got first pick.
Nick: Listen, first pick of the draft every week is at Retire Mom’s, going Jachai Polite.
Andrew: My first pick is …
Nick: Keep your knees safe, Jachai. Don’t let them chop you all week.
Andrew: For real. My first pick is going to go to the offensive side of the ball, and I’m going to roll the dice and say that back to back big weeks as the running game gets going. 22, keep feeding the 251. Lamical Perine.
Nick: You took him two weeks in a row. I’m going to take him, because I said he needs to have a game where he takes another step. He needs to throw for some yards, make some audibles if you need to at the line. This is a defense that is going to challenge you in what they show you. I’m going Feleipe Franks.
Andrew: There you go. I’m going to roll the dice and hope that your boy Feleipe has a good one and can find 89 for a bomb. Tyrie Cleveland.
Nick: I’m going back. I’m going to Brad Stewart. I think he’s found his role, and I expect a big game from him.
Andrew: Okay. B rad. I said running game was going to be a key for Vandy. You got to stop it. No better person to stop it than your leader on defense in #33, David Reese.
Nick: Lock them all in.
Andrew: We did this last week, and I think it was pretty good. X-factor player is?
Nick: Freddie Swain.
Andrew: Freddie Swain. Okay. My X-factor this week is going to be Trey Dean. I think you’re going to look at CJ not shadowing completely Lipscomb this week, so you need Trey to have a big week. If there’s a cornerback that’s going to be physical with Lipscomb, it’s going to be Trey Dean.
Andrew: Don’t know how many more physical freshmen cornerbacks you have than Trey Dean. Nick, I don’t even know the line. Is the line back to 10?
Nick: No. At last check it was at 7, at 8.
Andrew: Okay. I was talking to a Vandy guy, not Adam, was talking to someone else about it, and they started laughing. They were like, how is it a double-digit point spread? Go ahead, Nick. It’s 50.5 is the over-under. I know you’re going to pick Florida, but give your spread picks.
Nick: I’m going to go, if I’m a betting man, I’m taking Florida, and I don’t know if I like that 50.5. That’s a good number there. I would probably take the under. Florida and the under.
Andrew: That’s what I would take. Florida and the under. I mean, you got to think, you might give Vandy 14 points, and that would mean Florida would need to score 36. I mean, maybe. Florida and under.
Nick: That’s what I’m taking as well.
Andrew: I don’t know. I don’t know if I like 50. I mean, if Mullen gets up big, and he might, go ahead and get these guys an extra quarter of rest before Georgia. Don’t want an injury before you go to Georgia. I’m with you. I think I’m going to go under as well. Go ahead and tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here, and we’ll see everyone on Monday. Going to line up some stuff for the bye week, kind of recap of the season as a whole, bring on a guest probably. If you got anybody in particular you want to hear from, let us know. Tell everybody where they can find us, Nick.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. Check out the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Search @GatorCountry. Subscribe. 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, guys. We appreciate it. Looking forward to the game this weekend. Looking forward to the bye week. Get some good stuff out, and then it’ll be Georgia week. We always have fun with Georgia week, because, as you and I both say, in Jacksonville anything can happen. If you try to predict it, you’re going to be wrong.
Nick: Yeah. Will Muschamp, Treon Harris.
Andrew: That is true. What was his name? What was the little holder’s name?
Nick: Mike McNeely.
Andrew: Mike McNeely. Got him a little touchdown. I mean, Kelvin Taylor. He made a career out of Jacksonville. Guys, we appreciate it. We’ll see everyone on Monday, getting a recap of this win in Nashville. Hopefully a good game overall. As always, guys, go Braves and chomp, chomp.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.