GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we bring you our Friday prediction podcast for the season opener between the Florida Gators and Miami.
Andrew and Nick take a look at the keys for the Florida Gators on Saturday, plus we talk about some over and under’s for the Gators this season.
Andrew and Nick also give you three players to watch on Saturday, plus we predict the game between the Gators and Canes.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, almost game day. It’s Friday that you guys are listening to this. You and I are taping this on Thursday. It’s time to pick some games, pick some players, and let’s get ready, get our prediction time. It’s prediction Friday.
Nick: Yeah. Depending on when you’re listening, we’re around 24 hours, maybe less than 24 hours. Maybe you’re drinking some Trulies or some White Claws while you’re tailgating and listening to us, but it’s almost game day. I’m ready for the season to kick off.
Andrew: It’s almost there. As it gets closer, it kind of seems like the trash talk has died down a little bit. Maybe Miami fans are starting to realize, we might not be as good as we think we are.
Nick: Maybe. When the game’s 60 days away or three months away it’s easy to talk smack. I think every fan gets a little nervous when the game starts to come up. Maybe at that point you start dialing it back a little bit.
Andrew: I’m thinking about do I have enough to pay off this debt that I’m about to run my mouth about, so yeah. Like I said before, I said this earlier this week, as it got closer to time, I like this whole being on the national stage. Dan Mullen said it. The guys need to embrace the fact that Saturday is going to be basically dedicated to Florida-Miami. I think that that’s something that if you’re Dan Mullen, if you’re this team, we talk about several guys on this team. I say year in and year out Lamical Perine is one of the most underrated backs in the country. It’s his time to shine. We talked about Marco Wilson not getting the attention he deserves. Listen, Marco Wilson is not going to complain about it. He’s going to go out there and do his job, but this is his time to get some national attention. Overall, the guys who said Florida’s ranked too high at #8, it’s your time to prove them all wrong.
Nick: Yeah. I think the biggest point for Florida is building off that last month of the season. I think they’ve done that. They’ve had a really good off season, and you get to start Week 0. That’s a weird thing to say, Week 0, like it’s high school Jamboree season or something. You get to start Week 0 off with a quality opponent. I know it’s Manny Diaz’s first year, his first year at the program, but it’s the University of Miami, and the history comes along with that. It’s an instate rival. There’s only one game at 7:00 on Saturday, so everybody, not just college football fans, but just football fans in general. Football is back. There is four games on Saturday, but really only one that matters, and that’s Florida-Miami, so it’s a huge stage. I’m sure the adrenaline’s going to be pumping on Saturday in Orlando.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s kind of like you said. There’s a lot of people who are just ready for football that means something. I’ll be the first to admit, preseason football does nothing for me. I’ll flip it on and watch the first couple series when Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are in the game, and then after that it’s like, I’m done. This is the first time to see real football that means something. It’s going to be special. I am very interested, Nick, to see how the crowds are at the stadium, inside and outside. I think inside is going to be packed. I also am interested to see the tv ratings. We always talk about the tv ratings and what it is overnight from ESPN, that kind of stuff. I’m interested to see what the overall numbers are.
Nick: I imagine they’re going to be through the roof.
Andrew: I think so too. Like I said, we’ll see.
Andrew: We’ll see. Nothing big has come out since we really talked. I do think that it’s interesting that Manny Diaz is now kind of embracing the fact that Tate Martell is going to receiver and that. He’s giving the whole Tate Martell is a team guy. No. No. Tate Martell realized, okay, I’m here. I want to play somewhere, so let me go to receiver.
Nick: Could have played receiver at a much better team if he would have just stayed at Ohio State.
Andrew: Probably has a chance to get a ring. He’s not getting one there.
Nick: I mean, good for him though. I understand the whole saga that happened. You transfer. You think you’re going to start. You don’t start, and then that Monday at practice you don’t show up. I’m thinking, shoot, transfer portal bound again. I get it. I mean, it’s not the mature move, but it’s a 20-year-old kid who is thinking about his future and his present. It’s not going his way. I get the reaction. Might not agree with it, but I get it. Good to come to back and say, listen, apologize to the team, should have been there. How can I help going forward? If it’s not going to be at quarterback, what can I do? How can I help?
Andrew: Can I just say I’m so sick and tired of hearing about him?
Nick: That’s true.
Andrew: I’m so tired of hearing about him. Honestly. I told you this off the air, and I’ll say it again. What did people see that made them think Tate Martell was the next coming of Tim Tebow?
Nick: Yeah. I mean, he had a tv show on Netflix and created some waves on Twitter when Justin Fields transferred, but yeah, the second coming of Tebow, I don’t know where that came from. I mean, I’d be lying if I say I didn’t expect when he transferred that he would start. I’m probably guilty of forgetting about Jarren and the kind of talent he was as a recruit, but I saw N’Kosi Perry, and I knew he wasn’t it.
Andrew: I think the biggest thing I remember from Tate Martell is the tv show with Snoop Dogg’s son.
Nick: QB1 on Netflix.
Andrew: No. It was Snoop Dogg’s show on ESPN where they followed him around, and he was the backup quarterback to, done forgot who it was now. I mean, QB1 he was definitely there, but the Snoop Dogg show.
Nick: Shoot, I forgot to mention on the last podcast, I think Alachua County schools ended up giving Netflix the green light to film Anthony Richardson this year. They just came out with their QB1. They just released. It’s last year’s class, so that means if that’s right, if that’s correct, what I was told is correct, Richardson will be on the next year’s. It will release right before college football season next year. They’re going to be filming it now.
Andrew: What I understand, Nick, is that they had some concerns about where they were going to be allowed to film and that kind of stuff, and so I think Alachua County’s, I don’t want to say demands, but their parameters were met by QB1, and they’re going to be able to follow him now. Maybe not as much classroom stuff. Maybe not that kind of stuff. Listen, I think it’s good. I know some people were talking about he’s a 17-year-old kid, why did he want a tv show? It’s good publicity for Alachua County. Why would you not want it?
Nick: Unless some bad stuff happens, but if you’re taking care of your business, taking care of you and yours, then you’re not going to have anything bad. These shows don’t really try to highlight anything. They’re not trying to break news. It’s just a cool look at some of the best high school prospects and quarterbacks in the country.
Andrew: Like you said, it’s a whole year. If something does happen, it’s not news. You’re not breaking news. I mean, we’re talking about we’re going to be watching Anthony Richards on QB1 this time next year.
Nick: Right. It’s a documentary style, so it’s not breaking as it is and getting things out of context. They do a great job with the show. I remember watching Tate Martell, Justin Fields, Jake Fromm, and I love the show. I’m going to start binging it, and I’ll probably finish the new season before kickoff Saturday.
Andrew: Why can’t we have like a Hard Knocks version of that where it’s week by week? I think that’d be cool.
Nick: I just got into the Cleveland Browns are kind of doing their own. It’s called Building the Browns.
Nick: It’s on YouTube. It’s on their YouTube page. It’s like the same thing as a Hard Knocks, essentially. I’ve been getting into that. There’s a bunch of episodes. I’m on like Episode 6. They’re between 25 minutes, 45 minutes, depending on the episode, but it’s just same thing as Hard Knocks. You’re getting a kind of behind the looks. Love that kind of stuff.
Andrew: Okay. I’m going to have to go watch that now. Glad you said that. There you go.
Nick: Got you.
Andrew: I love that stuff. Let’s get a little bit deeper into this game, Nick. Let’s really start talking some keys here. For me, Nick, and we’ve highlighted this, I think, all week, but for me it’s going to be how does Miami score? That’s going to be the biggest thing. Again, I think Jarren Williams is a very good quarterback. Do not get me wrong. I do think it’s going to be very tough Week 1 in his first little bit of action to process what Todd Grantham’s going to do. If Florida shuts down Jarren Williams, Nick, where do they go?
Nick: Yeah. To me, you have a veteran play caller in Dan Enos, and with freshman tackles and freshman quarterback you’re going to be trying to get your young guys confidence early. To me, what does that mean? What does that mean to you? That means screens, quick passes, stand passes, slants. Just get the ball out of his hands. Try to call some easy completions, some high-percentage plays for him, to get him some confidence early. If I’m Todd Grantham, I know that. We’re probably not going to have our redshirt freshman throw a 70-yard flea flicker on the first play of the game. Obviously, you’ve still got to strap up. You’ve got to tighten your chin strap, and you’ve got to play the game. On paper, I’m like you. I don’t know how Miami scores.
Andrew: Tua Tagovailoa is not coming out for Dan Enzo. So, good luck.
Nick: Enos. Dan Enzo, we got to put that one the wall of fame of Spivey’s pronunciation.
Andrew: Whatever. Eno.
Nick: Wall of fame of Spivey mispronunciation.
Andrew: Whatever. Whatever your name is. Nick Saban’s not going to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner.
Andrew: I mean, that’s my thing, Nick. There’s some talk out there about one of Miami’s biggest playmakers being out for the game, and if that’s the case, that’s really troublesome. Again, and I think we said this on the podcast, I know I mentioned this on a couple radio spots I had this week, but Florida’s going to go into this game knowing Marco, CJ, you’re on an island, and you’re good with that. Bring the pressure. Bring the blitz. Hit Jarren Williams as many times as you can and see what’s going on. Florida’s not going to be scared of anybody running against CJ or Marco.
Nick: No. To me, that’s been some other foolishness, like Miami fans. I guess, if you’re not the one that has to throw those guys, go ahead and talk your smack, but the thought process that goes through to be like, CJ Henderson’s on that side of the field, throw at Marco. Okay? Have fun.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, people forget. We talked about this. Marco Wilson don’t care. We’ve talked about this for a long time. Marco gets zero credit, because of his ACL injury. Let’s face it, Marco was a little better than CJ their freshman years.
Nick: 100%. I mean, he joined a group, an elite group. We’re talking about Joe Haden, Janoris Jenkins, Marcus Roberson, of freshman that earned a start in their first game. That’s not anything to thumb your nose at. He was ready. Just getting forgotten because he missed time. I think the first person to throw at him is going to figure out, oh crap, we shouldn’t have forgotten him.
Andrew: I mean, they’re going to probably take some shots at Marco, and good luck. That’s not going to be smart. I don’t necessarily see Miami running the ball very much in this game. Now, there is some talk. Elijah Conliffe made news on Wednesday when he kind of broke his own news that he’s out of the game, or out for the season. You and I have not been able to confirm the season part, but Florida will be a little shy of depth at defensive tackle, so maybe that’s where they try to go. Outside of that, I’m not sure. I don’t think they can run the ball consistently enough in this game to win.
Nick: I think, if you’re looking at, and I’ve said it before, if Miami is going to win this game, Miami’s not scoring 40. Miami’s not scoring 30, I don’t think. I don’t think Miami scores into the 20’s. So, you need to try to bring Florida down to your level, and that means how can we do that? Keep their offense off the field. So, then you’re trying to think of, how do we keep possession? You’re going to have to run the ball and have to chew clock. To me, it’s kind of like can you do that? I mean, Miami’s not winning a shootout, and I think their coaching staff probably knows that, should know that. So, you got to start figuring out and finding ways to how can we be successful. I’m just really struggling to find those ways.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s kind of where I’m at. Now, offensively for Florida, they better be able to block that front seven of Miami, because they return a group of guys who finished eleventh in the country last year with 40 sacks overall. Shaq Quarterman and Michael Pinckney at the linebacker spot, and then Jonathan Garvin at that defensive end spot. Those guys are going to come at you. You’re going to have to block them. For me, early on, Nick, is see how does this offensive line adjust, because they’re going to be facing somebody different. How does this offensive line adjust to Miami’s front seven, because Miami’s probably coming into this game a little bit the same way we’re talking about Florida coming into this game, and that is make Feleipe beat us. They’re not going to let Lamical and Malik and Damien just run the ball all over.
Andrew: So, they’re going to bring some pressure. They’re going to try to clog some gaps up as well, and that front seven is pretty good.
Nick: Yeah. I have a lot of respect, and that’s why I don’t think this game turns into a blowout, in the sense of 40-14, 40-7, something like that. I think I have a lot of respect for Miami’s defense. I just don’t know how Miami scores, and I feel very comfortable about Florida winning this game. I don’t think it’s a Miami team, especially opening game, big stage, hated rival, I don’t think it’s a game where Miami’s defense just rolls over. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Florida’s going to go out and put up 60 points, like they’re playing Townsend.
Andrew: Right. I mean, I don’t think so either. Now, the way I could see it getting out of control though is Jarren Williams starts making some mistakes.
Nick: Right. Some freshman mistakes. Yup.
Andrew: Yeah. Start turning the ball over a little bit there and allowing Florida to start on in Miami territory or maybe even some defensive touchdowns in this game. Then you could be talking about a blowout. Overall, not to spoil my pick, but I think you’re talking a probably two-score game. I do have Florida covering.
Nick: Oh yeah. No. I’ve got Florida covering. I’d feel comfortable putting down 14 points. I just don’t think Florida’s going to score 40.
Andrew: Yeah. I’m with you. You had some over and unders you wanted to talk about. Let’s go.
Nick: Yeah. We got some good ones here. We might go the same was. As I was looking at these, I was doing it for a story, and my story will be out Friday when you’re listening to this, so check it out on Gator Country. We’ll do a little audio version for you here and see if you and I differ. Maybe we get some debate.
Nick: I’m going to start over-under 30 touchdowns for Feleipe Franks. This is just passing touchdowns, not total, because I think he will get some on the ground as well.
Andrew: What’d he finish with last year?
Nick: I pulled it up yesterday and then lost it, so I’m pulling it up now. I think he was close to that last year.
Andrew: I was going to say I thought it was mid-20s.
Nick: Last year he had 24 touchdowns passing to 6 interceptions.
Andrew: I’m going to go under.
Nick: Okay. I’m going over on that one. I think, obviously, the schedule a little more difficult this year. I mean, it’s still a really bad Florida State team you’re going to play at the end of the year. I think Feleipe in Year 2 of Mullen’s system will be more up to speed. You probably spent half the season, if not 55, 60% of the season, with the coaching staff still trying to figure out what can he do, what can’t he do? What are we taking out of the playbook? What are we putting back in? I’m going to go over.
Andrew: I think for me, Nick, and I can see the over. I’m going to say he’s probably 28 or so. Dan Mullen’s very comfortable running the ball, very, very comfortable running the ball. Lamical’s going to have a big year. I do think you’ll see some things going, different things with the receivers rushing the ball. Then, like you said, Feleipe running the ball in. That’s why I got the under.
Nick: Well, sticking with running the ball, over-under 1,000 rushing yards for Lamical Perine in his senior season.
Andrew: Over. No doubt.
Nick: He came close last year. 826 on 134 carries. That’s a 6-yard per carry average. Basically split 50/50 reps with Jordan Scarlet. I’m on record. This year I think he is a true bell cow in the offense. I think Malik Davis spells him, and then you use Damien Pierce as that Mariano Rivera closer role towards the end of games like they did last year. The difference between Lamical Perine and Jordan Scarlet, Jordan Scarlet could pass block. Lamical Perine can pass block. Perine’s hands are so much better than Scarlet’s catching the ball out of the backfield. If you got into a 3rd and 7, 3rd and 6, you had to put Perine on the field, and you take Scarlet off.
Right now, Perine, in my mind, is a true three down back. He doesn’t have to come off the field. I’ve got him over 1,000 yards. He would be just the fifth since 2000. Earnest Graham had 1,085 in 2002. Ciatrick Fason had 1,267 in 2004. Mike Gillislee had 1,100 in 2012. Then Kelvin Taylor hit that mark four years ago.
Andrew: Right. Yeah. I mean, to me there’s no question. Barring something happening to Lamical to cut into his season, there’s no question for me. He’s over 1,000. He’s your bell cow. Listen, I think that Dan Mullen will rotate some guys. Lamical even said that in some interviews. Listen, I need to stay fresh, and that kind of stuff. I do think Malik and Damien will get some carries, a decent amount of carries. But at the end of the day, you go with your best, and there’s no doubting who your best is.
I’ll go on record this. Listen, I know I’ll probably get called a homer for this, that, or the other. Lamical Perine is going to be a first team All-SEC guy. Period.
Nick: Got some big bad running backs, so that’s a bolder statement than 1,000, I think. I think when I wrote that own down I think I figured you’d say yes.
Nick: Over on that one.
Andrew: Over on that one.
Nick: We’re moving to the pass catchers. 50 catches by any wide receiver.
Andrew: What was the most last year?
Nick: Last year Van Jefferson led the team with 35. Josh Hammond and Trevon Grimes, 28, 26 apiece. Kadarius Toney had 25 catches last year.
Andrew: Okay. I think I’m going to surprise you here, Nick. I’m going to say that someone does get 50.
Andrew: I’ll go Van.
Nick: That’s like one extra a game, one and change extra a game.
Andrew: It’s a situation where I think that as the receiving corps gets better it also allows for a receiver to get more of the wide receiver screens, that kind of stuff, the stand passes. So, yeah, I do. To me, this is a very good receiver group, but there’s one guy that is Mr. Reliable, Van Jefferson. To me, that’s the guy.
Nick: Yeah. I’m going under. There’s just too many mouths to feed there.
Nick: There’s just too many guys, too many weapons, so I’m going under.
Andrew: Okay. It could very well be. For me, I think that you’ll see a more confident Feleipe means more catches. Now, that should also mean more touchdowns, and I went the under.
Nick: That’s true.
Andrew: All right. What’s next?
Nick: Offense as a total, 30 points per game. Over or under?
Andrew: What was it last year?
Nick: We’ll do 30.5, just in case.
Andrew: They hit 30 on the dot.
Nick: Yeah. Just in case they hit 30 on the dot. Last year Florida averaged, oh. They averaged 35 per game last year? Is that right?
Andrew: There’s no way.
Nick: Scoring last year.
Andrew: No way they were at 35. Right?
Nick: Yeah. They scored 455 points, divide by 13.
Andrew: Okay. Well then, I’m definitely going the over.
Nick: We’re going 35.5. We’re going to reset that number. 35.5.
Andrew: I’ll still go over. There’s some really good games, and there’s some really bad games. Yeah. I’ll go over.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, you look at the schedule. Miami is a game you could do that. You’re definitely doing that versus Townsend. There’s just a bunch of games that you can.
Andrew: Florida State. Yeah. I think they might do it this week.
Andrew: That the last one?
Nick: Defense giving up 21 points per game.
Andrew: I know it was less than that last year, right?
Nick: It was 20, so I put it one point over. Does the defense take a step back? Do they take a step forward? They gave up 260 points total last year.
Andrew: I think it’s a better overall defense from a secondary standpoint. I’ll go under.
Nick: Okay. I’m going to go under as well. I’ve done a ton of podcasts and radio and stuff like that, and everyone’s been questioning, how do you replace Chauncey? How do you replace Jachai Polite? To me it’s not a huge issue. I think I like the guys that are replacing those people.
Andrew: Listen, those guys are very good players for me, and I think, for me, Nick, and this isn’t a slouch at Chauncey by any means, but the biggest thing for Chauncey is how do you replace that leadership, per se, for him? That’ll be a key. I think Marco and CJ coming back is big. Not that I think Trey Dean’s going to have as much of an impact as Chauncey did, but for me the replacing that was the leadership more than anything. I think you can replace that.
Nick: All right. I got a couple more for you.
Nick: Gamechanger. Who is the gamechanger in your mind for the offense? Or we’ll do the whole team. Who’s the gamechanger in your mind for this whole team?
Andrew: Ooh. That’s a good one. I’ll let you go first while I ponder on this.
Nick: I’m going to go with an easy one. I’ve been very high on him all year, or all off season. For me, it’s going to be Feleipe Franks. Still, I want to see it. I want to see that those last four games weren’t a fluke. Show me again. But I’m confident that Feleipe Franks can be that kind of guy for Florida.
Nick: Honestly, if Feleipe doesn’t show up, then this 10 wins we’re talking about, 9 wins we’re talking about, getting to the SEC Championship game, stuff like that.
Andrew: Whoa, whoa. I didn’t say nothing about getting to no SEC Championship game.
Nick: Well, there’s a bold prediction coming up then, Spivey.
Andrew: Whoa, whoa. Didn’t say nothing about that. Cool the brakes on that. I want to get to Atlanta too, but cool the brakes on that. I mean, I hate to just jump on your train as well, but that’s kind of what it is. I mean, this team is going to go as Feleipe goes. I would love to say it was Perine, but at the end of the day, if Feleipe’s bad this year, they’re going to still have to stop the run. I would say one of the receivers, but, again, it’s Feleipe. If Feleipe has a good year, the receivers are going to have a good year. I’ll cheat and say Feleipe, just because, like you said, this team is going to go and come as Feleipe does.
Nick: Agree with that. Who is your breakout player for the season?
Andrew: Breakout. Jacob Copeland.
Nick: Okay. That’s a good one.
Andrew: For me, there’s no doubt about that. We talked about this the other day. There’s people who like the game, and there’s people who love the game. Copeland sitting on the sidelines last year might have been the, I don’t want to say the best thing for him, because it wasn’t. I mean, he definitely went through adversity, but I think it made him hungrier for what’s about to happen.
Nick: I agree with that. I’m going to go with Amari Burney. I love your pick of Copeland. I just think Amari Burney is a starter and going to be a guy that is going to be so crucial and critical when you start looking at depth in the secondary, as well as being a starting linebacker.
Andrew: Oh, he’s going to be a household name at the end of the year.
Nick: Yeah. There’s my breakout player, Spivey. Just chalk up another win for me.
Andrew: I’ll throw one out there too that I think we don’t talk about enough. Kyle Pitts. Kyle Pitts very well may end up being that go-to. 3rd and 5, where do you want to go? Split Kyle Pitts out for a slant and let him go. He very well may be that guy at the end of the year. I’m very high on him. I just think that Jacob Copeland is going to find a way to break into a role. Probably not a starter, but a guy who’s going to make some big plays for this team.
Nick: Okay. Two more. Best kept secret.
Andrew: Best kept secret. I’ll throw you one out at you that maybe you wouldn’t have known or thought about. Stone Forsythe. I think that’s going to be the guy who nobody’s talked about, but he’s not flashy. Doesn’t go out there and stonewall everybody. Just does his job. I think he’ll be a mainstay at left tackle.
Nick: That’s a good one. One that I didn’t really think of, but you bring it up, and I’m here for it. Mine is, I think you kind of swayed me. I don’t want to say Copeland, because I don’t know if he’s a secret. I’m going to go with Marco Wilson, because apparently everyone forgot. So, I think Marco. It’s going to start early on Saturday. If Miami thinks, we can’t throw at Chauncey, so we’re going to throw at Marco, they’ll find out quick.
Andrew: Good luck. That’s all I can say.
Nick: Bold prediction for the season.
Andrew: I mean, I know what yours is. Yours is to get to Atlanta.
Nick: I got Florida winning the SEC East, beating Georgia. I still think, and people aren’t going to like to hear this, I still think there is a slight talent gap between Georgia, because they sign 85 guys and 50 five-stars every year. I just think Dan’s a better football coach than Kirby, and I think that it’ll be a game that whoever wins that game, in my mind, is going to Atlanta. I think if Florida’s healthy going into that game, I think they have a real chance. At that time they will most likely be upsetting Georgia, but I’ve got Florida going to the SEC Championship game.
Andrew: If CJ Henderson and Marco play last year, they probably beat Georgia.
Nick: Might be a different ballgame then. Yup.
Andrew: I don’t have Florida going to the SEC Championship. I have them falling in Jacksonville. I have them losing just that game to Georgia right now. I say that, and I could easily see them losing to LSU, just because of where it’s at. You and I both know how tough it is to go to Death Valley and play in Baton Rouge. I have them just losing that game to Georgia. I think it’ll be a good game. There’s a lot of what-ifs for this team. We talk about the what-ifs with Feleipe. I do think he’s much better, but there’s still that what-if there. There’s still that what-if on the offensive line. Also the what-ifs in the secondary. If Marco or CJ has a chin strap fall off or something like that, the depth’s a little bit of concern there. So, that’s why I have Georgia with a little bit of an edge there. I could see it going either way, but that’s where I’m at.
Nick: Okay. So, your bold prediction is?
Andrew: Just one loss. I don’t know if that’s bold.
Nick: So then you’ve got Georgia going to …
Nick: Atlanta undefeated, or maybe with one loss, but beating Florida.
Andrew: Probably with one loss, but beating Florida. At the end of the day, it’s like you say. Whoever wins Jacksonville is going.
Nick: I believe that. Yeah. I believe that to be true.
Andrew: Okay. I’ll give you a bold prediction. Willy Taggert is not going to do well again. Is that bold enough for you?
Nick: Really going out on a limb there.
Andrew: There you go. Again, I know that’s kind of the cowardly way. I think one loss. I don’t really have a bold prediction, I guess.
Andrew: Nick, let’s go. It’s time for the pick the players. Here we go. We always say we’re going to keep track, but you’re going to actually keep track this year.
Nick: I’m going to try to keep track this year. I got a Word document set up. It’s saved. It’s on my desktop.
Andrew: Go ahead and mark me down for my first pick at deuce, #2.
Nick: I don’t understand why you get the first pick either.
Andrew: A comes before N in the alphabet.
Nick: Okay. If you’re taking LP, I’m going to go with Feleipe Franks.
Nick: Shoot. I’m all in on Feleipe Franks right now, but remember last year every time I picked him he was terrible?
Andrew: So, here we go. If he’s terrible, it’s Nick’s fault.
Nick: Blame me.
Andrew: It’s Nick’s fault. I’m going to go #3 on the defense side of the ball. They’re going to throw at CJ, pick on Marco, as you wish. Marco island returns with an INT. Probably Jarren Williams first college INT.
Nick: Okay. I’m going to go with Jonathan Greenard.
Andrew: That’s a good one. That’s a really good one.
Nick: I think Todd Grantham is going to be dialing him up. He’s taking the role. Jabari Zuniga, every time I’d go and try to pick him it’d be a big game, and he didn’t have great games in big games, kind of beat up on some of the worst teams. I went the other way.
Andrew: I wanted to pick Zach Carter, and I almost did tell you I was picking Zach Carter, but I’m turning it around and going with the Van. Van Jefferson. I think Feleipe will hook up with Van for some TDs.
Nick: I got Kadarius Toney. I was worried you were going to pick him, being an Alabama guy. I got KT. I think they got a little wrinkle for Miami with Kadarius Toney.
Andrew: By the way, we’ve talked this whole podcast and never brought his name up.
Nick: I just did. I was lulling you into a false sense of security, trying to keep the wool over your eyes, and I was successful.
Andrew: I think we just have come to the realization that, listen, KT is going to do some crazy stuff on the field, and it’s almost expected.
Nick: Going to get the ball in his hands somehow. He’s earned and developed into the player that can be on the field in more situations, so absolutely.
Andrew: Give him the ball. Let him do some shakes and get on down the field. Yeah. Okay. Picks. We got to pick some games, because there are games.
Nick: There’s only four games.
Andrew: I’m going to be honest with you. I have zero clue of any of these teams. Any of these teams that are playing this weekend. Didn’t even know Villanova played football. Didn’t even know that.
Nick: Are they new? How new?
Andrew: A couple years new, if what I looked at was correct. They just started playing again. I didn’t even know that. They’re not even Division I in football, right? They’re like I-AA, right?
Nick: Shoot. Man, you’re asking questions I don’t know.
Andrew: Give me the first game. Let me try to take a stab at this.
Nick: This ain’t basketball. I’m going with Colgate at home over Villanova.
Andrew: Toothpaste over basketball.
Andrew: Okay. Give me the basketball team.
Nick: You’re going with the Wildcats.
Andrew: Give me them.
Nick: Give me the basketball team. All right. I got Colgate.
Andrew: Feel like I’m Lee Corso here, just naming the first team that comes to mind.
Nick: Oh, hey, there’s that team. Okay. Sure.
Andrew: Start asking the mascots.
Nick: Next game is Sanford, not to be confused with Stanford. This is Sanford in Alabama. Sanford traveling up to Youngstown State, taking on the Penguins.
Andrew: Youngstown State is usually pretty good, I think. Right?
Andrew: I think I remember seeing them in the playoffs.
Nick: You know who their head coach is?
Nick: Bo Pelini.
Andrew: Oh. You might have just made me pick against them. Oh hell, give me the Bulldogs of Birmingham, Alabama in Sanford.
Nick: I’m going with Bo Pelini and his cat. We’re taking the Penguins.
Andrew: The Penguins?
Nick: Yeah. Youngstown State Penguins.
Andrew: A bulldog would kill a penguin.
Nick: Who is that, Jim Tressel coached at Youngstown State as well. He was a Penguin.
Andrew: A bulldog will kill a penguin.
Nick: This is the last game of the night, but, obviously, we were going in order of how they’re going to played, but we’ll save Florida for last. Late night game, 10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time kickoff. Arizona heading out to Hawaii.
Andrew: The fighting Kevin Sumlins.
Nick: The fighting Kevin Sumlins.
Andrew: Give me Kevin Sumlin, just because.
Nick: Yeah. I’m going with Arizona too. I don’t know. I know nothing about Hawaii’s football team.
Andrew: They got some Hawaiians on the team.
Nick: Maybe less than nothing.
Andrew: They have Hawaiians on the team. Big offensive linemen.
Nick: All right. I think everyone knows our picks here. I’ve got Florida covering that 7-7.5 spread. I’d feel comfortable with a 14-point spread. The biggest thing for me is that you’re in Year 2 of a system. Feleipe Franks said it on Monday. I don’t know if he was joking or not, but he said, “I don’t think the coaches knew all of our names when we kicked off the season last year.” You saw how they had to kind of learn and devise different things. That whole first year for Florida, while winning 10 games, was a learning experience.
You’re getting a team in Year 2 who’s now comfortable, confident, and ready to go, versus a team that still has the training wheels on. They’re still getting ready. They’re still getting used to a system, to a new coach, to a new way of doing things. For me, I’ve got Florida winning big. It might be a game where early on, when you watch like a heavyweight boxing fight, and it’s kind of like jab, jab, jab, feeling each other out. Maybe that early, maybe Miami hangs around early, but I think Florida runs away with it towards the end of the game.
Andrew: Close game at halftime, and Florida pulls away at the end. Depth is there for Florida, and the more they bang on Jarren Williams, the less confidence he has in this game. I do think Jarren Williams will be an excellent quarterback down the road, just don’t think it happens here. How many times does Manny Diaz screw up in Year 1, because he is a goofball?
Nick: Well, that’s a jampacked podcast.
Nick: Leading into game day.
Andrew: I’m excited. I think it’ll be a good atmosphere in Orlando. It’ll be a good game to open it up. Yeah. I’m excited for it.
Nick: Shout out to St. Thomas Aquinas.
Andrew: Oh yeah. I knew this was coming.
Nick: Just getting a Jordan brand. Your high school could never. A Jordan brand contract. What high school in the country is rocking Jordan brand? St. Thomas Aquinas. That’s who.
Andrew: They’re going out to play De La Salle this weekend.
Nick: You know what that is? That’s bad news for De La Salle, Spivey. Let’s go Raiders.
Andrew: Should be a good one. It kicks off this weekend, high school football does. Most of the commits, except for the northeastern guys, will kickoff this weekend. One quick note, Nick, recruiting wise. Florida and Miami are able to give tickets to guys for this weekend. They’re just unable to have contact with guys this weekend. I know there was some confusion there. Wanted to get that out there. Because it’s the dead period, they can’t have contact with guys, but guys can come watch the game this weekend. Check us out on Friday. We’ll have a visitors list. Lot of good players coming in to watch this game. As I said, this could be momentum for underclassmen specifically, for whichever team comes out on top on Saturday.
Nick: Yeah. You and I both say it’s not going to be the end all, be all for why a kid picks it, but I think it does play into the equation. It’s not going to be the ultimate. I was at the game, and Florida beat Miami, so I have to go to Florida now.
Nick: That won’t be it, but it will play into it, especially if it looks like the programs are not close.
Andrew: Yeah. It will. Again, it’s all about momentum. If you win, you pick up a little momentum. Maybe get that guy on campus a little more. The more times you get him on campus, the better shot you got. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Monday, as we’ll recap this big game and get ready for a bye week.
Nick: Yes, sir. www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. Search Gator Country wherever you get your podcasts from. 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. See everyone on Monday. If you’re in Orlando, give Nick and I a shout. We love to say hello to everyone. Good luck. Enjoy Game Day this weekend. As always, chomp, chomp and go Braves.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.