GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we continue to preview the Florida Gators vs. Colorado State on Saturday afternoon in the Swamp.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how Colorado State has been on both offense and defense this year, plus who their star players are.
Andrew and Nick also break down what Dan Mullen had to say on Monday and what the Gators can do to fix last week’s mistakes.
Andrew:What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, on Wednesday, here we go. Colorado State week. Things got to get better for the Gators. Mullen said as much on Monday. I think he might have listened to the podcast when he said the team needs to get more physical.
Nick:I think he just watched the game. I mean, that’s something, the physicality is something we’ve talked about probably since Muschamp, since Will Muschamp left. I think you can question it some when Muschamp was there, the physicality with the offensive line. How many games did we talk about with Muschamp that the offensive line was just bad? That’s exactly what it is now. I say this, Nick, and, again, I never question anyone’s effort or want to or anything like that, but at some point or another that does have to come into question. Playing physical, blocking your butt off, making tackles, it all becomes a mental standpoint of wanting to do it.
Mullen said something that I think you and I had talked about on Sunday, and that was when you miss tackles it becomes a mental breakdown. He said that they mentally have to get that going. He said it’s not like they don’t coach it. He said the guys have tobuy into that. My thing to that, Nick, is I now question how much the guys have actually bought into what Mullen is talkingabout. All summer and fall we’ve heard about how the team’s really bought in. Now it seems like he’s backtracking on that.
Nick:To me, the difference between buying in, you can buy in and you can just not be there, but that’s kind of the question that I had for you on Monday, on the Monday podcast. What is the missed tackling? Is it effort? Is it technique? Is it buying in? It’s not like when we get towards the end of the year and some guys look like they’re making business decisions. Guys that are NFL eligible, Draft eligible, you’re like it looks like he made a business decision not to try to tackle somebody there, want to stay healthy. At this point, you’re not talking about that.
It’s just concerning. We saw it against Charleston Southern, and then it just kind of kept going, and it happened again. We asked about it all week, because we knew Kentucky had a strong running back in Benny Snell, and a quarterback in Wilson that could run, so we asked about it all week. Is tackling being emphasized? Are you going to be able to tackle? Really, it’s still an issue. If it’s an issue again this week, this is a Colorado State team that just beat Arkansas.
Andrew:Yeah. Listen, this is a Colorado State team that has a couple guys that were former big-time signees. When you look at the quarterback, Carter Samuels, when you look back at Preston Williams, he’s a guy that signed out of high school with Tennessee. You have a bunch of guys on this team that have some big-time experience. You can’t go in and lay down.
Before we get into talking about Colorado State, Nick, I just think we need to go back and focus a little bit more on what Mullen said. I guess, some of the things that stuck out to me that was worrisome for me, Nick, is when he said he didn’t know how his team was going to respond. Nick, maybe I’m looking at this wrong, but, to me personally, it kind of looked like Mullen kind of expected what happened on Saturday to happen, based off of what happened last week in practice.
Nick:We never hear that, throughout the week. You never hear that we had a bad week at practice until after a loss.
Nick:To me, we asked Chauncey Gardner, and he said, listen, it’s not a weight room thing. Savage has done a great job. I think Savage has taken double-ply Charmin and turned it into rough turnpike brown toilet paper, but it’s still paper. It’s still going to rip when it gets wet. That takes time. To me, I don’t think it’s a physicality thing. If you want to say that it’s a want thing, then you got a big mental problem on the team, if it’s a want thing. You only get 12 games, so if you can’t want it 12 times a year, then there’s a huge mental roadblock that you need to get over, and I don’t know what you need to start getting over there.
Andrew:I think you’re right. Again, it’s one of those things where it’s one or the other.
Nick:What do you mean?
Andrew:It’s either a want to or not able to. What is it?
Nick:I can’t say that they’re not able to. You know what I mean? Just the way, the guys that are at Florida, I just can’t wrap my mind around the guys on Florida not being able to. You know what I mean?
Andrew:I’m completely with you. So, that leads me to the point of then …
Nick:They don’t want it.
Andrew:Do they not want it? Is it a situation where they doubt themselves? What is it? What is it with the offensive line that is not getting them to go full-blown? I said this on the message board, and I’ll say it again on the podcast. Find me five son of a guns that will blow off the line of scrimmage. I don’t care if it’s five walk-ons, if it’s five guys that are sitting in the science class right now, whatever it may be. Find me five guys that are willing to fire off the ball, and I think you get a better offensive line.
Nick:Yeah. The offensive line has been, I guess, a point of contention for everybody. To me, it’s the defense, the defense and the missed tackling. Maybe I’m just numb to the offensive line looking the way they looked. I just expected a lot more from the defensive line, and the same thing there, blow off the ball on the defensive line. Don’t wait to get hit and react. Act, and make them react to what you did.
Andrew:Right. It’s the same thing we talked about last year with Chauncey Gardner. We can talk about that now with the rest of the guys. You know how to tackle. You’ve been taught how to tackle. What is the thing that’s getting in your way? Now, again, I agree with what you’re saying, in that you’ve become adjusted to offensive line being bad. That’s fine. At some point or another, Nick, those guys that are in that offensive line room have to look themselves in the mirror and say, we’ve been through three coaches some of us, we’re not getting better. When does it become it’s not a coach problem, it’s a we problem?
Nick:You’re talking about a gut check. Look in the mirror.
Andrew:Yeah. I mean, I guess it’s the same thing for the defense. Last year we blamed, and me in particular, we blamed a lot of the defensive coaching for that, not being aggressive, that kind of stuff. Now you have an aggressive coach, what is it? When does it become a we problem instead of a they problem? It goes to you and I as well. At some point or another we have tostop blaming the coaching staff for it and start blaming the guys not getting the job done themselves. Listen, just like you said with the offense, there is no lack of talent on defense. JachaiPolite, your inside guys, those guys are players. Those guys are good players. I’ve heard people say the linebacker core is lacking good players. Okay, I can get your point there to some extent, but you’re not going to tell me those defensive linemen aren’t good players.
Nick:No. I think, when I went back and watched the game, a lot of the big plays were kind of when the second-string guys were coming, and I think Khairi Clark was on the field during a couple big plays. I’ve talked about how I like Elijah Conliffe and TJ Slaton, but they can’t play 60 plays a game. Those are big guys, and like what Chris Rumph used to say, he learned under Nick Saban that those big guys only have one tank, and you have to be able to rotate on the defensive line. You got to be able to play when the first-string comes out, because they need a breath. They need a pull of Gatorade. You need to be able to hang in there, and it can’t be such a big drop off.
Andrew:Here’s what I’ll say too, Nick. I don’t know if it was all second-string. There was a few plays Polite was in there, missed tackles. Jabari missed tackles. The two bam-bam boys missed tackles. Vosean Joseph missed tackle. Your starting corner, Trey Dean, missed tackle. Jeawon Taylor, missed tackle. CJ Henderson, missed tackle. These are guys that when you looked at the conference teams, when you looked at the best of the best on the defense, those guys weren’t mentioned. I’m just going to throw this stat at you. 20 missed tackles for 168 yards, and I think that’s being conservative on Mullen’s part, because I can count in my head way more than 20. Maybe he has a different way of counting it, but 168 yards of missed tackles?
Nick:You can’t spot teams.
Andrew:How are you winning football games? You’re not beating Charleston Southern with that.
Nick:You can’t spot teams the length of a football field and a half in free yards and expect to win many games.
Andrew:This kind of goes back to the point of the whole thing. There was some dumb penalties. The lining up offsides. 12 men on the field. Undisciplined football.
Nick:12 men on the field, coming off of a timeout. That’s undisciplined, and that starts with the coaches. I think Mullen was right to take the blame for that one, but I remember Florida would get delay of game coming out of timeout last year or years before with McElwain. That’s the same kind of inexcusable. How do you do that? You just sat there and had a minute, two minutes, 30 seconds, whatever the time was, for a timeout to get a play call. Why do you have 12 men on the field? You had a minute 30 seconds, two minutes, to pick a play call. How do you get a delay of game after a timeout? To me, that stuff is inexcusable. That’s on the coaches.
I agree with what you said too, at some point, especially when you’re talking about the line, listen, you got to stop blaming the coaches. They’re not the ones playing when you put the ball down. You got to have a sense of pride. I think, if I’m John Hevesy, I think I’m calling out my coaching staff, not my coaching staff, sorry, calling my players out. Listen, I can’t want it for you. I can’t fire off the line. I can’t run block. There’s been no run blocking for two weeks.
Andrew:There’s been no run blocking for seven years, Nick.
Nick:I brought it up after Week 1. Listen, if you can’t push some of these guys off the ball when you’re playing Charleston Southern, and they way 220 pounds, good luck when you play Georgia.
Andrew:That’s what I was going to say. Even when the guys make the block that are supposed to be made, it’s a stone, stoned right there. There is no drive. I’m going to ask you this, Nick. I posted this on the message board, and someone went back to 2011 LSU. When is the last time you can remember an offensive line blowing guys off the block and pushing them down and pancaking them to the point where you look at it and say, holy cow, what a block? Or that was some effort? When is the last time? Someone said 2011 LSU, and I had to think back and say, that might be right. I don’t remember the last time you saw an offensive line drive them back.
You turn on the Alabama games, you turn on the Ohio State games, you turn on Georgia football, you turn on some of the very good LSU football teams, what do you see? You see a line of scrimmage that is now recreated five yards down the field. A running back is not getting touched until he’s five yards past the initial line of scrimmage, and then he’s making things happen.
Nick:How long, stop our ranting real quick, how long of a fix is that? I think we both agree you’re going to have to fix. Someone on our message board had a good post, and it was Muschamp was brought in to fix a culture problem that was left by Urban Meyer. Urban Meyer was then the skill positions. The team was great, but Muschamp had to fix the culture problem. He did that, but kind of brought you back in terms of everyone else is now running spread, and they’re fast and this and that, and Muschamp teams were slow and plodding. You had great defense. After him, it was McElwain, and I think there was a lot of skill position players, but you’re looking at the lines of scrimmage, and you don’t have those guys. How long does it take to get those guys in, to get your guys in, to beef up the line of scrimmage? What’s the turnaround time here we’re looking for Dan Mullen when it comes to those positions?
Andrew:Here’s the thing for me, Nick. I don’t know. I think you have to get some JUCO guys in there, because, call it what it is, the guys that were signed last year don’t seem to be ready. Is it two years, three years? I mean, here’s the thing. As bad as we’re harping on this line, you’re losing Martez Ivey. You’re losing Tyler Jordan, and you’re losing Fred Johnson this year. If you ask me right now who’s filling in for those three guys, the only person I can tell you right now that’s filling in is Brett Heggie. Who’s filling in for the other two? Don’t ask me. I couldn’t give you a solid answer. I can tell you who would be plugged in there. Would they be good plugins? Right now, I’m saying no. Am I telling you I’m trusting you with Stone Forsythe playing left tackle in the SEC? That’s who’s going to play. Am I telling you I’m comfortable with it? Heck, no.
Nick:At some point this year you probably want to see Bleich, probably want to some Noah Banks. You want to see some of the guys that Mullen has gotten in. But yeah. To me, I don’t know, especially when you’re talking about, defensive line it’s easier to get guys in. I think Cece Jefferson will be back this week, so that will help the defensive line.
Offensive line is such a projection. I don’t know how long it will take to basically recreate a whole offensive line. When you name the guys that are leaving, like sure, man, cool. It’s like I said before the year, I don’t understand why everyone thought the offensive line was going to be great just because they had guys coming back. It’s still the same guys that hadn’t gotten the job done the last two years. To me, sure, replace guys. Cool. They haven’t been getting the job done, so go ahead and replace them.
Andrew:Right. Here’s my last thing I want to say on last week’s game, and then we’re going to move on. I went back and watched the game some for the first time. After Mullen talked on Monday, I went back and watched a little bit of it. I noticed something, Nick, that you and I had talked about praising in Week 1 that was very bad in Week 2 with the offense, and that was the tempo was really slowed down. At times, Feleipe was having five to six seconds to snap the ball, compared to 20 seconds before. I said it Week 1, and I’ll say it again, and that is that is concerning, because Feleipe needs all the time he can get to survey things.
Nick:And then some.
Nick:He needs weeks.
Andrew:Would you agree that it slowed down? Did you notice as well that it slowed down really, really bad?
Nick:Yeah. I’m pulling up how many plays. I think they only ran 43 plays, something like that. It’s like we said with Jim McElwain. Listen, the offense isn’t that good. You can’t expect them to win games when you’re running 40 plays. You’re not going to have enough successful with 40 plays when the offense isn’t good.
Nick:Let me see. How many plays did they run? They ran 67 plays against Kentucky, and they had run 66 the week before. I think if you look at the way that the plays ran out, they were probably on pace to run 80 something plays in the first game, and then you kind of take your foot off the gas a little bit once you’re up 35 at halftime.
Let’s move on, Nick. We’ll move on to Colorado State here. Talk about them a little bit. Then we can get into some of the things that may or may not change this week. When you look at Colorado State, they come into the game 1-2 on the year. Not a great record. They came back to beat Arkansas. That’s a big win. It was at home. They’ll bring some momentum in, but they’re just averaging 27 points a game.
Nick:Their defense is really what’s suspect. They’ve given up 115 points.
Andrew:38.3 a game.
Nick:38 and a third a game. That’s a lot of points. I mean, they gave up 43 to Hawaii, 45 to Colorado, and then 27 to Arkansas. They played really well in the second half, or in the fourth quarter. Arkansas scored twice in the third, and then got shutout. Colorado State, I think, scored 25 straight unanswered points to come back and win, to beat Arkansas.
Andrew:Here’s the stat for me, Nick. They’re giving up 252 yards a game on the ground. 5.86 per carry. That, to me, says this defensive line isn’t very good.
Nick:Yeah. Florida right now is only averaging 166.5 yards on the ground. Only one rushing touchdown, which is Kyle Trask. Can’t believe that Florida is going into Week 3, into Game 3, and the only rushing touchdown is from their backup quarterback.
Andrew:If you’d have told me that, and you’d have told me that Feleipe was also your leading rusher, I would have probably told you you were crazy.
Nick:In attempts and yards.
Andrew:I would have told you you were crazy. I mean, then the second guy is Damien Pierce, who didn’t even play in Game 2.
Again, when you look at it, Colorado State’s defense is suspect for the most part. When you look at Carter Samuels, the former Washington quarterback, he’s doing okay. He’s thrown for 1,102 yards already, during three games. Granted, a lot of it in times where they were behind. Decent completion percentage, 64% completion percentage. Has already thrown three interceptions on the year. Nick, he’s a guy that still will run a little bit. Has 20 carries, 57 yards on the year. Colorado State only has one rushing touchdown though, so their rushing game is a little suspect as well. I throw it back to what we said last week, Nick, and that is can’t let the quarterback beat you running the ball either, and Carter Samuels has shown he doesn’t mind to run the ball.
Nick:We talked about it. Last week we talked about saying hoping they can keep contain. That’s been a problem for a couple years. Now, I really have no confidence that you can keep that contain.
Andrew:No. Because once again, and I was one of the harder people on Rumph last year about staying on top of his guys. Sal Sunseri is one of the best defensive line coaches in America. Period. I mean, he just is. You don’t get the jobs he’s gotten, stay where he’s gotten for so long, without being one of the better defensive line coaches in America. It’s still an issue. Now it becomes a discipline issue, again, for that.
My question to you, Nick, is now you look at the DB position. Colorado State has a really good receiver in Preston Williams, 6’4” guy that was a Tennessee signee out of high school. Then you have a couple of veteran guys that are also doing really well. You got Preston William, and then the Johnson kid, both over 250 yards receiving, and both have three touchdowns. In Preston Williams’ case, he has four touchdowns on the year. Those are going to be two receivers you’re going to have to match up with. Trey Dean is going to have to step up, but outside of that is safety play. I think safety play is very suspect, because it doesn’t seem like they have really decided on who is going to be the guys at safety, especially with Shawn Davis out.
Nick:A couple guys, Jeawon Taylor got beat.
Andrew:Brad Stewart got beat.
Nick:Brad Stewart got beat.
Andrew:Donovan Stiner got beat.
Nick:I kind of like Stiner. I liked how he’s been coming up in run support. I mean, I guess we can still question how he is in coverage. I kind of like how he’s been in run support, just coming up and helping with tackles or coming up and making tackles. He’s certainly a player that we were waiting on and waiting on. I’m okay with him right now. He’s still young, but you’re going to be taking lumps at safety. You’re really hurting right up the middle. After those first two guys, after Slaton and Conliffe, you’re hurting right up the middle, at safety, at linebacker, and that’s no way to play defense.
Andrew:Getting David Reese back this weekend should be a key for them, but, again, when the ball is in the air, your defenders, your DBs, have to be very good defenders. I think this is a key point for me as well, Nick, and that is it’s not that the guys aren’t making the plays. They’re just not in position to make the plays. Brad Stewart just beat. I mean, he had no chance to make the play. He was just beat. Jeawon Taylor, he had no chance to make that play. He was beat. Those guys are just getting beat on balls and not even giving themselves a chance for that. With Grantham’s defense being as aggressive as it is, those guys are on an island by themselves.
Nick:Yeah. A lot of what Grantham wants to do, I don’t think they’ll change yet, but a lot of what Grantham wants to do is predicated on having corners, because when you don’t have to worry about your corners and doubling guys or shading safeties, it allows you to be more aggressive. Listen, Marco is covering someone. CJ is covering someone. They’ll be fine. Let them cover one on one, and now we’ve got nine guys to disguise and to blitz with.
I think with Trey Dean you still trust him. Listen, he’s a freshman. He’s going to get tested. Trey Dean might end up with the best numbers of anyone in the secondary, because he’s going to be tested. People are going to come in and see, they lost Marco Wilson, who’s probably their best cornerback. Who’s the guy behind him? He’s a freshman? That’s who we’re going to go at. Trey Dean needs to be ready, because I think he’s going to be a guy that gets a lot of action in the coming weeks. I like him, and he’s someone I’ve been talking about since he got on the campus as a guy that’s going to get a lot of playing time.
So, I think you don’t have to overhaul your defensive game plan. When you talk about the missed tackles and the guys not being in the position to make the tackles, is that the game plan, or is that on the guys just not knowing, not being ready and not knowing where they’re supposed to be?
Andrew:Right. Listen, I’m in the Trey Dean camp as well. I’ve always been impressed with him. I think he’s a physical player, a smart player, and is going to make plays there. I’m with you. Listen, he’s going to get tested. Is he going to get beat? Sure. Is he going to get thrown on? Sure. Because he’s a freshman, and they’re going to throw at him more times than not, simply because of that. That’s going to be a thing where you see his confidence. If he gets beat, how does he come back confident next time? Again, he’s going to have some growing pains, but I think they’ll be good growing pains for him. Look at CJ Henderson last year. Teams were afraid to throw to Marco’s side, so who did they pick on? They picked on CJ some. He had his lumps, and then he had his big plays. I’m not saying that it’ll be as good as Marco, because it’s not. There’s one Marco Wilson, and Marco is a different player. But I do think that Trey will be fine.
It’s the people surrounding that. That is from the middle of your field. Nick, you’re a baseball guy like me, and we always say you’re only as good as what your middle of the field is. In baseball it’s your catcher, your pitcher, your two middle defenders, your shortstop, your second baseman, and your center fielder. In football on defense it’s the same thing. How good are you in the interior of your defensive line? How good are you at your linebacker position, and how good are you in your safety position? If you’re good in all three of those spots, you can make up for everything else.
Nick:That’s true. I think, talking about linebacker, I want to see the next guys up.
Andrew:I want to see more James Houston and VentrellMiller. That’s just me.
Nick:That’s what I was saying, the next guys up. I want to see Ventrell Miller. I want to see James Houston. I saw a lot of Miller waving a towel on the sideline while Vosean Joseph and other guys are missing tackles. Hey man, put that towel down. Let’s get you in there. If you can tackle, you can play on my defense. The guys in front of you aren’t getting it done.
I just don’t understand. I knew that they were going to play less players, but I think, especially if guys in front of you aren’t getting it done, don’t let them prove you wrong over and over again. Try somebody else.
Andrew:Right. Let’s go to the offensive side of the ball, Nick. What you just said brings me to my next point. I think Dan Mullen made my case. There is no get it to list. He said the most obvious thing in the world, and that is Kadarius Toney, when he has the ball, is dynamic. You think? What’s the deal, Nick? What is the deal? My mentions were just fire on Monday after he posted that. Okay. You know that. I know that. Nick, you know that. The rest of the country knows that. Why? Why is he not even in the game half the time? I get pissed off at Steve Sarkisian with the Falcons for not having Julio in the game in red zone situations, but why is Kadarius Toney not even in the game half the time? Any answer for that, Nick?
Nick:He touched the ball four times. He obviously didn’t play in the first game.
Andrew:He touched the ball four times, and he touched the ball on consecutive plays twice.
Nick:Yeah. Let’s see. It was two carries for 10 yards, so five a carry. The two receiving, both of them were those little screens, 35 yards. 45 yards, averaging over 11 yards a touch. Maybe get him more touches.
Andrew:You have a better memory than I do, but I can only remember one play where they even attempted to throw it to him, and that was when they tried the curl route in the second quarter, and Feleipe almost had it intercepted. That’s the only other target I think Kadarius had in the whole entire game.
Nick:Yeah. I’m trying to think.
Andrew:I’m trying to go back and look again, think again about it. This is just what flabbergasts me with this whole thing. It goes back to this Colorado State game. You know he’s your playmaker, and you know you have so few opportunities, because of your offensive line. Don’t take your best offensive weapon at times out of the game. Find ways to get him the ball. Okay. Your offensive line is atrocious inside. Where are some sweeps at, Nick? When you’re going to the option play, and Feleipe’s in there, why is not Toney in there with the option play? Where is the options for him?
To me, if your offensive line is as bad as we all think it is, you have to figure out ways to game plan around that. That means getting your guys out in space. Figure out a way to get him the ball in space. Figure out a way to get Lamical Perine, Malik Davis, the guys that are making plays, the ball in space. Trevon Grimes, find a way to get him the ball in space. You telling me he’s a dynamic player is like telling me water is wet. I know that.
Nick:We saw it the first game. I don’t know why it leaves in the second game. Throw your screens, whether it’s to Kadarius Toney, who’s going to make people miss, or Trevon Grimes, who’s hard to bring down. Throw your screens.
Andrew:Yeah. With the screens, here’s the one thing I will say. This is crazy. The best blocker on the team are your receivers. Right now, they are. I can tell you what, you go back, and you look at Van Jefferson, Trevon Grimes, and TyrieCleveland, and Josh Hammond, those four guys are blocking their asses off on the edge.
Andrew:Those guys might need to tell their blocking routines to the offensive line, because the receivers are the ones blocking their asses of. You telling me that you’re going to throw a swing pass to the running back or throw a screen pass to the receiver and have his wide receivers block for him is a lot more confident to me and comforting to me than telling me you’re going to run Feleipe Franks behind five offensive linemen that haven’t shown me all year they can block.
Andrew:To me, it’s just one of those things, Nick. It’s dumbfounding to me. You tell me that you know he’s a playmaker, and you got to get him the ball. Don’t tell me that no more. I don’t want to hear that no more. I want to see action. I’m the biggest person that harps on talk is cheap. That’s what I’m saying. Talk is cheap right now. I’m tired of hearing about it. Make it happen. Just like you’re telling the guys that they need to practice harder and show that, instead of faking it. I’m telling you the same thing, Mullen. Stop faking it, and do it.
Nick:Not his fault that you just went threw three years of coaches that said there was a get it to list that didn’t exist, but Gator fans are tired of hearing it and not seeing it.
Andrew:Yeah. I don’t know if we’re not pissed off right now if we didn’t hear about it for three years, because it’s a situation where you had zero offensive rhythm, and then you come out and tell me that you have a playmaker that you only got the ball to him four times. We’re all sitting here thinking, no shit. We all know that.
Nick:Yeah. When it comes down to this game, what do you need to see? Is it just correct those things from the last game? I mean, it’s not a good team.
Andrew:Here’s the thing for me. There’s nothing you can show me in this game. I mean, maybe I’m wrong, Nick.
Nick:Just because of the opponent?
Andrew:Just because of the opponent. I mean, if they do the same thing they did to Charleston Southern, are you and I going to sit here and believe it? If they win this game 55-0, are you going to sit here and tell me that this team is going to go wipe out Tennessee? Because I’m going to tell you right now I’m not. Who knows what they’re going to do against Tennessee? I’ll say it again, and this sounds like a talking point, but I’m going to say it again. It’s another step. I need to see this offensive line dominate this Colorado State defensive line, simply because of who it is.
Nick:Almost one of those games where, I guess, we say you learn more negative than you could learn positive. If FeleipeFranks looks good, and there’s a bunch of time for him to throw, I’m thinking, that’s nice. It’s Colorado State. You’re supposed to have that. Then if those same issues that crept in through Week 1 and Week 2 show up again, then I don’t think they’re issues. I think that’s our identity. That becomes not it happened a couple times. It’s that’s what we’re going to expect every week. That’s who they are.
Andrew:Yeah. Let me ask you this, Nick. Tackling. For me, and I’m not trying to downplay Colorado State, because I personally could see this being a close game, but this is a perfect chance for tackling to be improved. We all talk about tackling is hard in practice because of the limit of contact you can have, and that’s correct. It 100% is. You’re in a game action now. This is a perfect time to get tackling fixed. It’s live action. Not a great opponent. You should win the game. This is good for practice. This is a good game for tackling. You need this to be a good game tackling wise. You do not need a ton of missed tackles in this game. You need to work on technique. You need your defensive line to stay in contain. You need your safeties to get figured out. In my opinion, you need David Reese to play at least a little bit, to get back in game action.
Nick:Yeah. If he can go, and you’re not worried about losing him for any more extended time, then he’s got to go this week.
Andrew:Any points you got in this game? What can you learn?
Nick:I would just like to see the tackling. I think I could learn maybe it was just an effort thing, and they needed to wake up. You can’t have these missed tackles again. It can’t be a thing that you do all year long. To me, I think that’s it.
Offensively, I don’t even know if you spread the ball around offensively, I don’t even know if that will show me anything, because you did that Week 1. I also think you need to stop spreading the ball around as much. Freddie Swain, nice guy, great player, does he need to be your leading receiver in the game?
Nick:I don’t think so. Not when you’ve got Van Jefferson, Trevon Grimes, Kadarius Toney, guys like this. Right now, Freddie Swain has more receiving yards than Van Jefferson and Trevon Grimes. He has more than Kadarius Toney. To me, it’s just I think you need to make that list. Right now, you’ve got 14 different guys that have caught a pass. You don’t need 10 guys catching a pass every game.
Andrew:No. I mean, if you do need 10 guys catching the ball, it needs to be a guy like Toney or Grimes or someone who’s doing that. Listen, I’m not saying this or comparing this person this, but Toney is the closest thing Dan Mullen has to a Percy Harvin. I don’t say Toney is Percy Harvin, by no means, but I’m saying someone that can be that athlete to do it all. I thought he would use him differently, and I’m still waiting to see how he uses him differently. Van and Trevon are your big guys. Tyrie Cleveland is the same way. Use them.
I heard this all off season too, Nick, and that is the tight ends were going to be involved. There wasn’t even a catch by the tight ends last week. To recollection, I think Gamble’s the only one with a touchdown catch. Take that back. Morel Stephens had a touchdown catch. Two catches all year by the tight ends.
Nick:Morel Stephens was just wide open.
Andrew:Yeah. I completely forgot about that touchdown. Two catches, him and Gamble in Game 1. That’s not going to cut it.
Nick:No. Not going to cut it. I mean, that’s what the tight ends are.
Andrew:Fine. Move someone else in there. It’s the same old, same old, and that is, not you, Nick, but you’re telling me you don’t have good enough players, so you’re playing at a disadvantage. Then scrap the tight end position off the board completely and put in another receiver.
Nick:Yeah. There’s like two tight end sets.
Andrew:Why are you even doing all that? I don’t know. I’ll say this, Nick, and this is not me being negative against anyone, but there’s more questions than answers, and you’re in Week 3.
Nick:Yeah. Week 3.
Andrew:More questions than answers. Nick, we’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Friday for the Friday prediction podcast. We’ll pick some games and all that good stuff.
Nick:Good week of games this week.
Andrew:A couple of good ones. That Auburn-LSU game, that game seems to always bring the fireworks out.
Nick:Yeah. Should be a fun game.
Andrew:Got Les Miles fired. Then that Alabama-Ole Miss game, and people always give me hell for saying this. Sometimes over the last few years it’s not been as close, but that game always has a sneaky way of being close in the first half. Ole Miss is a team that in the past has played up for Bama. I think two out of the last three years, or two out of the last four years, it’s been a blowout, but still it’s a game that usually is close at the half and is a good all-around game. We’ll see how that one is. That one should be a good one. It’s just a good week. Finally, a good week. It’s Week 3 of action.
Then the following week is a big one. That Alabama-Texas A&M game, Nick, that’s going to be a good one. I didn’t think we’d be talking about that one, but that’s going to be a good one.
Nick:Yeah. I didn’t think that would be a good one, maybe, at the beginning of the year, but after the way they looked at Clemson, it’s looking like a team that might be here to stay. Jimbo might not be having these growing pains in Year 1 in the SEC.
Andrew:When you think back to Texas A&M last year, it was a bad football team. Good grief, Nick, Kevin Sumlin at Arizona, what are you doing?
Nick:Losing lots of games.
Andrew:I mean, Houston? That’s not a good team.
Nick:Houston’s got Ed Oliver, and I think that’s about it.
Andrew:I mean, that’s it. That’s it. Whatever. Whatever goes on, that’s a bad football team out there, especially now that the fighting Herm Edwards are back.
Nick:How about that? Herm’s off to a 2-0 start.
Andrew:Didn’t think that would work. I just didn’t see that operation being a good operation. So, anyway, Nick, tell everyone where they can find us. We’ll get out of here, and we’ll see everyone on Friday. We’ll bring our predictions, all that good stuff, and hope for a good one on Saturday.
Nick:www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. Podcast is now on pretty much any site or hosting platform that you listen to it on. Just search @GatorCountry. Subscribe, never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew:There you go. We’ll be ready. We’ll be ready to go with all that good stuff. We’ll have a visitors preview and all that good stuff. Looks like there will be a couple of guys coming in. If you haven’t checked it out, check out the site. Got a lot of stuff on recruiting from last weekend. Bunch of underclassmen visited, as well as some of the top 2019 guys. Check that out as well. Recruiting is still going a little bit. Nick, Diwun Black, I think we might as well go ahead and get our edit ready for him being recruiter of the year.
Nick:Yeah. He’s running away with it.
Andrew:Someone said we might just need to give him the lifetime recruiter of the year award. I said, maybe. He’s running away with it. Anyway, guys, we appreciate it. As always, go Braves, and chomp, chomp.
Nick:You stay classy, Gator Country.