Podcast: Previewing Florida Gators vs. Missouri

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we continue to preview the Florida Gators vs Missouri game on Saturday.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown the keys for this game as Missouri’s offense has been one of the best in the SEC this year.

Andrew and Nick also breakdown the latest around the Gators as they try and bounce back from Saturday’s loss to Georgia.


Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, it is Wednesday. It’s Missouri week, and time to bounce back from the Georgia game.

Nick:                         Yeah. We had a lot to discuss about the Georgia game, so we didn’t really get to Missouri. Turn the page now, and this entire podcast will be about Missouri and the matchup this Saturday.

Andrew:                 It’ll be a game that I think Florida should win the game, no doubt about it. Florida should win the game. It’s a question mark of the depth of Florida at DB. How does CJ Henderson bounce back? Dan Mullen said on Monday that it was nothing structural. It was just a bruise, but we all kind of know how a bruised back is. That’s something that responds differently than a lot of other places on your body. That will be interesting to see how much does he play, and then how effective is he when he does play on Saturday?

Then what’s the status after that? Does Brian Edwards get in there and play some? Dan Mullen said he’s not injured, so he must just be crapping the bed in practice. Then your depth at safety. Does Brad Stewart get back in the mix? Because Drew Lock is going to throw the ball around. It’s going to be a pass happy offense. 23rd in the country in passing offense.

Nick, I threw a stat at you. Could be an interesting day for Drew Lock on Saturday. Goes into the game just one passing touchdown behind Chris Leek and Tim Tebow for career passing touchdowns in the SEC. Just two back of Peyton Manning. He has an opportunity to, with three touchdowns in the game, jump into third place all time in passing touchdowns in the SEC.

Nick:                         You don’t want to see that happen on your field. It just goes to show how long Drew Lock’s been around and how good he’s been around. 37 passing yards needed for him to move into sixth place on the SEC all time career passing yards list as well. That would pass Danny Wuerffel.

Andrew:                 It speaks volumes of Drew Lock. Drew Lock is one of those guys, Nick, if he plays anywhere in the country pretty much, besides Missouri, you’re talking about a guy who is getting all kind of praise. When you think about Drew Lock, he doesn’t get the praise he should. He doesn’t get the accolades he should. I think that Dan Mullen said it on Monday. He’s one of the better quarterbacks in the SEC and in the country. I don’t think you can disagree with that, with just the way he’s done. Of course, he is in a pass happy offense, but I still don’t think Drew Lock is a bad football player.

Nick:                         No. I don’t think anyone thinks he’s a bad football player. He’s not really considered, there’s really not a top end draft eligible quarterback this year. I think the kid out of Oregon is maybe considered a first rounder.

Andrew:                 Oregon quarterbacks don’t do well in the NFL.

Nick:                         Yeah. But, I mean, he’s 6’6”. He’s a different kind of breed of Oregon quarterback. Drew Lock coming into last season people were thinking he might be a first rounder if he comes out this year, and that kind of just hasn’t played out. Great quarterback. Listen, he’s a guy that can spin it. If you don’t get pressure on him, like Florida wasn’t able to get pressure on Fromm, he’ll sit back there, and he’ll pick you apart.

Andrew:                 That’s a key going into the game. You have got to figure out a way to get some pressure. Got to figure out a way. When you look at Florida, when they’re doing well, it’s because they’re getting sacks. That’s exactly what they’re going to have to do. Missouri has only give up eight sacks on the year though. They’ve kept Drew Lock pretty clean for the most part in the game.

The one issue, when you think about this Missouri team overall, Nick, is the running game seems to be, I don’t want to say a downfall. I mean, they’re averaging 186 a game on the ground, and that’s pretty good, really good actually. Still, it seems like when Missouri struggles it’s because the running game struggles. That’s kind of what happened in the Alabama game. That will be a key this week as well. Can they establish the running game to keep Florida honest on defense, or is it a situation where they can’t run the ball, and then it’s just Drew Lock? If that happens, all bets are off, because Florida should be able to really get some pressure on Lock and make him make some mistakes in the game.

Nick:                         I think that really goes to, talking about Drew Lock staying clean during games, really a very veteran offensive line. I mean, from left to right you’ve got a junior, a redshirt senior, a redshirt sophomore, a junior, and a redshirt senior. So, these are guys that have been around, including a team captain, an All-SEC freshman, who is now the redshirt sophomore. Their left tackle, Yasir Durant, started 17 straight games at left tackle.

Andrew:                 Right. I mentioned that Alabama-Missouri game, and, listen, it’s not fair to really bring that game up and take a lot from that game for the most part, but when they were struggling in that game they only had 70 yards rushing in the game. Granted, they were down, and so they had to throw the ball. That was where they struggled a little bit.

Now, where they did well in South Carolina on the road against Willie Muschamp’s teams, and we talk about Muschamp, for all of his faults, defense isn’t. They rushed for 286 in the game, and that was a key for them was they got the running game going, and it didn’t force Drew Lock to really have to sit back there and win the game just on his arm and the passing game. That was a key when you look at that game as well.

Again, we always talk about it, and here it is again. If you can make them one-dimensional, this is a team that you can do some damage against. Drew Lock has thrown six interceptions on the year, so that’s a key to watch for as well. Go out there and put some pressure on him and make him make one of his turnovers.

Nick:                         They’re a team that likes to run tempo, as many college teams do, but they do run the ball more. Normally when you thought of Drew Lock and you thought of Missouri, it was they’re going to pass the ball.

Andrew:                 Throw 79, 80 passes a game.

Nick:                         Right. Then they’ll sneak in the draw or sneak in the run after all that passing to kind of catch you off guard. But this is a team that isn’t trying to just lean on Drew Lock. They are trying to run the ball. If you get them like Alabama did, into a situation where you know you have to pass, then obviously that’s going to help you. No disrespect to Florida, I’m not trying to take a shot at Florida, but they’re not Alabama.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Alabama kind of puts you in whatever situation they want you to be in, because they’re some kind of monster.

Andrew:                 Ten turnovers on the year is all for Missouri, so they’re taking care of the football.

Nick:                         They have 16 straight games creating a turnover. I thought that was interesting.

Andrew:                 That was very interesting. Here’s where it gets interesting. The defense giving up 415 yards a game. They’re letting you light them up through the air, 288 through the air. 122nd in football. Now, their rush defense is pretty good. So, this is a game where you’re going to see how Feleipe Franks bounces back, because everybody, including myself, harping on Feleipe this week. Does the pressure get to him? Because if it does, good luck, because Missouri has shown they can stop the running game.

Nick:                         Yeah. You saw kind of last week what happens when you get into a situation where you’re asking Feleipe to do more than you need to. Really for Florida, it’s such a simple, it sounds simple, but, obviously, when you’re playing against a defense that’s not trying to let you do this it becomes a little harder, but you have to win 1st and 2nd down. You can’t get into 3rd and 8, 3rd and 9, 3rd and 12. You got to stay in front of the sticks. I think that will be important for Florida, and that starts with the running game. Even like we said before, maybe not running the ball between the tackles or running the ball traditionally, but using those stand passes, the swing passes, using your passing game as an extension of the run as well.

Andrew:                 I think the biggest thing, Nick, for that is last year. Missouri whipped Florida’s ass. Let’s just call it what it is.

Nick:                         They took them out to the shed.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, they took them out to the shed. It was 45-16, and it wasn’t 45-16 close. I mean, you and I talked about it. Missouri, the University of Missouri, was more physical, was bigger, was better all around the game than Florida was last year. Listen, I can understand the whole week was a turmoil. You had a new coach. But you got out physicaled. You got embarrassed by Missouri in Columbia.

Nick:                         I think the team followed their head coach, and by that, I think they quit.

Andrew:                 I don’t care what they did. You got embarrassed.

Nick:                         I just think they followed the lead of Jim McElwain, and they quit. The week before that was Georgia, and all week you’re dealing with nonsense off the field. Right before the Georgia game, Jim McElwain decides to tell the guys, “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but go out there and play against Georgia today.” That certainly didn’t help. Then it was Randy Shannon’s first game as an interim. It’s just a lot of distractions. I don’t see that kind of butt whooping happening this year in Gainesville, but that was ugly.

Andrew:                 I don’t think so either. I was pulling up, while you were talking, Nick, that Missouri-Georgia game, to kind of see. It was 43-29, was the final, at Missouri. Missouri did some things against Georgia too. That’s what I wanted to see. They ran for 172 and threw for 221, but they gave up 445 yards total offense to Georgia on the other side, gave up 185 rushing to Georgia. I think Florida’s running game is much better than Georgia’s, so that should be there. If guys just take a look at last year, and then bring this year up, you should want to run the football. You should want to be more physical than these guys and show that last year was a fluke, and this year it’s not going to be happening.

Also, I think what Mullen said on Monday, Nick, kind of brings out, and that is you had a team last week who gave it their all, put everything they had into the biggest game of the year, how do you rebound? There’s still a lot of goals left on the table for these guys. How do you rebound? I think that what Mullen said is true, and that is you’ll learn a lot about the team and how far they’ve come under him when you see how they bounce back this week. If it’s a laydown, then they start to revert back to old ways. I think, from what I’ve seen from the team, I think you will see a team that comes out energized, ready to get back on a winning note. I know players were saying after Monday’s practice that it was a good practice.

Nick:                         Jawaan Taylor said basically in no uncertain terms that people were angry, and they kind of took it out on each other on Monday’s practice. I love that mentality.

Andrew:                 That’s what practice is all about.

Nick:                         Don’t come out Monday after a loss, and I was going to say close loss. I think it was, certainly closer than the final score. Don’t come out and sit and mope around and kick dirt. Come out and hit somebody. I know you’re pissed off that you lost. Come out and do it. Have the physical practice. I remember talking to Tate Casey, and people know this, they have their bloody Tuesday practices. Tate said those were no joke. Guys were beating up on each other.

I think what Dan Mullen wants to do is to make, and it might take more than a year, but to make that Monday practice where players are telling us that was a more physical than normal practice. I think he wants that to be the normal and to make practice so hard that by the time you get to Saturday that’s easier than what you’ve done Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I love that attitude, and I love that they said, a couple of the guys said, that Monday practice, we were hitting.

Andrew:                 I mean, a lot of your good coaches will tell you that if Saturday isn’t easier than practice you didn’t practice well enough. A lot of people don’t believe that, but it’s true. You have got to have a great week of practice. Saturday should be an audition almost of what you’ve learned all throughout the week. Again, I think that that’s something that we’re starting to see. More physical practices are starting to show up, to where being physical on Saturdays is okay. It is, I don’t want to say easy, but easy. I mean, it’s kind of part of your mentality, I guess is what I’m trying to say.

I like it. I think we’ve seen a lot of different energy. I think we’ve seen just a team that’s been a lot more physical. When they get punched in the mouth, they’re ready to punch back. I think that that’s going to continue, and I personally, for the first time in a long time, am not worried about how the team will respond on Saturday. In the past I would have probably said, watch out, Missouri has a chance to upset. Not that Missouri doesn’t, but I think Florida is going to be prepared for this game.

Nick:                         I have no doubt in that. I think my one thing that really jumps out on the page for me, if we’re talking about now getting into the game, one thing that’s really jumping off the page to me is, bear with me while I try this for the first time, Albert Okwuegbunam.

Andrew:                 In the media notes, Nick.

Nick:                         In the media notes it literally just says, try it once, Albert O is fine.

Andrew:                 I think they made that for me.

Nick:                         Yeah. You can just call him Big Al.

Andrew:                 I think they made that for me, because when I was reading that I was like, somebody’s been listening to the podcast and just hearing me call him Jabari.

Nick:                         Okwuegbunam. He is a big old boy. To me, that is a matchup nightmare. I mean, only a sophomore, but has been just a touchdown machine. He had 159 yards on six catches. I think it was against Memphis, but three touchdowns. Last year he had 11 touchdowns. He has five this season. He’s just a matchup nightmare, and I don’t know who you have covering him.

Andrew:                 That’s what I was going to say.

Nick:                         It’s a mixture of linebackers and safeties, but I don’t know who Florida really has that you feel good, I feel good when he’s covering Big Al.

Andrew:                 You’re going to have to mix it up. You’re going to have to double-team a little bit. That’s going to be a key for them. Because here’s the thing, you can’t discredit their other guys either. Emmanuel Hall is averaging 107 yards a game receiving. Jalen Knox is a guy who’s averaging about 50 some yards a game receiving. You have to worry about those guys as well.

The thing for me too, Nick, is for Florida, not only with their linebackers against Big Al, but against the running backs. Missouri is not afraid to throw to their running backs at all out of the backfield. Two backs that are averaging about 10 yards a catch out of the backfield, and they’re a Missouri team that runs the same thing Florida does, and that is they have three backs that come in and can do some damage when they get into the game, and they’re all three different kind of backs. When we talk about Larry Roundtree, Damarea Crockett, and then Tyler Badie, I believe is how you say it, all over 300 yards rushing.

Nick:                         That, to me, is almost better than having that one guy you go to, better than having a guy that will get 300 carries. I’d almost rather have three guys that are all a little bit different in what they bring and that are being used not just as running backs, but almost like receivers there as well.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         I look at this team, and I started Sunday. We’re taping this Tuesday. They just look like a very balanced offense to me, which that creates problems for you as a defensive coordinator, because there’s really no tendencies.

Andrew:                 No. That’s a good point. There’s no tendencies with it. It’s a team that kind of does whatever the team gives them. If they have to go to Drew Lock, they’re pretty comfortable.

Nick:                         Kind of like Florida. I think that’s why we’ve said, and we’ve harped on it so much, where Dan Mullen has done something different. All these wins are coming different ways, and that’s really, to me, a sign of a great coach is someone that can say, listen, I don’t care how we win. We’ll find a way to win. We don’t need to win a certain way. Because if you fall into that trap of, Missouri’s done it in the past, where we’re going to throw the ball 97 times today. We might run it once or twice, but we’re going to throw it. Then you become one-dimensional on your own. Every week the opposing defense is trying to make you become one-dimensional, and if you’re a team that does that to yourself, you become easier to defend.

I think, kind of like Florida, Missouri is a team that’s not going to do that. They’ll beat you, like you said, in whatever way you’re giving them. If it’s the run, we’ll run 70 times. We’re fine with that. Drew Lock will throw 15 times in a game. We’re cool with that, if that’s what you’re giving.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. That’s a key that Florida will have to play fundamentally good defense in this game, because it will be a situation where you know that they’re going to adjust. You know they have the screen game, because their running backs are very much a part of their offense, so you better be fundamentally sound as a defense in this game. That will be key. Again, I feel like we haven’t had to talk about that as much lately, because of how good they’ve been. Jachai Polite, Cece Jefferson, those guys, they’ve been better in that. But, Nick, this game very well may come down to the linebackers in coverage. Very well may be.

Nick:                         Huge. That goes to Albert O, and it also goes to the running backs.

Andrew:                 Yeah. That very well may end up being what wins or loses this game. Again, I think Florida will be fine. Now, let’s go talk about Florida on offense here. Go back to the bread and butter. You just got to. You’ve got to go back and just keep feeding your backs, feeding Perine, feeding Scarlett, feeding Pierce, and getting the ball out of Feleipe Franks’ hands. I mean, again, Missouri is not a huge sack team, only has eight on the year, but just get rid of the ball. Don’t let Feleipe get back there. Get him in a groove. I think that’s what we’ll see is him getting in a groove.

Nick:                         So, if you’re Dan Mullen or Brian Johnson, if you’re the offensive coordinator for this game, your game plan would be just establish the run.

Andrew:                 Establish the run. Short throws. Get Feleipe’s confidence back up, because we all know it’s in the dumpster, man.

Nick:                         I don’t know, man. He’s got a ton of confidence.

Andrew:                 Sometimes too much confidence. I mean, sometimes he’s borderline cocky, but whatever. Different story for a different time. We’ll talk about that later. Anyway, yeah, I do that. Again, when you look at Missouri, they’ll give you the passing game. If you can get that going a little bit to where you’re able to hit the short passes, that kind of stuff, in the game, do that. Then get your running game going. That’s been a recipe for success for Florida. Again, jump out early. Don’t allow Missouri to stay in the game. The longer you allow Missouri to stay in the game, the more they start to believe we can beat this team. Would you agree with that, get out early?

Nick:                         Yeah. I think Missouri is going to come into the game with a belief that they can win, but I know what you’re saying. It’s that kind of thing where your coaches tell you all week, if we do ABC, we’re going to win the game. If you come out as the other team and you punch them in the mouth, shoot, A is not working. Well, we still have B and C. If you do two of the three things. Shoot, B didn’t work. Now heads start to go down, and people start to look at each other like, you’re not doing your job. You take them out of the way.

Andrew:                 You go ahead, and you put that pressure and that sense of frustration. Go ahead and put that on Missouri. I mean, this is a team that 4-4, 0-4 in the SEC. They’re coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Kentucky on Saturday. Go out and do it.

Here’s another thing, Nick. This is something we haven’t really talked about a ton, and I think we should. It’s Homecoming week. Dan Mullen said it on Monday. He said, “It’s a big week on campus,” and he said, “We need the fans.” It’s time that the team as well showed the fans this isn’t just your normal Florida team that’s going to come down and lay down after a loss.

Nick:                         Another thing, I mean Homecoming creates some kind of distractions. You’ve got the parade.

Andrew:                 Concerts.

Nick:                         Concerts and all kinds of stuff that’s not in a normal game week, but another thing that Dan Mullen really harped on was the fans. I think I was worried about how the players would respond, until I heard guys talking about what that Monday practice was like, but I don’t know what the fans will be like. I know a lot of older people will be coming back, because it’s Homecoming, and they like to go back. I know my dad will be at his fraternity on Saturday morning drinking with his old fraternity brothers and people like that. I’m interested to see what the stadium is like. It’s been a long time since Florida was at home.

Andrew:                 Almost a month.

Nick:                         That last game was great. Fans killed it. That crowd for LSU on October 6, that was incredible. Then you’ve been at Vanderbilt, a buy week, and then in Jacksonville. So, what is the stadium, what does the Swamp look like coming off of a loss to Georgia? You’re out of the SEC East. That’s not a thing. You can’t win that anymore. It’s Missouri. I think it will help that it’s a 4:00 game. Noon I would have been very worried. I’m interested to see. Dan Mullen is asking. We need that atmosphere.

I even asked him. I said, “Can it be a negative if the team comes out and there’s 60,000 people, 70,000 people in the stadium, instead of 90,000?” He said, “Yeah. I’ve had games at Mississippi State where it was a great atmosphere, and we go up a couple touchdowns at halftime, and come back out for the second half, and no one is there.” Then the other team doesn’t have to use their silent cadence. They can go back to a regular cadence. They start feeling comfortable. Then they score a touchdown, and then when the game changes like that, the team really looks to the crowd to kind of give that juice back and to get some momentum back. He says, “There were times where we looked around, and it’s like nobody is here.”

Andrew:                 Right. I mean, that’s a big thing. Again, we’ve praised the fans for what they did in the LSU game. Needs to happen again. It’s not as big of a game. It’s a game that I think a lot of people will come in and say, it’s Missouri, we should win the game. But it’s big. That stuff is huge. I think that will be a key in the game. We talked about this, and Mullen talked about this on Monday, this is a big recruiting weekend as well. It’s an opportunity to go in and show some recruits. This and next week, South Carolina, that’s it. That’s it. After that there is no more big home games. There is no more.

Nick:                         Wait, Andrew. Idaho is not a big home game?

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s huge, Nick. It’s huge.

Nick:                         The fighting Vandals of Idaho.

Andrew:                 Yeah. What I’m saying is those are huge. This is an opportunity to do. You’re going to have some big guys come on campus, and it’s a chance. Mullen said it. I think that sometimes people don’t understand that, while the game is great on the field, this team will never play Missouri again after this year. They won’t. They just won’t. This team will not. Next year’s team will. This team won’t. The only thing that is going to be there next year, and it won’t be next year for the Missouri game, but next year in the Swamp, is the atmosphere. It’s the fanbase.

That is something, Nick, and you know this as well as I do, it’s something that prides Florida on. I mean, there’s not too many atmospheres in the country like the University of Florida on the Swamp on Saturday, where it’s loud and the atmosphere is crazy. The LSU game really brought the Swamp back, in my opinion. Now, can it go back for the lower games of Missouri, South Carolina? Idaho, I get, but Missouri and South Carolina are SEC football games.

Nick:                         What do you expect, I guess? From the crowd.

Andrew:                 A good crowd.

Nick:                         You expect a good crowd. Okay.

Andrew:                 I do. I think that it will be a good crowd, and I think it will be a crowd that is into the game. I do. I think for the majority of the fanbase, I can’t speak for everyone, but for the majority of the fanbase, I feel like the majority of the fanbase is really bought into what Dan Mullen is doing. Again, I think that they’re correct in what they believe, because I do, I think so. I really and truly do believe that Dan Mullen has things going on the right track.

Nick:                         I agree with that. I guess, I don’t know what I expect yet, from the crowd. I would expect a …

Andrew:                 If it wasn’t Homecoming, I don’t know.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 If it wasn’t Homecoming, I don’t know. But since it’s Homecoming.

Nick:                         And it’s not calling out the fans. I mean, listen, it’s everywhere. Everywhere, every team, college, pro, semi-pro has attendance issues. I’m just thinking it was really easy to be loud and be like that for LSU. They were ranked #5. It was the best home game of the year on paper. It’s like you said, this isn’t as easy of a sell, especially when you consider losing last week, and now you’re not playing for the East. The East will be decided between Georgia and Kentucky in a game that starts half an hour before Florida does.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. Again, and you and I have said this, and you and I will say it again, there is still so much for this team to play for, Nick. So much for this team to play for. I cannot say it enough, but the difference between being 8-4 or 9-3 and 10-2 is massive. It’s massive.

Nick:                         Hey, man, I’m trying to go to the Peach Bowl.

Andrew:                 I’m trying to go to the Sugar Bowl.

Nick:                         That’s fine. I’m trying to play UCF, after all the Twitter beef that I’ve seen on my timeline, I’m trying to see UCF and Florida in a bowl game.

Andrew:                 Okay. I’m cool with that. I’m down with that. Let’s do it. Let’s settle the war. Why not?

Nick:                         Settle the war. Why are UCF and UF warring?

Andrew:                 Because UCF fans are dumb and think that they’re somebody. Just calling it like it is, Nicholas. Sorry.

Nick:                         Longest winning streak in the country.

Andrew:                 Okay. Who’d they play?

Nick:                         Whoever is on the schedule. Same as Florida.

Andrew:                 Start scheduling some big-time teams. But no, I said this to someone the other day, and I’ll ask you this. This is to get off topic a little bit, but think about this from a recruiting standpoint, Nick. Florida goes 10-2. I’m trying to think realistically. I don’t know realistically the Sugar Bowl is an option. I’m just kidding with that, because a lot of things would have to happen. I don’t think Georgia is going to make the College Football Playoff, and I don’t think that Kentucky will either, because whoever it is will lose to Alabama in the SEC Championship game, and they’ll have two losses. They’ll still be most likely ranked ahead of Florida in the final College Football Playoff, and the next highest ranked team outside the SEC Championship goes to the Sugar Bowl.

I’m trying to think here. If Florida goes to the Peach Bowl. Well, Peach Bowl is pretty high thing. Taxslayer Bowl. Just the fact that they’re playing on New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve on national TV, 10-2, Dan Mullen’s first year. That is such a huge difference, Nick, then if they’re 9-3 or 8-4 playing in the Outback Bowl or playing in the Belt Bowl or whatever it may be. That’s such a huge difference. To go out and tell a kid, we’re 10-2. We’re playing in a New Year’s Six bowl game, or I’m 9-3, because I stunk it up at the end of the year. It’s such a huge difference. Guys are able to see that. I don’t think people understand how big that is.

Nick:                         Yeah. The New Year’s Six bowls are the Peach Bowl, Orange and Cotton Bowl this year are the CFE semi-finals, so that would be the top four. Then Fiesta, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl. I think Alabama will be in one of those, either in the Orange. They’ll be in the Orange. No, Texas is probably closer to them. They’ll be the #1 seed, so they’ll probably go to the Cotton Bowl.

Andrew:                 Probably the Orange Bowl. Either way, I get your point.

Nick:                         I mean, they’re pretty close to both. You have to figure out the mileage. I’m not going to do that right now. Then the loser of the SEC Championship game then I think would be going to the Sugar Bowl, if I’m not mistaken. Florida could go to the Peach Bowl. That’s New Year’s Six bowl on December 29th.

Andrew:                 That’s what I’m saying. Whatever it may be, that’s such a huge difference for a team that heading in many believed if they got to the Birmingham Bowl they were doing good. That’s the difference.

Nick:                         Well, after going to the Birmingham Bowl, no thank you.

Andrew:                 No thank you. I mean, we didn’t get a bowl gift.

Nick:                         We got nothing. I’ve never. Oh, we got a bowl gift. We got that last year at the Outback Bowl, or two years ago.

Andrew:                 Two years ago.

Nick:                         We got that little football.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         I don’t know where it is. I lost it.

Andrew:                 Mine’s still in the room. I mean, whatever. Point being, Nick, it’s such a huge difference that people don’t understand. I get it. A bowl game is a bowl game. First of all, after missing last year, I think everyone should be more appreciative of what a bowl game is, but besides that, it’s just a thing of being 10-2 is so much difference. Then you’re talking about an FSU team that may or may not even go to a bowl game.

Nick:                         FSU. Let me pull up their schedule. We were talking about that, what, last week?

Andrew:                 Yeah. They’ve got four wins, right?

Nick:                         FSU right now has four wins. They need to find two wins out of these games. NC State.

Andrew:                 Loss.

Nick:                         Notre Dame.

Andrew:                 Loss.

Nick:                         Boston College.

Andrew:                 Win.

Nick:                         Beat Miami.

Andrew:                 Maybe.

Nick:                         Then Florida to finish. You got to find two wins there, or else Willie is watching bowl season. FSU has the current longest streak of consecutive bowl appearances too.

Andrew:                 Do they have a game they can make up like they did last year?

Nick:                         No. They cannot add Northwest Southeastern State Technical College. They can’t play the University of Phoenix.

Andrew:                 Yeah. So, I mean, that’s the stuff we’re talking about. I think that, again, it’s huge. It’s huge for recruiting. I know some people say this, that, and the other about recruiting. It’s huge for recruiting. At the end of the day, now that the season is, not over, by no means, but now that the season is not going to wind up in a championship, that’s huge.

Nick:                         You’ll have recruits back on campus, and do you want to walk out there like FSU did, when they were touting five five-stars, and then you get the brakes beat off you? Do you want to, as a coach, show recruits a product of Florida, as soon as they were out of it, they just kind of rolled over and played dead the rest of the year?

Andrew:                 Exactly. Anyway, Nick, let’s get out of here. We’ll get back here on Friday, do our predictions, do all that good jazz.

Nick:                         I know everyone will want to see your visitors list, which you’ll have later in the week, and we’ll talk about that on the next podcast.

Andrew:                 We’ll talk about that on the next podcast as well. We’ll get into all that good stuff. Again, this weekend won’t be as much of a recruiting trip as next weekend. Next weekend is when several West Coast guys will be most likely making the trip over. So, that will be key for Florida. Again, do you want that to be off of a win or off of a loss? Also, Nick, real quick, Florida does have an exhibition on Tuesday night. We’re taping this on Tuesday. Against Florida Southern. Their final exhibition game before they take on the Noles to start the season.

Nick:                         Tough road game. Florida State the past couple years has played Florida very tough. Tough road game to start the year.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Exactly. Anyway, Nick tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here, and we’ll see everyone on Friday.

Nick:                         www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Just search Gator Country. Subscribe, like, leave a comment. Do your thing there. Social media. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. You can find me @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 There you go. Guys, we appreciate it. As always, chomp, chomp and go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.