Podcast: Previewing the Florida Gators opener against FAU

GatorCountry brings you our Friday prediction podcast for the Florida Gators’ season opener against FAU at home on Saturday night.

Andrew Spivey and David Soderquist breakdown the keys for both teams as we look at the ways the Gators have the advantage in this game against the Owls.

Andrew and David also give you three players to watch for the Gators on Saturday, plus we predict several games around the country.



David:               What’s up folks of Gator Country? This is your boy, David Soderquist, along with Andrew Spivey. Andrew, man, gearing up for FAU, the first game of the season. I’m pretty pumped and pretty excited. I’m excited to get down there, mainly to tailgate and to watch the game. I’ll be sitting down there where the Gators come out and taking a few videos. I’m pretty excited. I’ve never had seats there, so I’m ready to get down there.

Andrew:           Dan Mullen said something on Wednesday. I knew it, but it didn’t really resonate with me that you really haven’t had a full crowd since the Orange Bowl.

David:               Right.

Andrew:           That’s over 600 days. Is the crowd going to be rocking and sold out for FAU? Absolutely not, but I think it’s going to be a good crowd on Saturday night in the Swamp. Dan Mullen said, “You can’t simulate that.” There’s no crowd noise you can pump into the stadium. I’m excited. I’m excited for football in general. You have Tennessee-Bowling Green on Thursday, and then you obviously have Miami and Alabama before the Florida game on Saturday. While Florida’s playing, you have Georgia-Clemson, and then you have Notre Dame that’s going to put the beatdown on FSU on Sunday night. That’s a little primetime football. Welcome to TV, FSU.

David:               Welcome to mainstream TV. It hasn’t hit you in a while, has it?

Andrew:           Yeah. Will we see the teacher with his book is the question?

David:               I don’t know. He’ll probably slap them around a little bit with it.

Andrew:           There’s a lot of good stuff. People always say, do you really want a tune up game, or do you want a top 10, top 25 matchup to start the year? There’s arguments both ways. There really is. For me personally, I love to see those top 25 matchups to start the year. Even Florida-Miami Week 0 two years ago I thought was good. Florida-Michigan a few years back when it was in AT&T stadium. I like it. I think it’s good for football. Nobody wants to watch Florida-FAU 50 times around the country.

David:               When you’re starting the football season, you obviously want to have good games lined up on the slate. That’s usually what they try to do every year is get two or three of those good games in there. What I love about the first game of the season, and I mentioned it last week, you get games on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It’s Labor Day Weekend too, so you get an extra day off to watch all those games too.

Andrew:           We’re taping this on Wednesday, and my man, Bill Clark, up at UAB going to kick off here in a little bit. That’ll be a good one. It wouldn’t be game week though if you didn’t have the depth chart that comes out.

David:               The depth chart. The dreaded depth chart that everybody loves to hate, and some of the smarter people out there just already know what’s going to happen. It’s like when Steve Spurrier talked about how sometimes he would look at practice, and he’d be like, I’ll just pencil him in here. I’ll just pencil him in there. That’s kind of really what Dan Mullen does, right? He kind of just pencils somebody in there, and then tomorrow it could be somebody else. You might even see Demarkcus Bowman out there this week. You may not. He may release another depth chart before the game.

Andrew:           You’re saying he must put all the names in a hat and shake it up and draw it.

David:               Not for everybody.

Andrew:           Not for everybody. I say this. That piece of paper he wrote that depth chart on was an extra piece of toilet paper for him. It is for college coaches around the country. Listen, I’m one of those people. I want to see the depth chart. Do I know every year when I see the depth chart that it means absolutely nothing? For sure. It is what it is. It’s football season. You want to see the depth chart, as official/unofficial as it is. I’ll say this. I think for the most part it’s pretty official. There’s a couple, for instance, Ventrell Miller and Amari Burney are your two starting linebackers. I think more so than not you’re going to have Ventrell Miller and Diabate on the field together.

I think that’s a little bit of what Dan Mullen had to say. He said, “It’s not so much who starts as who is playing the most snaps,” and I think that’s very accurate in a lot of ways. For instance, if you’re lining up against the wishbone, obviously it’s going to be Ventrell Miller and Burney a little bit more than if you’re lining up against Clemson, who’s going to go five wide. It might be Diabate and Hopper in the game more at linebacker.

While I like to, and everyone likes to say, this depth chart’s worthless. It is the depth chart, because that’s just what their rolling out against a particular offense. Was there any shock to you, David, that really caught your attention in this depth chart? For me, there really wasn’t. I’ll be honest.

David:               I always used to say seniority over skill when it comes to Dan Mullen, and that’s how he usually makes his depth charts. You always see it every game that he switches so many players out per play that you’re probably going to see a little bit of everybody anyway. I don’t really look too much into the depth chart, but I always say, seniority over skill when it comes to Dan Mullen.

Andrew:           That’s right. DBs, starting DBs were Elam and Avery Helm. Trey Dean and Rashad Torrence are starting at the safety spots with Tre’Vez Johnson at nickel. Again, I don’t know that that’s a big deal. Do I expect to see Jason Marshall and Elijah Blades and Jadarrius Perkins a ton in the game at that Cornerback 2 spot? Absolutely. I don’t think that Avery Helm, by any means whatsoever, has got that spot locked down. Even if he did, you’re going to rotate guys in and out. Just like Tre’Vez Johnson. Do I expect him to be on the field every play at nickel? Not at all. Dan Mullen would be doing himself a disservice and the team a disservice if he didn’t rotate a ton of guys, especially in this FAU game.

Then you have the addition, and I know I’m kind of jumping around here, but the addition of the Auburn transfer, Tyrone Truesdell, who really mixes up the defensive tackle spot that already had Valentino and Newkirk as your starting D tackles. Both of those guys are transfers in. Some people were saying, why is Gervon Dexter not starting? Defensive tackles are going to rotate a ton.

David:               Yeah. He has one year of full game practice. Tyrone Truesdell, I believe, has two years. It’s good that you got this guy from Auburn, especially with Newkirk’s injury. We don’t know how extensive that groin injury was. You want that extra depth anyway, just in case of injury. Bringing in a guy like this from Auburn, who has two years of experience, who has gametime experience, everything’s going to work itself out.

The best player pretty much is going to play by Week 3. Dan Mullen’s not going to roll somebody out there that he’s unsure of in Week 3. I think what he’s trying to do is in Week 1 and Week 2 find out what works, find out which players plays the best, find out what he thinks is going to work against Alabama, and then head into the Swamp Week 3. I have no complaints about the depth chart or who he rolls in, who he rolls out, because you’re going to see a lot of bodies out there anyway.

No matter what bodies you see, the Gators will be wearing orange helmets and white jerseys. Everybody was told to wear white. It looks like the endzones are going to be white there too, doesn’t it?

Andrew:           People were up in arms, and that really signals the start of football season is when uniform announcements get a ton of flack. I don’t know. Some people are saying wild white. First of all, the seniors get to really dictate and call out what they want to do and how they want to do things. I don’t have a problem with it. I’m one of those people. I don’t have a problem. Now, would I prefer to always see Florida in the blue and the orange traditionally? Yeah, I would. But it is what it is. Florida’s going to be at nighttime, where it’s hot, so maybe the white jerseys keeps them a little cooler. The fans are in their white, maybe they don’t sweat through it. That’s the only bad thing. You’ll be seeing a lot of sweaty people in the stands in their all white.

David:               The only reason why I don’t like white shirts is because if you’re tailgating and you spill beer on it, then that’s it, man. Looks like you peed yourself or something.

Andrew:           You’re going to know who’s been partying hard before they got into the stadium.

David:               I know. I might have to wear those bibs before I go in there. Make sure my shirt doesn’t get dirty.

Andrew:           That wouldn’t work over in Baton Rouge.

David:               No. It wouldn’t. Hopefully, this year’s game doesn’t wind up like last time Florida Atlantic came in here, with it being 14-20 and the overtime with our boy Treon Harris there. That’s the undefeated against Georgia, by the way. Just to let you know that.

Andrew:           You look at the uniforms and all that. Like you say, it signals football season’s back. It signals that it’s time to go again. You get excited about it, because you wait all year for it. Soon we’ll be breaking down the FAU game overall.

I wanted to ask your opinion on something before we really start to get into the previewing of FAU. How do you judge overall the excitement from fans for this year? I’m going to say this, and I may get totally blasted for this. I don’t know that I sense the same excitement, as fired up for the season to be here, as I typically do. I don’t know why that is. I was going to ask you if you kind of felt that as well, or if that was just me.

David:               I don’t know. I see a lot on Twitter, a lot of engagement. I think fans are excited, just because you didn’t really get the full stadium atmosphere last year. You couldn’t really tailgate. You couldn’t really do anything last year. I stayed home the whole year. I watched it from the house. First of all, I didn’t want to take the risk. Second of all, the ticket prices were pretty expensive per person, because you’ve only got, what was it? 10,000 people in the stands, maybe 20,000. You could buy a cardboard cutout, but why would I want to buy that? So my cardboard cutout can watch the game?

Andrew:           Exactly. Who cares?

David:               Exactly. I think they’re a little bit more excited. I just think 8-4 rubbed them the wrong way last year, and the way that the defense played. Even when you heard Dan Mullen in certain press conferences talking and making excuses about the Texas A&M and how the stadium was full. You didn’t really get the attitude from Dan Mullen that you got the past two years with the Gator standard. I think a lot of that had to do with-

As far as Marco Wilson played last year, I’m not going to say anything bad about him. I’m over it. I don’t care. When you’re constantly underperforming, you cost a game by throwing a shoe, you do all that stuff, and you don’t do anything to this guy, you don’t punish him or do any kind of discipline to the guy to make him learn? You could have just sat him out for a quarter or two quarters, make him learn something. You didn’t even do that. You just completely ignored it, and then you said, I didn’t throw the shoe, or I didn’t see the shoe. He said, “I didn’t see the shoe.”

I think fans are excited to get into the stands, but they’re a little bit weary of are we going to see the same thing we saw last year? Is it going to be 8-4? Is it going to be 9-3? I think the attitude of the fans is more like they have questions about the team, but they’re still excited to go to the stadium.

Andrew:           It’s definitely a big year for Dan Mullen, on and off the field. I said it. We all said it. There was a lot of fumbles at the mouth when it came to Dan Mullen last year. It started with talking about the crowd at A&M and talking about wanting the stadium to be full. You name it. He fumbled a lot last year. It’s a big year for him there. It’s a big year for him on the field. Like we said before, this is his full team this year. There’s a lot of big things for it. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s just people are a little hesitant on getting excited or whatever it may be. Maybe that’s the case. I don’t know. Like I said, just seemed like there’s not as much excitement overall. Hopefully it is. I didn’t go in the Swamp last year. Same reason you did. Was a little nervous about it, wanted to protect myself and everything else. I’m excited to get back and see that crowd noise.

David:               I hope there’s a lot of crowd noise, because apparently the whole student section sold out. Now, let’s hope they show up on time and don’t show up 20 minutes late, because they’re coming back from their dorm room party, but I do not count on that. I do predict that you’re going to see a lot of airplane bottles in that section though, by the end of the game. Anyway.

Andrew:           They’re disappointing.

David:               That’s just one word we’re going to put out there. We’re not going to say anything else on the show that could possibly deter the students from coming into this game.

Andrew:           Just show up. Show up, support your team. Support your fellow students, and let people know that the Swamps a place to be reckoned with and a place that you don’t want to play. Let’s move on though. Let’s move into this preview a little bit. It’s going to be a short-lived preview, as expected. What are we going to sit here and breakdown and talk about when it comes to FAU? Again, we’ll see what they are. I know you have a little bit more in depth on some guys here.

I think the biggest thing for me, David, when I look at this game overall, is just Perry, N’Kosi Perry, and just going out there and stopping that zone read. You know that’s what he’s going to do. The tape’s out there that Florida hasn’t been very good at stopping the zone read under Todd Grantham. They just haven’t. They’ve been very bad at setting the edge and protecting that. If you’re FAU and Willy Taggart, you’re probably going to come into this game, and you’re going to do that. You’re going to attack that and see if Florida, Brenton Cox, Jeremiah Moon, Zach Carter, all of those guys, can set the edge. Because if not, it turns into a long day.

I think it’s a good test for Florida. Obviously, Perry’s good enough to play at Miami. You put your joke in. He transferred, but he’s still a decent quarterback overall, and he’ll test Florida. He’ll prepare you for the rest of the games on the season and prepare you in that zone read that now everybody’s doing, the RPO game, that kind of stuff. For me, that’s the key is keeping Perry in the pocket, making him beat you with the passing game.

David:               You talked about zone read, and zone read will be head coached by none other than your boy, Free Willy, Willy Taggart. His career record as head coach is 61-66, which is just under .500 in his coaching career. He also has yet to win any bowl games that he has coached as a head coach, and that’s probably because the teams he’s coached were so bad they never even really made it to bowl games. I’m not sure how this guy keeps getting jobs, but, you know what, it’s a dirty job. Somebody’s got to do it, right?

Andrew:           Somebody’s got to do it.

David:               Like he said, do something.

Andrew:           He replaces Lane, who Lane, for all of his sake, can win some football games.

David:               Definitely. Lane Kiffin, I know a lot of FAU fans were upset when Lane Kiffin had left, and the Lane train went over there to Ole Miss, and he’s got that offense going over there.

Andrew:           Lane was probably a little bit sad to leave Boca Raton and the party scene that come with Boca Raton.

David:               Definitely. Lane’s an offensive guy, and this is funny. When I looked up these statistics, it was hilarious how much of an offensive guy Lane Kiffin is, but if you go by their offense last year, and we have last year’s stats to roll by. We don’t have this year’s. Obviously, the season hasn’t started. 18.9 points per game. Good for 115th in the nation. 324.9 yards per game. Good for 112th in the nation. 4.7 yards per play average, which is 103rd in the nation, and 4.5 yards per rush average, which was 60th. So, you’re right in the middle right there, the 60th in the rushing yard game. Man, this offense was pretty putrid in the Conference USA division last year.

As you said, they got a new quarterback now in N’Kosi Perry. 6’4” guy from Ocala, Florida, who played at Vanguard, who previously transferred from Miami. Guy’s tall, has the ability to run well, former four-star recruit. Mentioned it last week, 199th ranked recruit nationally, 7th ranked dual threat quarterback in the 2017 class. For his career, he’s thrown for 2,484 yards with a 52.4% completion rating, with 397 career attempts, and 208 of those throws were actual completions. Nothing that really jumps out to you that freaks you out, anything about N’Kosi Perry, but Miami didn’t really have a good offensive line over there.

If you went and watched the 2019 game, with Florida vs. Miami, you can see what their offensive line was like. Pretty much in 2020 it didn’t improve from there. N’Kosi Perry, a kid that was highly regarded in the recruiting world in 2017, but he’s going to have a tough test. He’s got way less talent than he had at Miami. He does have a few good offensive players, one good defensive player, and a running back that can help him out.

First of all, Spivey, I want to ask you this too. N’Kosi Perry being a dual threat. You talked about setting the edge and getting lined up, less confusion. Do you think Florida can contain N’Kosi Perry and, obviously, get some sacks? They’re going to need to get some sacks, I think. I think Florida fans just want to see some kind of sacks. Todd Grantham loves to blitz. Hopefully, there’s no double corner blitzes this game. He loves to blitz. How many sacks do you think Florida gets on a dual threat quarterback like this? You got Brenton Cox. You got Zachary Carter. You got all those guys out there setting the edge, but you got those guys that are in the middle that can hopefully stuff the run. We’ll see. What do you think? How many sacks do they get this game?

Andrew:           I’m going to go a low number, three or four in the game. Just because you expect him to at least get back to the line of scrimmage. You expect him to at least scramble a little bit. He does have an interception prone style as well, so maybe he throws it up for grabs. Also, I say this, and I’m going to laugh at myself when I say this. Willy Taggart should be smart enough to know N’Kosi Perry is not going to throw all over Florida’s defense, but that’s Willy Taggart, and Willy Taggart and smart do not go in the same sentence. I need to laugh at myself here. Inset the joke, why don’t you.

Perry’s got to be able to control the game, limit the negative plays. For me, for Florida, that’s simply if you set the edge and allow your linebackers to freely come through, allow Newkirk and Valentino and Truesdell and Gervon Dexter and those guys to be able to work their way, like you said, FAU’s offensive line, they’re okay. They’re not bad, but Florida’s defensive line is much better, or should be much better, from what we know. You like Florida’s chances to get a few.

For me, it’s what’s your game plan if you’re FAU? Obviously, you’re going to do some zone reads, and you’re going to try to get Perry out. If I’m looking at what happened last year for Florida, and obviously this is a new team, new defense and new defensive backs coach in Wesley McGriff, I’m trying to go short game. I’m trying to work the slants, the out routes, the comebacks, the short game passing to the running backs out of the backfield. I’m trying to do that. I’m trying to pick and pop my way down the field. If you do anything else, you’re doing Florida a favor in this game.

David:               Yeah. Because he’s not accurate whatsoever.

Andrew:           No.

David:               Throwing 52%. If you’ve just seen him play at Miami, you already know what you get out of N’Kosi Perry. I do expect Florida to at least try to contain the run and force N’Kosi Perry to pass. I expect to see a little bit more of Hopper and Diabate. Those are your two faster linebackers you got out there that could really throw off the run game for these guys. I do see them trying to run up the middle a lot and trying to test that middle part. That’s probably where you need your more experienced linebackers, like you were talking about earlier.

Speaking of run game, I did a little bit of research on FAU, and they have a running back by the name of James Charles, a 5’10” 200-pound running back from St. Thomas Aquinas, a school that pumps out numerous five-star and top 100 kids just every single year. Comes from a hard division there in St. Thomas Aquinas. A kid who’s averaged about five yards per attempt and about 800 yards rushing for his career, so nothing that really jumps off, but stays within that five yard per rush game. I think N’Kosi Perry’s legs is going to help this guy out to get more yards, throw that defense off. I think that’s what they’re really going to try to set early. Like you said, it is Willy Taggart, so his game plan might just be pass, pass, pass all game.

Really, I think FAU is going to hang around in that first quarter. I really do. I think they’re obviously going to give this defense some fits. It is the first game of the season. Guys are still trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t work. I expect them to run more than they do pass. They should be able to contain the run game from these running backs, whether it’s James Charles, former USF running back Johnny Ford, who presumably seems to be the backup there. I don’t really see quality running backs back here that could give Florida fits on this defensive line.

I think this defensive line pretty much swallows this offensive line whole. I don’t see any good or decent playmakers that could give this defensive line trouble. What you have to do is I think you have to clog the middle of the defensive line and let your linebackers do the work in this game. That’s how you’re going to contain FAU to keep them from scoring over 20 points on your defense.

Andrew:           I’ve been waiting on it for two years, and I’m hoping this is the week that is Ty’Ron Hopper’s coming out party.

David:               Oh yeah.

Andrew:           He’s a guy who could dominate this game. If Perry’s trying to go sideline to sideline, there’s no better linebacker on this field to go sideline to sideline than Ty’Ron Hopper.

David:               Right.

Andrew:           If that’s the game plan, I want to see Ty’Ron Hopper. That’s not to say I don’t want to see Amari Burney, because I do. This will be the first time Burney’s really stayed at the same position two years in a row. I’m an Amari Burney fan. I think his game’s really good. I’ve been underwhelmed by how they’ve used him. Diabate’s the same way. Ty’Ron Hopper, this is his football game. This is Ty’Ron Hopper’s year.

I’ve said this from the get go. Florida needs Ty’Ron Hopper to play really well. They need him when it comes to the Alabama game in Week 3 and Alabama decides to go back to the five wide with their running backs set up in the slot and running that slant route that Nick Saban loves to run. I know it’s Bill O’Brien calling the plays, but it’s Nick Saban’s offense, whether we want to say whatever. It’s Nick Saban’s offense. You need Ty’Ron Hopper to be that guy to match up with that slot receiver as the running back and go get it. I really want to see it.

I know we’re really previewing the game in general. I think the biggest thing for me is just to see some guys in the secondary, in the linebacker group, that we haven’t seen play a lot. See that they’ve improved from last year, that was the biggest thing. Nobody really improved from ’19 to ’20. A lot of that’s due to practice and Covid and everything else. I want to see those guys improve. Derek Wingo’s another guy at that linebacker spot. You want to see that.

I get what you’re saying, that they’re going to probably try to run up the middle a little bit. It should be good luck. That’s what you should be saying. If Gervon Dexter is as good as we’ve heard and been told that he’s done in fall camp, good luck, because Gervon Dexter should eat these guys alive.

David:               I’m glad you mentioned my boy Ty’Ron Hopper there. A guy from Roswell High School, top 100 player. I’ve been to a couple of his games down here in Roswell when he first committed to Florida. I think he is the best all-around linebacker on this roster. I think he’s good in coverage. He has elite speed for his size. He hits hard. The thing that stands out to me is his coverage skills, basically. He’s really good at reading the quarterback’s eyes and getting interceptions. If you go back to his Under Armour game, there was three picks he had in that game. He dropped every single one of those picks. I remember being so upset for Ty’Ron Hopper when he was in the Under Armour All-American game, because I was like, he could have had three interceptions. Shoot, that shot him up really far in the rankings. He was sitting at like 110, 120. Got into the 80s, I believe, before the end of the class. The sky is the limit for Ty’Ron Hopper.

Since we’re still sticking here with offense and what may give Florida trouble on the defense, a guy that I researched here on offense was John Mitchell. He was out for the 2020 season with a knee injury but did have 38 receptions last year for 488 yards before his injury, which averages around 34.9 yards per game. It looks like this can be Florida Atlantic’s big go-to receiver this game. He’s about a 6’4” guy, 228-pound receiver. One of those big bodied tall receivers Florida will be matched up with here.

I expect Kaiir Elam to be on this guy all game long. You want to match your best corner with their best receiver. So, I think Kaiir Elam will be matched up with this guy. He’s going to have his hands full. This guy’s pretty big. He’s tall, but how fast is the guy? Is he faster than Kaiir Elam? I don’t think so. I don’t think he’s got that kind of elite speed that Kaiir Elam has, but definitely a playmaker to look out for there on offense. Somebody that could help N’Kosi Perry out, if he throws it to him accurately. That’s the key kicker there.

Two guys on offense I feel that Florida could look out for at FAU. Going down their roster, I don’t really see any other names that jump out to me, but they are returning a lot of juniors, seniors, a lot of guys with in-game experience. Not many freshmen whatsoever. They do have a couple of transfers, one from Florida State on the offensive line. They hit the transfer portal a little bit. To me, offensively at FAU it should be no problem for this Florida defense to stop them.

Andrew:           Nine guys playing their sixth year. They have one guy playing their seventh year. Rick Wells will not be the oldest guy in this game.

David:               Yeah. Definitely. Who was it? Who’s the oldest guy there right now? I think it’s that linebacker, right?

Andrew:           Aaron Young, #13.

David:               What is he, 13 times 2?

Andrew:           Yeah. He’s one of their receivers.

David:               One of their receivers. Okay. I guess since we just discussed offense, there’s two guys you should still be able to contain on offense. I don’t think Florida’s going to have any problem with offense. Now, at defense, I want to get into these defensive numbers, because last year Florida was abysmal on defense. I think a lot of SEC teams struggled on defense because of Covid and all of that, but it still makes no excuse for there to be lack of confusion and confusion in the playbook and all of that. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully those two fired assistants helped, because they decided to keep Grantham.

Defensively, FAU has been really well. Now they have a new defensive coordinator, along with their offensive coordinator this year too, so who knows. Stoops is their defensive coordinator right now. They averaged about 17 points per game allowed. That’s 10th in the nation, which is really good. Top 10 there in the nation. 342.2 yards per game allowed, which is 23rd in the nation. 4.9 yards allowed per game, which is 21st in the nation, and 4.2 rushing yards allowed, which is 50th in the nation. Their defense was shutting down some teams in the Conference USA, but this is the SEC. This is a whole different playing field.

Andrew:           Yeah. The scouting report on them early on is their defensive front seven is going to be decent, and their secondary is going to be bad. You wonder a little bit about that. They have a nose tackle that’s 356 pounds. Welcome to college football, Kingsley. You’re going to line up at center with this big old 6’3” 356-pound nose tackle staring you in the eye and saying, get ready. That’s what it is. That’s what it’s going to be. They play definitely a 3-4 defense.

Again, there’s no concern for me here. There’s really no big matchup thing, as far as FAU. For me, it’s all Florida. Florida’s front five, whether that’s Delance playing right tackle or Stewart Reese playing right tackle and Braun playing right guard, whatever it may be, Florida’s front five has got to, got to, got to get a push. I say this every year, and I get fired up about it when I talk about it, because it is just one of those things as an old football coach on the line of scrimmage that just fires me up. All fall camp for the last month, you’ve been hitting the same guy. Whether or not you meant to or not, you’ve taken it easy a little bit on him.

Now is the time to go smack somebody else’s head across, pancake them down, and laugh at them, because it’s an opposing team. I’m ready to see this front five. That front five, I’ve been one of those people who’ve said I need to see it. Shut me up, please. John Hevesy and his group, shut me up, please. I’m ready to see this front five get nasty and lead Emory Jones and this offense down the right way. I’m so tired of watching and offensive lineman saying, there you go, it’s a revolving door, and screaming, watch out. I’m ready to see a front five that’s nasty. Let’s see it starting Saturday.

David:               Exactly. It’s not like you’ve got Kyle Trask back there tossing bombs every one, two seconds and knows where to go with the football at every receiver, so even if you do miss a block, it’s not like the ball’s coming out of the hands as quick as Kyle Trask delivered it. Now, this time, if you let a guy go when he’s blitzing, Emory Jones is running for his life. That’s exactly what’s going on. I’m with you, man. I want to see this offensive line get at it. I want to see what we thought the offensive line would be in 2018 kind of be the 2018 offensive line that we saw back then, because the 2018 offensive line wasn’t too terribly bad. It wasn’t great, but did allow Feleipe Franks a lot of time to throw the football. We actually had a run game.

I will say, anytime that I’ve seen Emory Jones in the game, even in the Oklahoma game, or wherever he’s been at running the ball, he’s been able to do it pretty well. 6.8 yards rushing per average. I don’t know if you attribute that to Emory Jones being an elusive runner and just an elusive guy, but I think that Florida and their offensive line last year, even Jean Delance, looked really well when running the football, but can you block somebody? What happens when Emory Jones goes to drop back for a pass? What’s going to happen? How much time does he have? He can’t use his legs all day. He can’t throw off of his back foot when he’s running, so you’re going to have to establish some kind of line of scrimmage in this game.

I love to see defensive plays. I love to see sacks. Don’t get me wrong, but right now I’m concentrated on that offensive line. That offensive line was abysmal last year. It almost was the year before as well. Couldn’t run the ball in 2019 either. This year I really want to see the offensive line get together, and I want to see more of a run game going.

FAU, we’re still stuck on defense here. A guy that I researched jumped out to me really well. He’s actually predicted to kind of be a free agent guy maybe there in the NFL. A guy named Zion Gilbert, one of those guys that you probably will have to watch out for on defense. He’s from Jefferson Davis High School. He’s their best cornerback. Also a guy who returns kicks for them as well, so an all-around athlete who can be some sort of threat on special teams as well. He has three total interceptions for his career, 16 total passes defended, and 192 total tackles. 3.5 of those total tackles were for a loss.

Still really nothing that jumps out to you that makes you feel threated that FAU’s going to have some big game where this Zion Gilbert’s going to tackle these guys a million times. You got receivers out there that were top rated guys, top 100 guys. You got a five-star out there as well, Justin Shorter. I don’t see any cornerback or any safety out there that’s guard these receivers out there.

I think really this is Emory Jones’ chance to have a field day. This is his chance to get comfortable with passing the ball in the pocket, getting ready, getting set, and being kind of a little bit of a version of Kyle Trask. I know we’re going to see some run game in here too, but I think Week 1, especially Week 1 and Week 2, and I know a lot of people love Anthony Richardson. Don’t get me wrong. I want to see Anthony Richardson too, but I think Dan Mullen may keep Emory Jones in this game longer than expected, just to get him comfortable in the passing game, get some confidence built up. This is his first year starting. Just to get him ready for Alabama in Week 3.

Andrew:           Get ready. The offense is going to be vanilla. Get ready, because the offense is going to be vanilla this week, next week. You’re saving the kitchen sink for Alabama. You’re going to see a lot of zone read with Emory, a lot of quarterback runs with Emory. You’re going to see him throw the ball quick and short, and then you’re going to see him take a few deep shots off play action, the play action quarterback run. You’re going to see all of that.

I’m like you. I would like to see him get comfortable and establish that throwing game a little bit. Not that I think that that’s going to be his game, because it’s not. Just so that he knows in the back of his mind he can do it. 3rd and 6, and he needs a slant route, he can do it. That’s what I want to see.

More so than anything though, I want to see Florida’s front five whip FAU’s front seven. That’s what I want to see. For me, if you ask me after the game on Sunday what I liked about the game, I want to be able to tell you that Florida won the game, and Florida’s offensive line dominated the crap out of FAU. That’s what I want to see. And the defense communicates. Not so much puts up the great numbers and throws a shutout. I don’t expect a shutout. You get garbage points, that kind of stuff. That stuff for me is kind of a wash. I want to see the guys be able to line up, communicate, get the play in and out, and then offensively I want to see the front five whip the crap out of FAU’s guys and have a good game.

I always say this, and I hate to do this, but the best of the best, the elite of the elite, when it comes to these cupcake games, they tell you why they’re the best of the best, because they sit up there, and they just whip the crap. They could tell you, we’re about to run draw, and they’re going to still whip the crap out of the opposing team. Florida hasn’t done that. For whatever reason, Florida hasn’t done that. A lot of that is because Florida’s front five has been atrocious at times, but I’m ready to see it. I get fired up talking about it, because it seems so simple, but, my God, it hasn’t been simple. I don’t understand why, but it just is a thing. It’s a hat on a hat and go dominate that son of a gun. Ethan White, you got that nose tackle. You got to double team him. Big dog, you’re a big boy too. Go push him around. Go put a hat on a hat and let Dameon Pierce get 20 yards.

Let’s not even have Emory Jones have to really worry about being 20 for 20 throwing the ball and worrying about that. Put a hat on a hat. Dominate the line of scrimmage. Put up 300 yards rushing and say, we’re going to win like this. Emory Jones, any quarterback can win like that, when you’re putting a hat on a hat, and you’re dominating up front. You and I could play quarterback in the SEC and win.

David:               Spivey’s fired up, man. I love it. I love it, man.

Andrew:           I get fired up over offensive line play.

David:               I love seeing this fire from you, man. We got to get it more for you in this podcast. You’re right though, man.

Andrew:           I get fired up when it’s football season, and especially when we talk about offensive line play. We say this all the time, but it frustrates me to no end. I say this, and it’s not simple. It’s not simple, but offensive line play is about how bad do you want to beat the crap out of the guy in front of you? Football’s the only sport, the only thing in America where you can legitimately push somebody around on human Earth and not get in trouble for it. You can legit push a guy down and step on him, laugh in his face, and tell him about his pancake chew, and there’s not a thing he can do about it except for get up and line up and get it again. For me, that’s just where I see with offensive line play.

I’m looking forward to seeing Ethan White do it. I’ve heard so much about Ethan White. Ethan White’s a guy who’s overcome a lot with his weight and people not wanting him because of his weight. This is your time to shine, big guy. Same thing with Kingsley. Everybody kind of ruled him out at center. It’s his time. Braun’s the same way. Braun, you want to start? Go dominate your guy when you play. Jean Delance, you want everybody to shut up about you? Go dominate. It’s FAU. They’re not playing in the SEC for a reason.

David:               Right. I was going to say, if you have trouble pushing around a defensive line in FAU, Week 3 you’re going to get demolished. Through the SEC, just in the SEC as a whole, if you’re struggling against FAU, I’d feel bad for Emory Jones right now. He might as well run every play.

Andrew:           Like you said, Emory Jones is not Kyle Trask.

David:               Right. He’s not.

Andrew:           Anthony Richardson’s not Kyle Trask. Kyle Trask is not on the roster. You don’t have that guy that if your offensive line is atrocious in run blocking that you can throw short balls 30 times a game and win. It just isn’t happening. Emory Jones is not that kind of guy. Emory Jones shouldn’t be expected to be that kind of guy. There’s not a quarterback in America who can run for their life and still be effective being the signal caller out there. We want to see Dameon Pierce have a good game. Dameon Pierce gets a lot of flack, because he doesn’t have a ton of yards, but Dameon Pierce runs between the tackles. That’s his game. You need this offensive line to get him a little hole.

David:               That’s what I want to see. I want to see the run game established this game. All last year we could not run the ball. It helps having a dual threat quarterback, but like you said, I want to see a run play where we can run right up the middle. We don’t have to count on us tricking the defense and thinking the quarterback’s going to run it. I just want to see a complete handoff run right up the middle for 10, 20 yards. That’s what I want to see all game.

I want to see, like you said, the offensive line just demolish and maul this defensive line. I want to see that when you were in those two scrimmages and those practices and you were getting dominated by that defensive line, I want you to say, no, that defensive line is in the best in the nation, and we’re the best offensive line in the nation, and we’re going to push you over too. Just like that. We were against the hardest defensive in the nation, which is going to be this year, and we’re still just as good as that defensive line. That’s what I want to see.

Andrew:           I’m with you.

David:               Is it really that the offensive line was bad? Or was it that our defensive line is the best in the nation? You never really know.

Andrew:           You never know. That’s the key of the first game. We say this all the time. We heard about Emory struggling a little bit. Is the secondary better? We’ll see. Is the linebackers better? We’ll see. I’m excited to see it. I say it every year, and for the last three years I’ve set myself up to be just pissed off when it comes to game time, because I see the offensive line come out and struggle. I’m like, what the crap? I say it every year. I’m crossing fingers and toes and praying that this year it’s not going to be the case. This year I’m going to come out of the FAU game happy because of it. I’m excited. I’m excited to see it.

This is Dan Mullen’s offense with Emory Jones. This is the quarterback play that you like. You like a dual threat quarterback. I’m ready to see it. I’m like you, when it’s fourth quarter, and you’re up by 10 against Alabama in the Swamp, I want Dan Mullen to be able to say, guess what, we’re going to run it three straight times, and we’re going to get a 1st down. We’re not putting the ball in the air. That’s not our strength. That’s not Emory’s strength. Our strength is going to be our five is going to beat your five, and we’re going to run it, just like you did against us in December in Atlanta last year. That’s what we’re going to do. That’s what I want to see. I’m excited for it. I really am. I excited to see what happens.

That brings me to my point, before we do predictions. Give me one thing that you want to see. We’ll discount the offensive line. Give me one thing you want to see from offense, and then give me one thing you want to see from defense.

David:               Spivey, you got me a little fired up there.

Andrew:           Let’s go.

David:               I want to see can we start off in the positive turnover margin? Florida last year was 79th in turnover margin. Can we get a turnover? I want to see turnovers this game. I want to see the defense get their hands on it. I want to see the defensive backfield get their hands on it. I want to see fumbles. I want to see interceptions. Any way that you can get a turnover and get your offense back on the field, score really quick, I really want to see that from this defense. We’re used to it. We are spoiled when it comes to defense, we had such great defense for decades, and now last year it was completely abysmal. For some odd reason, it was. You don’t have Marco Wilson back there, a guy that a lot of you guys will say, he’s gone. You don’t have to worry about Marco Wilson anymore. You got no shoes being thrown, nothing like that.

I do also, from the defense, want to see better safety play. Safety play has not been good since Chauncey Gardner Johnson has left here. I do want to see plays from the safety, but on offense, I do want to see Emory Jones establish a quick rapport with his receivers, because he’s going to need that throughout the whole year. I want to see if he can be accurate when he throws the deep ball, which we have seen. He has been pretty accurate on the deep ball, but I want to see the intermediate throws. Can he be accurate on the intermediate throws? Is he going to throw it too hard to a receiver to where he gets his head blown off by a defender? Many times you’ve seen Kyle Trask step in the pocket, how many times did he throw an inaccurate throw? Maybe once in the Arkansas game to Xzavier Henderson. That’s really all I’ve seen from Kyle Trask.

I want to see accuracy from Emory Jones. I want to see him able to at least on some plays take a couple seconds, go through his reads, be able to toss the ball to a receiver. He doesn’t have to do it every time. Not every quarterback can do that every time. Only special ones can do that. It is his first year.

I also want to see from defense, and I know I’m segueing off defense again. I want to see them limit a nonconference opponent to less than 20 yards. This is FAU. If you can’t limit them to less than 20 points this game, unless the 20 points or more comes in garbage time, we’ll just have to see what happens in that game, how are you going to do against guys in the SEC? What’s going to happen? You’re going to have to score 40 and 50 points a game, like you did last year, to win a game.

Can Emory Jones sit in the pocket? Will he have time to sit in the pocket? That refers back to your offensive line. Will he have time to sit in the pocket if he needs to? I know he’s a run quarterback, but he even said, he didn’t refer to himself as a run quarterback. He said, “I like to sit back in the pocket and throw the ball.” We’ll see what happens.

I also want to see the kicking game, what it looks like. Jace Christmann. You lost your kicker you thought you weren’t going to lose this year. You did to the NFL. So, now you’ve got Jace Christmann in here. How’s our kicking game going to look? How’s the punting game going to look? Who’s returning kicks? You lost Kadarius Toney. There was mention of Ja’Markis Weston earlier. I think he’s on that depth chart now to return kicks along with Jacob Copeland. I really don’t agree with Jacob Copeland being on that special teams list. You kind of want to keep him healthy to receive, but it is what it is. He’s a big guy.

I do want to see what happens on special teams. Demarkcus Bowman, a lot of people were upset he mentioned Demarkcus Bowman and maybe Xzavier Henderson on special teams, but then he releases a depth chart without Bowman in it. Maybe you might see Lingard or Bowman on the kick return. You don’t know. You really don’t know with Dan. I mean, that’s what I mainly want to see from this game. I don’t know about you though.

Andrew:           Are they going to split kicking? Is Christmann going to be more of the long guy and Howard going to be the short guy? There’s a lot.

For me, it’s pretty simple. I say it’s pretty simple. If it was simple, we wouldn’t be talking about it. Defensively, I want to see Florida’s secondary play with some swag. I say it all the time. I want my defensive back group to be the most cockiest, have swag, whatever. If you’re not talking trash in the secondary, you’re not a real secondary player. That’s just what it is. Find me very many successful secondary guys who don’t just love to talk smack. Not very many.

David:               Right.

Andrew:           I want to see that. Obviously, the defensive lineup. We talked about that. Offensively, I want to see some big plays. You’re playing FAU. You’re playing a secondary that is supposed to be the weakness. Go get some big plays. Take the top off the defense a little bit. Get the crowd going early in the Swamp. Bust out with a 60-yard bomb to Xzavier Henderson or Jacob Copeland or Justin Shorter, or whoever it may be. Pop out with some of those big throws. This is what Emory Jones is supposed to be able to do. Get the big play, explosive play that Mullen likes to call it. Let’s get that. Get that going.

Like you said, special teams. Really like to see Fenley Graham and see what Fenley Graham can do back there and see what he can do. He’s your explosive guy, the guy that really doesn’t have a role yet on defense. It’s pretty specific and pretty self-explanatory, honestly. I just want to see those little things happen in the game. Like you said, Florida just dominate FAU. Show that ranking. I saw Stewart Mandel put out a thing today where he had Florida going 8-4, third in the SEC East. Shut up the haters. Best way to shut up the haters, go out and drop 60 on FAU and shut them out, or win 60-20 or 50-20 or whatever it may be. Shut them up with your play on the field.

David:               I’m with you, man. You want to start the first game off right. Like you said, you don’t want to give away too much, because you do have Alabama Week 3, but take the top off of them. Take some deep shots this game. You’re probably going to be able to beat these guys with the receivers that you have. These receivers are way bigger, way faster. It’s not going to be hard to chuck a ball 50, 60 yards, have them in the endzone within a minute or two, like you kind of did last year. You don’t need Kyle Pitts out here for this game. You don’t need a Kadarius Toney. You’ve got guys, especially #1, Jacob Copeland, out there that can torch these guys.

That’s what I really want to see. I want to see Florida get up at least 30 points to nothing in the half, and then kind of maybe get a couple more touchdowns. I do really want to see some turnovers. I want to see a score in the return game. It’s very rare. We had one last year with Kadarius Toney in the Kentucky game. Before that it was a couple years with Freddie Swain that we had a kickoff return. I kind of want to see that. Also, like I said, I want to see turnovers.

I’m fired up. You’re fired up. I love this fire from you, Spivey. If we could get this from you every podcast, we would probably hit #1 every time in the podcasting world out there. I do like the fire, man.

Andrew:           It’s football season. We’re back to doing it. Now, you and I have something to do for the first time. I like kicking butt. I like winning. We all joke about Dan Mullen and his thumb wrestling. I like to beat my four-year-old in everything we do, just because I don’t like to lose. We have a little thing on Gator Country where we pick three players to watch. Since you’re the new guy, I’m going to let you go first. I’m just going to tell you, I take this very serious, and I want to win.

David:               This is like Tim Tebow’s Freak of the Week, but times three.

Andrew:           There you go. I’m going to let you lead it off this week. Next week I’m leading off, but you can lead it off this week. Give me one guy, and then I’ll give you my one guy, and we’ll work our way through this.

David:               I’m going to hit you with a good one right now, and you’re not going to believe it. Jean Delance, baby. Let’s go, baby. Jean Delance. I want to see him, like you said, push somebody around. You talked all this smack all year about Jean Delance can’t guard anybody. Jean Delance is like a statue out there. He just watches the defensive linemen roll past. I just want to see him do something, so I’m going to say Jean Delance. That’s going to be my guy to look out for. I think Jean Delance is fired up just like you, and I hope he listens to this podcast, because I’m behind him 100%. Shut all the haters up. I’m tired of seeing it on my Twitter.

Andrew:           That’s right. I’m going to go with an easy one and one that’s not fair, but I’m going to, because I think he has something to prove, and that’s Emory. That’s Emory at that QB1 spot. There was the talk all fall in scrimmages where he struggled. Emory’s waited his turn. When you’re a quarterback, and you wait your turn, there’s a fire. There’s got to be a fire. If there’s not a fire, then there’s something wrong with you. I do. I think Emory has a big game. Couple rushing touchdowns, maybe a passing touchdown or two. I’m going to go Emory.

David:               Emory Jones said he’s going to eat his vegetables this year.

Andrew:           There you go. Rep for the 404 up there, Emory.

David:               That’s it. 404, man. Kind of where I’m from. I’m from the 770, but it’s close enough.

Andrew:           It’s okay.

David:               I’m going to pick Ja’Markis Weston. You heard Dan Mullen talk about Ja’Markis Weston, how underrated he was. You’ve heard him praise him all year. We got a clue. He’s on that depth chart to return kicks. Let’s see what Ja’Markis Weston can do on special teams, because you know how you get on the roster and get more playing time? Special teams. That’s what you do. I think that Ja’Markis Weston has a good upside. I’m kind of pumped, the way that Dan Mullen talks about him. I want to see if it’s for real. You’ve watched film on him. He was ranked 500, 600 in his recruiting class? Let’s see what Ja’Markis Weston can do. He’s never been to a camp. I don’t think he’s been to one camp to try to raise his recruiting ranking, so let’s see. Let’s see what Ja’Markis Weston can do. I’m going to pick Ja’Markis Weston.

Andrew:           I think Weston gets in there and gets some receiving yards. I’m going to go with another guy. I’ve been waiting for this guy to be Wide Receiver #1 forever, and that’s Copeland. The guy’s jacked right now, even more so than before. He’s got that #1 jersey on. That’s special. He hears it. He hears the haters. He also knows it’s money year. It’s money year for Jacob Copeland. Everybody watched the story, I’m sure, about him talking about all of his friends in Pensacola either winding up dead or in jail or whatever it may be. Jacob Copeland has a lot to prove. Jacob Copeland is a guy who’s driven by success. He wants success. It’s Jacob Copeland’s year to be Wide Receiver #1 for the Florida Gators. It starts Saturday. What better to drop 100 and get you a touchdown or two? That’ll get you on some Draft boards quickly.

David:               Just as you mentioned with Emory Jones, Jacob Copeland’s waited his turn too. He’s been sitting behind receivers like Tyrie Cleveland, Freddie Swain, Van Jefferson, Kadarius Toney. I could go down the whole list. He sat behind at least eight, nine receivers in his career. He should also be fired up. You know Emory Jones and Jacob Copeland have that kind of rapport with each other.

Andrew:           They’re buddies. They throw together in Atlanta all the time. They’re close. Go do it. Let’s go.

David:               That’s a good combo you picked there. I might not be able to beat that one.

Andrew:           See. I’m telling you. I’m picking my fantasy football team. I’m rolling it up. I don’t have the Ryan to Julio connection anymore.

David:               Third guy I’m going to pick, Trey Dean. I want to see Trey Dean succeed. Trey Dean has busted his tail. He looks a lot more jacked now too, if you’ve seen pictures of Trey Dean. Trey Dean was a guy that started out his freshman year and didn’t do too hot at safety. Kind of got pushed down on the depth chart. Since then, he’s worked really hard. I love the kid. He’s got a really great mindset. Very involved with his faith, and he’s a hard worker. Like I said, if you’ve seen pictures of him, he looks jacked.

Last year, when he was in the game, you saw flashes. He actually helped that struggling defense. He had a good bit of pass breakups, and an SEC Championship interception that, you know what happened there, but you still like to see something like that, because that was a quarterback that barely threw any interceptions all year in Mac Jones in that Alabama offense. Nobody could stop him. He gave us a chance in that SEC Championship game. If that football wasn’t fumbled, who knows? We probably would have won that game. Who knows? There could have been a lot of turning points in that game.

Andrew:           Ron English frustrated me. Frustrated me last year not playing Trey Dean. I said this a minute ago. You want your guys to have swag. Trey Dean’s had swag. Apparently he was removed from a scrimmage because he was trash talking too much.

David:               Yeah.

Andrew:           Turn it loose, big dog. N’Kosi Perry’s not your friend. FAU is not your friend. Go bust them up. Let’s go. Get a safety that’s ready to go.

David:               Let’s see that lockdown. Let’s see what them handcuffs mean on that waist. Let’s see what they mean. That’s going to be my third guy, Trey Dean.

Andrew:           I’m going to go with a third guy, and it’s going to shock people. Jeremiah Moon. It’s Moon time. Moon’s healthy. Jeremiah Moon did not expect to still be at the University of Florida right now. He expected to be making payday in the NFL with his buddy, Lamical Perine, with his other buddies in the NFL. He expected to be making money in the NFL. He’s here. He’s healthy. Had a good fall camp. Veteran guy there. Jeremiah Moon is going to have a big game. Jeremiah Moon’s going to have a heck of a football season. Mark it down. He’s ready.

David:               Jeremiah Moon is going to make pancakes too, make some Moon pies out there on the field finally.

Andrew:           There you go. Moon pie time for J Moon. David, let’s pick some games around the country. There’s some good ones, my friend.

David:               We’ll start with Miami and Alabama. Looks like, what is the spread on this game? I think it’s around 18 points? 17, 18 points?

Andrew:           For this game, for games that we know who the winner is going to be, let’s do that. We’ll do it against the spread. If it’s 18, I still go Bama. I still got Bama. It’s not a good football team down in Miami. What is Manny Diaz doing?

David:               Yeah. Miami says they’re back every year. You even see a guy named Coop out there making Alabama diss tracks and looking like the Great White Hope out there. I think they cover the spread too. It’s actually at 19.5, so I think Alabama is going to cover that spread.

Andrew:           I still got it.

David:               And a lot more. I think D’Eriq King is decent. I don’t think he’s that great of a quarterback. I think he’s decent. I think he’s a little overrated.

Andrew:           How healthy is he?

David:               This Alabama defense ain’t no joke, man.

Andrew:           How healthy is King? He’s coming back from a quick injury, very quickly. I don’t know.

David:               I don’t either. If not, they’re going to have to play the backup, and he’s not going to do much better.

Andrew:           No. Miami doesn’t have a chance.

David:               If you’re a betting man, bet on Alabama and take the spread. I would. $100.

Andrew:           Never bet on Miami, unless they’re playing Florida State.

David:               Exactly.

Andrew:           Here’s a game. This is for you. Lafayette travels to Sarktown down in Austin. Does Lafayette ruin the Sark coming out party?

David:               What’s that spread? About eight points there.

Andrew:           Yeah. You can just go winner. You don’t have to pick your points here.

David:               I’m going to pick Texas. I think Sark is a good offensive coordinator. He was here with the Falcons. Look at what he did. He didn’t win no Super Bowl, but it’s the Falcons. This is what these Atlanta teams do every year.

Andrew:           I hated Sark with the Falcons. I hated Sark with the Falcons. Throw the ball to Julio, man. It’s not hard. It’s in the endzone. Throw the ball to Julio.

David:               Exactly. Give Julio the ball, or at least run the ball when it’s 28-3.

Andrew:           4th and goal on the 1-yard line, and you run a bootleg to the right with one wide receiver. Great play calling, Sark.

David:               I still think he’s a good offensive coordinator. I got Texas in this game. I think Texas will win it.

Andrew:           I’m going with the upset. The raging Cajuns of Lafayette with Billy Napier. Billy Napier is a fine football coach. Representing for the Sunbelt. I’m going with the fighting Billy Napiers, the raging Cajuns.

David:               You’re going with the Sunbelt.

Andrew:           I don’t believe in Sark. I think he’s over his head. All of his buddies down there, this is not your dorm room party. You’re not running your dorm room flag football team there, Sark. You’re running Texas Longhorns.

David:               Texas is one of those teams that recruits really well and gets upset by like the teams that shouldn’t upset them. You could have a good argument here. Louisiana Lafayette could beat Texas here.

Andrew:           It’s not no could, David. It’s going to happen. There’s nothing on the internet that’s false, and I put it on the internet that it’s going to happen.

David:               Okay. So, that’s a matchup between me and you there, the 4:30 game. I’ll have to pay attention that one.

Andrew:           Let’s see here. I know there was another big top 25. Indiana and Iowa.

David:               Indiana and Iowa. That actually is a tough one to predict here.

Andrew:           3.5 is what Iowa’s got. Indiana, they had a decent year last year. Iowa always seems to be decent. Is Pinks back for Indiana?

David:               I don’t know.

Andrew:           Yes.

David:               He is. Okay.

Andrew:           Yes. They were rolling when he was in.

David:               They had a close game against Ohio State last year too. They only lost by seven points. They did. Who did they upset last year? What was it? I can’t remember which team they upset last year.

Andrew:           I don’t know. They put Ohio State to the test.

David:               They put Ole Miss to the test too.

Andrew:           Yeah. We’ll see. He’s a good quarterback. I’m going Indiana here.

David:               I was going to say I got Indiana too. Iowa, especially last year’s schedule, I know teams switch and people graduate and all that, but I just think, just looking at the schedule from last year, I pick Indiana. That’s pretty much most of the knowledge that I have on Indiana. I know they did upset a team last year.

Andrew:           Pinks had 3,100 yards last year, or in the last two years, before tearing his ACL. That’s not bad.

David:               Yeah. I’ll go with Indiana too. We only have one matchup right now that we’re both in difference with. We have that. We got Alabama-Miami. If I’m not too busy seeing Miami get smacked around by Alabama and laughing my butt off, I might tune into this game here.

Andrew:           Then we have the big one in Carolina. Clemson and Georgia. Only a three-point favorite for Clemson. Some late word that there’s some injuries for Clemson, but I don’t think it matters. Dabo Swinney’s a better football coach. DJ Uiagalelei, whatever, however you say his name, is a better quarterback than JT Daniel. I have Clemson rolling here by two scores.

David:               That’s close. I think Georgia may have the better defense here, but like you said, it’s Kirby. When you got a decent talent profile, I think they’re third in the talent profile, and Georgia’s #1, when you match talent for talent and coach for coach, Dabo’s going to win over Kirby. I will pick Clemson to win this game, and it’s not because I don’t like Georgia. I still don’t like Georgia, but I still think Clemson will roll in this game. If you’ve seen the video out there, guys, there’s a video rolling around there. I think it’s some recruit that visited Clemson, or it was a player. He’s recording a video on his phone, and he’s showing the National Championship trophy in Clemson stadium or in their locker room. You hear Dabo in the background saying something about Georgia and 40 years. It’s a pretty funny video, if you haven’t seen it yet, Spivey.

Andrew:           I saw it. Any chance you get to rub on Kirby is good by me. All right, down to the Swamp. Not a question of who wins by either of us, but do the Gators cover 23.5 at home against the fighting Willy Taggarts?

David:               They better. It’s Willy Taggart. It’s a quarterback throwing for 52%. It’s a talent profile that’s way less than yours. Like you said, you wanted to see some fire. I want to see some fire. I want to see the spread covered. You know what, why don’t you cover the spread by double 23.5? Let’s do it by 47 points. That’s what I want to see. Let’s make this score 50 whatever, 58-10. See, I did my math wrong.

Andrew:           What does Vegas know that we don’t? They have it as only 52 points being scored in the game.

David:               I could see it being maybe 45-10, but that would still be 55. I don’t know. I have no clue. I think it’s because Florida’s starting a new quarterback. I don’t know. I just don’t see it. Willy Taggart. If Florida doesn’t hold them to 20 points, I’ll be a little upset, for the defense at least. Unless it’s garbage time points, like I said. It would have to be garbage time points.

Andrew:           Gators cover.

David:               Gators cover by, how much do you think they cover by?

Andrew:           I’m going to say Gators cover. I’m going to say they win. I’m going to say they barely cover at 24. I’m going to say it’s 42-14. No, 42-10.

David:               I don’t think it’s going to be double. I’ll do 30. I hope they curbstomp them though. I hope it’s like 50. We got to break Willy Taggart into his first visit in the Swamp. We just have to.

Andrew:           That’s right.

David:               All right, man.

Andrew:           All right, man. Get us out of here. We’ll be back on Sunday. We’ll recap this big one for the Gators and hopefully talk about a lot of positives. Hopefully not have to talk about John Hevesy and Todd Grantham failing as position coaches and defensive coordinator again in their opening game of the season. It’s been good. Excited for the first game, David. I know you’re excited to be back in the Swamp. You’ll have to let us know how loud it gets right there by the players as they come out. Few recruits going to visit as well. We’ll recap it all on Sunday.

David:               Yes we will, man. I’ll be down there in the Swamp tailgating a little bit and being around the fans. Hopefully it’s a pretty packed Swamp, if it’s not packed all the way. That’ll do it, folks, for this episode of the GatorCountry.com podcast. You can follow me @SoderquistGC on Twitter, and you can follow Andrew Spivey @AndrewSpiveyGC on Twitter as well. That’ll wrap it up for this episode of the GatorCountry.com podcast.

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.