Podcast: Previewing the Florida Gators vs. USF

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we preview the Florida Gators road game against USF on Saturday afternoon in Tampa.

Andrew Spivey and David Soderquist breakdown the keys for the Gators on Saturday and what the offense needs to improve on.

Andrew and David also talk about the keys for the Gators defense as well as pick their three players to watch on Saturday afternoon.

We’re having difficulties with our podcast player so please click the link below to listen to today’s episode.

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David:               What’s up folks of Gator Country? This is none other than your boy David Soderquist, along with Andrew Spivey. Florida will be facing their first away game of the season, taking on the USF Bulls, a team that Free Willy also used to coach there back in the day, but he’s not there anymore. Now it is Jeff Scott, the former Clemson wide receiver coach and co-offensive coordinator from 2008-2019. Florida on the road facing a team head coached by a guy with a couple of National Championship rings, but also on the road facing a team who got completely taken to the woodshed by NC State. Andrew, before we break it all down, what’s your general thoughts right now going into this game?

Andrew:           First off, I think it’s an away game, but it’s not an away game. We feel pretty good in saying that the Florida fanbase will be well represented. The orange and blue will be well represented on Saturday. It’s kind of like I was saying before the season. It’s good to go on the road and understand the road routine of having to travel down to Tampa. Florida will travel down there, probably Friday afternoon, maybe even do a walkthrough at Raymond James on Friday. That may be where they do their walkthrough. That kind of depends. Dan Mullen sometimes does a walkthrough at the opposing stadium. Sometimes he doesn’t. It’s good for that. Obviously, Florida doesn’t have a ton of road games this year, but still it’s good to have that.

We’ll see how hostile the USF crowd is. I said this off air to you, but wouldn’t shock me if USF doesn’t come out on their first drive with a little energy and maybe score some points or stop Florida on the first drive, just simply because that energy. Dan Mullen said it a lot this week. South Florida players have circled this game for a long time. It’s a big game if you’re South Florida. A lot of these guys at South Florida wanted to go to Florida and just didn’t have the ability and wasn’t wanted in Gainesville.

Overall, I think it’s a good one. It’s another opportunity. It’s another opportunity for Emory Jones. This is your last get ready game for the dog, and that’s Alabama. You know that you have to be better than you were against FAU to beat Alabama, so this is another opportunity for Emory. It’s another opportunity for the offensive line. I’ll say it again this week. I need the offensive line to come out and mash. This is South Florida. You should push them around.

David:               Yeah. NC State had no problem pushing these guys around. Florida should definitely not have problem pushing them around either, especially after Malik Davis had his 104 rushing yard game last week, and Anthony Richardson practically ran all over FAU. Florida should not have a problem.

Andrew:           NC State put up 293 yards rushing. They were 7.3 there, 525 overall. No offense to NC State, but if NC State’s putting up 293 on the ground, you like Florida’s chances.

David:               Yeah. They gave up 232 yards passing. In total, they gave up 525 yards total of offense. If Florida can’t score on USF. Like you said, this is your last chance right now. You have Alabama next week. Alabama is not FAU. They’re not USF. Alabama is 100 times better, if not 1000 times better than both of those teams, and they got some players. You think that they’re not going to do what they did to Miami to you guys, if they come into your own hometown at the state of Florida?

This is what you need to do. You need to get Emory Jones ready for this game. I said it last week, Andrew. I said, Emory Jones needs to establish a rapport with his receivers. I did not see that last week at all. You saw a lot of dink and dunk. You saw a lot of running, because Florida was rushing the ball pretty well. I think this game, you need to get Emory Jones. You need to get him the football. You need to let him go pass happy this game, I think. You got to build in some confidence.

Andrew:           That’s what I was going to ask you. There’s two sides to look at this. Obviously, Dan Mullen’s not going to bring out the whole kitchen sink on Saturday.

David:               No.

Andrew:           He’s not going to show you. You’re not going to see anything different than you saw on Saturday, unless there’s something, for instance, the Hail Mary to Anthony Richardson. Do I really and truly think that will ever happen in a meaningful game? Probably not.

David:               No.

Andrew:           I think that was let’s put that on tape, so Alabama has to put that on the scouting report. You look at different things. You may see Anthony Richardson line up at the slot, and you may see Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson in the backfield together, just to throw off what Alabama has to prepare for here next week.

You look at it, and you say, do you really want to see Emory come out and establish the throwing game? In my opinion, yes. That is for Emory’s confidence. That’s for the receiver’s confidence. That’s to make Alabama respect the pass. If you come out and you have a performance like you did last week where you can’t throw the ball, you’re missing all of your short throws, and you’re throwing interceptions, if I’m Alabama and I’m Nick Saban, I’m sitting there saying, I’m going to sell out on the run until Emory beats me throwing the ball. Again, do you want that? That’s not going to be fair to the offensive line. If Alabama decides to sell out on this running game, good luck. That’s just what it is. Good luck. You can’t have that happen.

I’m like you. I need to see Emory come out in this game. I need to see Emory come out and establish the passing game, establish some of the receivers. You know the running game’s there. You know you can run the ball. You know what Emory can do. Somehow, some shape or form, Emory’s confidence has got to be better than it is now next week.

David:               Yeah. Because if Emory Jones’ confidence is the way that it was last week, and you even heard him in his press conference say that he was not proud of how he played last week, you want to establish not just a passing game and a passing rapport with the receivers, but you also want to establish the confidence in Emory Jones. I think the more passing plays you give Emory Jones in this game, last week you made it kind of vanilla. You ran the ball a lot more than you passed. How about we just drop back and pass every single, I don’t know, 80% of the time maybe? Let’s get Emory Jones there.

Even if you are up 21-0, who cares if you throw a couple of picks? I don’t want him to, but who cares if you throw a couple? It’s USF. USF has shown that they cannot score. Their quarterback Timmy McClain went 7 for 13, 126 yards, threw two picks. Cade Fortin came in for a little bit, went 7 for 20, 41 yards, threw a pick. It’s not like USF has great quarterback play. Right now, from what I saw last week, they don’t. It could be different when they come into South Florida, like you said. They could be juiced up. They could be really ticked off that they lost 45-0 to NC State and come out there and have a different scheme. They run the spread offense.

Another thing that I want to see, and I’m trying to segue here is the fact that the dink and dunk plays killed us against FAU. I want to see better coverage on short dink and dunk passes in the outside flats. You want to put your faster linebackers in the game. If you’re getting beat on dink and dunks, put a Ty’Ron Hopper out there, or a Diabate out there, one of your faster inside linebacker guys. If you think they’re going to try to run up the gut, put Ventrell Miller there. It’s not hard. All you got to do is be able to read the schemes, put the right guys in the spots for everything to be successful. That’s what I want to see too. I want to see less dink and dunk plays.

I think the fans, even the fans in the stands that I was behind, they were pissed. They were really mad that they were getting these four, five, and six yard chunk plays, getting to the endzone. Now, they didn’t score until after the third, late in the third, fourth quarter. To see them stop them on 4th down was great, but not to see those dink and dunk plays. When you come and play Alabama, they do a dink and dunk play. They got receivers running 4.3s. They’re going to get 10 yards and 20 yards. They’re not going to get just five, six, four yards. You’ve got to clean that up. That’s something else I want to see too.

Andrew:           You see Todd Grantham this past week, and he said he wants to play more press. I think the quote was, “We’re going to play pretty much press most of the time.” Well, didn’t happen. He blamed a lot of that on FAU stacking their receivers and doing things to confuse the defense. You better figure that out.

David:               Yeah.

Andrew:           Because if you don’t think Bill O’Brien and Nick Saban are going to do things like that, you got a rude awakening. I know we’re comparing everything to Alabama, but that’s your next big opponent. Whether or not it’s the game of the year, it’s the game of the year right now. It’s the first SEC game. It’s the game to judge where you are as a program. Whether anyone likes it or not, Alabama is the program right now. They’re the top of echelon program right now. Georgia is trying to get there. Clemson’s trying to get there again. Ohio State’s trying to get there again. Oklahoma’s trying to get there again. Everyone’s trying to get there.

You measure your barometer of where you’re at by how you play against Alabama. Last year you were six points away, but as Dan Mullen has said many times, this isn’t last year’s team. It’s a whole new group. We talk about Alabama blowing Miami out. Miami may be trash. They may be worse than we even think they are. Maybe Alabama looked great because Miami’s just straight trash. We do know that you’re going to have to play your game, and the little mistakes that we’re talking about have to improve.

The dink and the dunk plays have got to get better, because that’s going to be your game plan for a lot of teams. Florida’s front seven is going to be one of the better in the country. Their defensive line of Zach Carter, Jeremiah Moon, and Brenton Cox and Khris Bogle, those four guys are going to collect a lot of sacks this year. They’re going to collect a lot of quarterback hurries this year. So, to go against that, they’re going to dink and dunk, because for one, when Florida’s playing Ventrell Miller on the field, you’re going to take advantage of that. When Florida is bringing the house, like Todd Grantham likes to do, you’re going to take advantage of that. That’s the way to beat that. That’s the way to counter Todd Grantham’s defense.

So, Kaiir Elam, really good press man guy. Jason Marshall, same thing. He’s a big guy, press man guy. Avery Helm should be very good in press man. He’s quick. Jadarrius Perkins is the same way. Elijah Blades. All those guys should be very good and comfortable in press man. If you’re going to play the style of defense Todd Grantham likes to play, press man has got to be that way.

You look at this USF team, perfect chance. Jam up at the line and bully them. Kaiir Elam should be bullying any receiver anyway, but definitely South Florida’s receivers. Again, that’s not to badmouth what USF or anybody else. It’s just simply that. You should be able to beat USF. You look at their receivers overall. No guy really stood out. Xavier Weaver has two catches for 73 yards last week, but besides that, it was just dink and dunk guys. So, be prepared, because that’s what’s going to happen. Allow your defensive line to turn it loose and go get them and not have to worry about turning their back and going to chase a running back or a receiver catching a screen pass.

David:               Right. You talk about the defensive line for Florida, the offensive line for the South Bulls is all seniors just about, all upperclassmen, seniors. It’s led by Donovan Jennings, a left tackle there, and Demetris Harris. I would say that left side of that offensive line is a lot better than that right side, so I would except if USF is going to run the ball it would be more on that left side than it would be right or in the middle. You’re going to have to shore up the run game too. They did a decent job last week of doing that.

My concerns aren’t with this defensive line, not against South Florida, at all. My concerns are more the backfield. What was the safety play like last week? It was kind of 50/50. It wasn’t what you wanted to see out of the safeties. Tre’Vez Johnson did miss on a big play that you would have loved to have had back there. The safety play has been better, but it hasn’t been where we want it. I mean, Chauncey Gardner was the last good safety we had back there. What I saw last week, and from my point of view, my side of the field, because I was on the tunnel side of the field, didn’t look too good. On the other side of the field, it looked great.

Andrew:           I will say this. It’s weird to say. I mean, it’s not weird to say, but it’s pretty much the fact. You have one safety. Trey Dean. That’s your safety. You have one corner. When I say that, I don’t mean that those other guys are not going to be there. Rashad Torrence may develop into a great safety. Tre’Vez Johnson, same way. Mordecai McDaniel and Donovan McMillon played a lot at safety. Maybe one of those guys step up. We’re waiting for that to happen. We’re waiting for Avery Helm or Jason Marshall or Jadarrius Perkins or Elijah Blades. We’re waiting for one of those guys to take over at that corner spot. We’re still waiting for someone to be that star. It wasn’t there last year. They tried Marco. They tried Tre’Vez. They tried a lot of guys there last year. Didn’t happen. No one really stepped up there.

So, you’re waiting for those guys to really step up, so there’s going to be a lot of moving around, moving parts, there. Kaiir Elam, Trey Dean, those two guys, whatever it may be, they’ve got to be the captain of that defense. Trey Dean’s got to be the quarterback of that secondary and get guys lined up, get guys ready to go. You just got to figure it out. That’s just kind of is what it is.

I look for Amari Burney. I’ve been looking for two years now for him to take over that star spot and really just dominate there, and it just hasn’t happened. I don’t know who’s going to be that guy. Is it Tre’Vez? I don’t know. Someone’s got to step up and be ready to go, because those are the holes. There’s no holes at linebacker. There’s no holes at defensive line right now. The holes are those three spots.

David:               I noticed I did not see Diwun Black last week either. Dan Mullen alluded to it in his press conferences that Diwun Black was that very versatile player that they could stick at nickel, star. We haven’t seen that yet. I’m curious to see if maybe Diwun Black gets some kind of reps there at some point. I saw him. He was dressed out last week. He just never played.

Andrew:           He was on special teams late in the game. You kind of have to wonder. Diwun didn’t get in until late in the summer, so you’re battling a lot of things there. You have to wonder just how much of the playbook, of the concept, he’s really understanding right now and has gotten under his belt. You have to wonder there. You would love it. That’s just what it is. You would love for that to happen. You would love for Ty’Ron Hopper or Derek Wingo, one of those guys, to make the jump to be ready to go as well.

David:               Right. That’s just going to be a question. They’re going to have to figure it out. You’ve got one week to figure out your safety position before Alabama comes into town. There’s just so many. We still have questions. We thought we would get answers in Week 1, but there’s still so many questions. With Emory Jones too, he said he had a bad game, and that’s fine. I don’t know if you want to put Anthony Richardson in the game really late if they’re up big or not. Do you keep Emory Jones in the game for three to four quarters? Do you let him build his confidence before he plays Alabama, or do you just light them up 60 points, put Anthony Richardson in when you’re up 35, hopefully 35-0?

Andrew:           I think you have to play both. I say that for a couple reasons. Dan Mullen on Monday seemed more open to the two quarterback concept. Didn’t want to go as far as saying it would be a Leak-Tebow kind of thing. I think it’s going to be more than Leak-Tebow. I think you’re going to see a lot of those guys playing. I mean, a lot of plays for those two guys. I don’t want to say they’ll split time. I don’t think that’ll happen, but I think you’ll definitely see Anthony Richardson have 10 plays a game or so, maybe more. I think you have to keep Anthony Richardson sharp.

As much as Dan Mullen says there’s not a quarterback controversy, and I don’t think there is. I think Emory Jones is your guy right now. I believe he’s your starter, but for whatever that may be, you’ve got to get Anthony Richardson ready, not only for now, but let’s just say Emory Jones does end up having a good season after starting slow, Anthony Richardson’s your guy next year. You can’t risk and put all your marbles in the Emory Jones basket. For one, if it doesn’t work out, but two, if it does work out, Anthony Richardson has to be ready to play next year.

Also, I think you’re doing yourself and the team a disservice a little bit if you don’t continue to trot him out there, especially if Emory Jones does struggle. Let’s just say Emory Jones continues to struggle, and he struggles mightily in the Bama game and struggles in the Tennessee game. You have to be ready by Georgia to at least be ready to give Anthony Richardson more snaps.

David:               If Dan Mullen actually came up to you and told you, no matter what part of the season, that there wasn’t a quarterback controversy, would you actually believe him?

Andrew:           No. Let me say it like this. If Dan Mullen’s as smart of a football coach, and he has to be, because he’s coaching in the SEC, then he’s going to play the best. He’s not blind. He knew. He saw the struggles with Emory Jones last year. Obviously, he has to give coach speak and give Emory Jones the benefit of the doubt and keep his confidence, because that would be the worst thing in the world is to have his confidence just shattered if Dan Mullen come out blasting him or whatever. I don’t think that there is a quarterback controversy, but I also don’t think that Dan Mullen’s not aware that there’s a quarterback controversy.

David:               Right. I think he actually likes it. Like I said, you want the backup quarterback to push the starting quarterback. Starting quarterbacks want to keep their job. A lot of them don’t get scared. You think a starting quarterback gets scared when the backup is doing better than them? No. They don’t get scared. It makes them be better.

As far as Emory Jones goes, I think we covered that a little bit. Emory Jones, you’re probably going to have to pass more with Emory Jones to get his confidence up. You may run with him too. I think we’re still going to see more of Emory Jones this game than we would Anthony Richardson, just based on the fact that he’s going to have to into Alabama and play that game. Anthony Richardson, I was going to say, that’s what I want to see in Week 2, if he does take the field. Need I say more? Impressive last week. 160 yards rushing, one touchdown. Kid’s a freak of an athlete.

Andrew:           You have to think about this too, David. This is where the pressure of playing quarterback, not only at the University of Florida, but anywhere, you’re the focus. You’re the guy who touches the ball every single solitary play, outside of center. What does Anthony Richardson look like this week when USF game plans for him?

David:               Yeah.

Andrew:           What does he look like when he’s the hot man on campus right now. He put out his merchandise of him jumping over a bull. Listen, I like the confidence, but where does he go? Can he back it up? We always say the backup quarterback’s the favorite person the team and the most popular person on the team, but now he’s not. I mean, he is the backup quarterback, but he’s getting the love of a starting quarterback. Where does he go? Now that he game plans, can he back it up? Alabama’s going to know he’s going to try to run the ball, if that’s all he does this week. So, can he pass the ball? Last week he didn’t complete it. It looked good, but he didn’t complete it. Can he complete it this week in games, and is that something Dan Mullen wants to roll out there, show teams that Anthony can throw the ball and complete the ball as well?

David:               You’re right. The running part was impressive, but really, honestly, through the air he was okay, but he didn’t really pass it much either.

Andrew:           Right.

David:               I’d love to see that more. As far as their quarterbacks, NC State’s quarterback Devin Leary, he was okay. He’s had an okay season last year, 60% in 2020, 48.1% completion rating. Only threw for 890 yards the year before. Wasn’t really a starter until midway through that season, but he’s an okay quarterback. I think Emory Jones should have no problem throwing on this USF defense, because they were, like I said, 525 yards of offense shouldn’t be a problem.

Anyway, man, what I really would like to see too, and I didn’t get to see it last week. We saw a lot of turnovers from this defensive line, lot of fumbles. Didn’t see no interceptions. Let’s get that backfield some interceptions. Especially after last year, I think Florida maybe amounted for three total interceptions the whole year. Trey Dean was one of them, where it got fumbled. I think Gervon Dexter had one at the beginning of the season that got tipped at the defensive line, but you didn’t really see anything else last season.

I want to see some good backfield coverage. I want to see passes being broken up when it’s getting passed deep, because you didn’t really see that a lot. You saw it a couple times at FAU, but a lot of those passes were getting caught. We were leaving guys wide open there in the backfield. I want to see that, but I do want to see some interceptions. Can we get an interception in the backfield, or is it going to be Gervon Dexter again on the defensive line? Are we going to see another tipped ball, Gervon Dexter still lead the team in turnovers, or what?

Andrew:           I struggle with saying this, because, again, I thought the defense overall played well last week.

David:               Yeah, they did.

Andrew:           I think the secondary did struggle some. The thing for me with the secondary, you always hear the term, especially in practice, get to the ball. Swarm the ball. Attack the ball. When the ball’s in the air, there should be 11 guys coming to the ball. You’re not seeing that. When you’re seeing guys catch the ball, you’re not seeing everyone swarm to the ball. Swarm to the ball. As DBs, there shouldn’t be, crap, let me go chase the guy real quick, because he’s about to catch the ball. You should be in position to go tip the ball.

David:               Right. Better awareness.

Andrew:           Make that play. Yeah. That’s where I’m at. I’m at the swarm the ball, attack the ball, and get aggressive. Obviously, Florida is worried about giving up the big play. Get that worry out of your mind. Just go make plays. Zach Carter’s going to cause the quarterback to throw balls quicker than expected. Gervon Dexter, Brenton Cox, all those guys are going to make the quarterback throw a little early. Be in position to make a play and capitalize on things like that. That’s the best way to shut me and you up. Avery Helm, go out and play defense and make an interception, and guess what? Next week we won’t talk about it.

David:               What about tight end play, man? We didn’t see anything from the tight ends, except for some good blocks. That’s about it. We didn’t see any tight end make a play last week.

Andrew:           Were they even targeted?

David:               I don’t think so. I think they were targeted maybe two times. I want to see more from Whittemore, Elksnis, your guys out there. We didn’t really see any tight end play last week. Let’s see if we can get some of those tight ends into the game and see what they can do. I don’t think they were targeted. I believe maybe there was like two targets or so. I want to see better tight end play.

Also, I’m not going to say I want to see better offensive line play, because they completely smacked around FAU last week, but you still want to keep the confidence going, the consistency going there on the offensive line. Overall, man, I don’t think Florida’s going to have a problem in this game scoring. I don’t think USF is going to come back from behind 20 or 14 points and lead a shutout, and then completely run Florida out of the stadium. I don’t think that’s going to happen here. I don’t know how the fans are going to react if the first drive USF takes it all the way down and scores, and NC State didn’t allow them to score. You know you’re going to see some stuff on Twitter about that.

Andrew:           Get ready for it. Get ready. Florida’s not going to throw a shutout through three quarters, in my opinion. It’s just too tough.

David:               Yeah. I already saw some fire Grantham tweets out there. I think the first drive of last week or something like that. It was like, you never know what you’re going to get from some of these kids and cats on Twitter. I do want to see Emory Jones at least pass for over 200 yards, at least.

Andrew:           Like you said, we talk about the confidence of Emory Jones, but think about the confidence of a guy like Jacob Copeland, Justin Shorter. Xzavier Henderson didn’t even have a catch last week. You got to get their confidence up as well. Like you said with tight end play, get their confidence up a little bit. Kemore Gamble and Keon Zipperer are two veteran guys as far as returning. Jonathan Odom is a guy who was here last year but didn’t play. You want to get him involved. Elksnis is a guy who, from everything we’ve heard all fall was really good. Let’s see a little bit of him. Again, while we’re previewing South Florida, yes, South Florida is your opponent on Saturday, but the opponent is yourself on Saturday.

David:               Pretty much.

Andrew:           You’re trying to get better. The only difference is you’re playing a team in, I guess they’re wearing white on Saturday. You’re going to play a team in white instead of the team in the orange and the blue. You’ve got to get better. Again, I hate to say Alabama, because it’s South Florida this week, but in reality you’re playing to get better for Alabama. Any holes you have, you’ve got to improve. You’ve got to be better after this week than you were against FAU. Like you said before, South Florida’s not as good as FAU. They’re not.

David:               No, they’re not.

Andrew:           But you still have to be better than what you were. Your offensive line, the offensive line still has to be better. Period. Malik Davis, great first game. Guess what? Do it again.

David:               Do it again.

Andrew:           Consistency will make this team great. Consistency will help you in that Alabama game. The worst thing that could happen for this team is to go into this game and win 21-0.

David:               Yeah.

Andrew:           Confidence would be shattered. Fans would be shattered. Go into this game, blow it out, get your guys out in the third quarter, get some of the backups in. Get Gerald Mincey. Get Anthony Richardson in there. Get Carlos Del Rio or Kitna in there. Get those guys in there and get ready for Bama.

David:               Yeah. Get some Lorenzo Lingard and Bowman in there too. I know a lot of fans want to see that. This game, I hate to say we’re looking ahead at Alabama, because you do have USF, but obviously this is like a scrimmage game to them, or it should be a scrimmage game to them. It’s not demeaning USF and not saying that they’re not going to score points or give Florida fits, because in the past USF, in the first quarter, has given Florida fits. I’m not going to say that USF is just going to come in here and get stomped, but hopefully that’s what you want to see, and that’s what you see, because coming into next week you got Alabama, and these dink and dunk plays, Alabama’s going to eat you alive on them if they don’t. They got some two stud running backs, if you did not watch that Miami game either. It’s going to be tough.

Andrew:           It’s going to be a game.

David:               It’s going to be a game, and it’s sold out. Just announced today, the Alabama-Florida game is sold out. I can’t buy a ticket for $1000 a piece now.

Andrew:           Well, you can. It’s on Stubbo.

David:               Yeah. On Stubbo. Anybody out there that’s got some money, let me know. You can go ahead and buy my ticket for me. Buy Andrew’s while you’re at it too.

Andrew:           Yeah. That’s a game that I don’t know that I want to be in the press box for. I’ll be honest. I want to see the Swamp rocking. I say this, and, again, I don’t know how this South Florida crowd’s going to be on Saturday. I think it’ll be 50/50 or maybe even 60/40 Florida to South Florida fans. From a guy who, I’m a Jaguar. I’m a South Alabama Jaguar. We didn’t have a football program when I was there in school, but when I was GA there and going to some games now, you’re going to get hype. Your fans get hyped for these games, to see Florida come in. It would be South Florida’s best thing in the world to upset Florida.

I don’t think it’ll happen, but I’m just saying go into this game, Emory Jones has to go into this game knowing that you’re going to be into a crowd that doesn’t really like you. You’re going to be into a game that is going to be these guy’s biggest game. It’s going to be their Christmas. Even if they play a bowl game, they’re not going to play the University of Florida again this year. Those guys are not going to play the University of Florida. It’s a big game for a lot of different reasons. I’m excited to see how everybody bounced back, and I’m always excited to see how the team takes a step forward.

I always say this. Your team grows the most from Week 1 to Week 2. A lot of people don’t understand why that it is, but it’s pretty simple in a way, but it’s not simple in another way. It’s simple in that you know when you go into a practice, the defense pretty much knows what the offense is going to do when you’re facing your own defense and you’re facing your own offense. When you go into a different team, they’re going to throw wrinkles at you. It just is what it is. Dan Mullen’s got something up your sleeve for South Florida. South Florida has something up its sleeve for Florida. How you looked at that game tape against FAU, and you get better, is why they grow so much from Week 1 to Week 2.

That’s a little bit of why I’m eager to see Emory Jones, just because he sees what he did wrong. Now it’s on tape. Okay, Emory, you didn’t do well. This is what NFL scouts see. You didn’t do well. There’s no hiding it at practice no more. There’s no this might have been this at practice. You have to show it now. I’m excited to see it. I’m excited to see it for the offensive line, because, listen, I was their biggest critic. They did well last week. Now South Florida knows that your offensive line is pretty good. What are you going to do when they put seven in a box, eight in a box, nine in a box?

David:               What are they going to do when Alabama comes to town, and they do the same thing? What’s going to happen to that offensive line?

Andrew:           Yeah. There’s a lot of exciting stuff. It’s football. We all know from Georgia Southern with Will Muschamp that anything can happen. With a team who’s as young in experience, not young as in grade or whatever it may be, but young in experience, it’s exciting to see. I’m excited to see Emory Jones. I’m excited to see Anthony Richardson. I’m okay with both of those guys playing.

David:               The main goal, get Emory Jones some confidence this week. Get him confident into Week 3. That is the main goal for me out of this game. I know the defense is going to play well. The defense is going to play good enough to stop USF. I’m not worried about anything on offense. I want to see some tight end play. Want to see the running backs again. Want to see Emory Jones get some confidence, and that’s it. What is your score prediction for this game?

Andrew:           What is the line?

David:               I think it’s 28.5.

Andrew:           Is it at 28.5 right now?

David:               Yeah. They say total points would be 58 points scored in the game.

Andrew:           I don’t think Florida covers. 29 points, I’m tough to ever say somebody covers with 29 points.

David:               Are you a betting man?

Andrew:           You think about it. If it’s 35-7, you didn’t cover.

David:               Yeah. Exactly.

Andrew:           You didn’t cover at 35-7. I will say that it’s still under. I don’t know that it’s 58 points. First of all, I don’t know that Dan Mullen allows his offense to get 58 points. And I say doesn’t allow, obviously, if the third string came in and did it, then they would, but I don’t think that he allows Anthony Richardson and Emory Jones to run the score up for the heck of it. I don’t think so, and I definitely don’t think it’s 35-24 or anything like that to where it would equal up there. I’m going to say 41-17.

David:               41-17.

Andrew:           That’s what I’m going to go with.

David:               I’m going want these boys to boat race these guys. We need it after last week.

Andrew:           I do too.

David:               We need it after last week.

Andrew:           I want 70. What game was it that? It was a high scoring game last week that was something like that.

David:               Auburn did it to Akron, but it’s Akron. Akron’s like 110th ranked in the nation or something like that.

Andrew:           It’s okay. Let’s see it. I’m cool with it.

David:               Let’s boat race them.

Andrew:           It’s at noon, so you got plenty of time. They got lights.

David:               I’m going over. I’m going over that 28.5. I’m going to say 62-10. How about that?

Andrew:           62-10. Okay. Guess what? It’s my time to pick my player first.

David:               I was about to say. It’s player time.

Andrew:           I didn’t get to do well last week.

David:               You go ahead, man.

Andrew:           I didn’t do well, so I need to do well this week, because you’re up 3-1, and I don’t like to lose. I’m going to go with my first pick, and I’m going to go with a guy who struggled a little bit, but I don’t want to say he struggled. Didn’t have a ton of stats. I’m going to go with Dameon Pierce.

David:               Dameon Pierce. A guy that, I don’t think he got that many carries until it came to the goal line. I think Malik Davis got the bulk of the carries last week. Let’s see. Dameon Pierce. Man, who am I going to pick. Let’s see. I am going to go with Justin Shorter. Justin Shorter’s my guy. He didn’t get a lot of receptions last week. I think Dan Mullen’s going to kind of chuck the ball with Emory Jones this week, get some confidence built up. Justin Shorter’s one of those guys, he kind of flies under the radar with Jacob Copeland. I think Jacob Copeland’s the primary receiver, obviously, he’s wearing the #1. I want to see Justin Shorter show out. I’m going to say Justin Shorter, and I’m going to give him 100 yards. How about that?

Andrew:           There you go. I like it. I’m going to go with the Tampa boy, Zach Carter. Tampa boy getting to play at home. I told him I would start saying, what is it, 853 is the Tampa area code. I’ll give him his 853 this week.

David:               I was going to say Trey Dean, but it looks like there’s an undisclosed questionable injury with Trey Dean. Says he’s questionable for South Florida.

Andrew:           We’ll see. You had the whole Tik Tok thing where they showed him getting walloped on kickoff.

David:               I was about to mention that. I’m like, Trey Dean, where’s your awareness, man? This is twice, man. This is twice you’ve gotten knocked down like this. Where’s your awareness?

Andrew:           I will say this. Trey Dean plays with a reckless vengeance, so it’s kind of like, yeah. I would be shocked if Trey Dean’s not playing, so it wouldn’t be a bad pick. Maybe he gets an interception.

David:               I was about to say. I think I’m going to go with him anyway. I picked him last week. I’m going to pick him again this week. Trey Dean. You got the crap knocked out of you last week. I bet you’re tired of it. I bet you want to knock the crap out of somebody, so I’m going to go ahead, and I’m going to pick Trey Dean.

Andrew:           I’m going to go with a defensive back who probably didn’t like how last game went, and that’s Jason Marshall.

David:               Oh yeah.

Andrew:           Not too many times was he scored on in his high school career, so that might have been a little bit of a let’s go kind of thing. I’m going Jason Marshall. I say two defensive guys there. I think the offense is just so spread out that I think it’s tough to have one guy really dominate. I’m looking forward to the defense. South Florida’s offense is trash.

David:               You know what? When they were going back to the locker room at halftime, I was sitting near the tunnel. He did not look happy when he was going through the tunnel. I know he did not look happy. Jason Marshall might be out there for some vengeance. I’m going to go with, let me see. This is going to be hard. I’m going to go with another offensive guy, and this might be, wow, David picked the most obvious guy.

I know he’s going to be in the game at some point. I’m picking Anthony Richardson. That guy, I’m telling you, pure athlete. If he can run over FAU like that, he can do it at USF. I don’t know how many snaps he’s going to get or how many carries. I don’t know if he’s even going to try to take it to the house again, but the guy’s running at 21.6 miles per hour apparently, and he’s weighing 240. These kids do not weigh as much as this guy does. I’m picking Anthony Richardson. I think if they get him on the field, he’s going to take somebody’s head off.

Andrew:           That was, what, the fifth fastest last week?

David:               Yeah. Quarterback too. He’s listed with a bunch of wide receivers and running backs.

Andrew:           Yeah. I’m all for it. I said this, I think, last week maybe. Anthony Richardson’s a guy who everyone has said at the University of Florida is special. Special, special, special. We all saw it for our own self on Saturday. I’m cool with it. Listen, let them be a 1-2 combo. I’m cool with that being a 1-2 combo. I don’t care if it’s a five-man combo. If that wins you football games on Saturdays, if that beats Alabama on Saturday, I don’t care if Jacob Copeland is back there taking a snap at quarterback. It doesn’t matter.

David:               Doesn’t matter to me either.

Andrew:           It doesn’t matter. This isn’t the NFL. You can get away with some things. Who cares? I will say this. Dan says it all the time, and we laugh at him. Who cares? Honestly, who cares if Emory Jones is your starter and Anthony Richardson plays 50% of the time? Who cares? I don’t. I just want to see wins.

David:               I want to see wins, and I’m tired of seeing that crying Tebow meme on Twitter all over the place with these Alabama fans, but that’s for next week.

Andrew:           I have to live with them 365 days a year.

David:               I know. You’re right there. It’s okay, I have to live with Georgia fans.

Andrew:           Well. Only difference is Georgia fans can’t claim titles. Alabama fans claim 75 titles, all those fake National Championships that like the New York Times gave them back in 1907 and the Tuscaloosa Times named them National Championship one year, and they got a title somewhere of it.

David:               More fake Natties claimed than UCF.

Andrew:           That’s right. And that’s a lot. Overall, David, I think it’s going to be a good week for Florida. I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a good test for Emory just to go on the road overall. Let’s pick a few games around the country, my friend.

David:               I was actually about to ask you that. I was looking at this Oregon-Ohio State game. It’s actually going to be in 4K, if you have some of those 4K channels out there. If you got the wallet for that. Oregon-Ohio State. Let’s see. I’m going to go into here and look. They’re giving Oregon 14.5 points. I know you don’t do the spreads. You’re just going to pick a straight up winner. After what I saw Ohio State go through with Minnesota, I might predict an upset here. I’m not sure. I’m going to go with Oregon.

Andrew:           You’re going with Oregon over the Buckeyes.

David:               It might be stupid, but that’s what I’m going to do.

Andrew:           If Kayvon Thibodeaux is 100%, 100% Oregon.

David:               True.

Andrew:           But with Thibodeaux not, going with the Buckeyes.

David:               Rolling with the Buckeyes. The matchup predictor has them at 87.8% to win the game over Oregon’s 12.2. We’ll see what happens.

Andrew:           Buckeyes it is.

David:               Speaking of that, I didn’t even go into our game. Our game they have us at 95.5% over USF. For all you folks out there worrying about an upset, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen. What about UAB-Georgia? Now, there’s some news out there, Spivey, that JT Daniels may be hurt.

Andrew:           You know my boy is Bill Clark with the blazers up there, but that defense at Georgia is …

David:               It’s nasty.

Andrew:           It’s a freak show up there. About time the five-stars actually start playing with a five-star mentality and ability. I got Georgia rolling. It will be interesting to see. Obviously, if JT doesn’t play, Carson Beck, the guy who used Florida to get the Georgia offer, out of Jacksonville, would be next up. We’ll see. I’m interested. Here’s the thing for me. They have such a long time to get ready for a big game, they’d be okay with it.

David:               Yeah. Actually, UAB’s quarterback last week, 17 for 21, 320 yards and two touchdowns, zero interceptions.

Andrew:           Bill Clark. Protect this quarterback up there. I’d be perfectly fine to be able to tweet Bill Clark greater than Kirby Smart.

David:               I would too.

Andrew:           This is wild. Iowa and Iowa State on Saturday. First time of a top 10 matchup in the rivalry. That’s just odd to me, because, obviously, neither team is great history wise, but that’s a long history to never have a top 10 matchup.

David:               Right. I don’t think I picked Iowa last week, did I?

Andrew:           No.

David:               I might be cursed. I’m going to go ahead, and I’m going to go with the Hawkeyes this time. I didn’t pick them last week, and I got burned, so I’m going to go ahead and pick Iowa.

Andrew:           I’m going with Iowa State. I think they’re a little bit better team. Still, very early in the process, but we’ll see. I think it’s going to be a good game though. It’s top 10 matchup, rivalry matchup that is another rivalry matchup that’s outside of your conference, so they didn’t get to play last year. Overall, I’m excited to see it.

David:               Yeah. I am too. Look at this. We have Tennessee versus Arkansas, or no, Texas versus Arkansas. My bad. It’s not Tennessee, because that’s when I would have picked Arkansas to win that game. It is Texas-Arkansas right here. Looks like I’m going to just go ahead and roll with Texas here. Not too keen on Arkansas right now, especially losing our guy Feleipe.

Andrew:           Yeah. I think that’s the only other big game, right? Let’s see. Texas-Arkansas.

David:               Texas-Arkansas.

Andrew:           You think Sam Pittman’s got it?

David:               Yeah. I think Texas is going to roll this game. I would think that Arkansas may give them fits for a second, but I doubt it. I think Texas will roll it. They didn’t seem to have a problem last week, so I’m going to go ahead and pick Texas. I’m sure you would pick Texas too.

Andrew:           Yeah. I think it’s closer. I think it’s closer than we think a little bit. I’m believing a little bit in Sam Pittman. I just don’t believe in Sark at Texas. I went with Lafayette last week. I don’t know. I just don’t believe in him. I’m going to go with Texas, but it’s close.

David:               The rivalry, rivalry, I guess. Not really a rivalry, but Stanford and USC next week as well.

Andrew:           Both teams are irrelevant right now. Pitt and Tennessee, what was it? The former coach, they’re honoring him. Couple big games around, but then next week we finally get into conference play. That’s when the real talk will begin.

David:               You know what’s funny? I’m in the top 25 right now on ESPN. LSU is not listed on here.

Andrew:           Well. Orgeron’s seat is getting very, very hot.

David:               Yeah. To say the least. It’s hot red, and it’s not blue.

Andrew:           Billy Napier to LSU? We’ll see.

David:               We’ll see. Maybe. You know what? What’s funny is if he’s going to have a blue shirt curse, Florida wears blue. Maybe Florida does the same thing to LSU.

Andrew:           Florida owes payback. I don’t care what it is. Shoe throw, field goal, whatever it may. Florida owes payback, and they owe payback. I never say just blow the boats off of them, but blow the boats off of them. You can score 80 in that game, go score 80.

David:               They got to play McNeese. They should be able to win that game.

Andrew:           It’s the Orgeron bowl. Son’s playing quarterback for McNeese State.

David:               That’s right. Maybe he has something up his sleeve. Maybe he knows Orgeron’s game plan.

Andrew:           Maybe Orgeron already knows he’s getting fired and is going to hand one to his son.

David:               Like father, like son.

Andrew:           Conspiracy theory. There you go. That’ll do it for us, David, though. Podcast overall will be back Sunday and can recap a little bit of this and get ready for Bama. I’m excited to see it. It’s going to be a huge recruiting weekend. Go take care of business against the Bulls, and then get ready for the Tide.

David:               That is right. Florida has a test before Alabama, and that is an away game against USF. Stay healthy. Win the game. Get onto Week 3 versus Alabama in the Swamp. Folks, that’ll do it 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, folks, 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.