GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators 42-28 lost to the LSU Tigers on Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown what went right and wrong for the Gators on Saturday in Death Valley.
Andrew and Nick also breakdown what’s ahead for the Gators coming up this week and the rest of the season.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, wasn’t the outcome the Gators wanted on Saturday, but, man oh man, was that a game, did that game live up to the hype.
Nick: Yeah. The game, the atmosphere. Everything around it, other than the referees, both ways, other than the referees, lived up to everything you could have expected or wanted from that game. The atmosphere was incredible. The game is back and forth. Florida scores a touchdown, and LSU ties it. Then Florida takes the lead, and LSU takes the lead. Back and forth pretty much the entire game. It was a really competitive hard-fought game. No complaints. I mean, other than the outcome, no complaints from the action. It was really exciting.
Andrew: I said this to someone. We’re taping this on Sunday. I said this on Sunday, Nick, and I’ll ask you the same question. I learned more about the Florida Gators during the loss to LSU than I’ve learned all season.
Nick: Yeah. I think so. I mean, there’s a bunch to touch on, but I think that’s possibly true in any loss really. You look and say it’s probably easier to learn more about yourself in a loss than in a win.
Andrew: Right. When I say that, Nick, here’s what I’ve learned. Let’s just dive into it. I learned that Kyle Trask is a monster. He’s really, really good. That’s one thing I learned. I’ll say this. I did not learn this. I knew this, but it further backed up our point. There’s no moment that’s going to scare Kyle Trask. There’s not a moment that’s going to scare him. If Death Valley didn’t rattle him, there’s not a moment that did. Heading into Death Valley I didn’t think there was in the first place, just because of how Kyle Trask is. He’s a very even keeled kind of dude. I’ll be honest, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I never saw the crowd affect him.
Nick: No. I don’t think the crowd affected him at all. I thought he played really well. Until, I mean, there’s two interceptions. One of them I want to get deeper dive into, so we’ll hold off on that. 29 of 39, 310 yards. Threw three touchdowns. What I said, and what we talked about on the podcast leading up to it, Florida wanted to limit LSU’s offensive drives. At the end of the day, LSU gets 11, one being after the last one of the game when they’re just getting out of there. Florida’s scoring drives, 12 for 75 yards, 13 for 75 yards, 11 for 75 yards, 8 for 75. It was clear that Florida wanted to control the time in possession, which they did in the game. 38 minutes 19 seconds to 21:41. I asked Dan Mullen about it. He didn’t want to say after the game, but it’s clear as day when you watch the game, that’s what Florida wanted to do, and Kyle Trask executed that beautifully.
Andrew: Yeah. 100%. First of all, the first half was one of the best called halves of football I’ve ever witnessed for Florida offensively. Just the execution, the timing of certain things, was one of the best called halves of football I’ve ever seen from an offensive coach. Period. That’s NFL. That’s college. That’s high school. It was. Dan Mullen called a great first half. I thought some plays in the second half were a little questionable, and I know the 3rd and 1 call is the one that gets everyone questioning Dan Mullen. I don’t question that call. I question the throw by Kyle Trask. I don’t question that call, because you think we’ll get LSU looking for a run, we’ll bust a touchdown here. He was going to go for it on 4th down anyway, so I don’t question that call. I question the execution of that play.
Nick: Yeah. I think there were some questionable calls when you get into the second half. I thought Emory Jones handled himself well, but then there’s times when I’m thinking, why is in the game?
Andrew: I hated the drive where he started the whole drive, and it was inside Florida territory. I hated that drive.
Nick: Florida scored, and then LSU scored. Then Florida went three and out, and LSU scored to retake the lead. Then they put Emory in.
Andrew: Right. I hated that drive.
Nick: I was kind of like, why? Kyle Trask, yeah they had a three and out on the previous drive, but one before that you got a great touchdown drive. There’s just some times, and I think the coaching staff is still learning how to insert Emory Jones. We saw him more than we had in any game. I think they’re still learning when is the best time and how do we do this. Listen, frankly, three weeks ago, a month ago, they were thrown a wrench into the entire season’s plan, and they’re still figuring things out. That’s just the nature of it. That doesn’t mean they’re a bad coaching staff. They were dealt a season-changing blow three games into the year, and they’ve got to figure out ways to be the most successful that they can.
Andrew: I thought in the first half he did a really good job of rotating guys. I thought he did a good job of rotating Emory in in certain situations and handled him well. He had that touchdown pass to Kyle Pitts, had Delpit not put a helmet on the ball. That was one of the better executed plays and just design overall, because it was there. It was just split second Delpit put helmet to the ball, and Kyle didn’t hang onto it. You can’t question Kyle Pitts or anything like that, but overall I thought it was a well called first half with Emory. Really, outside of that one drive, I was okay with where Emory came in.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, Florida’s drive chart. Three and out on the first drive, but then 12 for 75. Punted on the third drive. Then three straight touchdown drives of 13, 11, and 8 plays, and they ate up over 14 minutes of clock in those three drives. I mean, sorry. The 8 play drive was coming out of the half. So, the first half was the three touchdowns, two punts, and then you come out, and it’s like we said, I said if Dan Mullen wins the toss, defer, because that stadium was going nuts. That stadium was shaking. The person next to me in the press box asked if I felt the press box shaking. I said I didn’t, but she did. It was loud, and what happened as soon as the ball was kicked off? They shut up, because LSU’s offense was on the field.
Andrew: Right. That’s the way you wanted it to be. That’s the way, if you’re Dan Mullen, you control that. Outside of, what was it, one false start that they had in the game, I didn’t think the crowd noise was too much of a factor in the game for Florida. It simply was this game was not lost offensively for the Gators. It was lost defensively by Florida. I hate to put a lot of blame on Todd Grantham. I mean, you can’t replace Jonathan Greenard and then Jabari Zuniga. You can’t. What Jabari was supposed to be is healthy, and was supposed to be the guy that was going to be opposite of Greenard, and Jabari don’t play, and neither does Greenard.
Nick: Yeah. Greenard was hurt at the end of the Auburn game. It’s an ankle sprain. He tried to go, and I thought he looked good. I went down. I stayed down at LSU as long as I could, because I like being down on the field. You get a completely different feel for the environment. You get a feel for the players, and you’re right up there with the players. You can look into their eyes. You can hear what they’re saying. You can tell if someone’s faking it, if someone’s nervous, if they’re staring up at the crowd too much. You can just see more when you’re down on the field. I just couldn’t do anything on the message board, because I had no signal down there, so I had to come back up. I was specifically looking for Zuniga, and I was specifically looking for Greenard. They both looked fine to me in pregame warmups.
Andrew: Zu was fine until the play, and then it was …
Nick: Yeah. We were never told, Dan Mullen never made it known what is the injury exactly. We knew it was an ankle, but if you look at the timeline of it, that’s a high ankle sprain. I mean, he was out five weeks, so you feel pretty comfortable saying he had a high ankle sprain, and tried to come back, and wasn’t ready. Gun to my head, and I know that’s what everyone’s question is, we don’t know how long they’d be out, but I would not expect either of them right now to play Saturday.
Andrew: I don’t know if you play them anyway, Nick. I mean, I don’t mean this.
Nick: Team that just beat Georgia.
Andrew: Will Muschamp, don’t he always find a game to win, find one of those ways to win one game? I mean, it kind of seems like that.
Nick: In 2013, they beat Tennessee.
Andrew: Then whatever year he beat Georgia. Was that ’15?
Nick: That was just last year, so I think ’15. Yeah. Or ’14?
Andrew: Something like that. One of the two. You found a way to win. Anyway, my thinking is this, and I’ll get ahead of myself, but if lose to South Carolina it’s not good for you playoff implications, but if that means you get a win against Georgia, guess what? Party in Atlanta in December.
Nick: You still got to beat Missouri.
Andrew: Still got to beat Missouri. But still, you know what I’m saying though. Basically, those guys didn’t play in the LSU game. They played a quarter total together. Greenard played, what, one series, two series?
Nick: Yeah. Greenard played the first series, and then he came out for the first play of the second series.
Nick: Then was visibly upset on the sideline.
Andrew: Then Zuniga played.
Nick: He got hurt in the third quarter.
Andrew: Yeah. But he didn’t play a ton.
Nick: He was in and out. I went back and watched it this morning. If you go back, LSU had three huge runs. They had five runs over 15 yards, but three over 33 yards, 33 yards or more. Neither player was on the field for any of those three runs. We talk about them as pass rushers, which they are, but they also set the edge better than the guys that are coming in behind them.
Andrew: On the touchdown run, they had Zu inside.
Andrew: I didn’t like that at all. Anyway, my point being is if you can rest those guys this week, get the bye week, rest those guys, you’re still iffy on them making it back for the Georgia game, but still you would like your chances a lot better for that. Somebody on the message board mentioned this, Nick, and I’ll ask you the same thing. Is it a situation where maybe they do the Tua surgery, that, what is it called, tight rope surgery or something like that? I don’t know. Somebody asked me about that. I don’t know. I don’t know enough about that to know anything about it.
Nick: I don’t know anything about it. It seems like some kind of magic voodoo they have at Alabama.
Andrew: I’ve never heard of surgery for a sprained ankle.
Nick: Listen, if it’s not me, somebody, Dan Mullen will be asked tomorrow, and he doesn’t like talking about injuries, but this is such an important thing. He’s going to get pressed on it tomorrow. That might mean we have a bad press conference, and he’s not going to be happy with the line of questioning, but it’s important enough that we have to ask it. It has to be asked. I mean, you gave up 511 yards, because you were missing your two best defensive linemen. This game was not on Florida’s offense. 457 yards.
Andrew: It just wasn’t on the defensive line either.
Nick: No. There were linebackers. This is a game on defense where, I mean, if you’re a defensive player, you want to throw the tape away. If you’re Todd Grantham, you’re putting it on like some sunglasses and just having it play on glasses and making the players watch this nonstop.
Andrew: You and I talked about this Friday, and we said the biggest key for the Gators was do not have missed tackles. There was a shit ton of missed tackles on Saturday.
Andrew: First play of the game.
Nick: That’s something we talked about. I mentioned it on the Friday, when you asked me keys. I said you can’t turn the 4-yard gain into a 40-yard gain. You can’t turn a loss into, even just turning what would have been a sack or a tackle for loss into just a no gain. You can’t do that. Credit to LSU. Joe Burrow, I mean, we were right to question. Everyone that was questioning LSU’s offense was right to question them, because they hadn’t played anybody.
Nick: I don’t think Florida’s a bad defense. Did they play poorly on Saturday? Yes. I don’t think they’re a bad defense. I’m done saying that they’re the best defense in the country. I said that. Best defense in the country doesn’t go out and have a game like that, so they’re not there. Go ahead Wisconsin. On Wisconsin. You’ll take my top defense in the country now, after pitching another shutout.
Andrew: 27 points they’ve allowed all year, Nick.
Nick: That’s crazy. Florida got to Burrow at times. Not as much as I thought they would. But he did a really good job of just, not even just being elusive and running a ton. I mean, he had 43 rushing yards, but it’s just that Peyton Manning …
Andrew: They had that damn crossing route. I swear every one of the plays had a crossing route designed into it, that way if Florida blitzed, all they had to do was throw the damn crossing route. I promise.
Nick: Then you’re picking of Florida’s deficiency at linebacker, and we didn’t see enough Amari Burney. Then you’re picking on Florida’s deficiency with Ventrell Miller and David Reese in coverage. I thought Joe Burrow, you see a lot of great quarterbacks do it, and it’s just a tiny step in the pocket, whether it’s up, back, left, right, wherever the pressure’s coming from. A lot of times you don’t need to just tuck it and run, it’s just a little bit of movement, and it buys you another second. That gets you time to get the ball out. I thought he did that really well. He’s not Johnny Manziel. He’s not Cam Newton, but he moved around enough in the pocket to create more time for himself.
Andrew: Nick, can you hear me?
Nick: Yeah. I can hear you.
Andrew: Okay. I was saying, Kyle Trask also did a really good job of doing that stepping out, rolling out, finding those receivers on the run and that kind of stuff. I thought played really well. Back on Joe Burrow though, I’ll give him the Heisman. I don’t care. I’ll give him the Heisman. Here’s something else. I said it on Twitter, and I’ll say it again. LSU’s the best team in the country so far this year. There’s zero doubt in my mind.
Nick: They’re really good. I think their offensive line did a good job. I think they’ve got, obviously, the talented receivers. Joe Burrow looked really impressive.
Andrew: Those receivers.
Nick: He had as many touchdowns as incompletions against a Florida defense that was really good.
Andrew: Those receivers. Let me just throw these out at you, Nick. Justin Jefferson, 10 for 123. Ja’Marr Chase, 7 for 127. Outside of Alabama, there might not be a better duo of receivers than those two guys.
Nick: I’m looking forward to that LSU-Alabama game.
Andrew: It might be the first to 70.
Nick: Yeah. Good luck on those defenses. My goodness.
Andrew: Nick Saban done said to hell with defense, I’m just going to score a lot of points.
Nick: Nick Saban and Coach O are going to be chewing their gums off, just chewing their lips off trying not to cuss, or maybe they’ll just cuss everybody out.
Andrew: He’s going to tell Sarkisian, keep the pedal on the gas.
Nick: Yeah. That’s going to be a crazy game. For me, the biggest takeaway is Florida’s got to find some answers defensively. Dan Mullen said it, and the injuries hurt, but that’s where you are. They hurt. Quite frankly, no one that you’re going to play gives a damn that you’re hurt. Everyone says, we want to play them at their best, well you’re not going to get Florida at their best, because of the injuries.
Andrew: At the end of the day, Georgia will take a win with Florida playing all walk-ons or no walk-ons.
Nick: Shoot, everyone’s hurt. You have to play walk-ons. Darn. Sorry. Sorry about your luck.
Andrew: Listen, I’m the biggest Falcons fan, Braves fan, whatever it may be. I like to play the best, but if you’re telling me the Falcons don’t have to Kyler Murray on Sunday with the Cardinals, who Kyler Murray ate our defensive line, you ain’t going to hear me cry.
Nick: No. What else you want to talk about the game?
Andrew: Here’s something I wanted to get to real quick.
Nick: Don’t let me forget about the interception, the whole Tyrie being held thing. I wanted to talk about that.
Andrew: We’ll get to that. The one thing that I wanted to point out was I said the whole I loved how much the first half looked for Florida offensively, but the second half Kyle Pitts and Lamical Perine kind of went MIA. They were finding situations in the first half to get those two guys involved, and then in the second half it was like, we’re not. You started lining Kyle Pitts up in line, and those defensive ends and linebackers were just chipping him at the line of scrimmage, and they wouldn’t allow him to get off the ball. Then later in the game on that last series, they went back to split him out to wide, and he has two catches on slants. Five for 108. That could have easily been 10 catches for 200 on LSU. They had zero answers for him.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, Kyle Pitts was targeted 10 times. Kyle Trask threw 39 passes, so a little bit more than a quarter of the passes went to Kyle Pitts. Half the passes, over half the passes, went to Pitts or Van Jefferson. I wrote it my 10 takeaways. I was like, I can’t say that he wasn’t a big part of the game plan, but I don’t know how much of the game plan, like if you’re making a percentage, if you’re making a pie chart, I don’t know how much of the pie I’d be like, that’s too much, you tried to feature Kyle Pitts too much. He’s just a mismatch.
Andrew: Tom Brady and Gronk. Just feed him.
Nick: If they targeted Kyle Pitts 25 times in a game, I don’t think I’d be like, they tried to force it. I’d be like, you probably had a successful day throwing.
Andrew: Right. Tom Brady never cared about how many times he threw it to Gronk, as long as it works.
Nick: Yeah. 10 targets. That’s a lot, but like you said, a lot of that was in the first half. He’s going to continue being a mismatch. I don’t know. There’s defensive coordinators that get paid a lot of money. I’m looking it up right now. He was only targeted twice, not once in the third quarter. Was targeted twice in the fourth quarter. So, the bulk of those 10 came in the second quarter. I remember it was right before halftime, there was that one drive, and I was like, this looks like Georgia versus Florida last year, when it was just Fromm and Nauta up and down the field, when they scored right before half. If it’s working, keep going to it. You kind of went away from it. I like that.
Andrew: Well, the second half the first series they went to Van every time, and that worked, and that’s fine.
Nick: They were just baptizing Stingley. Stingley ended up getting an interception later in the game, but here’s big boy football. This kid has been running routes since he was in diapers with his dad, who was coaching NFL players. He’s going to break you off on a couple.
Andrew: Right. Again, I understand Orgeron and those guys put a lot of focus on Kyle Pitts, but it’s like I said with Gronk, and I use Gronk because that’s how they’re using Kyle Pitts. You have to set him up to be a mismatch. Putting him as an inline tight end isn’t Kyle Pitts’ strength. Hasn’t been his strength all year. Probably will never be his strength. He’s a flexed out guy that needs to be moved around. I just didn’t see that a lot in that. I thought that was something we would see more. Then you didn’t see a lot of throws to the running backs.
Nick: No. I think Lamical had two catches, and he’s going to be your guy. You’re not going to throw a ton when Malik Davis is there, and Damien Pierce didn’t play. The only one really designed pass, I don’t think Perine’s touchdown catch was designed to him. I think they were throwing to Pitts, but it looked like there was a miscommunication on the route, because they were both literally in the same spot.
Andrew: He just said, I’ll take the ball.
Nick: Yeah. That was an incredible play. A little luck, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
Andrew: Our friend, Caleb Brantley tweeted, and I’ll say he’s got a point. He said, it’s not luck when it’s two on one.
Nick: Yeah. Well, it was two Gators on one.
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. There was two Gators and one there. Anyway. Again, we can nitpick all that. Listen, it’s all fine and dandy. There was some questionables in the second half. Again, Florida scored 28 points against a very good LSU football team that should have won the game.
Nick: That should have won the game. We’re talking a lot about the offense, but that wasn’t the issue. You look at LSU. 10.6 yards per play. That was the most LSU has ever had against a top 10 ranked opponent, the most they’ve ever had against an SEC opponent, and the third most they’ve ever had in school football history against a Gator’s defense that I think is very good. 22 1st downs. LSU scored 42 points on 48 plays.
Nick: Florida almost doubled up LSU on plays.
Andrew: When they went on a scoring drive, it was quick.
Nick: All of their drives. I’ll pull it up. I did that in the first half, because the first half was …
Andrew: You copied me. That was my tweet, and you copied it, so it’s okay.
Nick: Other way around.
Andrew: We’ll check the timelines.
Nick: LSU’s scoring drives. Two plays 66 yards, 32 seconds. Five plays, 82 yards, two minutes. Four plays 75 yards, a minute 29. Eight, 75, 3:42. That was their long drive of their game. Their long touchdown drive of the game was three minutes and 42 seconds.
Andrew: Exactly. Florida at the end of the first half I think had something like a 20 to 9 time in possession. 20 minutes and some seconds to 9 minutes and some seconds of time in possession over LSU, and it was just because LSU was taking no time to score, and Florida was being methodical.
Nick: At halftime the time in possession was in favor of Florida. 20 minutes 13 seconds to 9:47 for LSU, and the score was tied.
Andrew: Yeah. Again, I’ll be honest, Nick, I thought that when they come out in the second half Todd Grantham was going to have something to slow them down.
Nick: Because we’d seen it so many times.
Andrew: Because we had seen it so many times. That’s right. We didn’t. Again, that should be a credit to LSU, because LSU came out and was doing different things. The biggest thing that I thought LSU did a good job was Joe Burrow never, I don’t want to say never, but he was very good about disguising his RPO, per se, and you never really got a tip off in that. Some quarterbacks are tipping that off, but he was doing a good job, and that was what was killing Florida was those big chunk yards of running that they would hand it off to Edwards, and it was just, boom. It would hit, because Florida was already backing up to hit the crossing routes.
Nick: Yeah. That’s what I thought. We talked about it on Friday. I even picked him as one of my players. I said, Amari Burney is one of my guys, because LSU’s going to throw the ball. This isn’t going to be your typical Florida-LSU matchup, and you got to have some guy that’s going to be able to cover. Cover tight ends, cover the slot guy. That’s not Ventrell, and it’s not David Reese. No knock on them, it’s just a hole in their game.
Andrew: When it was Burney coming in, that was when they were kind of running the ball.
Nick: Smart game plan.
Andrew: Yeah. Instead of keeping the RPO and throwing it, that was when he was running it more so than ever. It was just a good game plan. What’s his name, John Brady? Joe Brady or John? Joe?
Andrew: Joe Brady. That’s a smart son of a gun.
Nick: Yeah. 29 years old. He’s younger than us.
Andrew: He going to be making a lot of money. He is Lincoln Riley 2.0. Making a lot of money.
Nick: Gator fans are trying to get him to go anywhere else. Hey, you need a new head coach in Atlanta? They got a pretty good coordinator down at Baton Rouge.
Andrew: We don’t want Joe Brady. We’re looking for Lincoln Riley. Sorry, Joe, but we’re looking for Lincoln Riley.
Nick: Then where are the transfer quarterbacks going to go win their Heismans?
Andrew: I don’t care where they go. Could care them less. Let Joe Brady take his spot, and then they can just go all the way there.
Andrew: Wouldn’t be bad.
Nick: Real quick. It’s a huge play.
Andrew: Oh yeah. I forgot.
Nick: It was a 14-point swing. It’s 3rd and 1 from the 16. Florida’s down seven. They’re driving the ball. Tyrie Cleveland just gets tackled. Basically tackled. A lot of people are saying, if Kyle Trask throws the ball at Tyrie Cleveland, it’s easy call for pass interference.
Nick: That’s really tough to do in that situation as a quarterback, because you’re throwing to a guy who’s being held and covered. If it’s not called, and Tyrie can’t make the catch, because he’s being held, and the ball gets tipped and pick, that’s probably going through your mind. Well, where else can I go? I got Freddie in the endzone, and if he’s able to stop and plant and put the ball to where Freddie can catch it maybe over his shoulder or give him a chance for a jump ball, then that’s good. You’re going to have a chance to make a play, but as it’s happening, he’s moving. He kind of throws without setting his feet, without getting his balance, gets nothing on the ball, and it’s picked.
Nick: It’s a blown call. It’s missed. At the very least, that’s holding.
Nick: That’s defensive holding, five yards. That gives you a new set of downs, because it was 3rd and 1. Could he have thrown the ball to Tyrie? Yes. I just think that’s a lot to ask of a newish quarterback, because of what I just said. That’s going through your head. Worst case scenario is it doesn’t get called as pass interference, and it gets picked off. Obviously, the ball ends up being picked off anyway, but you’re not thinking of that.
Andrew: A veteran quarterback probably throws it instinct.
Nick: Yes. Then you could get a pass interference call. That’s true.
Andrew: Again, I don’t know if they do or not, to be honest. I don’t know if they do or not. Listen, I don’t want to get this into a Florida got robbed by the refs. I don’t want it to get into all that. I think you can make cases in every game that there’s a few calls that don’t go your way. Hell, my Falcons got screwed today. A guy was on top of somebody and fumbled, and they said he was down. We all know in the NFL it’s not down, but whatever. There was a couple of them. Jabari Zu, he got held so bad on some plays. I thought they got away from that a little bit there, and then I thought Florida got away with some holding.
I do want to talk about the offensive line, Nick. First, I want to ask you your take on the offensive line from last night.
Nick: I’m going to go with they were not good. Still the same. No sense of urgency when you’re pulling and when you’re moving. I thought they were bad again. I think what I said, when you said that you learned more about the Gators, I think maybe it’s easier to make some big changes after a loss. When you’re winning games, and you’re 5-0, and then you’re 6-0, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Winning hides a lot of things that are wrong. Maybe a loss is what the team needed, or the coaching staff needs to say, let’s try it.
Andrew: Who do you want to see?
Nick: I need someone. I mean, I think Chris Bleich is struggling. I think Jean Delance is struggling, and I think Stone Forsythe is struggling. So, you don’t have enough. You don’t have enough offensive linemen, I don’t think, to replace all three of them. But you got to do something, because you’re not getting the job done.
Andrew: Gouraige go to left guard, and have Heggie go to right guard, possibly there. Biggest thing I’m going to takeaway, and I thought the offensive line in the first half did really good in pass pro, again. Not that that’s been a question mark, but I thought they did pretty good in pass pro. The second half they did awful. One time Stone Forsythe just said, go ahead and take my quarterback. I ain’t even going to touch you. Anyway, the biggest thing that I have with this offensive line, Nick, and you said it, but I’m going to go even further. I am so sick and tired of watching these guys play tit for tat with these guys. Go up to them, blow them son of a guns off the ball. When you’re pulling, you are a grown man with all of your might behind you pulling. Crush that son of a gun. Pull and hit somebody. I have seen so many times, and there was a play in the first half, Nick, Bleich was pulling. He somehow ended up on the ground in the backfield. How is that possible?
Nick: No urgency. I don’t think it’s effort.
Andrew: I’m never saying effort. I’m not saying effort.
Nick: I wasn’t trying to say you were. I’m just thinking through it in my head as I’m talking. I don’t think it’s effort. It’s just, because when we’re saying the urgency, it’s not the effort. I don’t know what it is. It’s just urgency is the best way I can say it. When a running back is shoving you to get out of his way, that means you didn’t get to where you needed to go. It’s not that you’re not trying hard. Maybe you’re being tentative.
Andrew: Do you not know the plays? I mean, is that it? Are you thinking too much? What is it? This is the thing. Listen, I coached tight ends in high school, so I understand what an offensive lineman says. When the offensive line is told to block, most offensive linemen are licking their chops. They’re saying, we’re about to get a head of steam up, and I’m about to blow this damn linebacker’s head off. I mean, that’s what most offensive linemen think. You see these guys pull, and they end up blocking nobody, or they end up blocking someone, and that guy’s still making the tackle. We’re not talking about 200-pound offensive linemen either. These are big old boys.
Nick: Yeah. I just don’t have answers. I don’t have an answer for the offensive line. Basically, the entire second string is freshmen, so you don’t know what you’re going to get out of them. No idea.
Andrew: I don’t know. That’s something I had to say and get it off my chest. Again, Florida scored 28 points. It wasn’t the offensive line’s fault, by any means, but I’m just so tired of watching these guys not just blow somebody up. I mean, I’ll ask you this. You may have an answer that I don’t. You may have seen something I don’t. You see the game different than I do sometimes, and that’s fine. I haven’t seen this offensive line pancake anybody.
Nick: Not often.
Andrew: That’s just me.
Andrew: So, I don’t know. We’ll see. I’ll say this. I want to see, and this is one person, and I don’t mean to call him out, Brett Heggie has that mean streak. I’m ready to see that mean streak. Anyway. Let’s move ahead real quick, and let’s look ahead. Florida comes in. Coaches Poll, AP Poll, still #9. Georgia loses to South Carolina. They move to #10. Gators are still there. Here’s the scenario, Florida and Georgia are tied. Whoever wins that game in Jacksonville can lose one more game and still be good.
Andrew: So, Jacksonville’s for all the marbles, basically. Obviously, Florida can’t lose this week and then lose to Missouri, but it’s for all the marbles.
Nick: Yeah. I felt like a contrarian on Friday saying even if Florida loses this game, it’s not a big deal. Kind of just like I didn’t want to say it, but I felt like it was just reality.
Nick: They can lose this game and still be fine, and they are.
Andrew: Here’s the thing. Somebody asked me, if Florida wins out and beats Alabama in the SEC Championship game, they won’t go to the playoffs. Bullshit. Sorry. Florida wins out, beats Alabama, you can mark it down. They’re going to the playoff. That’s just the way it is. The SEC gets that respect. Again, Florida’s showed a lot of people. I’ll say this. I’ve seen more national people give Florida props after Saturday night’s game against LSU than I have against Auburn or anyone else.
Nick: A lot of the people I work with, a lot of the other media members, all week were asking Florida players, if this game gets into a shootout, can you guys hang with LSU? I kept thinking, I mean, I said it, I said defense travels. I think Florida was hindered, not to make an excuse for them. Obviously, hurt by missing Greenard and Zuniga, but I thought no way LSU would score 40.
Nick: It thought it was crazy. I was like, what are you talking about a shootout? It’s not going to be a shootout. This game’s going to be in the 20s. I think Florida’s going to get a lot of respect because, yeah, their offense could and did hang with LSU.
Andrew: Jesse Palmer said before the game, no way Burrow throws for 300. Well, he did.
Nick: He didn’t.
Andrew: What did he end up with?
Andrew: 293. Wow.
Nick: Not 300.
Andrew: I don’t know why I was thinking 303. Oh, that was total yards he had over 300. My bad. Completely my bad. Again, everything Florida wants to accomplish at the end of the year is still out in front of them.
Nick: Still there.
Andrew: Still out in front of them. I tell people this all the time. I don’t have to tell everybody this, but some people you do. The year Florida won the National Championship in ’06, when they lost to Auburn, everyone said it’s over with. The team rallied up and won out. They got rings on their fingers.
Nick: Yeah. Listen, no team at Florida has ever gone undefeated.
Andrew: Nope. Nick, I think I did pretty good this week in picks.
Nick: Yeah. You’re going to get two wins. Let’s see. Jon Greenard is a no, because just didn’t play. I think that’s happened to you twice now.
Andrew: Yeah. Jabari in the Auburn game.
Nick: You get Kyle Trask, for sure. You get Kyle Pitts, for sure. So, that moves you. This thing is getting long. That moves you to 11 for 21 on the year. I get …
Andrew: Burney was an L.
Nick: Burney’s an L. Josh Hammond, what did Hammond do? One rush. He had the end around.
Andrew: Not happening, Captain. He had 18 total yards.
Nick: 18 total yards. Shawn Davis led the team. I mean, Shawn Davis is like a ticky tack. Yes, he led the team in defense. Sorry, not in defense. He led the team in total tackles. There were some blown plays I saw from him. I just don’t think anyone really on the defense had a …
Andrew: I’m giving you 0 for 3, and I’m sorry.
Nick: I’m going to take a win for Shawn Davis, just because I want to.
Andrew: There’s no way I’m giving you a win for Shawn Davis.
Nick: I think I’m 0 for 3.
Andrew: Yeah. You’re 0 for 3. Ain’t nobody on that defense getting a win on that defense. Sorry.
Nick: That ties us. That ties us for the year. 11 of 21. Neither of us are picking players well.
Nick: Let’s go through the games real quick. Did Penn State beat Iowa?
Andrew: Yeah. They did.
Nick: We both picked that one right. We both picked Bama right. Oh, did Bama cover?
Andrew: Yeah. I think Bama did cover, right? What was the over-under?
Nick: It was 17.5.
Andrew: Okay. Let me see here. I’ll pull it up real quick. Bama won by 19.
Nick: Bama covered. We both win that one. I picked UF. That’s a loser. You picked LSU, because you’re a big corndog homer. You picked that correctly.
Andrew: We both lost on Miami though.
Nick: Clemson sure did cover.
Andrew: Oh God, yeah. You and I both took big Ls for that Miami game.
Nick: UVA’s bad. UVA’s real bad. We both picked the Red River Rivalry correctly.
Andrew: Let me just tell you, Nick, and I love me some offense. Lincoln Riley can draw some plays up, bro. Steve Spurrier was the mastermind, and he still is. I’m sure Spurrier can draw up some plays. I don’t know if you saw this play, Nick, but they went reverse, no excuse me. They went toss. Excuse me. They went reverse action, toss flea flicker, and they hit the reverse guy, CeeDee Lamb, on a wheel route wide open. It was beautiful, Nick.
Nick: That’s like not even a Madden play. That’s like an NFL blitz play.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s like one of those flag football plays, where you say come in motion, and then they tossed it, because they were in the shotgun. They tossed it. He goes all the way to the right tackle, turns around, pitches it back to Hurts, and he just throws a beautiful ball to CeeDee Lamb running wide open on that reverse action. It was a beautiful play. He can call some plays. My God.
Nick: Maybe I’m wrong. You’re in the state of Alabama, so tell me if I’m wrong, but Jalen Hurts never threw the ball like this against SEC defenses.
Andrew: No. No, no. There’s definitely some Big 12 love. That defense out there is not the best of defenses, but you know.
Nick: He looks great. He had his Heisman moment. That little AND1 Mixtape behind the back, when it was almost a sack. Runs the ball behind his back and ends up getting the ball out. He’s having a great year. They’re fun to watch. I watched that first half before I went and drove on out, because I stay a little kind of far away from the stadium, so I wanted to beat traffic. I only watched the first half of that game before driving. Then South Carolina-Georgia drew my attention in, so I didn’t watch the end of the Red River Rivalry.
Andrew: Yeah. It was a good one though. Lincoln Riley knows how to draw them up. Nick, we’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Wednesday. We’ll talk about this Florida-South Carolina matchup. Hilinski does say he’s going to play this week, so we’ll see.
Nick: Will Muschamp’s also a guy that said Dominique Easley had a knee, and then that turned out to have a torn ACL in it.
Andrew: Yeah. No. Was it a knee, or was it a lower body?
Nick: No. He said he has a knee, and Pat Dooley goes, yes.
Andrew: That’s right. McElwain was the one that said lower body for somebody.
Nick: Yeah. Muschamp would say he has a knee, and we’re like, that’s the problem. Dominique Easley’s out, because he only has one knee. He should have two.
Andrew: Kirby Smart outstupided, and that ain’t even a word. Anyway, tell everybody where they can find us, Nick. We’ll get out of here. See everybody on Wednesday.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast wherever you consume podcasts. Just search Gator Country. Subscribe, so you never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: There you go. Guys, we appreciate it so much. Thanks for all the love and support on here. We will see everyone on Wednesday. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.