GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators lost to the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday night in the Swamp.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down what went wrong for the Gators on Saturday and how they think Feleipe Franks did in the game.
Andrew and Nick also break down what the Gators can do to fix the issues from Saturday night as they move on to face Colorado State on Saturday.
Andrew:What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, the streak is over, my friend. You and I have seen Kentucky beat Florida. Something you and I have never seen before, and it happened.
Nick:Never thought I would see the day. Last time it happened Halley’s comet had just passed the Earth. It comes around every 75 years. The way the series was going, it looked like old Halley would make another trip around and come back to Earth before Kentucky won, but the Wildcats took care of business. They had been getting close. Maybe not every year, but in recent years they had been getting close.
Andrew:Listen, Kentucky just outplayed Florida.
Nick:Yeah. I mean, Kentucky outplayed Florida last year.
Andrew:For the last three games, honestly.
Nick:I think it was four years ago maybe, it was the Driscoll year where they went into overtime, and he didn’t get the snap off.
Andrew:Yes. To Demarcus Robinson.
Andrew:I thought that was three years ago, but you may be right. They all kind of run together. Nick, I guess let’s just get right on into it. You and I were fooled by the defense last week. You and I were fooled by, I won’t say I was fooled by Feleipe. I will give Feleipe Franks credit where credit is due. Feleipewasn’t as bad as his stats will show, as the score will show. 17 of 38, 232 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, 11 carries, 44 yards. I will say Feleipe didn’t have his best game, didn’t have his worst game. Forced some throws, was late on some throws, the pick, missed Malik Davis wide open in the end zone for a two-point conversion. It was not a great day for him, but this wasn’t sitting on Feleipe Franks, Nick.
Nick:Yeah. I thought Feleipe in the first half was okay. It’s about what he’s going to be. I mean, I said it on Friday. I was encouraged by some of the things he did against Charleston Southern, but I needed to see it against Kentucky. For the beginning, before Florida got down, and then the entire offense needed to press, once Feleipe Franks started pressing, then you go back to what you are. When you’re playing relaxed, like he was against Charleston Southern, he was good. When he was relaxed, when they were up, or when the score was tied, and he wasn’t pressing, he was fine against Kentucky.
But that’s what he is. He’s not an All-SEC type quarterback. He’s never going to be a Heisman contender. Feleipe Franks is what he is. If you bought too much stock after beating an underfunded Charleston Southern football program in one of the least funded conferences in college football, then that’s on you. You didn’t listen to our podcast. We didn’t tell you to buy stock in him just because he looked a little bit better.
Andrew:Hold on now. You picked him.
Nick:I picked him. That was bad. I was on pace probably for a win, and then the second half, then they played the other half of the game.
Andrew:Yeah. Here’s the thing for me, Nick, and I said this to you. Again, I’m not putting this game on Feleipe Franks. If anyone in America, and anyone on that coaching staff, and anyone in that football office, expects Feleipe Franks to win the game solely by himself, they’re crazy. Listen, that’s no disrespect to Feleipe Franks. I think you can say that with a lot of quarterbacks in the country, and Feleipe is one of them, unfortunately. What are you doing to believe he was the guy that could win it on his own? I’m just not sure of that, Nick. That’s going to lead me into my next point here in just a second, but you cannot expect him to go in there and win the game.
First of all, Feleipe Franks have 11 carries for 44 yards and being your team’s leading rusher is very suspect to me, is very troubling to me. That leads me to my next point, and that is Dan Mullen, all I’ve heard about is how he wants to be a running team. No. The first two games tell me opposite. When you look at this team, outside of Feleipe, you had 17 rushes.
Nick:You’re putting entirely too much on Feleipe Franks. Right now, Feleipe Franks is, by far, your rushing leader. Not by far, he has three more carries than Jordan Scarlett, six more than Malik Davis. Lamical Perine, he has 10 more carries than Lamical Perine. Damien Pierce didn’t get any carries, after having nine in the first game. Malik Davis has 10 carries. Feleipe Franks has 16 carries, and he’s thrown the ball 62 times. You’re putting way too much on a quarterback that is serviceable.
Nick:If you had a Dak Prescott, yeah, sure. Let DakPrescott be 80% of your offense. You don’t have Dak Prescott. I wonder if he’s thinking that we’re so bad in run blocking that we have to, that we have to throw the ball this much.
Andrew:Let me say this to you, Nick. This isn’t at you. I’m not directing this at you when I say this. At times, the running game looks okay. Lamical Perine, 8.5 rushing yards per attempt. Malik had an okay few rushing yards there. At times, the running game is fine.
Nick:I think the running game was really only really, really effective when …
Andrew:The game was out of hand.
Nick:When the game was out of hand, and they’re not really worried about stopping the run. They’ll let you get four yards, five yards a carry, because you’re running the clock out. The clock is not stopping, and you need to score twice.
Andrew:Right. That’s true.
Nick:I mean, I watched the game again, and there’s times where guys are breaking a tackle just to get back to the line of scrimmage. I watched Jordan Scarlett break two tackles to lose two yards.
Andrew:There was one play, and I believe it was Scarlett, before Scarlett got the handoff, Nick Buchanan had already been beat inside. The guy was almost hitting Scarlett as he got the handoff. I think he ended up losing a couple, but still.
I wanted to hit on Scarlett for a second real quick, Nick. Listen, Jordan Scarlett is Jordan Scarlett. I respect him and everything else. I think he’s a good back, but he’s not the best running back on this team right now, Nick.
Nick:That’s as much as you’re getting from me.
Andrew:Maybe not. Okay.
Nick:That’s one of my STA boys.
Andrew:Okay. For me, you telling me maybe not tells me everything I need to know. He’s not your best back right now. He’s still trying to shake the rust off and trying to see his vision, that kind of stuff. He’s not your best back right now. The guys need to see that. Perine is probably your best back right now, followed by Malik Davis. I’ll hit on that in a second, because I have a whole long spiel about that get the ball to that player column that we’ve talked so much about.
Let’s move on to offensive line. Nick, I mean, damn. I just need to bring up the transcript from last year from the podcast. I just need to read it again, because it is the same thing. Not just last year, the year before, the year before, the year before, the year before, and the year before. Last seven years of offensive line play has been downright atrocious. Nick, it’s there again. I’m going to ask you this, and I guarantee you can’t give me an answer. Who’s the best offensive lineman on the team right now?
Nick:I’ll give you an answer.
Andrew:Yeah. Give me.
Andrew:Yeah. Exactly. He’s not playing.
Nick:I get he missed a lot of time, but you’ve got to be able to know that he’s better than probably four of the five guys you’re putting out there right now.
Andrew:Yeah. I mean, something. It’s bad. It is really, really bad when you see the offensive line struggle as bad as it is. Listen, I’m going to say this. I’m not a proponent of one or the other, but I think it might be time to see TJ McCoy back at center. McCoy has struggled some in pass blocking, but McCoy was pretty solid in run blocking, for the most part. Nick Buchanan is not getting the job done there. It’s the never-ending tale of Fred Johnson and Tyler Jordan inside, both of those guys can’t get a push. And it’s the same old, same old at tackle, neither one of the guys are tackles. Both guys are interior guys playing tackle, and it’s not working.
The unit as a whole aren’t communicating. There was multiple times when it was four on five, and two guys were coming free, because Fred and Jawaan were blocking one guy, Tyler and Martez were blocking one guy, and Nick was thinking about who to block and not blocking nobody. Multiple times throughout the game that that happened. It can’t. Nick, I’m just going to say this like this. Stop thinking. If the guy’s in front of you, smash him. Hit him in front of you. It’s man to man football, basically, when it’s five on four and you’re in pass blocking. It’s a want to. Where’s the want to anymore?
Nick:Is it an effort thing? Is it a talent thing? Is it coaching? What do you think it is?
Andrew:I usually never call into question anyone’s effort. I think that that’s a low blow and a cheap shot that none of us can, I mean none of us are out there to see the effort, for the most part. I think the only game you and I have called into effort was the Missouri game last year. I didn’t see much effort in that game. It’s more of a want to for me. Nick, you know this. You’ve been around the game as long as I have. Playing offensive line is a want. It’s a mindset. That’s just what it is. It’s like a pass rusher. It’s a mindset of I’m going to be better than the guy lined up in front of me.
That is one of the only few positions in sports in general, besides basketball where you’re one on one or when you’re at the plate, that you can be the guy who can singlehandedly win the game for your team. As a tackle, you block the defensive end in front of you. You can singlehandedly open up a play.
Nick:I think Cole Cubelic, he was talking about slide blocking, and there was one, I think it was Fred Johnson, he’s supposed to just engage and move a guy over towards the center, and instead he just kind of slid and stayed over there. I think it was on the 3rd down or 2nd down passing play, and then the linebacker just runs through a hole that you and I could have locked arms and walked through, because Fred is nowhere to be found. To me, that’s a little bit of, not even scheme, because the scheme is fine there. That’s just on the player, I guess. It’s just a mistake, but it just seems that stuff like that just doesn’t get corrected. If it is getting corrected in practice, they’re not figuring it out. They’re not remembering it. It’s just like, okay, then you got to find someone that can.
Andrew:I said this on our message board, Nick, and I’m going to say it again on the podcast. Find me five guys that are mean son of a guns that will line up on the line of scrimmage, have that mean streak that I may miss the block, but in the meantime of me missing the block I’m putting somebody down for a pancake. Find me five guys on the team. I don’t care if it’s five freshmen. I don’t care. I don’t care if it’s five sophomores. I don’t care if it’s five walk-ons. Find me five guys that when it’s 4th and 1, and I have a yard to go, that they will knock the crap out of the guy in front of them. Find me five guys.
At the end of the day, Nick, that’s the only way this offensive line is getting better is if this offensive line stops going from walking around getting beat to having a mean streak about them. That mean streak of I may get beat, but I’m going to get beat and knock somebody out. Instead of I’m going to watch the rest of my team get knocked out, watch my running back get tackled for a five-yard loss, while I’m watching the guy.
Nick:I think you’re getting that from Jawaan Taylor right now.
Andrew:I think I’m getting that from Martez Ivey, for sure. The fumble at the end of the game, Martez Ivey yelled a big watch out block.
Nick:No. I meant you’re getting that kind of attitude, that competing attitude, from Jawaan Taylor. I don’t know who else.
Andrew:Right. For me, Nick, that’s the single reason why I’m looking at TJ McCoy, because TJ McCoy has a lot of things against him, his height, his arm length, a lot of things, but I can tell you what, you measure a heart in TJ McCoy. TJ McCoy is going to knock somebody out before he just looks around at the offensive line and looks at his running back get hurt. That’s just the truth.
Nick:I hear you.
Andrew:For me, Nick, it’s just the same old story. I don’t know what to say is the change. At some point or another, how can you continue to blame coaching? You’ve went through three offensive line coaches. None of them have gotten across to pretty much this group. At some point or another, they are who they are, and I think that is who they are. Now you got to develop depth. Now you’ve got to get something behind those guys. If the year is going to be as long as it looks like it’s going to be, Chris Bleich, Noah Banks, McDowell, those guys, step up and play.
Nick:I said it on a couple different spots, because people were talking about the offensive line being a strength, you returned everyone, and this and that. I was like, just because you returned everyone doesn’t mean anything to me. I was like, they weren’t any good last year, so you returned a bunch of players that didn’t play good, a bunch of guys that didn’t play well last year. Why does that make them automatically good this year? There were some issues against a defensive line that we probably should have been more prepared for this kind of outcome and to see how they looked in this game, when you consider they were playing against a JV high school football team on a defensive line last week and didn’t look great.
Andrew:I think you and I said that the offensive line didn’t look great last week, and they were still a work in progress and needed to take a step forward. I’ll venture to say that they looked even more lost this week. Nick, the thing for me is a lot of it is getting outmanned, getting beat, but a lot of it also is just not knowing where to go, not knowing who to block, not getting off the ball. I said it earlier with Nick Buchanan. As a center, you are the guy that is snapping the ball, you know the snap count. You literally control when the ball is snapped, and you get beat off the line of scrimmage?
Andrew:No. Not good at all.
Nick:Not how they teach you.
Andrew:That’s what I’m saying. I don’t know. Here’s the thing for me, Nick, and that is you put Brett Heggie in, you still have three more spots that aren’t playing good. I mean, I see what you’re saying, and I understand, and I get it. I’m with you in that Jawaan Taylor is playing hard, playing with that mindset. Granted, I think all the guys are playing hard, but I think he’s playing with that mindset you and I are talking about with that mean streak about him. But what are you doing in the interior? What are you doing with Martez? You don’t have a left tackle.
Nick:I don’t know who you put there. Right after him on the depth chart is Stone Forsyth, and I don’t see him being ready.
Andrew:He’s been a three-year backup.
Nick:I think that’s what he is.
Andrew:Exactly. Where are you going? Again, I don’t know what one person is going to do for this line, but I can say this wholeheartedly and say that if Feleipe Franks is throwing the ball 38-40 times a game, and he’s your leading rusher at 11 times, you’re not going to win very many football games. You’re just not, because I can guarantee you what’s about to happen in Knoxville, and that is Jeremy Pruitt is just going to bring pressure off the edge all day long, and he is going to make Feleipe Franks be somebody he’s never been before in his life. That just is what it is.
Nick:That’s the tape. That’s what the tape is from two-plus years of Feleipe Franks playing quarterback. That’s the tape. Bring pressure. Make him beat you with his arm. Stop Florida’s running game and make Feleipe Franks win the game. That’s how you win four games a year.
Andrew:That’s exactly it. Nick, the thing that is frustrating for me, and I’m moving on to the next point, you got some guys.Perine, Scarlett out of the backfield some, Toney, Trevon Grimes. Trevon Grimes didn’t make his first catch, Nick, until the second half. Kadarius Toney, second half.
Here’s Kadarius Toney’s play. Catch the ball, the first pass he caught, went for 19. Came in, took a direct snap, went for eight. Pulled him. Didn’t play for another quarter. Didn’t touch the ball for another quarter. Came in, done the exact same thing. Caught a ball, went for 16. Ran a wildcat quarterback for two. Didn’t see the ball the rest of the game. Four touches. Listen, KadariusToney did whatever Kadarius Toney did and all that, but if you decided on Saturday morning you weren’t going to suspend Kadarius Toney, and he’s on your field, you have to use him to the best of your advantage, or you’re hurting the team. Trevon Grimes, one catch for nine yards.
Nick:Looked a lot like a McElwain-Nussmeier game plan, when you bring that up, that get it to list.
Andrew:That get it to you list, I’m so sick of hearing about get it to you lists, Nick. I don’t believe they exist. I don’t care. They don’t exist. I’ve heard it now for two coaching staffs, and they don’t exist, Nick. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about it. They don’t exist. I don’t care what you tell me. I don’t care if you can put me a sheet in front of me. They don’t exist. Period.
Nick:It was there the first game.
Nick:You got the ball. The Trevon Grimes touchdown.
Andrew:Was it, or was that just pure luck?
Nick:You were playing trash.
Andrew:Yeah. Was it? I’m asking. I think so, personally. I do. Let me tell you what, this Kentucky football team is not a good football team.
Andrew:This secondary is not good. Florida was beating these guys deep play after play.
Nick:There was a lot of that. Feleipe missed those guys, but people were acting surprised. People were acting surprised on the timeline about it. Why? Nothing has changed.
Andrew:He was missing guys, but to his credit, Nick, he was throwing off his back foot, because he was scrambling away, or he was hoping and praying that he could get the ball off while he had three guys holding him up.
I don’t know. What’s your thoughts?
Nick:My thought. I think it’s too early for me to make a sweeping call about the coaches. I think that the game plan yesterday was a bad, bad game plan. That get it to list, like you said, it was well, I think, into the third quarter before Trevon Grimes had even someone look at him. I think that the way that they’re rotating the running backs, I don’t like that. Greg Knox is in charge of that, when the running backs are going in and out. I don’t like that rotation. You can tell me that they’re trying to keep everybody fresh. I’m not buying it.
Andrew:How are they keeping everybody fresh, Nick? I mean, listen, the time in possession was pretty close, but Kentucky was staying on the field. It wasn’t like they were three and out, and you were getting the offense back on the field.
Andrew:That’s just my take.
Nick:Then the other thing for me was the tackling.
Andrew:Go to defense. Start with that. Go ahead.
Nick:In this day and age, I don’t know how you can practice it more efficiently, because everyone is worried about head injuries and injuries, so there’s really no tackling in practice. If you’re tackling, you’re tackling those big donuts that they’re rolling on the field, or you’re tackling dummies. To me, there’s no excuse. I tried to watch the game last night. It was like 4:00 in the morning when I tried to watch it. I didn’t make it through the whole thing.
Andrew:Put you to sleep, I’m sure.
Nick:I did put me to sleep. I don’t know if I would have even been able to count how many or all of the missed tackles. To me, that’s just, you as a former football coach, what is that? What is a missed tackle?
People ask me about Vosean Joseph all the time, and they say he sucks. He doesn’t suck. He’s just not disciplined. It’s not that he’s missing tackles. He’s putting himself in a bad situation before having the chance to make the tackle, and then he’s in a bad position for the tackle. There’s one play where he ran into, I think it was Jeawon Taylor, and before the play he ran right up to the line of scrimmage, when he didn’t need to, and then it’s a run play that spills outside. Now instead of being where he should be, at his normal backer position, he’s at the line of scrimmage trying to run backwards towards the sideline, and then having to make a diving tackle, instead of being in position already, because you’re playing disciplined football and being able to break down a tackle.
To me, I don’t have an explanation as to why, other than you’re not practicing it much. But no one in the country is practicing it much. To me, I don’t know why those missed tackles happen.
Andrew:You’re not going to like my answer.
Andrew:You’re not going to like my answer.
Andrew:Effort. I hate to use that, but tackling is effort, Nick. Tackling is a want to. I said this last year when Chauncey and the guys were missing a lot of tackles. Tackling is a want to. It’s being a disciplined football player and wanting to get the player down. That’s what tackling is about.
Nick:So, it’s discipline. That involves two different areas then.
Andrew:Discipline and breaking down.
Nick:Discipline is on the player.
Andrew:Right. Discipline and breaking down, and knowing what you have to do to make a tackle. Nick, I’m going to say this, and I can’t personally say this for sure, but I would bet a lot of money on this, and that is Todd Grantham, Christian Robinson, Charlton Warren, Sal Sunseri, the whole defensive coaching staff has taught them how to tackle fundamentally correct. Would you agree with that?
Andrew:Then it becomes I want to get them down. Nick, I saw something from a couple guys last night that started to worry me when they started going for the ball. A guy like Benny Snell is not going to fumble. You better get Benny Snell down. When you’re running up to him, and you’re too high trying to make a tackle, you’re not tackling Benny Snell. You’re not tackling Jordan Scarlett. You’re not tackling Lamical Perine. You’re not tackling the best of the best. You’re bouncing off ofthose guys.
How many times have we talked about Derrick Henry breaking all those tackles? It’s not because Derrick Henry can’t be tackled. It’s because guys hit Derrick Henry too high. If you hit these guys low and play fundamental, and it’s a want to. Again, Nick, this is something that’s even weirder for me, but it’s the senior guys, the veteran guys. Guys like Jachai Polite, those veterans that know better, and it’s in the backfield, Nick. It’s not one guy.
Nick:So many. So many plays that could have been a loss for one or two or three yards that end up going for 10.
Andrew:Nick, I ask you this. How many plays was it not just one missed tackle? It was three, four, five, six missed tackles. It was a lot. It goes back to just being disciplined, giving the effort to be disciplined, to make the tackle, breaking down. To me, Nick, there is nothing you can do as a coach, except for teach the fundamentals in tackling. You either want to tackle, or you don’t want to tackle. Again, we know who can tackle and who don’t. We saw it last year. This is the same group of guys, Nick.
Nick:Florida, the defense created a fumble. Great tackle by James Houston there. I mean, that is picture perfect.
Andrew:That was fundamental.
Nick:Picture perfect. Wraps up, puts his hat right on the ball, pops out. That gets scooped up by Jeremiah Moon. Chris Henderson had an athletic play to break up a pass, and then came back the next drive and picked one off. Then you lose a fumble, and you lose an interception, so you don’t win the turnover margin. That’s a push. The offense wasn’t able to take advantage of it. You put yourself in some bad situations because of defense.
Kentucky ended up winning the time in possession, but I remember at one point Kentucky had double the yards of Florida, and Florida was, I think, two minutes more time in possession. It was just the ball coming in slow, defense not being able to get off the field, and giving up those big chunk plays on 3rd down.
3rd and Grantham was alive and well on Saturday. That’s going to be an issue. I went back, and I was writing a story on it. I just typed in 3rd and Grantham, and there’s stories from everywhere he’s stopped about his teams having problems on 3rd downs. This isn’t a one week thing.
Andrew:No. Let’s move on to the next point. We talk about the defensive line, and I still think that this defensive line has the potential to be pretty good, but the #1 thing, Nick, you and I talked about on Friday was what with the defensive ends?
Andrew:There was zero. There was zero contain, Nick. These guys looked like they were rushing Tom Brady back there, and they knew Tom Brady wasn’t going to run. You and I both said Terry Wilson will not beat you through the air. He threw two touchdowns. He threw an interception too. Still, threw for 151 yards, you can keep that. That didn’t beat Florida. What beat Florida was his 105 yards rushing on 10 carries and his ability to escape the pocket and allow his defenders to get open. One of the touchdowns, Nick, I believe it was the 40-some or 30-some yard one. You told me, does that look an out and up? I said, no. I think it was he ran an out route, Terry Wilson got out of the pocket, and he just took off on the scramble drill. Brad Stewart was beat. Beat. He didn’t go deep. Again, that’s on Brad Stewart for not …
Nick:His eyes just got stuck in the backfield.
Andrew:Thanks. It’s also on the defensive line for allowing him to get out of the pocket like that. What are you doing? It’s just, for a defensive lineman, Nick, and you know this, I’m not saying nothing that you don’t know, but your job as a defensive lineman is to never run past the quarterback. Never run past the quarterback. Jachai Polite, Jabari, Moon, those guys were running past the quarterback trying to rush the passer.
Nick:As an offensive lineman, you’re taught if you get beat, just push him past the line.
Andrew:Yeah. Let the quarterback step up.
Nick:Push him past the quarterback. If you lose in a speed rush, just send him past the quarterback. He’s not going to do any damage back there.
Andrew:Yeah. Push him up. That happened all day. Then it got to a point where they stopped rushing the quarterback, and guess what? He started throwing the ball a little bit. Then the pocket would collapse, and he would take off again. He had a 30-some yard touchdown run, Nick, I believe? 20-some yard touchdown run. He was never touched. Never touched.
Nick:Just undisciplined defense, what we saw all last year. Really what was on Grantham and the defensive coaches to get fixed this year. You didn’t see it. The gap in talent was just so high for the first game that you were able to get away with a bunch of stuff, and you weren’t able to get away with it against Kentucky, who you had more talent than too, just not the same talent disparity.
I go back to what you said. It looks like it’s going to be a long season. I asked people yesterday, I said, what was your predication before the year, and what is your prediction for wins now? I think I said 8-4, and some people didn’t like my 8-4 prediction, but 8-4 right now I think a lot of people who said they didn’t like my 8-4 prediction might take 8-4 right now.
Andrew:You’re taking 8-4 right now, and you’re running with it. That game at Tennessee that last week …
Nick:Looked like a sure thing to so many people.
Andrew:I’ll tell you what, Nick, and I’m going to break the …
Nick:Don’t do it, Andrew.
Andrew:I’m breaking the podcast right now when I say this.
Nick:Don’t do it.
Andrew:If I had to pick right now, it might be Rocky Top.
Andrew:It might be Rocky Top.
Nick:You might be a sleeper agent. Pruitt’s an Alabama boy.
Andrew:Oh, brother. Here we go.
Nick:Buddy of yours. You might be a sleeper Tennessee fan now, Andrew, with a guy from Alabama coaching them. Maybe it was just Butch, and it was just Derek Dooley that you didn’t like. Maybe you’re a Tennessee fan at heart.
Andrew:Listen, my grandfather that I buried about two months ago and my grandfather who is still alive would both, well my grandfather that’s passed away would come out from his grave and kill me, and my grandfather that is still living would shoot me as well, if I ever said I was a Tennessee fan. Nick’s joking, of course, with that.
As I say that, Nick, I just don’t know where you’re going to find easy wins the rest of the year. Let me tell you, that Kentucky defense …
Andrew:Idaho and Colorado State should be good wins.
Nick:Colorado State just beat Arkansas.
Andrew:That’s still Arkansas.
Nick:They scored 25 unanswered to beat Arkansas.
Andrew:I still think Florida should be okay.
Nick:You’re paying them $2 million to come play next week.
Andrew:Jim McElwain might be sending them some tape and some things to do on this team. Might be the ghost that keeps on giving.
Nick:Jim McElwain’s going to spend more time on Colorado State film than he is Michigan film this week.
Andrew:Let me say this, Nick. Mullen said that this loss will either be a good loss for them, and they’ll come out of it and win some football games because of it, or it’ll set them back more. He said it’ll be practice this week and how they show up on Monday. He talked about the guys not practicing and said the last staff was walking through. Let me say this, Nick. Listen, the past staff is the past staff, but Dan, this isn’t Jim McElwain’s problem.
Nick:No. I didn’t like that, that people were blaming McElwain. So, McElwain won the Charleston Southern game? It doesn’t work both ways.
Andrew:No. Let me just say this as well. Jim McElwain didn’t lose to Kentucky. As bad as it was, Jim McElwain didn’t lose to Kentucky.
Nick:Ron Zook, Will Muschamp.
Andrew:Listen, I’m not saying I’m against Dan and I’m not on Mullen’s board. I do think he’ll turn it around, but I’m just saying don’t blame that. You’ve had since December to implement your plan. If the guys haven’t bought in, that’s on you. That’s on you. That’s not on the guy in Michigan. Sorry.
Nick:You kept saying it. You said it all off season, I love the buy-in.
Andrew:Yeah. That’s not on the guy up in Michigan. Listen, I’m not taking his side many times, but I’m telling you right now, that’s not on him. That’s on you. For the first time, I can say that I rolled my eyes and said, no, no, don’t do that. Because that was bad look. That was handing out blame somewhere it wasn’t. At the end of the day, the blame is on the guys who are here.
Nick:I have you texting me run pass, just based on formations. That’s not anything other than the coaches and the play callers here.
Andrew:Yeah. Listen, I will never tell you I’m the smartest football guy in the world. I’ll never tell you I’m the dumbest. I think I’m pretty knowledgeable, but if I can look out on the field on college football and tell you what’s coming, something is not good.
Nick:You were talking, when they stacked those receivers, and they’ve got them all the way out. I don’t know which coach started that, but Dan Mullen’s been doing it for a little bit, putting the receivers all the way out on the other side of the numbers, and they were running. We’re trying to spread everyone out, and we’re going to run the ball between the tackles here.
Andrew:They were trying to go, and, listen, it works. It’s a good game plan. Not for this team, because when you take the three receivers out, then you’re playing nine on nine football basically. Let me tell you, their nine are going to be most definitely better than your nine that are up there, 99% of the time, because your front five, if it was five on five up front, nine times out of 10 that opposing front five is winning that battle. I think you, and I think the rest of the country, would agree with me. I like my chances if I’m in a one on one battle against the Florida offensive line.
Nick:Yeah. I don’t like those odds.
Andrew:Exactly. Moving on. First off, prayers up to Marco Wilson. That was a devastating injury. You and I both texted each other as soon as it happened and said, that’s not good. You said it.
Nick:For somebody that had had the injury before, you could just tell when he was laying there on the ground, like I’ve felt this before. He knew what it was.
Andrew:It was oh shit.
Nick:He knew. Just laying there you could see that he knew what that feeling was and what it meant.
Andrew:Yeah. Listen, there’s no way around it. That’s a devastating injury. It showed up last night. I’m one of the bigger supporters for Trey Dean. I think Trey Dean is going to end up being one of the better corners on the team. I’m a very big Trey Dean supporter, but I think it showed last night in tackling some that he’s still a young guy. I guarantee you something, and that is Marco Wilson is not missing very many tackles.
Nick:No. His dad, when I talked to his dad and wrote the story on him last week, when it happened he got hurt and missed his entire junior season. He said Marco was running up and down the stairs at the house trying to say he was okay, and there were a lot of times when he was going through his rehab where his dad had to bring him back and sit him down and say, the doctor told you to do ABC. Stop doing EFG. Calm down. Marco Wilson is a guy that will be back. You just hate to see it happen so early in the year during his sophomore year. Prayers up to him and to his family. But he’ll be back.
Andrew:There’s zero question about whether Marco Wilson will be back. If I’m a betting man, Marco Wilson comes back and he’s somehow better than he is. That’s just the Wilson family. You tell them you can’t do something, think again. If you’re going to bet on something, bet on Marco Wilson coming back and being fine.
Moving on. We got to move on. Got Colorado State coming to town. As you said, beat Arkansas. Probably not as easy of a game as it looked like it would have been heading into that Arkansas game and heading into the Kentucky game for Florida. I say this. As Dan Mullen says, you’ll find out a lot of about this team. At the end of the day, your goals are still there. What you do going forward will define how the season ends. Offensive line, you don’t like the hate, Mullen says you can’t get on the internet when you’re losing, you’ve heard it. Do something about it.
I think, Nick, this is a big moment for the coaching staff in general. Everyone has asked me how it affects recruiting. One game doesn’t hurt or help recruiting. It just doesn’t. Florida’s game last year against Tennessee, the hail Mary, that was wonderful to see the ending, the atmosphere was insane. That didn’t do anything for or against Florida in that game. One game doesn’t hurt. Just like the Florida State game, losing to Virginia Tech, that didn’t hurt or help them. That Samford game, that’s a different story. You start losing a lot, that momentum you had starts trickling away. You agree with that?
Nick:Yeah. You had a bunch of recruits in the stands yesterday. I don’t think that one game will affect that, but I saw a lot of negativity in the fanbase yesterday. I would go ahead and say, I think somebody who covers Florida State wrote it, that honeymoon period is over. All that grace that Willie Taggert has built up after the embarrassing loss at home, not embarrassing because of the opponent, embarrassing because of how bad you looked, thought that that was telling. Then you struggle to barely beat Samford.
Andrew:You had to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat a Samford team.
Nick:So, a lot of that, I think, is true. Willie’s probably lost that honeymoon period, lost that grace period. Him too, he has an athletic director that didn’t hire him.
Nick:Florida, you’re definitely not there yet.
Nick:I don’t think you’re close there yet. If you go 6-6 this year.
Andrew:Listen, Nick, I’m going to say this. Again, I know who was on the field. I know that the talent is still not as there as they need it to be, but if the offense doesn’t improve at all this year, I mean there’s going to be question marks. That’s just all you can say. If this is what the offense looks like the rest of the year, whoa.
Nick:Yeah. I mean, you’re only going to play better teams. You’re going to have to play Georgia. Georgia can beat the dog snot out of …
Andrew:Anybody, except for Alabama.
Andrew:I’m with you. The honeymoon phase is over. I do, I think that there’s a lot of question marks.
Nick:I think there’s still some honeymoon phase with Dan Mullen. I think it’s gone in Tallahassee. I think there’s still a little bit of honeymoon phase left for Dan Mullen.
Andrew:See, I think it’s over with for Florida too. I saw my first fire Dan Mullen tweet.
Andrew:Yes. I did. It is insane.
Nick:What’s his @? Call him out.
Andrew:I don’t even remember. It was somebody retweeted it or something. I don’t even remember. That was dumb. Listen, Dan Mullen is not being fired any time soon or anything else. That was dumb. I think that it is over for him, and that is fans, boosters, everyone are now saying let’s see what you got.
Nick:I hear that.
Andrew:Anyway, Nick, we’ll get out of here. We’ll be back on Wednesday. Dan Mullen speaks on Monday. You guys are listening to this on Monday. We’ll have all that. We’ll be previewing the Colorado State game, since Colorado State won’t have anyone coming on to really talk about the game this week. We’ll have plenty of coverage for ourselves, and we’ll see what Coach says on Monday and Coach Hevesy says and Grantham says, and those guys say this week. We’ll be back on Wednesday to talk about all that and get you ready for the Colorado State Rams on Saturday at 4:00 in the Swamp.
Nick:Thank God it’s not a night game. www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. The podcast also is now available wherever you listen to podcasts. It’s on for you Android users. It’s there. Find it wherever you listen and enjoy your podcasts. Just search @GatorCountry. Do your social media thing. It’s @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter, @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. Find me @NickdelaTorreGCand him @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew:Nick, I want to say one thing, and that is Jimbo, would you like to say that the SEC is better than the ACC as far as talent goes yet? Because what you did at Texas A&M last night you wouldn’t have done at Florida State. That was a great game, by the way. I watched the replay of it this morning, Sunday morning, and that was a great game. I think Jimbo has a gripe. I don’t think that ball went out of the endzone.
Nick:Yeah. They showed a lot of fight. Those Aggies showed a lot of fight against Clemson there.
Andrew:Kellen Mond, that’s going to be a quarterback to mess with. That team is going to be a pretty decent team to handle with. Anyway, as Nick said, follow us. Do all that. Check us out. We’ll have plenty of recruiting and football content, all that good stuff, on the website. We appreciate it. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.
Nick:You stay classy, Gator Country.