Podcast: Recapping the Florida Gators win over Auburn on Saturday

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators 24-13 win over Auburn on Saturday.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown how the Gators won the game despite having four turnovers and losing Kyle Trask for two series in the game.

Andrew and Nick also breakdown how the Gators defense played and start to look ahead to the LSU game next Saturday night in Baton Rouge.


Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, Gators win. You and pick it. I’ll say this. Had you told me Florida was going to have four turnovers, Kyle Trask was going to miss time in the game, and the pass rush for Auburn was going to be as good as we thought it was going to be, I would have told you you were stupid and everything else that goes along with it, if you’ve had told me Florida would have won a football game on Saturday.

Nick:                         Yeah. There are not many games where you turn the ball over four times that you win.

Andrew:                 I look stupid now for saying the three keys are win special teams, win the turnover battle, and run the ball. I mean, I guess they ran the ball better, but I kind of look stupid on the other two.

Nick:                         I mean, yesterday was a bad day for both punters. It was really windy. I think you don’t really see that when the punters are kicking. Some of the LSU, LSU. Already moving on. Some of the Auburn punters balls just got a bunch of hang time, but then the wind caught it, and it just like kind of hung up. You could really tell how windy it was when the returners started having trouble. Freddie Swain is so good back there. When he’s falling to the ground catching a ball, you can tell it’s a knuckle ball out there. Yeah. Special teams weren’t great. It’s kind of just what keeps happing. Florida just finds ways to win games. We keep saying it, at some point you’re not going to be able to do it, but this defense, man. Find me a better one in the country. Maybe there’s some that are as good as them, but there’s not many, if any, better defenses in the entire country than the way Florida’s playing right now.

Andrew:                 Florida’s front seven is really, really good. Auburn’s front seven’s really, really good.

Nick:                         Really good.

Andrew:                 You will be hard pressed to find a defensive line that Florida will play this year that is better than that Auburn. I mean, listen, Florida won 24-13, and the game wasn’t even really that close, in my opinion, but Auburn’s a good football team defensively. When Bo Nix figures it out offensively, man, they’re going to be a good team. That defense of Auburn is so good. Derek Brown is a monster. He should be playing on NFL Sundays already.

Nick:                         Yeah. He’s really good. I mean, it’s the SEC. You’re going to play good defensive lines every game. You’re going to play a good defensive line next week at LSU. You’re going to play a good defensive line in three weeks when you play Georgia. Like I just said about Florida’s defensive line, maybe you can find some that are close, but that’s the best D line you’re going to face, and they were really impressive. My dude, Brown, thank God that there was a sniper up on top of the stadium somewhere that made him trip on his way back, because that could have changed the course of the game if he returns that. My man was rumbling.

Andrew:                 Poor guy thought he was gone, and then trips on air.

Nick:                         Dude might run like a 4:80 at 300 and whatever pounds.

Andrew:                 With a messed up lung. So, yeah. Unbelievable game. It was exactly what you and I had said it was going to be. I’m not trying to toot our own horn or anything like that, but we said it was going to be an old-fashioned slug fest, and that’s what it was. Outside of Florida’s turnovers in the first half and Tommy Townsend’s ill-advised fake punt, Auburn didn’t move the ball. They had two first downs in the first half. Listen, I mess with Gus all the time, but Auburn’s offense had been doing well all year. To go into that and limit them, I think they had 92 yards of total offense in the first half and two first downs. That says everything you need to say about this defense. Also, sudden change is one of the toughest things for defense to do. Florida had two turnovers that gave sudden change, and then the fake punt there, so really three, and Florida only gives up six points.

Nick:                         Yeah. This defense is just remarkable. The way that, I mean, the fumbles. I don’t know who greased the balls up with butter before the game. Kyle Trask, we talked about it, his pocket awareness.

Andrew:                 Got to improve.

Nick:                         It’s got to improve. I think the only way to improve it is with reps, so you’re going to have to go through growing pains in some of that stuff. The way the defense just, the bend but don’t break, just that. It’s that don’t flinch. I mean, these are all like coach speak kind of things, but they’re mantras that the team are really embracing. Hold the rope. Don’t flinch. I think you see that attitude from, whether it’s coach speak or not, whether it’s gimmicks or not, they believe in it.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         If you believe in it, it doesn’t matter if it’s a gimmick or what it is. It’s motivated them, and you see it on the field when the offense gives the other team a great field position, and then all of a sudden, defense held them to three, or defense gets an interception, or defense causes a fumble. This defense is incredible. They’re giving up 17 points in the second half of games in six games. They haven’t given up a touchdown in the fourth quarter. They haven’t given up a point in the fourth quarter since DJ Dallas’ 50-yard touchdown run in the season opener. They’re remarkable.

Andrew:                 Here’s a stat for you. Florida is second in the SEC, giving up 57 points this year. Georgia’s gave up 54, and they’ve played one less game than the Gators.

Nick:                         Here’s the thing. There’s no more, they ain’t played anybody. Florida played a top 10 team. I mean, honestly, I’m going to say this about Florida, and I believe it, but I’m sure some people might say the same for Auburn. I thought Florida was dominant in long stretches of that game, and if they don’t turn the ball over four times, I think that game isn’t as close as it is. I think they kind of shot themselves in the foot. I don’t know if Auburn scores if the fake punt doesn’t happen, and if Florida doesn’t turn the ball over. I don’t know if Auburn scores.

Andrew:                 That’s what I was going to say. Some people said, neither of these teams are top 10 teams, because it was so sloppy. First of all, that’s what top 10 teams do to each other. They make you not look good. When you’re playing good defense, that’s what good defenses do to good offenses. That’s why we always say a good defense will beat a good offense most of the time. That’s exactly what happened. To go to Florida’s defense, Florida’s defensive line looked really good on Saturday. You look at what they were able to do with Greenard, with Moon. They didn’t have Jabari, but they found ways to get pressure against Bo Nix, and that’s exactly what we thought was going to happen for Todd Grantham, and they did.

Nick:                         Listen, I was talking to my friend who stayed with me who covers Auburn. He went to Florida, covers Auburn now. He said, listen, I’ve been to games as a fan and covered games in Gainesville. He was just at Kyle Field when they were there. He said Kyle Field is bigger than the Swamp, holds more people, but it’s not louder, just the way it’s constructed. We talked about, I think people said Bo Nix wouldn’t get rattled. We talked about how even keeled he is. The Swamp was loud yesterday. It got quiet in the second quarter, just because the game got weird, but when it needed to be loud, when it was a big play, early on in the game when it started, when it was a big play, and when it needed to loud, it was loud.

Dan Mullen is smart. I said it on the message board, and I said it on Twitter. They won the toss. That stadium was going absolutely bonkers. Don’t put your offense on the field. Don’t make quiet your stadium down. Hey, they’re going crazy. Put our defense out there. Let our defense feed off of that and make Box Nix have to go play right now. Let that momentum that we have with the fans showing up early, hat tip to the fans. I won’t say butts were in the seats, because no one was sitting. Everyone was standing. So, that was great.

Andrew:                 Including the student section.

Nick:                         Yeah. The atmosphere was incredible. Shout out to the students that got there early. I know I give you crap, but when you deserve to be praised, you get your praise. The stadium was crazy yesterday. I thought it was really smart for Dan Mullen to defer to the second half and to put his defense out there. Don’t quiet your fans when they’re there early, like you asked them to be, and they’re already being loud.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. It was overall, that was the atmosphere. Everything you could have thought about for that game. It was awesome, including starting with GameDay and Emmett Smith being the guest picker, everything like that. We’ll get into recruiting in a minute. Got to go to the one negative in the game though, Nick, and that is the offensive line. They get Kyle Trask hurt. He misses two series with the sprained MCL, comes back. Before we touch on the offensive line, got to say this. Props to Emory Jones. Five of seven, 28 yards. Moment wasn’t too big for Emory Jones on Saturday. He came in and looked like a quarterback that was poised and was ready to go.

Nick:                         Yeah. Marlon Davidson, one, I don’t think the play was dirty.

Andrew:                 No.

Nick:                         First off, Stone Forsythe was holding onto him for dear life, and then pushed him down to the ground into Kyle Trask. I know Dan Mullen was hot at halftime saying it’s dirty. After the game he said, listen, I don’t think Gus is coaching them to be dirty. I don’t think the intention was dirty. Marlon Davidson, big props to him. He went up to Kyle Trask after the game and apologized saying, it wasn’t my intention. I got pushed into you. I never want to see you hurt. He said that to reporters after the game as well. That just happens in football sometimes. I think Dan Mullen’s biggest gripe was just we need to have rules in place that protect that. In the NFL, that’s a penalty.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Here’s the thing, Nick. Listen, I don’t like players getting hurt, by no means. I don’t like to see that, but how do you call that a penalty on Marlon Davidson anyway? I mean, he’s going to do his job. I know Marlon Davidson from his recruiting process and everything else. He’s very good friends with Lamical Perine and Jeremiah Moon and those guys. Not a guy who would do that at all. I just don’t know how you would call that.

Listen, I understand from Dan Mullen’s point of view. When first I see it live, I said, man, that’s a dirty play. He dove at his knee. Then I go back and see the slow-mo replay, and I’m like, no, that’s not a dirty play. That’s Stone Forsythe holding him. Should have been a penalty. Then pushing him into Kyle Trask. Obviously, he’s not pushing him into Kyle Trask. He’s just trying to push him down, period. You can’t call that a penalty on Marlon Davidson. I think the best of news is Kyle Trask just has a sprained MCL and looked fine in his return.

Nick:                         Yeah. Just wanted to hit on that. Also, Emory came in, and like you saw last week, I mean, first off it was a lot of run. Offense is different with him in it. It’s different. I think that’s probably, you’ve probably been asked as much as I have, how different with Kyle Trask and with Feleipe Franks? I’m like, it’s not really different.

Andrew:                 No.

Nick:                         You see that it’s different with Emory Jones. There’s definitely more of a zone read, running option. I don’t know. I think if you start seeing him, the way that he’s slinging it, he’s throwing some darts when he gets in there.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         Just they don’t respect his arm yet. I think you’re going to see the box get stacked a little bit, but if he keeps slinging it around like that when he comes in, then I think they’ll have to start respecting it.

Andrew:                 That ball to Freddie Swain across the middle was coming in.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 That was coming in hot. Let’s go to the offensive line though, Nick. Man, those three tackles and Chris Bleich. I mean, listen, that Auburn defensive line is really, really good, but those three guys. One play Jean Delance is going out there and supposed to be blocking on a wide receiver screen and does an ole, and that was before he was injured in the game. I don’t want to say it’s an effort thing, Nick, but I’m starting to get to the point where I’m starting to question some. When you’re in your first step, and you’re getting beat inside, I’m starting to question a little bit of effort there to an extent. It’s just it’s got to get better. We said they were going to get somebody hurt. They did. You’re going to LSU on Saturday. I worry about the false start penalties.

Nick:                         Yeah. You’re going to have to go a silent snap count.

Andrew:                 Can these guys do that?

Nick:                         Yeah. I mean, you’re not going to be able to hear anything. What Auburn just experienced at Florida is what you’re about to experience, so they’re going to have to pipe in crowd noise, and they’re going to have to do those kind of things. I thought we’d see some changes, and we didn’t see personnel changes.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         I’ve said it before, so I can’t be a hypocrite. When people always ask, mainly about quarterbacks, why isn’t Treon Harris playing? He should be playing. I was like, listen, the coaches are watching the guys in practice. If someone’s not playing, it’s probably because they’re not better than the person who is playing.

Andrew:                 That might be the case.

Nick:                         It might be the case. I’m not going to ever say that I know more than Dan Mullen, or I know more than John Hevesy. I don’t. I’m just watching an offensive line that just can’t get it going. I said at one point, I was like, they’re going to get somebody hurt. Granted, they’re playing the best defensive line, and they’re playing future professional football players, guys who will be millionaires in a few short months, but it got to a point where they were a danger to the people they were supposed to be protecting.

Andrew:                 Right. Gouraige has been playing well enough to me, Nick, that I’m ready to see him start it at left guard and Heggie at right guard. I’ve seen enough of the current guard situation. I’m ready to see Gouraige play. He’s coming in and playing in enough as it is, so why not just go ahead and start him?

Nick:                         That’s why I would have liked to see it this week, and not been like, your first start’s next week on the road at LSU.

Andrew:                 Right. But you know what I’m saying, like I’ve seen enough of him playing that he just might not be a good practice player? If practice is what’s holding him back, he might just not be a good practice player, because he’s showing it in the game.

Nick:                         Yeah. That could be it.

Andrew:                 I mean, you’ve got to stick with your tackles, because, obviously, you don’t have nobody else, because they’re not even rotating nobody else in.

Nick:                         The only way really, I mean they don’t want to put Gouraige at tackle, because they like to have him when he’s in between two guys who have more experience. Then you’re not really on an island. You’ve got help on either side. That would be the only way to change one of the tackles would be to put Gouraige in at left tackle, slide Stone to right, and then stuff like that. I don’t know. I’m don’t have any faith. I don’t feel good about the offensive line. I don’t think they’re getting better yet. That’s going to be a really tough place to go and try to be better next week, but I don’t really have any ideas outside of that. Like you said, you don’t have really backup tackles.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         I was ready to put a damn jersey on Issiah Walker. That’s what I was trying to do.

Andrew:                 We’ll get into recruiting here in a minute, but yeah. That’s the situation. You and I said this all week last week. We said how is Florida going to combat not being able to run the ball? We saw some of that. Slants, crossing routes, swing passes, screens, and the option play. I feel pretty smart calling for the option play. They went to that, and they went to the mismatch. Kyle Pitts. I mean, you’re not guarding the guy. Then they started to go with a little bit of outside running game, and Perine breaks off the 88 yards, and he tells Auburn, Gus, I’m pretty damn slow, so why are you not catching me?

Nick:                         At some point during Lamical’s 130 rushing yards, Gus Malzahn probably thought, maybe he is fast enough to be an SEC running back.

Andrew:                 Maybe it’d be better if he was on our team.

Nick:                         Yeah. Also, I was so happy for Lamical. Obviously, we talked about that story back when he mentioned it at SEC Media Days. We wrote the story when he was a recruit about how he earned his scholarship and got a bus ticket to come and earn a scholarship at a camp at Florida. He wanted to be a Gator. He felt slighted. This is a deeply personal game for him. Then the season’s not going the way that he wanted it to, and it’s not his fault. He’s seeing all this stuff, and he’s getting bashed on social media. There’s so many other things that goes into a running back being able to be successful that fans aren’t seeing or are just ignoring. They just want him out. For me, it was really good to see a kid who I know has worked so hard in a personal game like this have the kind of performance he did.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         And really ice the game. He closed it out with that touchdown.

Andrew:                 He hasn’t had the season he wanted, but like you said, it’s not his fault. He’s done everything he’s been asked of. Caught the ball out of the backfield. Continued to block, continued to run. Continued to be a good teammate. Continued to be a leader. He’s doing everything he’s asked. It’s not his fault the offensive line can’t block for him. If you’d have asked Lamical would he liked to have had 1,000 yards by now, sure. Sure, he would have. Again, that’s not his mindset. He’s never going to call out his teammates. He’s never going to call out the offensive line or anything like that. Like you said, this is a personal game. To be told when you’re someone like him that you’re not good enough for us. It’s tough to say. It’s tough to admit. Props to him for admitting that. But to do what he did, props to him.

I told you, Nick, yesterday. I said, I kept waiting for that one moment where he was going to flash and have his big moment in that game. I just felt like there was going to be a moment in that game where he did something that was important. When he hit the hole on that 88-yard touchdown, I told myself, they’re not catching him. They’re not catching him. It didn’t matter if he ran a 4:90, 4:50, 4:40. They wasn’t catching him on that play.

Nick:                         He would have outran Anthony Schwartz on that play. You would have found an extra deer. There was no way. He bounced it outside and made two guys miss.

Andrew:                 Yeah. They wasn’t catching him. That was one of those moments where it didn’t matter if he was going to go get oxygen or what, but he was going to.

Nick:                         Who else? You mentioned Kyle Pitts. Who else had a nice game? Damien Pierce. I’m not a doctor, but that was a concussion. For my money, that was targeting. I don’t think it was intentional targeting. It’s tough for a linebacker when a running back’s coming through, and he’s getting tackled by another person. You’re coming in. You’re not going to let up. You’re going to come in full speed and try to finish the tackle. It’s hard not to lead with your head. Your body goes where your head goes. I think it was a situation where he puts his head down, wasn’t looking at what he was tackling, and he hits him, so it is targeting. I wouldn’t have thrown him out of the game. I don’t think it was intentional targeting, like Vontaze Burfict did and got kicked out of the NFL the rest of the season, what he did last week.

Andrew:                 What pisses me off about that rule, Nick, is we preach player safety. We preach this.

Nick:                         They didn’t care about player safety there.

Andrew:                 No. The ruling was that because it wasn’t called on the field, Dan Mullen couldn’t replay it, but the replay judge could have. If you’re the replay judge there, if you thought it was targeting or you didn’t think it was targeting, whatever, it was close enough that you should have reviewed that play.

Nick:                         I agree.

Andrew:                 Close enough to review that play. If you come out of replay and say it’s not targeting, fine. Fine. Okay. We don’t know what targeting is. Let’s just be honest. Targeting changes week to week, ref crew to ref crew. If there’s targeting, that’s targeting, but at least review the play. You didn’t even review that play. They had to give him smelling salts.

Nick:                         They had so much time.

Andrew:                 Yes.

Nick:                         After the turnover, CBS goes to a commercial.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         The come back from the commercial, and Dan Mullen, the entire time at commercial I’m watching him, he is jawing at a referee. Then they don’t do anything. Then he calls time out, because if he calls time out it’s giving them more time. He’s waiting for them, for something to trigger to say this needs to be reviewed.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Damien Pierce was out cold, at least for a second, if you watch the replay. Out cold on the field. To me, if you’re preaching about player safety, anything that looks like it could be targeting should be reviewed.

Andrew:                 You need to review it.

Nick:                         We complain about how long games take, especially like a CBS special game. It’s going to take a long time, and then reviews slow the game down and take the fans out of it, but if we’re talking about players’ safety, and we actually care about players’ safety, that’s a play that needs to be reviewed.

Andrew:                 I mean, that’s the thing that makes me mad about it. You talk about player safety and targeting and this, that, and the other, but you don’t even review that. No. That’s BS.

Nick:                         It seems disingenuous when you say you care, and then that’s a play that doesn’t get reviewed.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Again, you look at that play, in my opinion that’s a replay we’ll see at SEC Media Days of this is targeting. He lowered his head. Head to head. Gary Danielson’s dumb ass, and excuse my language, he says, it’s a good tackle. No, it was not.

Nick:                         Hit him right in the side of the helmet with the crown of his.

Andrew:                 He could have put his helmet in Damien Pierce’s ribcage. That’s what you teach tackling. Come on. No, like you said, it’s disingenuous. That’s BS. I hate that. That’s just dumb. You’re going to say you can’t replay it, well then, you replay it.

Nick:                         Do you think it was intentional, the tackle?

Andrew:                 I don’t think it was intentional, no. I hardly think any targeting is intentional, Nick. I mean, it’s like the balls across the middle. A lot of guys are just going for the ball. I think very few targeting calls are intentional. I don’t think it was. But at the end of the day, it’s still targeting.

Nick:                         Yeah. If there’s intent versus no intent it doesn’t change that you should be flagged for targeting. I just don’t like kicking guys out of the game. Stuff’s going to happen. You’re flying around the field at 20 miles an hour. It’s a violent game. It’s a physical game. It’s a fast game. Not to give the referee’s too much credit, but it’s hard to see in real time.

Andrew:                 Right. That’s why I say go to replay. That’s what we got it for.

Nick:                         Yeah. That’s what it’s there for.

Andrew:                 I say this, and I think we review too much as it is at times, but if you’re going to give Dan Mullen the option to ask for replay, why can’t he ask for replay on anything? I mean, what does it matter? If you were going to let the replay crew replay it, why can’t Dan Mullen replay it? This is the thing for me, and I understand the reason you eject players from the game. You hope to help them not do that again, make them learn for it, but I do wish there was a way that we could distinguish. Maybe if they did that the second time they’d be ejected in some cases. I say this, but you get a pretty good idea of when a guy’s intentionally trying to target and not. I think if you look back at that play he wasn’t. Why not just give the penalty and maybe not eject him there? That’s just my opinion.

Nick:                         It’s a tough call. I mean, that’s 100% definite concussion. He was fine after the game. He was dancing with the players after the alma mater. It’d probably be a day to day thing.

Andrew:                 Does he know he was dancing with the band after the game?

Nick:                         Dan Mullen joked and says, he’s normally a goofy guy, and he seems like himself. He goes, I don’t know if that was because of what happened in the game, or if that’s just him being him. He said, that’s the thing with the trainers. When we’re talking about your brain and a concussion, you deal with the trainers. The trainers talk to the kid, and they won’t put him in before he’s ready to go. I’d say he’d probably be a day to day thing. Who else? Malik Davis came in 5 for 16. You mentioned Kyle Pitts. We didn’t mention Freddie Swain. What a day for him. He doesn’t have like top-end speed. He had this little, not a shimmy, this little move that he put on the safety and that let him get through, get skinny, get through those two. I don’t even know what to call it. It’s not a shimmy, but like a little jab step.

Andrew:                 Little shake.

Nick:                         Yes. Little shake, and he was just gone. Second play of the game. I thought that, because the place was already shaking, and then second play of the game you go 68 yards. Good night.

Andrew:                 Was it me, or was he coming back to the huddle every time telling Kyle Trask, throw me the ball? I’m open. Don’t worry about it, just throw me the ball. Six catches, 146. I believe that’s a career high for him. We say this every week, and it’s worth saying again. Freddie Swain, Josh Hammond. If you need a big play, find one of those two guys, because they’re sure handed. They’re going to be in the right spot, and nine times out of ten they’re going to make the play.

Nick:                         I didn’t know how to handle it. Josh Hammond dropped a ball yesterday.

Andrew:                 He made up for it.

Nick:                         I never thought I would see it.

Andrew:                 But he made up for it.

Nick:                         Oh my. I got the Tampa Bay and the Saints game on. That is targeting. I saw targeting in that game.

Andrew:                 Did they actually call it?

Nick:                         Yup. Got kicked out of the game.

Andrew:                 Okay. He’s probably getting suspended for the year. Yeah. Josh Hammond made up for it. Let’s move on to talk about that for a second, Nick, our players. I had Kyle Trask.

Nick:                         I think I get two wins this week. I’m going to take Kyle Pitts. Led the teams with eight receptions. It’s like you said, he’s just a guy that they go to. You mentioned Hammond and Swain. I think Pitts is another guy, especially when you get down into those 3rd and 3, 3rd and 4, 3rd and 5 area. He just does such a good job of shielding the defender, because he’s so big. He does a really good job of shielding the defender, and then it’s a huge target. I think he’s a guy that they go to in those crucial downs and will continue to go to in crucial downs.

Andrew:                 Agreed.

Nick:                         Then I get a win for Jonathan Greenard, because I’m always going to get a win for Jonathan Greenard. Didn’t get a sack. I thought the first play of the game, I don’t know who they said was around, I thought that should have been an intentional grounding as well.

Andrew:                 Yeah. That was close. It was close. Greenard and the rest of that defensive line played really well. David Reese had another monster game. I’ll give you a win there. Tommy Townsend, sorry. That’s an L.

Nick:                         I don’t want to talk about.

Andrew:                 Kyle Trask for me, huge W. 19 of 31, 234, two touchdowns, and came back from battling an injury. Josh Hammond, he scores, Nick.

Nick:                         Yeah. The touchdown saves you.

Andrew:                 Touchdown saves me.

Nick:                         Three touches for 29 yards. The touchdown saves you there.

Andrew:                 Then Jabari didn’t play in the game, so nothing there. We both go two for three there. We both picked the Gators right. Nick, you picked the Hokies. Miami laid an egg.

Nick:                         I knew it all along, Spivey. I told you. I said. I said it on Tate Casey’s podcast, and he was having me pick the games, and I picked Virginia Tech. Then he goes, 14.5. I said, I don’t need the points, Tate. They’re winning outright. He goes, I don’t think so. Outright.

Andrew:                 That was a battle of terrible teams. Jarren Williams, three picks in the first half.

Nick:                         You had a bad week picking games.

Andrew:                 I did. Had a really, really bad week of picking games. I went Iowa.

Nick:                         Loser.

Andrew:                 That was a sleep fest.

Nick:                         You picked Tennessee.

Andrew:                 No, I did not.

Nick:                         I was seeing if you were sleeping.

Andrew:                 I did not. I’m not that dumb. That was a closer game than I thought it would be, but I’m not that dumb.

Nick:                         You missed on Miami and Iowa.

Andrew:                 I missed on those two. That was a sleep fest between Iowa and Michigan. That was really bad.

Nick:                         Are there any redeemable qualities about Big Ten football?

Andrew:                 No. No, no. What is his name? What’s Michigan State’s coach’s name? What is his name? It’s escaping me.

Nick:                         Mark Dantonio.

Andrew:                 Dantonio. He sends out his kicker last night to kick a field goal. He misses it, and you hear him mouth to his coach, should have never kicked it. College kickers. College kickers, Mark. Don’t ever put them out there. It’s bad. That’s a bad football up there. Outside of Ohio State and Wisconsin, there’s not many good teams.

Nick:                         I think Ohio State and Wisconsin are both very good, but then everyone after that, they’re just trash.

Andrew:                 I’m just saying, outside of them two, they’re not very good. Michigan’s ugh, and then you look at Nebraska, they’re terrible. You look at Iowa, whatever.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 You look at those schools there, and it’s just kind of like, whatever.

Nick:                         Last note, and then you can get to your recruiting.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         Florida outrushed Auburn. And also, time in possession, held onto the ball 33 minutes. That was pretty close. Florida ends up holding onto it. I wrote in my story, listen, is Florida a perfect team? No. They have warts. So does Alabama. So does Clemson. So does LSU, Wisconsin, Ohio State, all the teams that are ranked ahead of them. They also have warts. They also have deficiencies. I think Florida’s going to earn respect. At least they’ve earned mine. I think they should earn respect. They moved up to 7 in both the Coaches and the AP Poll. The Swamp was back. We’re getting to the point now where they’re winning enough big games. Next week’s game at LSU, that’s a heavyweight slugfest. This is the stage that Dan Mullen wants Florida to be on regularly.

Andrew:                 Listen, if you want to be a national title contender, if you want to be a college football contender, if you want to be Florida, you want these football games. Win, lose, or draw next Saturday, you want to be in these football games. Period.

Nick:                         Yup. You have to want to be in these games.

Andrew:                 GameDay is coming back again.

Nick:                         Third time.

Andrew:                 Yeah. That’ll be a big one. I’m excited, Nick. This is the first true night game in Death Valley. You and I were there when Florida won to clinch the SEC East. I’m expecting it to be even more raucous on Saturday. When that song, I’m From Louisiana, pops, you know what’s going to happen. That stadium’s going to shake.

Nick:                         Yeah. I’m really looking forward to it.

Andrew:                 Are you bringing your ear plugs?

Nick:                         No. I’m going to embrace it.

Andrew:                 Are you bringing your Ibuprofen?

Nick:                         Yes.

Andrew:                 You have to bring one of the two, because your ears might ring for a couple days after that. Let’s get to recruiting real quick. Issiah Walker commits just moments before kickoff and gets Florida that big tackle they needed from Miami Norland. They also gain some ground for the offensive lineman from your alma mater in St. Thomas Aquinas Marcus Dumervil. Was a big weekend for him. Dee Beckwith, the athlete out of Alabama, named Florida his leader. Big one there. Then the five-star defensive end out of North Carolina, Desmond Evans comes into town. That’s Florida’s top five. Is already thinking about coming back for an official. Big one there.

We’ll see on EJ Smith. I’ve heard some back and forth on that. His dad’s such a popular person when it comes to being at Florida, that kind of stuff. In a way, you kind of think it might hurt Florida, because the spotlight’s not on the kid as much as it is on dad. If you’re EJ Smith, you’ve lived your whole life in the spotlight of dad. Do you want to live college in the spotlight of your dad or not? I think it could go either way.

Big recruiting weekend for Florida though. Just a massive among of guys on campus. We’re continuing to pop out the stuff on Gator Country there. Should be a good week for recruiting news.

Nick:                         It’s going to be a big week. Back to back two weeks in a row where it’s going to be wild. Obviously, we’ve got injury stuff that we got to figure out. Jabari Zuniga didn’t play. Why is he not playing? We got to talk to Dan Mullen about that on Monday.

Andrew:                 Yeah. We’ll see on that. Good news is Kyle Trask looks to be good. Hey, as their reminder says, the best thing about being 6-0 is the chance to be 7-0.

Nick:                         He’s sweetened it. He’s definitely trying to get back.

Andrew:                 He’s trying to get in that ring of honor.

Nick:                         Trying to get back in the good graces and get in that ring of honor. Yeah.

Andrew:                 Anyway, Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here, and we’ll see everyone on Wednesday as we talk with Ross Dellenger, right? Who we got?

Nick:                         Yeah. I think we’re going to bring Ross on. Ross was kind enough. I’m going to give you guys, in case you’re going to the game, give you guys things to do. He gave me a bunch of recommendations for bars, restaurants, things to do around the Louisiana and around Baton Rouge, so I’ll have that up, in case you’re going and you’ve never been.

Andrew:                 There you go.

Nick:                         Anyway, we’ll have that up on the site along with a bunch of other stuff. It’s 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 your podcasts. Just search Gator Country. Subscribe. Never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. You can find me @NickdelaTorreGC, and he is @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 There you go. We appreciate that love and support this week on the site. Definitely a good week. We appreciate everyone listening. Continue to listen for us this week. We’ll be back on Wednesday. As always, guys, chomp, chomp, and go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

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.