GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators win over Idaho on Saturday afternoon in the Swamp.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown how the Gators offense looked on Saturday behind both Feleipe Franks and Emory Jones.
Andrew and Nick also talk about the Gators seniors and also start previewing Florida vs. FSU on Saturday in Tallahassee.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, big win. A blowout win. It’s 63-10, probably about what we all expected, except for Emory Jones playing as much as he did. We’ll get into that in a second. All in all, Nick, for me it was what Senior Day was all about. It was back to the old days of Urban and Spurrier and those guys, Senior Day being about the seniors playing, and then getting some young guys in there. It’s an emotional day. For me it’s what college football is all about.
Nick: Yeah. That’s kind of what you grew to expect back in the day. Senior Day against an FCS team. It’s 49-0 at halftime. It’s 42-0 in the second quarter, and you start emptying the bench even before halftime. That’s kind of what people expect for Senior Day. As far as the ceremony before, that was nice. It was pretty empty in the stadium, but seeing parents, stuff like that. I thought it was. C’yontai Lewis went before Moral Stephens and kind of like was waiting around for Moral Stephens after to hug him. I think C’yontai has done a lot of growing up since he’s been here.
At the end it was pretty cool. You get Nick Sproles in, and they throw in RJ Raymond to run the ball. We’re talking to Raymond after the game, and he said when he went in it was kind of an RPO play that they had called. Raymond looks at Sproles and says, “Sproles, if you pull this ball, I’ll kill you. You better hand this ball off.” So then they called the same play again. The second play he goes, “You can pull it if you want. I got my carry.”
Andrew: I got my carry. I’m good now. Your life is safe. What you said on C’yontai is true. I think he grew up a lot this year maybe more so than in the past, and that’s not to say he hadn’t grown up in the past. I just see a different C’yontai. Again, I tell this to people all the time. You and I, we’ve known C’yontai for a while. You were tweeting about it on Saturday. We remember him all the way back from high school, covering him and his cousin Bo Scarborough and those guys. It is a different C’yontai. Whatever it may be for C’yontai, I really hope that he takes his time at Florida and grow up. We all talk about he kind of came from a bad area and that kind of stuff. The great thing about football and athletics is you’re able to take guys out of that bad area, and you hope to make them better people to go back into society.
Nick: Yeah. After the game, he came to do interview, and I showed him. You’ll remember, I had a picture of C’yontai. It was 2013. Still on my phone, from IMG. I said, “Now what would you tell that kid? After you’ve been through what you’ve been through.” It was interesting, because the first thing he said is, “Really I’d tell him to take school seriously.” He says, “If you take school seriously, you can probably be done, honestly, because the football players don’t really leave, and they have to take summer classes. If you take it seriously and really go after it, you could graduate in three years.” C’yontai will graduate December 15, but he was saying, “If I had taken it seriously, I might be in grad school right now.”
Nick: That, to me, at least from the kid who was Gator chomping at Cam Newton in 2013 to someone who’s telling me, I wish I would have just taken school seriously, and I would tell the freshman that. That’s a lot of growth that I’ve seen.
Andrew: There was nothing wrong with him Gator chomping Cam Newton. We all enjoyed it.
Nick: I brought it up. I asked him the question. He was taking time to think about it. I was like, “Would you tell him to chomp the Gator chomp at Cam Newton?” He started dying laughing.
Andrew: Yeah. Again, it kind of goes back to what we talked about last week. You and I, we’ve been critiquing C’yontai for some drops and stuff in his career, but at the end of the day, I think you and I both are fans of C’yontai as a person, and as a player. There’s nothing wrong with him as a player either.
For me, Nick, the moment, and I guess it goes back to knowing his recruitment and everything else, but the one that got me was Cece holding his son. Cece’s grown up a lot. It’s what college football is about in my opinion. You see that. Not only did he better himself as a football player, but he became a father and now has a whole other responsibility in life as well. I said that on Twitter. I think that’s just what college football is all about.
Nick: That, to me, yeah. I really liked seeing, we’ve seen it all year long, we’ve talked about it, with Megan Mullen and how involved she is with everybody. These are really, especially these seniors, when you’re a senior you’re less reliant on the controls, the people around you. You’re less reliant. You’ve been there four years. Some of these guys have been there five years. You’re not really like a freshman where everything is new, and you’re probably relying on a Megan Mullen or a Dan Mullen or your coach. You’re relying on them a little bit more, because it’s the first time you’re away from home.
Nick: To me, it was really cool to see how she embraced them and how they embraced her, when they haven’t been around her as much. They probably didn’t need her as much as a Jacob Copeland or a Kadarius Toney, a freshman or a sophomore. To me, it was really cool to see just the relationship that they had with her in just a year and how emotional she was that day. In four years, when Jacob Copeland is running out for Senior Day or any of the other freshmen, I think you’ll see an even stronger relationship with Megan Mullen. I think that’s really cool that the coach’s wife has kind of made it a point to be that kind of person for these guys.
Andrew: I think it just goes to show you the person she is and the impact she has. This isn’t just Dan or Mullen. This isn’t just a Florida thing. Shelly Meyers is very big in kid’s lives. That was big when she was at Florida. To me, it just really goes to show you when Mullen talks about how big of an importance she is, what it is. I mean, to see guys like Cece buy into it. To see guys like RJ Raymond or C’yontai Lewis, those guys, buy into that and have a relationship with her just goes to show you just how big of an impact she can be on guys. We talked about it all year, like you said.
It’s a situation even in recruiting, where guys like Chris Steel are talking about it, and other guys are talking about just how big of an impact she is. It goes to show you, and it helps when parents are able to see that kind of stuff. Nathan Pickering is on campus on Saturday. That really goes to show his parents she’s able to do this with a senior who is 20 years old or 21 years old, 22 years old in Cece’s case. She’ll be able to be there for my son when he’s 18 getting into college. Like you said, I liked all that.
When you got into the game, Mullen just said, you know what, we’re just going to go out here and air it out. We’re going to play seven on seven.
Nick: Yeah. It was going to ask you. Do you think that was let’s get some confidence back in Feleipe, let’s work some things out? A lot of times when you’re playing games like this a coach will throw out a crazy trick play, and it’s just to put something on TV, or not TV. It’s just to put something on film that Florida State will have to look at. I didn’t really see anything crazy like that, but it did feel like Feleipe was we’re looking to …
Andrew: Pad the stat book.
Nick: Let him throw the ball around. Maybe pad the stats a little bit. Just again, the confidence. Kind of like in the first game. Just throw it around. Feleipe threw the ball 18 times in the first quarter, and 27 times, he only played a quarter and a half.
Nick: Threw the ball 27 times.
Andrew: I mean, Florida threw it 43 times. Only rushed the ball 36 times in the game. I do. I think it was about getting Feleipe some confidence back. Then at the end of the day, Florida could have ran for 500 yards on that team. I mean, they ran for 201. In my opinion, the 201 they didn’t even try for. I mean, it was run the ball just to keep the defense honest a little bit at times. I think it was about that. Also, just had a little fun. I think that’s the biggest thing. When we talk about the great coaches and the great teams, it’s just having fun with it. That’s no disrespect to Idaho, but this was a game that Feleipe should have been able to have some fun with. Kadarius Toney should have been able to run around on parts of the field and go back to high school and have a little fun with it. Again, I like that. I thought it was good to see.
Then Emory comes in and plays a half and pieces of a quarter. You and I talked about it all week, and we said, do you play him, do you not play him? I get that you played him because you didn’t want Feleipe to play the whole game. I mean, if he’d have played the whole game it would have been 100-0. Does kind of limit your book. You probably don’t get to play him in FSU, unless you just have to. I will say this. I think that it was a situation where if he has to go into FSU fans and the team probably feel a little bit more comfortable with him going into the game. The team probably feels more comfortable. Dan Mullen probably feels more comfortable, if something was to happen to Feleipe.
Nick: That’s probably the biggest thing that maybe we overlooked a little bit.
Andrew: I think we did.
Nick: Because Dan Mullen did just say that. Kyle Trask going down definitely changed how Dan Mullen thought about using him.
Andrew: Right. Because if Kyle Trask is there, he plays that. He plays Emory’s role.
Nick: If Kyle Trask is there, I think yeah, he’s playing that. Then maybe you don’t play him. Maybe Kyle Trask plays until the very end when Nick Sproles comes in.
Nick: To me, that changed it. Also, it’s coach speak, but it’s true. Really he’s one play. Feleipe Franks can take a wrong step and sprain his ankle in practice, and Emory Jones is starting versus FSU.
Andrew: I mean, just think about it. What happens if it’s 3rd and 10 and he loses a shoe, or a helmet comes loose, something like that? He has to come out a play. What happens in that? You can’t exactly say, hold on, you can’t do that. So, he has to be that. He has to go in and play the game. I think you and I did overlook that. Again, I’m not afraid to admit that. I didn’t think that he would play as much as he did, but he did. I’ll say this. I thought he looked good for the most part. Again, it was against Idaho.
Nick: I think if you’re going to play him, then go ahead and do that. Play him for almost three full quarters.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. Some people were, well one person on our message board was saying we were making excuses for Emory, but I thought Emory threw the ball very well. He had the ball to Kyle Pitts that was just dropped. The biggest thing for me, Nick, was the step Emory Jones has made from spring to now, just goes to show you how good of a quarterback coach and really developer Dan Mullen and Brian Johnson are. I think you would agree with me that he looks so much different from spring game to now.
Nick: As a passer.
Nick: I mean, he dropped a dime to Kyle Pitts. There was some good passes that he put some mustard on. I think as a passer he’s completely different than the spring.
Andrew: Right. Especially from Under Armour.
Nick: Yeah. For sure. You walked away from Under Armour thinking he’s not ready to be a passer, a college passer.
Andrew: Right. Again, I don’t think he is ready to be your starter, by no means. That’s no disrespect to him. You think about it. If he’s done this much in six months, think about what he’ll do continuing to grow. He did throw some balls late in the thing, and in normal games they were probably incomplete or maybe even intercepted, but they went for touchdowns. Then he had some really good throws. The ball to Pitts was really good. The ball to Lucas Krull was really good. Then he did a good job of really stepping up in the pocket and allowing himself time. He did a really good job of scrambling and throwing the ball to Trevon Grimes on a curl route for a first down. That was really good in the game as well. You had some good plays.
Again, he had some plays that kind of showed me that he might be ready to be that first redshirt freshman quarterback that takes the rings as starting quarterback for Florida next year. He’ll be at least a guy in the conversation, just because of the progress he’s really made.
I think the biggest thing for me, Nick, is the decision making on his part is there. It’s not a question mark of where he’s going with the ball. Again, he may have been a little late throwing it. He may have been a little inaccurate there, but for me the first step as a quarterback is really understanding where I’m going with the ball.
Nick: Yeah. Shoot, we talk about Feleipe Franks with that.
Andrew: Right. Yeah. Exactly. Let’s go back to Feleipe. Thought Feleipe did some good things. Thought Feleipe had some questionable throws as well. Had some balls that were complete that in a normal game are maybe intercepted or deflected. Then he had some balls that were really good throws. The touchdown to Tyrie Cleveland on the post route was a beautiful throw. It just goes to show you that Feleipe when he is setting himself and doing his mechanics right is a really good thrower. That was a really good ball. He had the good read on the pull when he scored the 17-yard touchdown. I thought Feleipe did some things that were very good as well in the game.
Maybe, and hopefully, that gave him the confidence that maybe he’s lost the last few weeks and can go into this FSU game riding high. I mean, you think about it, he’s had a quarter and a half against South Carolina, and then a quarter and a half in the Idaho game. Really almost four quarters of action where he’s played good ball for the most part.
Nick: I think this is a big game coming up for a lot reasons. We’ll get more into that.
Andrew: It’s huge. I mean, let’s just call it what it is. It’s a must-win. Must-win. Period. Must-win.
Nick: Yeah. We’ll get more into that. We got a whole week. This game for Feleipe to go out there and to throw it around like he did, good for him.
Andrew: Kind of fits into his characteristics a little bit. I don’t mean that in no disrespect to him, but that’s what Feleipe did in high school, just go out there and throw it around. That kind of fit his game.
Nick: Yeah. It fits his game. It’s definitely, you completed 19 of 27, the three touchdowns. He had the rushing touchdown as well. That was the first touchdown. He had the rushing touchdown as well. Overall a good day. I mean, shoot, the comeback year that he has had, he’s got 20 touchdowns now? I’m thinking. Let me pull it up. I don’t want to say something wrong. 20 touchdowns, six interceptions. He’s thrown for 2,000 yards. His completion percentage is probably not great, 58%. Then when you look at his rushing stats, he’s got 230 yards rushing and six more touchdowns. He’s got 26 touchdowns to six interceptions. He has been turning the ball over a little too much, when you add in those fumbles.
Andrew: Call it like it is. He’s got the most touchdowns on his team as a quarterback. I mean, you got to call it like it is. He’s been the best guy since Tim.
Nick: Yeah. It’s been a good year for him. We were trying to figure out if we had been too hard on him, based on the numbers, when all this Tebow stuff comes up. I don’t know. I don’t know how good this 20 touchdown season is when you really look at it and look at the throws and some stuff like that.
Andrew: Here’s what I’ll say about it. I get criticized being a critic of him, being too hard on him at times. That is what it is. I am who I am. I will say this. Had you told me at the beginning of the year Feleipe Franks would have 26 touchdowns and lead Florida to a nine-win season, I would have probably told you you were crazy. For me, again, this is just me, I say it was a successful year of growth for Feleipe so far. I will say this, and this is the honest truth, like it, not like, whatever it may be. Saturday, against Florida State, you got to win that football game, or guess what? Not just Feleipe, but the entire team, this season goes from really good to not so good.
Nick: Yeah. C’yontai really laid it out for me yesterday. RJ Raymond said he circled this game November 26 last year. The day after losing to Florida State last year, he circled this game for his senior year. C’yontai told me, I had forgotten about this one, he goes, “They beat me when I was on my official visit.” I forgot his official visit was Florida State. He goes, “Then they beat me all four years I’ve been here, so this is …
Nick: Must-win. This is a personal game. He’s like, “I can’t go out. I’ve never seen Florida beat Florida State in person.”
Andrew: Got to change it. Got to change it. Let’s continue talking about some things here for the Gators. Kadarius had a nice game. C’yontai had the three catches in the game. Damien Pierce had a nice game overall. Nick, the highlight for me was Kyle Pitts. Kyle Pitts getting into the end zone on that big catch and run. For me, it goes back to kind of what we talked about last week and the weeks before, and that is Dan Mullen’s really using Kyle Pitts in that new shape, new form of the tight end. It’s not just using him as a tight end in line, as a blocker and that kind of stuff. He is really using him as a mismatch on the outside. Lining him up really wide, lining him up at the X, lining him up at the Z at times and creating that mismatch. That’s exactly what he did on Saturday.
Nick: Kyle Pitts, and Lucas Krull to a slightly lesser extent, is what the tight end role will be when Dan Mullen gets his guys here. Moral Stephens and C’yontai Lewis just didn’t fit that. They’re not those kind of guys. Kyle Pitts, it’s taken him time to adjust and to be ready to play.
Andrew: I think he’s coming along though.
Nick: Yes. No, he certainly is. I mean, listen, we got, including a bowl game, just a little bit over a month, so he’s coming along. Just because he’s doing it now, doesn’t mean he would have been ready to do it Week 2 against Kentucky.
Andrew: Oh no, no. No. I was just saying I think, for me, the Georgia game, catching that slant and understanding how to set up the defender to be able to get inside, that was really good for me. Just kind of seeing him develop over the last few weeks. I think Lucas Krull has come a long way as well. For me, personally, I thought this year for Lucas Krull was going to be not even getting as much playing time as he has. I thought it would be more sitting on the sidelines learning, using practice, learning that kind of stuff. I mean, he’s been away from the game for almost three years now. For me, it was a step in the right direction for Lucas Krull and Kyle Pitts in the game. Also, we got to see the first action of Jacob Copeland on Saturday.
Nick: You were calling for it.
Andrew: I was. I was calling for it. I thought he’d get his first six, and then I thought Damien Pierce would get his first 100-yard game of the year.
Andrew: He was close. I’ll say this. Damien Pierce, when that poor guy gets out there, he just takes out his anger not playing for the whole game on the defense. I mean, he just runs with aggression, Nick.
Nick: Yeah. He was an absolute joy to interview after the game as well.
Andrew: You and I talked about this on Saturday night. I told you, he’s a fantastic interview. He really is a guy who, I don’t want to say he thinks a ton about it, because I always say that some of the best answers are answers you just say from the heart. He’s a guy who really thinks out his answers, while giving a heartfelt answer as well. A guy that I think, as the years go on, people are going to really like Damien Pierce and hearing from Damien Pierce. Dan Mullen talks about needing leaders of the team. I think he has three really good freshmen that are going to be leaders of the team in Emory, Damien Pierce, and then on the defensive side of the ball, Trey Dean.
Nick: Yeah. Trey Dean got a lot of time off. I think Chris Henderson maybe played a week, played a series.
Andrew: I don’t think Dean played but maybe a series or two either.
Nick: He was in there for only a little bit. Then he was holding that, it’s kind of corny, the jumping up and down, the hype guys and juice boys they call them, whatever they call them.
Nick: Kind of corny, but he was jumping up and down. Good to see someone who’s played a lot of time kind of jumping in and embracing a role.
Andrew: I like it. I think it’s corny, but I think it’s fun as well. Whatever it is that gets guys hyped in the game. Let’s go real quick and talk about the defensive stars of the game. Chauncey Gardner, first play of the game with a pick six, and then Ventrell Miller, he needed oxygen at about the three-yard line, but 82-yard pick six in the game.
Nick: He was moving.
Andrew: He was moving. Kind of reminded me a little bit of Brandon Spikes. When he got to the end zone, I thought he was going to punt the ball, but he didn’t. Good to see those guys. Nick, I can’t say this enough. I’m really excited to see Ventrell Miller and James Houston play ball. Ventrell Miller plays the game like a linebacker should. He has zero problem knocking the heck out of you.
Nick: Just a search and destroy.
Andrew: Search and destroy. There you go. By the way, Nick, did you feel Vosean Joseph’s hit in the game?
Nick: I felt it. I heard it. Dreamt about it.
Andrew: That poor guy. Man, oh man. He’s getting an ice bath this morning.
Nick: Yeah. Good for him. He got up.
Andrew: He did get up, but, man.
Nick: Got right off the field, but good for him.
Andrew: By the way, Mason Petrino, he looks like he takes hits better than his uncle Bobby.
Nick: Yeah. He wasn’t the only one that got it, the only Petrino to get sacked this week.
Andrew: That poor guy got hit so many times. Good grief. Man, oh man.
Nick: I’m going to go ahead, and I’m going to claim some victories here for myself.
Andrew: Okay. Go ahead.
Nick: I’m going to claim a victory for Jachai Polite.
Nick: Wasn’t in the game very long. They kind of got him out of there. I think he played a half, but he had two tackles for loss and a sack. He was getting in the backfield. I’m going to take a win for, who was my second one?
Andrew: You said C’yontai would score a touchdown.
Nick: I said he would score a touchdown, but he had a career high in receiving yards.
Nick: It’s only 57, but he had a career high on Senior Day, so I’m going to take a win for that. Who was my second pick?
Andrew: I’m trying to think here. Scarlett, wasn’t it?
Andrew: I don’t know then, if it wasn’t Scarlett.
Nick: I can’t remember. I usually keep that document around. I must have deleted it.
Andrew: I thought you said it was Jordan Scarlett in the game, but called C’yontai. I’m still not fully you should get a win.
Nick: Career high.
Nick: Career. He has never had more receiving yards than that. This was the best game of his career.
Andrew: But why are we celebrating that?
Nick: Because it’s Senior Day, and he had the best day of his life, receiving yards wise.
Nick: It’s a win. Taking it.
Andrew: David Reese was your second pick.
Nick: Oh yeah. Go ahead and lead the team in tackles there.
Andrew: Yeah. He did play a lot.
Nick: Maybe not lead the team in tackles, but he played a bunch.
Andrew: I went Lamical. Who was, I don’t even know who my second pick was. Lamical was my first pick. He didn’t do much, didn’t play much. Him and Scarlett played a couple series apiece in the game. Copeland, he got a career high, so that’s a win.
Nick: Stop it.
Nick: Stop it.
Andrew: You just said it. Did you not?
Nick: Stop it. There’s a difference in playing 50 games and having a career high, and then playing your first game.
Andrew: He had a career high though.
Nick: I did really like his blocking. He really bought in. He pushed his boy into the middle of the endzone on Hammond’s running touchdown. Really enjoyed the blocking and seeing that he’s bought in.
Andrew: Then Trey Dean didn’t get much action in the game. Let’s talk about some games around the country real quick, before we get into this FSU game a little bit. FSU surprises Boston College and gets the win. That sets it up, Nick. Willie versus Dan for all the marbles this weekend. Gators look to end the streak, must-win game. Willie, on the other hand, looks to extend the 41 straight years of a winning record, looks to extend the going to a bowl game, and looks to extend the winning streak against the Gators. For me, all things can be forgotten up in Tallahassee if Willie Taggert wins on Saturday.
Nick: Oh, God, if Willie Taggert wins Saturday, everything’s forgotten. None of it matters. Getting blown out by Notre Dame, none of it matters, because you beat Florida six times in a row, and you get to a bowl game. This is 40 years of FSU having a 500 or better record, 30-something years of going to a bowl game. If you beat Florida, you continue all that. You’ve survived one of the worst years since the late Bowden years, the lost decade they all call it. You’ve survived that. You continued a streak against Florida. Then on the recruiting front you say, if I’m Willie Taggert, “This is the worst team I’m ever going to have at Florida State, and look at that, we just beat Florida.”
Andrew: Right. Yeah. For all the marbles. Florida did get some good news on the trail, I’m going to talk about that on a minute. They did get good news on the scoreboard, Willie Greer goes down. Also, Syracuse gets blown out by Notre Dame.
Nick: That is big for Florida. You kind of needed Notre Dame to take care of business. West Virginia going down, hold on, I did a little something last night, and I wanted to go through and read it off, about the College Football Playoff. I’m trying to find it. I can’t find it. Texas losing, or excuse me, West Virginia winning would help Florida, because they’re ranked ahead. Also, because there’s some crazy situations that maybe could have happened with Georgia losing to Georgia Tech maybe or something like that. Right now, as it sits, Georgia will likely get the Sugar Bowl berth. LSU is still ahead of Florida. That’s fine. There’s no limit on how many teams can get the playoff berth. Right now, Florida is kind of rooting for everyone ahead of them just to win, and they need to beat Florida State.
Andrew: Everyone win, except for if Oklahoma was to lose, that’d be okay. They wouldn’t be mad about that. At the end of the day, you worry about what goes on in Tallahassee next Saturday. You win that game, you’re looking at probably the Peach Bowl or going out to the Fiesta Bowl. I just have that sneaky feeling it’s going to be the Golden Knights.
Nick: I found it. I’ve got nine teams that right now would be automatically in. Right now, Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Michigan is your playoff. Georgia or LSU would be the SEC auto-tie. Oklahoma would be your Big 12 champion. Will Grier could throw a wrench into Florida’s plans. I think West Virginia, ranked 9th, won’t fall lower than Florida.
Andrew: They’re falling lower than Florida on Tuesday.
Nick: I don’t think so.
Andrew: I know so.
Nick: You are not on the committee. You don’t know.
Andrew: Yes, I am on the committee.
Nick: You are not the committee.
Andrew: Yes, I do. Hold on. Let me email Scott Strickland. Scott, make sure.
Nick: Okay. Oklahoma will be your Big 12 champ. Washington State would be your Pac 12 champ. Ohio State would get the Big 10 auto-tie. They go to the Rose Bowl. UCF, as the top ranked group of five team, would be in. So, that leaves a couple spots left. I think Florida goes ahead and jumps over Syracuse, and that will be 12. If you’re 12, you’re in.
Andrew: That’s it.
Nick: Send me to Glendale. Not us, you’ll be at Under Armour. Send me to Glendale, or even send me to Atlanta, so I can brag about being in Atlanta, and you’re not in Atlanta.
Andrew: If you’re in Atlanta, I may make a quick trip there and then have to drive through the night back to Orlando. I’m not letting you see it in Mercedes Benz without me. Just letting you know. I do think it would be awesome though. That Florida-UCF game would be good. It’ll create some storylines and all that good stuff. Again, it would be something that would be a situation where, if you’re Florida, you definitely don’t want to lose that game, but I don’t think that’s an issue for Florida. Again, getting to a New Year’s Six bowl game Year 1 would be great.
Nick: Yeah. Incredible. Unbelievable.
Andrew: Let’s dig in here. We got about 10 minutes. Real quick, Nick, I want to hit a couple notes on Florida State, and then we’re going to move on. We’ll break this down even more on Wednesday. Got to run the ball against Florida State. Defensive line is atrocious. Their offensive line is atrocious. Get pass rush. Get pass rush. Get pass rush. Do that, you’re looking good. Do not let Deondre Francois get comfortable back there. Keep pounding him and keep on. Then run the ball. Run the ball. Run the ball. Run the ball, and run the ball some more. This is a team that hasn’t been able to stop the running game, for the most part of the year. Go in there, set the running game up. Let Feleipe get comfortable in the game, and then set your will. Don’t just win the game. Win the game with a statement.
Nick: One thing that a friend of mine, he played baseball at Florida State, he’s at Red Sox Organization now, Robbie Scott, we always go back and forth this week, because I grew up a Gator fan, and he and I would go back and forth. His mom taught at the school. She would get in on it too. He said, if you look at it the last couple weeks, the way that teams are scoring on Florida State they’re taking shots down the field, and I’m not confident Feleipe can make those throws, if that’s what it comes down to. In that case, it would come down to, because I think Florida is going to screen Florida State to death.
Andrew: Why not?
Nick: I think they’re going to screen Florida State to death. I’ve just seen Feleipe miss too many of those deep balls.
Nick: To Van and to whoever he’s throwing them to, to feel confident that if you have to make those plays that you’ll be able to make them.
Andrew: Yeah. Then again, if you can get the running game going, and then allow him to get comfortable, you can do that. You can get that one on one coverage and just hope and pray that he’s able to get that throw in there. Again, if he does miss, you hope he just misses and it falls incomplete.
Nick: Yeah. That’s true.
Andrew: Florida did pick up some good news on the recruiting trail. 2021 offensive lineman George Jackson committed to the Gators on Saturday night. I know people are saying, 2021, but listen, you got to start picking them up some way or another, and that was a big one. They did have a big five-star 2020 receiver Leonard Manuel on campus, and he named a top three that included the Gators. Another big one to watch for next year. Then also on Saturday, they hosted Miami commit Michael Tarquin, the 2019 offensive lineman, for the third straight week on campus. Nick, we always talk about follow the visits. Guess what? The visits show that Florida’s starting to pick up some ground there. Really good shape there.
Again, not an incredible recruiting weekend, being who the opponent was, the noon start, all that. About as good as you could ask for.
Nick: Yeah. It wasn’t the 81,000 that they announced.
Andrew: God, no.
Nick: There were times in the game early on where, the interception it got loud. There were times in the game where it got loud.
Andrew: I’m just saying for the game, for the time, the opponent, all that stuff, it was about as good as you could expect as far as the visitors list and that kind of stuff. I mean, Florida’s been able to bring some guys in, some good players, all throughout the year. Overall a success this fall, because that was the last home game, of bringing guys on. They had a lot of guys on. Next up for Mullen and his staff is the FSU game. After that, they’ll be able to get on the trail and start to go out to homes and visit guys in home, as the early signing period gets close.
Nick: It will be a jampacked week after this, following this week. We’ll have a special guest on to break down the season after that. It’ll be a jampacked recruiting week, because Florida’s not in the SEC Championship game, so they’ll be out and about that week, won’t they?
Andrew: Yeah. They’ll start. I’ve already heard a couple guys who have said that they’re expecting Mullen to get out there and see them. Dan will be able to go see them once, only one time, after the season. That goes from December all the way to February. He’ll pick and choose the early signee guys, the early enrollee guys, that he’ll see first, and then he’ll continue on. January is when he’ll see guys like Keon Zipperer or some of the guys who are going to sign in February.
We’ll start to break that down after the FSU week. On Wednesday, Nick, we’ll really get down and talk about this Florida-FSU game.
Nick: We’ll have someone on to talk about all the stuff that they’ve done over there in the school out West.
Andrew: Over in Willie land? Do something. Isn’t that his motto? Do something. Okay. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Wednesday.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. Search @GatorCountry wherever you listen to podcasts. Subscribe there. We’re on all those platforms now, so never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC. He’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: There you go, guys. We appreciate it. Basketball in Atlanta this weekend, so check out Eric and Baileigh’s stuff on that. Nick and I will have you getting ready for the FSU game. Plenty of recruiting updates. If you haven’t checked it out yet, check out David Bowie’s photo gallery on Gator Country. Some really nice Senior Day photos. Just some cool photos. See some of the freshmen that maybe you haven’t seen before but have followed in recruiting, that kind of good stuff. Check us out. If you’re not going to listen to us on Wednesday, I hope you guys have a happy holiday on Thursday. We’ll see you guys on Wednesday.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.
Andrew: As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.