GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators 34-10 win over Kentucky on Saturday in the Swamp.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown how the game went for the Gators and what the Gators can improve on heading into the Tennessee game.
Andrew and Nick also breakdown how quarterback Kyle Trask and the offense looked on Saturday.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, we’re back, and Gators win. It wasn’t as impressive as maybe we all thought it would be. It was 34-10 in the game. For much of the game it was a lot closer than that, per se, but then Florida pulled an Alabama in the second half. They only gave up 46 total yards in the second half. This is my question for you, Nick. Did Kentucky show anything different in the first half they haven’t shown all year? My answer is no.
Nick: No. Listen, Alabama crushed Kentucky in the second half. Florida’s defense was dominant against Kentucky in the second half. Kentucky has been down a bunch of guys the last two weeks. They’re going to wear down in the second half when they’re playing shorthanded. Not trying to take away what Florida’s defense did, because I think after Todd got undressed on the sideline on national TV, I think after he got yelled at the defense was pretty lights out for the rest of that second quarter and the rest of the game, starting in that second quarter.
Andrew: Who did it better? Dan to Todd or Nick to Lane?
Nick: I don’t know. Dan got helped a little bit because of the face mask. The pandemic helped Dan, because you didn’t really get the lipreading. Todd’s was pulled under his chin, so you could read some F-bombs coming from Todd. I think I’ll give Nick the edge, just because a lot of what Dan was saying was hidden.
Andrew: It don’t matter what it was. If you’re Todd Grantham, you’re embarrassed. That’s just the way it is. He was undressed. He was cussed. He’s probably been called some names on Saturday that he hadn’t heard in a long time. Mullen was pissed. Dan was sick of it. I think somewhere he had Twitter pulled up, and he just started reading all the Twitter mentions saying fire Todd Grantham, you suck, please do this, please do this. Whatever it may be. He absolutely just lit into him.
I’m going to say this. It’s a twofold conversation we have to have here, because of how well the defense played in the second half. Now, take it back a little bit and say that Florida also did a much better job on offense in the second half to keep the ball away from Kentucky a lot more than they did. For the first quarter and a half, Kentucky was just dominating the defense. Nick, the two things that continued to come back, and it comes back every single solitary week, and you and I keep saying it’s got to get better, and I’m going to say it now. It’s not going to get better all year long, and that is undisciplined football play, as far as getting lined up. It is terrible. When linebackers are telling fourth- and fifth-year defensive backs and defensive linemen where to line up, that’s terrible.
Second thing is having guys crossed up in the secondary and leaving guys wide open. You’re playing simple man coverage or cover two was all they were playing all game long. It’s very simple. You’ve been doing that since peewee football, and guys are still messing up, Nick. Some of it’s on Grantham, and some of it’s on his players. The only reason I say it’s on Grantham is if Grantham continues to put those guys out there, it’s on him, and something is wrong throughout the week.
Nick: It’s the Spurrier saying. It’s not your fault. It’s my fault for putting you in there.
Andrew: I know that’s a lot to unpack, so try to unpack that and let me know.
Nick: You got hot real quick. I wasn’t ready for you to get hot.
Andrew: It’s just frustrating, Nick. It’s so frustrating. It’s like I said on the last podcast. Joe Blow goes out there and allows Terry Wilson to throw a 70-yard bomb, I’m almost okay with it, if he’s in the right position and lined up. Nick, it was 4th and 4, and they left the tight end wide open on an out route, because two guys were bickering at each other, because they didn’t know who was supposed to guard the guy.
Nick, first of all, you knew this team was not going to throw the ball more than 20 yards. You knew it. You knew going into the game that. 4th and 3, did you honest to God think they were going to throw a ball deep for a touchdown? No. They were going to throw a wide receiver screen, they were going to try to run the ball, or they were going to throw a short pass to one of their receivers or tight ends. It was simple.
Nick: Yeah. We’re not talking about freshmen doing this either. These aren’t two freshmen.
Andrew: It was two seniors. That’s what it was.
Nick: Not talking about a Tre’Vez Johnson and like a Jaydon Hill having miscommunications, or Mordecai McDaniel and Tre’Vez. We’re talking about guys who have been in this defense. This is their third year. Shouldn’t be an issue on how to line up or what your responsibility is. Also, I wouldn’t even give the freshmen a huge pass. We’ve played eight games. Well, we haven’t. We’re not playing any games. You’re in Week 10 now? Week 9 going into Week 10. Even the freshmen aren’t freshmen right now.
Andrew: No. The thing I’ll say is this. Kentucky didn’t show anything different on Saturday. The only thing they did was do what every other team that’s been successful against this team has done, and that is control the clock, and not even get up tempo but get lined up really quick. That was it. Get lined up really quick. That was the only thing that they did differently in this game. I say lined up quickly. They may have been doing that all year, and I just haven’t paid attention to it. They didn’t do anything different. So, there was no formations that were different that these guys might have had a cross communication. It was man to man defense most of the time or cover two. You have to line up opposite of another receiver. Period.
Nick: Yeah. Listen, coming into the game Kentucky makes themselves one-dimensional. No team in the SEC attempts less passes than Kentucky. You look at what you have. Listen, Marco Wilson is not having a good year, but you look at him, and you say, nut up this week. You’re playing man coverage. Hey, Kaiir, you’re playing man coverage. We’ll have a single high safety. We’ll have two safeties, maybe play cover two, but we’re selling out to stop the run.
This is a game to me where Florida’s offense, as good as they are, came out a little slow. Obviously, you score on the first drive, but after that you fumble. I think it’s becoming too much of a trend, the turnovers on offense, whether it’s fumbles or like Kyle Trask had an interception against Georgia. Then the fumbles. The fumbles more so. Obviously, he only has three interceptions on the year, but the fumbles are becoming a thing. Touchdown, fumble, punt, punt.
If you come out, your defense gets two punts on Kentucky. Granted, Kentucky held the ball for 11 minutes on the first two drives, but if you come out and your defense forces punt, punt, and you go touchdown, touchdown, now you’re saying Kentucky, you can’t run the ball. If you have any hope or any desire to win this game, you’re going to have to pass it. Once you got into that situation in the second half, where Kentucky had to throw the ball, interception, punt, turnover on downs, interception, interception. That could have been the end of the second quarter and the entire third quarter, if your offense comes out, doesn’t fumble the ball, and doesn’t punt twice.
Andrew: Let me hop in for a second, Nick. Yes, that is true, but when you face Alabama, when you face Clemson, when you face Notre Dame, or when you face somebody else really good, you cannot expect your offense to score every possession and put the game away. You need your defense to show up in a game and say, if it takes you three series to get going, we know eventually you’re going to get going. We’re going to play good defense. This defense can’t be counted on. If you look at this game, and you look at what’s going to happen in Atlanta, and that is Alabama could have very easily been up 28-7 at the end of the second quarter.
Nick: Yeah. Like I said, not even a tale of two halves. After midway through the second quarter, defense showed up. The second half Kentucky did not score, had 46 yards, literally just 33 rushing yards, 13 passing yards. The defense was there in the second half.
Andrew: Let me ask you this though.
Nick: I think you’re seeing minimal improvement on a week to week basis. The defense isn’t getting worse. There’s just minimal. Kyree Campbell, TJ Slaton, balled out yesterday.
Andrew: I think Brenton Cox played better.
Nick: James Houston had a great game. Brenton Cox played better. You’re seeing small improvements on a week to week basis. Not huge leaps and bounds. Small improvements though from the defense.
Andrew: Let me ask you this though. Does the second half take away from how bad they were in the first quarter and a half, to where some of these guys say, we can do this? You know what I’m saying? Obviously, it’s good that they showed up in the second half, but you have to look at that first quarter and a half. The only reason I’m saying that is because I just feel like in that quarter and a half Kentucky only scored 10 points, but they had four possessions. I just worry that another team is going to have instead of 10 points 28 points at the end of that quarter and a half. That’s where you’re going to be in trouble.
Nick: Listen, Bama’s a bad mother. Yeah.
Andrew: That defense is getting sick quick.
Nick: Yeah. Alabama’s defense is figuring it out. Listen, you can get away with like Marco, I think on the 4th down play you’re talking about, Marco had no idea where he was supposed to be. He was on the wrong side of the field, and then is late to get to coverage, because he doesn’t know he’s not lining up. You do that against Devonta Smith.
Andrew: That’s six.
Nick: That’s six. It’s not just a 1st down. It’s six. Guy’s gone. You can’t do that. You can’t not line up on time against John Metchie. You can’t have a Ventrell Miller or a James Houston get lined up on Najee Harris one on one, because you throw a little screen pass or you throw a pass into the flats for Najee, he’s gone.
Andrew: Yeah. By the way, what was Khris Bogle doing in coverage yesterday?
Nick: It’s happened a couple times. Maybe it’s just good offensive. Listen, the other guys that are coaching against Florida are also getting paid. Like if you have Khris lined up on a tight end or Khris lined up on a running back, shoot, they just schemed it well, and they got us in a position we didn’t want to be in on defense. It shouldn’t be happening. If it happens one or two times in a game, I say maybe the offense just schemed it right, but that shouldn’t be something, if I’m a defensive coordinator, that’s not something that I’m planning on, you know what I mean? If it happens, tip your cap to the offensive coordinator, but that’s something that as a defensive coordinator I’m like, yeah, Khris, go cover the slot receiver.
Andrew: I think Khris is a hell of a defensive lineman, and I think he’s playing really well, but no sir, no way Jose is he covering anybody. I’m sorry. I mean, I’m not saying, I’m not trying to pick on the guy, because like I said, he’s a hell of a defensive lineman. He’s not a linebacker. He’s not a DB. What are you even thinking having that even possible to do that? No.
Nick: Yeah. Maybe I’m just being optimistic, I hope that the reason it happened is that it was a good scheme from the offensive coordinator.
Andrew: If not, jeez Louise. That could be bad. That could be bad. I think poor Khris would have nightmares of guarding Etienne or Najee or one of them guys in the secondary. He’s quick for a defensive lineman, but those guys are just fast football players.
Nick: Yeah. So, we’ve talked about one of the points in the game, which was the defense and Todd Grantham and Dan Mullen, their exchange. Dan, funny joke after the game, saying he got home, and him and Todd are neighbors, and he was yelling at him because his Christmas lights were up against Thanksgiving. That’s funny. I also think Dan Mullen jinxed himself, because on the Wednesday teleconference the questions kind of slowed down for him, and he was like, I must not have said anything controversial. I’m like, well Dan, you’ll have some questions about yelling at Todd this week.
Nick: You jinxed yourself, which is funny. I think the other obvious, the biggest storyline of the game should be welcome back, Kyle Pitts. I don’t know what JJ Weaver or what Kelvin Joseph were thinking what they said what they said leading up to the game, but like I’m not going to walk into the woods and find a sleeping bear and kick into the butt and be like, hey buddy, what’s up?
Andrew: That’s like walking into a boxing ring and saying, hey Mike Tyson or Mohammed Ali, you suck, and then having to watch him punch me in the face a million times.
Nick: Yeah. I’m not walking up to Mike Tyson and being like, man, I think I can take a punch. You want to give it a shot? No thank you.
Andrew: Appreciate it. Now let me go to the ER and get this fracture in my face fixed. Yeah.
Nick: Whenever I wake up. Whatever week or month you wake up.
Andrew: Seriously. If I wake up tomorrow.
Nick: I think if Mike Tyson hit me my jaw would fix itself before I woke up. Just the natural human body would heal itself before I even woke up from getting hit by Mike Tyson.
Andrew: Exactly. It’s just there’s not enough adjectives or words to explain how good, and I think Desmond Howard probably said it best on Sunday morning, when he said, he’s just probably the best versatile athlete around. Urban Meyer said that as well. The offense, there’s no defense for it. There’s just not.
Nick: Dude, Kelvin Joseph is not only a former five-star, but was also playing really good football coming into this game, and Kyle Pitts, at 6’5”, 6’4”, 250 pounds, ran away from him. To me, that’s more impressive than the two-yard slant that he caught for his second touchdown. Dude, you ran away from an All-SEC caliber, I don’t think he’ll be All-SEC this year, but an All-SEC caliber corner. You ran away from him. Holy smokes.
Andrew: Yeah. Again, we talk about how good of a route runner and stuff he is, but I’m telling you, Nick, there’s not better hands in the country. I say this because I know the two-yard slant route looked like an easy route, or an easy touchdown. It was by far an easy touchdown. First of all, Kelvin Joseph on that play had pretty decent coverage on the ball. Kyle Trask threw a phenomenal ball, but also Kyle Pitts did a great job of getting a little separation, but then just reaching out and catching it on his fingertips. Again, I know we talk about it. He is a phenomenal route runner. I think he’s really good. He understands ways to set defenses up and everything else. I do, Nick, I think that his hands are severely underrated as far as how good they are.
Nick: I’ve shook his hands, and he could palm a baby.
Andrew: Yes. 100%.
Nick: His hands, he could palm a tire. His hands are massive.
Nick: He’s just a physical specimen.
Andrew: Right. And he’s been that way since he was in high school, when he came down for camps.
Nick: It’s crazy, because he probably should be the #1 pick in the NFL Draft, but the teams that have those top couple picks need quarterbacks. It’s a quarterback driven league. But Kyle Pitts is that dude.
Nick: Kyle Pitts is that dude. If my team has a quarterback, that’s who I’m picking. If my team has a quarterback, and I don’t need to draft a quarterback, I’m taking Kyle Pitts with my first pick in the NFL Draft. Dude’s a freak. He’s even getting better as a blocker. Not that you need to be a blocker as a tight end in the NFL right now. I mean, look at Travis Kelce. I’ve got RedZone on in the background. I watched Evan Engram, who didn’t block worth a lick at Ole Miss and is still playing in the NFL, just had a 30-yard catch. You don’t need to be a blocker, but he’s even getting better and rounding out that part of his game.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. Overall, it did help the offense seem to get better, especially in the second half. Like you said, they got off to a severely slow start. The thing is I say a severely slow start, and it was. They only had 14 points in the first half. They only had 175 yards of total offense there. A lot of that was driven because of simply they only had the ball for six minutes and 37 seconds in the entire first half. Now, a lot of that was because they had the fumble, and they had the three and out and everything else. They also did fake a field goal, I mean a punt, that was greatly designed. We can talk about that in a second.
Yes, they did get off to a slow start offensively for the most part. But you go through it, and you look at it, once again eight different receivers caught passes. Nine different guys were targeted in the game, and a lot of that goes to Kyle Pitts, because guys are open because of him.
Nick: Yeah. That’s the thing we’ve been saying is that he creates just by being on the field. But then also, they left him in single coverage a couple times too. It’s like, what are you doing? You can’t do that.
Andrew: Poor JJ Weaver tapped out. He got mossed, and then he tapped out and said he was hurt.
Nick: Also, fricking smacks a quarterback. On 3rd down, gets a sack. Great play for him, but then hits the quarterback in the face, knows he hit the quarterback in the face, and is sitting there celebrating. What are you doing?
Andrew: Pulls Kyle Trask’s facemask off. You didn’t even try to disguise it. Kyle was literally trying to put his facemask back on, because you yanked it off.
Nick: I mean, he’s still rocking the baby as the referee is on the microphone saying that it’s a facemask 15 yards, and he’s still celebrating. Kyle Trask did his talking with his play, but he also let the people know about it. You can say Kyle Trask let his play do the talking. Yes. His three touchdowns, what did he have? He had five catches for 99 and three touchdowns. He was one yard away from breaking the Florida record for most 100 yard games by a tight end.
Andrew: Pitts definitely for the first time you saw some emotion, and there’s probably some pent up emotion from what took place in the Georgia game. I mean, we’ve talked about that enough. Also, the smack talk for whatever reason they thought they needed to smack talk this week, which again I don’t understand it. I mean, Kentucky smack talks every year, and they never win this game. What are you smack talking for? You keep it close.
Nick: Try a different route there.
Andrew: I mean, you keep it close, but we’re not giving out participation ribbons here. I was glad to see some emotion out of Pitts. I’m always for it. I understand the let the play talk kind of stuff, and that’s all cool and everything, but I’m all for a little smack talking, especially when they smack talk first.
I think we have to go to the offensive line though, Nick. I think it’s time to go in on them boys.
Nick: The only thing I will say, I don’t have an answer. I don’t like saying you need to make this change. Okay, well what’s the change you need to make? I don’t know. I don’t know what the solution is, but I know what you’re doing isn’t working. Listen, Jean Delance, there was a play that you pointed out to me. Kyle Trask got sacked. Kentucky dropped nine. They dropped nine guys into coverage and got pressure because of the right side of the offensive line, with two rushers, and Kyle Trask was sacked.
Nick: Two rushers.
Andrew: Two rushers.
Nick: You’ve got five offensive linemen to block two guys, and you couldn’t do it. So, Kentucky’s okay. They’re a middle of the road SEC team. As we’ve been doing now for two weeks, we’re comparing Florida to Alabama, because you are on a collision course. Listen, it’s going to be cold in Tennessee, and it’s a road game. It’s a rivalry. Florida’s not losing to Tennessee this week, so we’re thinking about Alabama. Alabama will eat Jean Delance alive, and I just don’t know what the answer is. Listen, the coaches see it. If they’re seeing Stewart Reese in practice, and they’ve tried him at tackle. He’s played both. He’s practiced at both.
Andrew: Stewart Reese probably had his worst game of the year yesterday as well.
Nick: Richard Gouraige, I know he’s played tackle. It’s his natural position, but he hasn’t looked good there.
Andrew: No. He’s looked really bad this year in a lot of situations. You pointed out yesterday, like we’ve been saying all year. Here’s the thing. Maybe he is just a true tackle and doesn’t need to be a guy that pulls. Maybe that’s the answer. I don’t know. Like you said though, I kind of have to revert back to those guys, because they see it in practice and we haven’t. I mean, the offensive line as it is right now is not good.
Andrew: Is not good. It’s starting to get to the point where it’s really starting to affect your passing game. Yesterday there was a play, and I want to say it was mid third quarter. Yes. It was the McPherson missed field goal in the game. Kyle was waiting on a guy to come open on a crossing route, and I want to say it was Trevon that was coming open on a crossing route. You will remember this play when I get to it. Kyle had to get out of the pocket, escape the pocket to the left. About that time Trevon is coming open. He goes to throw the ball, and a Kentucky guy hits him. The ball falls, and I think Dameon Pierce ended up coming up with it, or dropped it. Anyway, Trevon was coming open. He had to escape to the left, and by the time he got to escape to the left and throw, boom, they had already followed him to the left. He didn’t have no time to throw. It would have been a touchdown. Easy touchdown. Just didn’t happen.
That’s what I’m saying. It’s getting to the point where they’re starting to really hurt the passing game, and that’s where you’re getting into a problem. Again, it’s Game 8, so what’s the answer? I don’t know. I really don’t. That’s a problem. It’s kind of the same thing with the defense. I would love to sit here and tell you, go put Stewart Reese in there, or Gouraige or whatever, but apparently it’s not. Apparently they’re not comfortable with Tarquin to play, or he would be playing.
Nick: That’s the only thing. Listen, I agree. I’m sitting here agreeing with everyone on our message board and agreeing with the fanbase. I think Jean Delance needs to be benched. I just don’t know how you shake those things up. I don’t think you’re going to put Josh Braun, who I think played really well yesterday when he was in, at right guard. I think Ethan White has played really well at guard. I don’t think you’re going to put one of those guys at tackle. Ethan White’s not a tackle. Maybe Josh Braun can develop into a tackle at some point. It’s not that I don’t think, you’re not putting a true freshman at right tackle and a redshirt freshman at guard next to each other. You’re not doing it. I don’t think you’re going to get much better with Richard Gouraige at right tackle than what you’re getting right now from Jean Delance.
That’s why I say, yes, I agree that there needs to be a change at right tackle. I don’t know how you make that work. But I don’t get paid $6 million to figure out how to make it work. I do agree. I agree with the fans. It’s time to make a change at right tackle. I just don’t know how to make that work and move those pieces around and make it work.
Andrew: The thing is, I think what’s unfortunate about it is it’s just not a one-man fix. Like I said, I think Gouraige is starting to play really bad. I think Stewart Reese played his worst game. Now, maybe he’s still injured. I don’t know. We were told he was good. We were told he could even have played last week, but they just held him out because it was Vandy. I don’t know. I’m like you. I don’t know the answer, because there’s got to be something, or you’re going to be in trouble. That’s going to show its ugly head here very soon. Very soon.
Nick: December 19th it’ll show.
Andrew: Yeah. I think that’s where you’re going to get hurt. We keep talking about the running game, and that’s kind of where the running game goes. If you can’t pass block, you certainly can’t run block.
Andrew: I don’t know. Running game was okay at times yesterday. Had 104 yards. Dameon had 67. Nay’Quan had the fumble. It was one of those that it was an effort fumble. I don’t necessarily get onto him too much for not getting down. He was trying to get some extra yards, because once again he had nowhere to run, but at those times you have to know, I’m not going to go nowhere. Here comes the whole crew of Kentucky guys. Let me just get down. Because that’s what happened, they stood him up. Other guys came, stripped the ball from him.
Nick: Here’s another one, just to talk about stuff, because it’s something I see from fans. You’re talking about the running game, which is why it came into my mind. The play calling. Do you think it gets too conservative at the end of games? Florida’s up 34-10, and fans are thinking, you’ve got a guy who’s in the Heisman race, why are we running the football? Why aren’t you padding his stats and this and that? Do you think Dan just sits on leads?
Nick: Just take it home. Just get it home. Put the car in neutral, and let it roll down the hill.
Andrew: Yeah. I do. He’s kind of basically said he doesn’t care about the stats, and it’s kind of showing, per se. Then I say that, and then he was throwing the ball with Emory at the end of the game. I was like, wow, this is cool.
Andrew: Let Emory throw the ball. I was all for that. Yeah, I do. I think that at times he does get too conservative. It’s frustrating. For instance, the second, I think it was the second McPherson field goal. He went to the running game, and it was like, just throw the ball. It’s okay. Throw the ball. I think he ran the ball three times there on that possession. Then he had Kyle Trask running quarterback power, and I’m like, just let him throw the ball. You were at a situation where, yes, the game was out of hand, but whether you believe it or not, 300 and four touchdowns look better than 256 and three touchdowns. It just kind of is what it is.
Nick: You’re the opposite of Sandra Bullock in Blind Side. Instead of run the dang ball, it’s throw the dang ball.
Andrew: Yeah. First of all, poor Kyle is having to deal with this idiot, and I’m calling him an idiot. If he’s listening to the podcast, you can go ahead and call him an idiot, and you can tweet at him and tell him I called him an idiot. I don’t care. That Mike Griffith dude from the AJC saying on Paul Finebaum’s show Kyle Trask is fifth at best in his Heisman trophy.
First of all, you don’t even know what quarterback play looks like. Your boys up in Georgia haven’t had quarterback play in 50 years, it seems like. You let the best thing that you guys could possibly get in Justin Fields run away, because you decided we don’t want good quarterback play. JT Daniels has been sitting on the bench forever. He plays two teams that are God awful, period, and you’re going to say you’ve got quarterback play back. So get off your train, bro. If you think Trask if fifth, you’re crazy, and your Heisman vote should be taken away from you.
Andrew: I mean, that’s just stupid.
Nick: I think you only way you say that is because you’re trying to get a reaction.
Andrew: That or Kirby Smart is paying you. Because that’s just simply what it is. Kirby does not want Dan Mullen having another Heisman trophy under his belt, because the guy has already been crucified as not being able to develop anybody. Georgia media for the most part is the most controlled media by a head football coach I ever seen in my life, and it’s showing here. I mean, that was just a moron comment. The guy went on a radio show that I do every week and said he didn’t understand why fans were attacking him for his emotion of saying that. I’m sitting here thinking, because you said a moronic comment.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, there’s an entire market for people like that. Listen, Skip Bayless used to be a very well respected journalist and then columnist in Dallas.
Nick: Now he just says …
Andrew: Stupid stuff.
Nick: Says ludicrous things, and people tune in, because he makes them angry. Listen, if you really don’t want Skip Bayless to be on your TV, stop talking about him. If you don’t like Stephen A Smith, stop talking about him. They say stuff, it gets you mad, you talk about them, it gets ratings, and then ratings get money, advertisers for the show, and that makes Stephen A Smith the highest paid guy at ESPN. You’re sitting there thinking, I can’t believe they employ him. Stop talking about him.
Nick: There’s a whole market for people that just say stuff that they may or may not even believe, but they know it’s going to get a reaction. To me, if you’re making the comment that Kyle Trask is the fifth best option for the Heisman, you’re trying to get a reaction, because you can’t possibly believe that.
Andrew: No. Can’t possibly believe that. If you do believe that, your Heisman has to be taken away from you. I’m sorry. Listen, and his top pick is Najee Harris. I have zero problem with Najee Harris going to whatever you want to call it, being a finalist. Najee Harris is a damn good football player. He’s overshadowed by Mac Jones, but when you look at Najee Harris, he’s having a great year. Does Najee Harris deserve to go to the Heisman ceremony virtually or whatever you want to call it? I’m going to say get the invitation, because that’s what we’ve called it for how many ever years now. Does he deserve it more than Trevor Lawrence? Yes. Does he deserve it more than Justin Fields? Yes. Does he deserve it more than Kyle Trask? No. Does he deserve it more than Mac Jones? No. Dummy Mike Griffith’s are Florida just loves to throw the ball so much. Cool. That’s how they win games.
The Heisman trophy is the best player in college football. In my opinion, the best player in college football is somebody that what would your team be if he wasn’t? If you take Kyle Trask away from Florida, Florida is not as good. If you take Mac Jones away from Alabama, they’re not as good. If you take Najee Harris away from them, it’s not as good. That’s a Heisman trophy contender, and you’re stupid if you don’t think that. I don’t care if I get a reaction from him or not. I don’t care. I don’t care. That is one of the most absurd takes I’ve ever seen in my life to have him fifth. Anybody who has that needs their Heisman pick taken away. I don’t care.
Nick: I mean, I’m pulling it up right now.
Andrew: His comments were Joe Burrow had a great finish to the end of the year, and I don’t give my Heisman pick away after eight games. Nobody said that. But to say after eight games he’s fifth, you’re crazy.
Nick: 34 touchdowns to three interceptions, completing 71% of his passes. He will go over 3,000 yards next game. In terms of yards per game, only Dillon Gabriel at UCF is averaging more yards per game. Kyle Trask’s quarterback rating is a 196. He’s averaging 10 yards, 10.3 per attempt.
Nick: Yeah. They’re just trying to get a reaction. God dang it, Spivey, we gave it to them.
Andrew: That’s cool. I don’t care.
Nick: Here I am saying don’t talk about it. That’s what they want. Don’t feed the trolls. Here we are. We served them Thanksgiving dinner.
Andrew: He might have, and guess what, he got it. When somebody is as moronic as that, I don’t even know. Yes, they don’t deserve a reaction, but I don’t care. I’m stupid anyway. I’m also the same one that for years listened to Skip Bayless, because I thought he was funny, and I would just laugh at his stupid takes. It is what it is. I had to get that out there. It pissed me off.
Listen, I have been one of the people, and I’ll say it again, whoever wins in Atlanta deserves it. If Kyle Trask loses in Atlanta to Mac Jones, Mac Jones deserves it. I haven’t went away from that. I’m trying to be unbiased when I say that. I’ve said multiple times, I don’t know that Kyle is the favorite to win. Do I think he’s having a great year? Yes, but I also think Mac Jones is having an incredible year. I also think Najee is having an incredible year. Before all the craziness of the Big Ten, I thought Justin Fields was having a great year. But to say that you wouldn’t have him in your top four, you have him #5, is just crazy.
Nick: Yeah. Listen, Justin Fields’s head coach has Covid. If they miss one more game, whether they can’t play because of Covid, or if Michigan State or Michigan get a case and can’t play, Ohio State is ineligible to go to the Big Ten Championship, which I think would keep them out of the College Football Playoff. Listen, Justin Fields might be a better player than Kyle Trask, maybe, but if he only plays five games this year, and Kyle Trask has played 10, 11, how can you put him in over Kyle?
Andrew: You can’t.
Nick: Kyle Trask will have played a 10 game SEC regular season, then played Alabama for his eleventh game, and is putting up these numbers, and you’re going to say Justin Fields playing five Big Ten games, including Rutgers, is better and more deserving of the Heisman? In what world?
Andrew: Jim Harbaugh may save his job by saying, I got Covid, and not play Ohio State. Wouldn’t that be something? Not that he should do that. That’s wrong, but that’d be crazy. How much does the rivalry mean to you? That’s the question.
Nick: The only chance Michigan has to ruin Ohio State’s season is to not play the game. The only way Michigan can keep Ohio State from winning the Big Ten Championship is by not playing the game, which would then by rule keep them out.
Andrew: Maybe Jim Harbaugh does it. Maybe he does. That would be something. That’d be crazy. Let’s go around the SEC though a little bit. No surprise, Bama destroyed Auburn. We said it and said it and said it. Gus Malzahn is not a good football coach. He just continues to show it. Got beat by Sark, and Sark is the most uncapable guy in the entire world. Whatever. That’s coming from a hated Falcons fan who says he can’t throw the ball to Julio Jones, but they looked good. Georgia destroyed South Carolina, but South Carolina is going on a downward streak.
Nick: Say that again. You cut out on my end.
Andrew: I said South Carolina is going downhill very quickly, even without Will Muschamp. Not that things would get better. I mean, they look like a team who’s quit.
Nick: Well, they also had four players opt out as soon as Will Muschamp. They’re going downhill quick.
Andrew: And their best players. Any other surprises around the country? Not that I’m aware of, but anything caught your attention?
Nick: No. No real surprises.
Andrew: Oregon lost.
Nick: Yeah. Oregon lost. Northwestern lost, to a bad, bad Michigan State team. I picked well again this week. I picked games well again. We both lost. We thought Florida would cover. Did not cover. Gosh. Vegas is so good. Put the line at 25.5. Florida wins by 24. That’s why they built palaces in the desert, my man.
Andrew: Yes, it is.
Nick: We both picked Notre Dame. Got that. Notre Dame, UNC held in for a half, and then Notre Dame turned on the jets. We both picked UCF. That was a winner. Both picked Ole Miss. They win the Egg Bowl, the Lane Train. Both picked Bama. I thought game would be maybe competitive. It was a noncompetitive game from start to finish. The only thing that separates us, you thought Texas was back. They are not back. Iowa State beats Texas.
Andrew: Did I pick them, for real?
Nick: You picked Texas. Yup.
Andrew: Jeez. Does Herman get fired?
Nick: He’s got to. He’s got to get fired. He’s done a bad job.
Andrew: I heard something on the radio though, and it came out to me that kind of made sense. If you’re Texas, you’ve got to have a big name hire. Who is that big name? They said obviously you’ll call Urban, because nowadays everybody calls Urban when there’s a job opening. But who’s the big name out there that you would say, Texas got a really good hire?
Nick: I don’t know. Listen, money is not an object at the University of Texas. You can literally give someone as much money as you want. The budget does not exist.
Andrew: You’re shopping in every aisle.
Nick: Yeah. You’ve got a credit card with no limit. You’re fine. But I don’t know. I don’t know. Nick Saban’s not leaving. I think Urban Meyer is done. I believe that he’s done. Unless Brian Kelly left Notre Dame. That’s Urban’s dream job. Every time a coach gets hired, that’s my dream job. Of course, because you’re getting paid a bunch of money. My dream job is to get paid $4 million too. That’s great. I think unless Notre Dame opens up, I don’t see Urban Meyer taking a job. Texas, you have to call. You make Urban Meyer say no, but I think he does say no. I don’t know who the name is.
Andrew: Do you fire him without that, or do you wait? You know what I’m saying?
Nick: Here’s the thing, you don’t need necessarily a coach to be fired. You’re Texas. You can go anywhere you want.
Andrew: I’ll ask you again, who?
Nick: You could go get Mark Stoops. Does that make you feel great? I think Mark Stoops is a hell of a recruiter, hell of a coach. I think he would recruit the hell out of the state of Texas, but is that what’s going to fire up your fanbase?
Andrew: See, I don’t know though Mark Stoops is the answer out there. I mean, do I think he’s a good coach? Yeah, but it takes a special person to go out to Texas and win.
Nick: I’m so tired of Alabama. Go and offer Nick Saban $40 million a year, Texas.
Andrew: That man ain’t going nowhere.
Nick: Please. Get him out of the SEC.
Andrew: He’s getting ready to retire.
Nick: Oh, I’ll take that too.
Andrew: That’s even better.
Nick: I’m just trying to get rid of Nick Saban however. Retirement, fine. Go to Texas, get out of here.
Andrew: Yeah. Whatever. Texas made that push, and supposedly Miss Terry hated Austin.
Nick: I loved Austin.
Andrew: Well, Miss Terry is also old and married and wrinkly and everything else.
Nick: She was not on the party boat on Lake Travis that we were on, nor would she have wanted to have been.
Andrew: Yeah. There you go. Let’s go some picks real quick. Got a few minutes left. What we got?
Nick: I get a loss on Ventrell Miller. I think he played well maybe early on. Probably got all of his five tackles on the first drive or two. I don’t get a win on him. Trevon Grimes, two catches for 11. We have agreed that I get a win on Kyree Campbell. Him and TJ Slaton were forces to be reckoned with inside. You do not get a win with Jacob Copeland. What were his final stats? I got them pulled up. Copeland, one catch for 42 yards. Had the one big catch.
Andrew: I think that was the only time he was targeted.
Nick: Yup. His only target. One target for 42 yards. Zach Carter, big game. He’s a dude. What were his stats? You get Kadarius Toney also. He’s having a very good year. Peaking at the right time, I guess you would say.
Andrew: I think moving back to his normal spot has been such a big thing for him. I don’t think we talk about it enough, but it’s huge. It’s big for him.
Andrew: Also, that was a game changing play for Kadarius, for KT. The game was going crazy. Florida punted. First of all, Jacob Finn had an incredible punt to down there, and then the defense made some really good plays. Then to have that punt, that was a turning point, almost a backbreaker for Kentucky.
Nick: Yeah. That was huge. Let me explain what happened. I got in on Mark Stoops Zoom when they asked him about it. First off, their punter is the current Ray Guy award winner and an All-American. Best punter in the country.
Nick: He does that little Aussie rules thing where he runs out.
Andrew: And he stands back there. Did you notice that? He stands back there until like the last second.
Nick: Yeah. That punt was supposed to go to the left. Florida smartly, and some teams have done this against Kentucky, knows that he can roll right and still kick it left 40 yards, or kick it straight to where he is on the right side of the field. So, they put two guys back. They put Xzavier Henderson on one side and Kadarius Toney on the other side. The reason Kentucky’s entire punt team was on the left was because that’s where the ball was supposed to go. He just mishit it. Great job though by Xzavier Henderson to notice that and beat the guys that were coming to him. He puts his hand up in the air like he’s fair catching it, and they’re going to try to crowd him hoping he fumbles it, and he kept those guys there.
Nick: Kadarius Toney gets the ball, and he’s got to be thinking, this is going to be the easiest touchdown of my life. No one’s here.
Andrew: He just turned the jets on.
Nick: Yeah. Just gone. Made a couple guys miss. Just doing what he does with his silly putty limbs and bones just bending and moving all over the place.
Andrew: Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. Let’s get out of here.
Nick: Wait. Real quick, Vanderbilt just fired Derrick Mason. Right now.
Andrew: Wow. That’s crazy.
Nick: Vanderbilt’s athletic director, I guess their Chancellor. “We are parting ways with head coach Derrick Mason. On behalf of the entire Vanderbilt community, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Coach Mason for his many years of dedication and service leading our football program. He cares deeply about the student athletes under his charge. His tenure at Vanderbilt will be remembered for his steadfast commitment to our student athletes, not only on the field but in the classroom as young people. It was a difficult decision, but I know this change is necessary. We wish Derrick and his entire family the best.”
Andrew: Wow. Go get him to be your DC.
Andrew: Nick, really we’re running up against time. Tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Tuesday. We’ll have a special guest to talk UT hate week.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Search Gator Country. Hit subscribe. Never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. I’ve got @delaTorre on Twitter. I’ve been staring at that suspended account for three years, and finally got some help to get it. I’m @delaTorre, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: There you go. Guys, we appreciate it. Again, we’ll be back on Tuesday. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.