Podcast: Recapping the Florida Gators win over Kentucky

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators 29-21 win over Kentucky on Saturday in Lexington.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown the play of Kyle Trask as he had to replace an injured Feleipe Franks in the second half of the game.

Andrew and Nick also breakdown the play of the offensive line and the defense as well as look forward to Florida vs. Tennessee next week in the Swamp.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, recapping a win wasn’t what we expected, I’ll be honest. Didn’t think it was going to be that close. We’ll recap this. Before we get started, prayers up to Feleipe. Went down in the game. Dan Mullen says it looks to be season ending injury. I would say I agree with that. Prayers up to him. I hope that whatever has to come in the next few days goes well, and he’s able to fully recover.

Nick:                         Yeah. I had a friend who had a similar injury to what the trainers and what Dan Mullen described. It’s a dislocation that kind of causes a break in the fibula. Will Muschamp’s ruined that word for me forever. Now I never know if I’m saying right, after hearing him say it wrong so many times. He had to have surgery and had to have a pin put in. It’s painful, and it was a long road to recovery. It certainly would end Feleipe’s season. He didn’t get an x-ray Saturday. They were going to do that on Sunday when he got back to Gainesville.

I think, to kind of what I’ve been saying, what some of us who are around him a little more than maybe fans, I think the reaction that his team gave, the surrounding him, the receivers that were around him when he was still on the ground on a knee and their arms around each other praying, the way the whole team left the sideline to rally around him and talk to him. Then the fact that he stayed. Obviously, devastated. I don’t know what hurts worse, your ankle in that situation, or you’re sitting on the field and thinking about everything that you lost and how hard you worked and the weight of all that coming and down starting to sink in and be reality might hurt worse than your ankle does in that moment.

Sticking around to address the team, I think that shows how far he’s come, just as a person and as a football player and as a leader. I think Feleipe earned the respect of a lot of his teammates. I mean, he went down trying to get one yard on a broken play. I think he earned the respect of his teammates. Certainly earned more respect from me. I hope all the fans that kind of watched, whether or not you like him as a football player, I think you feel for him as a person, for sure.

Andrew:                 I’m not going to sit here and say that I was the biggest Feleipe supporter or fan or whatever it was, but it doesn’t matter the circumstances, you never want to see a guy go down. In that play, it was just a nasty looking play. I’ll be honest, I was very shocked that he didn’t have also a knee injury. The way he was bent up, to me, instantly screamed torn ACL, MCL, LCL, as well as a fractured ankle, just the way he was flipped up. Like you said, I remember, Nick, was it three years ago when Jake McGee went down? It was similar to Feleipe. His teammates rallied around him and that kind of stuff.

You never expect to have your quarterback go down, but to move on a little bit, I thought that Kyle Trask handled it as good as you could ask a backup quarterback to handle it. Now, Kyle Trask is a seasoned veteran. He understands his role. To come in in that opportunity, listen, Lexington, Kentucky is no longer a dull place to play. That place gets loud. For him to come in down 11, rally his team to win, and let’s face it, behind a shitty offensive line and behind, just throwing the ball. That was it. To rally his team to win, I think says a lot about Kyle Trask as well.

Nick:                         It goes into, and I wrote this, I mean, Feleipe had a quote from a couple weeks ago. I think it was after the UT Martin game. I asked him, I said you looked really happy on the sideline when Kyle threw his touchdown and when Emory ran his touchdown against UT Martin. He gave me a great quote about how hard they work, and there’s never any bitching and moaning or why am I not playing, I’m better than him, I should be playing. It’s a tough position at quarterback. Only one guy gets the ball.

Andrew:                 Yup.

Nick:                         You could be the eighth -tring receiver and play 15, 20 snaps a game, and the second-string quarterback you might play zero. Just the way the position is. He was so happy. I don’t know how they do it. Credit to Dan Mullen and Brian Johnson, because it’s really hard to check your ego. I don’t know how they’ve been able to do it. Maybe it’s credit to them, the coaches, also credit to the players. Kyle Trask for four years has prepared as if he was the starting quarterback, despite having never started a game in his career.

I think what you saw Saturday was the culmination of Kyle Trask preparing for four years as if he were the starter. There was no deer in the headlights. There was no, oh crap, I’m on the road, we’re losing, and I got to lead a comeback drive. The moment wasn’t too big for him, because, quite frankly, he’s been preparing to be in that moment for four years. I honestly, as a 30-year-old man, I don’t know if I have the maturity right now for four years to bust my butt and to not ever have an opportunity to do it on Saturday. Hats off to Kyle Trask. That’s a tremendous young man there.

Andrew:                 Especially in the day and age where if I don’t get my way I leave.

Nick:                         You got the transfer portal. You can go wherever you want. You just tell them, I didn’t like my coach, and they say, sure.

Andrew:                 That’s my biggest gripe, and I don’t want to get off on that soapbox. You get on that, I didn’t get my way, I’m not the starter, I just leave and run for higher ground. What Kyle Trask learned and what Kyle Trask is going to do at Florida this year, to me says everything I need to know about Kyle Trask as a man, Kyle Trask as a football player, and Kyle Trask as a leader. There should be zero question of Kyle Trask’s loyalty to the University of Florida, and there should be zero questioning him in the locker room, quite frankly. Feleipe has the experience of game time, but Kyle Trask earned every bit of that as well by what he’s done. For me, and you and I have said this, I think you and I have been very positive of Kyle Trask in the past. Let’s face it, he was probably going to start last year against South Carolina had he not got hurt.

Nick:                         I’ve been the conductor of the Trask train for four years.

Andrew:                 Yeah. What he did on Saturday, while it was a tremendous shock that he did it as well as he did, but for him to come in and throw the ball as well as he did, that kind of stuff wasn’t a shock. It was just a shock the way it was of on the road and being as calm as he was. Outside of the option play to Lamical, which looked terrible. Let’s just call it what it is. It looked terrible. Looked like something we would run up in flag football. Outside of that, he looked very comfortable.

Nick:                         That play is supposed to be run flat. That’s just a regular option. I don’t know who the linebacker was, outside linebacker was, that got there, but he kind of just split them. Kyle Trask’s mind was, okay, I’m going to cut up, because he’s kind of in between two of us. He’s taking away the pitch. Let me cut up and see if I can get into the endzone. SEC speed’s a little different. He didn’t have time to cut up, and honestly, that was lucky. That was lucky that he was able to get that off and get the pass, shovel, to Lamical, because honestly that’s a play where that could easily go six the other way. So, lucky to get it, and then very lucky to get the touchdown.

Andrew:                 I will say, and listen, I don’t want this podcast to turn into comparing the two, because we’re not there. We’re not ready to do that yet. I thought for the most part Kyle Trask looked very comfortable in his decision-making. Now, let me say this, Kentucky also played some stupid coverage, in my opinion. For me, if a backup quarterback’s coming in, I am jamming the receivers at the line of scrimmage, making him think quick. They were giving the receivers seven, eight yards, so he had a lot of easier throws, per se, but he still made some really, really good throws, really good plays. The one to Kyle Pitts, where he was about to get hammered, was one that stood out to me, and Kyle Pitts made a tremendous play there. His fakes on the run/pass option, in my opinion, were very good. Then you had the rushing touchdown. He showed that while he’s not as mobile as Feleipe, he can still run the ball a little bit.

Nick:                         I think, like Feleipe, willing runner, like you said. Not going to shake and bake, not at all, but he’s a kid, listen, he’s not afraid to put his shoulder pads down and just try to run somebody over. So, that’ll be fun to watch. I have really high expectations and high hopes for Kyle Trask. I think anyone that’s listened to us for any kind of extended period of time knows that. I’ve been very high on Kyle Trask and thought he should have probably won the starting quarterback job a couple years ago. I think Florida’s in good hands. It’ll just be interesting to see. I don’t think the offense changes at all really. You’ve got a guy who’s been in the program just as long as the starter.

Andrew:                 Right. You maybe don’t call as many quarterback draws and stuff with him. Maybe that’s a situation where you bring in Emory, and we’ll get into that more this week. Dan Mullen said they’re going to try to play both of those guys. For me, I think it’s important that you get a guy like Kyle Trask as many reps as you can these next few weeks before you get into Auburn, LSU, and Georgia. You need him to play as much and get as many reps as humanly possible.

Nick:                         I’m interested. I was going to ask you, do you call BS on Emory getting in, or do you not? Dan Mullen after the game said, listen, we told Emory to get ready, because we had a package for him. Then when Franks goes down, he’s like, we put Kyle in, and then Kyle kind of got hot, which he did, right away. Completed his first, I think, five passes. Then Dan Mullen says, that’s why we didn’t go to Emory, because Kyle kind of got hot. Trask completed his first four passes, and then six of his first seven. I think you do need to get him in.

Andrew:                 I don’t think Saturday was the …

Nick:                         Saturday, your starting quarterback breaks his ankle. Plans are out the window.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I don’t think Saturday was the time, per se, because I don’t think that the game really dictated Emory. I say this, and I shouldn’t judge that, because we don’t know what Emory can do throwing the ball. From what we’ve seen, I didn’t think the game dictated putting Emory in. I thought it was better for Kyle, who was a better thrower. Let’s face it. Right now, this offense line, and we’ll move ahead, this offensive line is pure shit. It’s awful, Nick. Listen, I think John Hevesy does a tremendous job, but if this is the best John Hevesy’s got, it’s time to question what’s going on. I mean, this is an offense that, Nick, let me pull this up here and track Josh Hammond’s long run. Josh Hammond, 62 yards rushing in a football game.

Nick:                         On 26 carries.

Andrew:                 On 26 carries. The thing about it is, Nick, there are some times where we say it could have been this. No. Florida’s they got 60, whatever I just said, yards rushing, period, because there’s no holes. Zero holes. It’s bad. It is really, really bad. The pass blocking’s gotten a little worse, in my opinion, at times. It’s awful. This offense line, it’s gut check time for Hevesy. It’s gut check time for this entire offensive line. I give Hevesy a lot of credit for what he’s done in the past, but if this is the best he’s got in Year 2, and these are guys, I know we talk about inexperience, but let’s just go across the board. Stone’s a guy that’s been in the program a long time. Heggie’s a guy that’s been in the program a long time. Buchanan’s a guy that’s been in the program a long time, and Delance has been in college a long time. Outside of Bleich, there’s no excuse. These guys have been playing.

Nick:                         I think he did a great job with them last year.

Andrew:                 That’s last year, Nick.

Nick:                         Yeah. No, that’s for sure.

Andrew:                 You’re not winning football games. The prime reason Florida was in the position it was last night to battle back was because they could not run the football. There is zero question. I tweeted this, and people took it the wrong way. The second two-point conversion was the dumbest play call. The 4th down play call was the dumbest play call. You weren’t fooling Kentucky. Kentucky did not respect that you were going to run the ball. Why you even got under center in play action there, and then in the two-point conversion run the quarterback draw there, nobody respected that. They knew you weren’t going to do that, and they weren’t going to fall for play action, because they knew you couldn’t run the ball.

Nick:                         Yeah. Shoot. To me, I don’t know if it’s talent. The thing I’m going to touch on now though is effort and the pull blocks. We talked about it last, must have been last Monday’s podcast.

Andrew:                 Yes.

Nick:                         If you’re pulling, get to where you’re going with a sense of urgency.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Go. Just go. Pull.

Nick:                         Listen, Lamical Perine is a patient running back, but when I see him running into the back of Chris Bleich or Jean Delance, and he’s running into their back three yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Andrew:                 Feleipe ran into Delance three times on a quarterback power.

Nick:                         Yeah. You got to get to where you’re going. If you pull, get over there, man, because you not getting to where you need to go, you’re killing the play.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Because you’re blocking the hole. You’re acting as a defender. That’s the biggest difference. We look at what Kentucky did. Kentucky rushed for 140 yards, but the difference with Kentucky’s offensive line and Florida’s offensive line is Kentucky’s offensive line when they were pulling, by God they were pulling. They were hitting one guy, and then they were at the second level. This Florida offensive line can’t even get to the first level, more less the second level, to create explosive plays.

Nick:                         I think Muschamp. Muschamp, jeez. Sorry. I’m looking at Twitter and Muschamp popped up. I think Mullen let his frustration out a little bit on the TV broadcast with Delance, because it was Delance had a holding penalty that called one of Feleipe Franks’ rushing touchdowns back, and then he had a complete whiff block, which caused the second fumble. You had a guy wide open on that play. Feleipe’s actively throwing to a wide-open receiver, and he gets hit in the back, because you whiff on a block.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         They did some switching around. I think Stone Forsythe moved over to right tackle, mainly because Richard Gouraige has kind of repped at left tackle, left guard. He repped a little bit at right guard last year, but mainly has repped on the left side. So, that’s going to be the move.

Andrew:                 But he only played one series, and then he was yanked, because first play he gets in he has a whiff block.

Nick:                         Yeah. So, there’s a lot of question marks.

Andrew:                 It’s gut check time, Nick. Listen, I don’t want to hear any more about the experience. I’m sick of hearing it. I’m sick of hearing it.

Nick:                         You’re done hearing that they’re young?

Andrew:                 Yeah. Because you’re not. Yes, you’re young as far as playing time, but you’re not young as far as football time goes. We all talk about recruiting, and you want five offensive linemen in every class, so they can just rotate in. These guys should be able to rotate in. If this is the best five Florida’s got, God bless next year.

Nick:                         God bless you.

Andrew:                 I’m just saying. I mean, if I’m a running back, I don’t want to run. If I’m Damien Pierce and Malik Davis, I’m telling those guys, I’ll just chill on the sidelines. Let Lamical keep getting pounded. Every time he gets the ball, three yards in the backfield he’s getting pounded.

Let’s talk about the screen play. Stone Forsythe is out there, and people have idiotically said this is Lamical’s fault, and, listen, I’m a Lamical fan and everything else, but why anybody would think that, and, Nick, you can correct me if I’m wrong. Stone literally gets blocked into Lamical. That’s an effort play, Nick.

Nick:                         Let’s just say that the 140-pound defensive back gave more effort.

Andrew:                 I mean, someone said Lamical should have cut that inside. No. You don’t cut that inside. That play is designed to go to the outside. If Stone literally gets one block he’s gone. Gone. It doesn’t happen. That just, for me, Nick, that play alone, and I’m not going to question many people’s effort, that play alone is an effort play. You are 300-something pounds, and you got a buck fifty defensive back. No way should that defensive back push you into your running back.

Nick:                         No. No. You’re right. It’s effort.

Andrew:                 We talk about offensive line play, and, listen, offensive line play is probably one of the few positions that your effort can sometimes outweigh your game mentality, your mental capacity.

Nick:                         Skill.

Andrew:                 What’s going on. If you are, and excuse me when I say this, if you’re the dumbest football player, and you’re lined up at left tackle, and you just run out and block the defensive end and blow him up, that’s better than if you don’t block anyone.

Nick:                         Put your hands on somebody.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s man to man. It’s mano y mano. You block the guy in front of you 90% of the time. When you pull, you literally have a head of steam that you are running three to four yards and running up a gap. Run. Blow the son of a gun up in front of you and create a hole.

Nick:                         Yeah. At some point, and I think it’s great, I think it’s wonderful that Florida is straining, holding onto the rope, not flinching, all the catch phrases that they’re using, and finding ways to win. That’s really hard to teach.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         If impossible to teach. If you can’t run the football, it takes away from your passing game.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         This isn’t the SEC of 2008 where you have to, have to, have to run the football. I mean, look at Alabama. Alabama last year realized their defense wasn’t as good as it used to be, so we’re going to throw the ball. We’re going to get in space with Josh Jacobs and run the ball, but we’re going to throw the ball. Alabama’s offense looked completely different than it ever has, probably in the history of Alabama. You don’t have to run the football in the SEC in this day and age to win, but Dan Mullen’s offense needs to be able to run the football.

Andrew:                 The thing about it is, Nick, the opposing team has to at least respect that you can do it. If I’m Tennessee this weekend, I don’t even think about blocking, stopping the run, because why?

Nick:                         Tennessee, I think they just hope the plane gets there.

Andrew:                 For me, if I’m Jeremy Pruitt, on 3rd down I am manning up, putting my corners, jamming the crap out of their receivers, and I’m bringing the house. They’re not blocking it. They’re not blocking it. The thing for me, and this goes to my next thing, and I know I sound critical as hell today, and I don’t really care, to be hones with you. It is what it is. First time in a while. Dan Mullen’s play calling leaves a lot to wonder about. You have a crappy offensive line, where’s your stand pass? Where’s your screens? You finally ran and end around, and it went for six. Where’s all these different things that are extensions of the running game? They were nonexistent on Saturday, Nick. This is not the Dan Mullen play calling, and I know Billy Gonzales and Hevesy and all those other guys have play calling with it, but this is still not the play calling that we had last year. When I say we, I mean we were accustomed to seeing last year. Not even close. Would you agree?

Nick:                         Yeah. The creativity that you get. Shoot, after watching some pretty terrible offenses for the seven years that I’ve been here, you’ve been here longer than I have, but the seven years I’ve been here, last year we saw some of these plays they were running, and we’re like, oh man, they’ve been setting that up for three weeks. We’ve been watching this. It just showed that it was chess, not checkers.

To me, I think it’s just a frustration on Mullen’s part, and maybe I’m making the excuse, but this is what I think right now, today, as we tape this. I think it’s a frustration on Mullen’s part that they can’t get the running game going. He’s trying to get it going, because then his offense builds off of that. That’s not an excuse though. He said it last night, listen, we kind of abandoned the run last night, because we were having such good success in the passing game. You’re having no success in the running game. I don’t know if you can have success unless you keep trying to, but they just got to figure out something. It’s like you said, the creativity is not there.

I think the play calling last night on offense probably leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t know what one of the, I think it was the second two-point conversion play. Both two-point conversion plays were terrible.

Andrew:                 That 4th and short, Nick, when they went to play action under center, I don’t know about you, but it didn’t fool anybody. You knew good and well they wasn’t about to line up and try to punch it right at Kentucky.

Nick:                         Right.

Andrew:                 If they did, then we were going to really have some question marks. That’s just me. I go back to last year, Nick. I will say that the offensive line was okay last year. I don’t think it was great, but they found ways to mask that problem. The options, stand passes, the different things with Emory, the different things with Kadarius. The different things they were able to do were able to offset it. A good stand pass or screen to the receiver, that’s an extension of the running game. That’s an extension of the running game.

Nick:                         Right. I think they tried. He tried to do something, because they started the first drive off.

Andrew:                 Well, they did it on 3rd and 12, and you were like, what the hell?

Nick:                         Pitches outside. They were like, if we’re not going to be able to run through the tackles, maybe we can get outside in space. Even if the offensive linemen aren’t blocking, the wide receivers can block.

Andrew:                 Right. They do block very well. I will say this though. Maybe I’m being too critical here, but I do think a little bit of the non options, the non end arounds is a lot due to tight end blocking’s left a lot to be desired this year. Would you agree with that?

Nick:                         Yeah. I mean, that’s a huge issue, and that’s not one that’s going to change.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         To be frank. I don’t want this whole thing to be negative. Listen, Florida’s 3-0. Great opportunity to go 4-0, but I think there are warts that we’re seeing. If you’re watching the game critically, and not just as a fan, I think you see them as well. There are things that need to be cleaned up. You’ll get away with it against a really terrible Tennessee team this week, and you’ll get away with it next week playing Townsend. Not going to get away with it when it’s Auburn, LSU, Georgia.

Andrew:                 Right. Again, you’ve got to be able to run the ball against those teams, because if you don’t run the ball against Auburn, Auburn’s going to pin their ears back and just crush Kyle Trask.

Nick:                         Yeah. I trust in Trask.

Andrew:                 I do too, but poor guy’s going to have time to throw the ball.

Nick:                         Tweet that hashtag at me, if you’re listening this long into the podcast, #trustintrask

Andrew:                 Let’s go to some positives in the game. Kyle Pitts finally gets involved in the offense. Four catches, 63 yards. Had that one really good YAC play on the goal line with Trask. I thought it was a really good play there and showed his versatility. Then Van Jefferson and Freddie Swain continue just to do what they do, and that’s be Mr. Consistency for this team.

Nick:                         Freddie, Josh. I didn’t know Josh had wheels like that either.

Andrew:                 I didn’t either. Old Hot Sauce turned it on.

Nick:                         Yeah. Some younger guys as well. First off, David Reese, 16 tackles. That was a career high. 13 solo tackles. Another negative. Kentucky gave you the blueprint. I don’t know that it’s a new blueprint. They abused Ventrell Miller and David Reese in coverage, and that is something that teams who can throw the ball will continue to abuse. That’s just a huge hole.

Andrew:                 Looked a lot like Georgia last year.

Nick:                         Florida needs to get Amari Burney back, because, listen, I think Ventrell and David Reese are very good run fitting linebackers. They’re going to be exposed in pass coverage. Shawn Davis. Two interceptions. Good to see him getting some play.

Andrew:                 I thought Shawn Davis played his best football as a Florida Gator on Saturday.

Nick:                         Yes. Four tackles, all of them solo. Then the two interceptions. The last one I wanted to mention was Kaiir Elam. He got the pick at the end of the game. First freshman cornerback to get picks in back to back games since CJ Henderson did it his freshman year.

Andrew:                 Okay. I thought Shawn Davis did really well, and it doesn’t even show up in the stat sheet a ton, but just in his ability to come up and break down in the open field. Not every time was he the guy that ended up making the tackle, a couple of times other guys made the tackle before he got there, but just his ability to come down into run support I thought was good to see there overall. Like you said, Kaiir Elam played really well. Reese played really, really well. Nick, Jonathan Greenard. That guy just hates him some Kentucky. He knew the snap count. I don’t care what anybody says. They were either telling it, or he was just having a really good game. He knew the snap count.

Nick:                         He did not like Kentucky.

Andrew:                 He was everywhere, and he had a couple times where had it not been for Sawyer Smith throwing at the exact time, Sawyer Smith might have been hurting today, because Greenard was coming full speed unblocked.

Nick:                         Yeah. The story with him was he was ready to commit to Kentucky, and Mark Stoops just kind of blew him off. Wasn’t going to take his commitment, so he went to Louisville. He did not like Mark Stoops. Obviously, going to Louisville, you’re not going to like Kentucky. Jonathan Greenard made sure to tell me yesterday. He said, let them know I am 2-0 in this stadium. I said, I’ll let them know, John. I’ll let them know.

Andrew:                 He’s definitely becoming a fan favorite, for sure. I thought he played really well in the game. Jabari didn’t play much with the injury. Nick, I think that is one that we definitely have to monitor. Maybe not this week and next week, but when you get to Auburn, you need the pass rushing of Jabari.

Nick:                         Yeah. I think Jonathan Greenard, he got hurt on the last play. He said he’ll be fine, just kind of rolled his ankle. Then you saw Khris Bogle go in and finish that game for them. Certainly the team is not healthy right now, and they need to get healthy.

Andrew:                 Yeah. The loss of CJ Henderson.

Nick:                         Shoot, you’d take that bye week right now, instead of right after the Miami game.

Andrew:                 You didn’t play with Burney. You didn’t play with CJ. Both of those were just really bad. You needed those guys to play. Marco, I think Marco got picked on. The two touchdowns he gave up, or the touchdown and then the long one where he’s called for pass interference, yes, it was pass interference. I don’t know how you play it any better.

Nick:                         Yeah. That kid, Ahmad Wagner, he only played a year of football in high school. He’s a basketball transfer.

Andrew:                 From Iowa.

Nick:                         He has been thrown, they’ve thrown the ball at him 18 times this year. 17 of those have resulted in a positive outcome. He has nine catches for 200+ yards and two touchdowns. He has drawn seven pass interference penalties. 17 of the 18 times they’ve thrown him the ball something positive has happened for Kentucky. That’s an incredible stat, to me.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, we always use the term throw it up to a basketball guy, and just let him go get it. That is definitely the basketball term right there. Again, if you’re Marco, I don’t know how you play it much better than that. You got to, and you got to figure out a way. Overall, I thought the defense at times played well. At times I thought they played very …

Nick:                         I thought Todd Grantham was getting coached in circles.

Andrew:                 Yeah. That’s what I was going to say. I think at times.

Nick:                         The first half.

Andrew:                 Yeah. In the first half.

Nick:                         They made adjustments in the second half, for sure.

Andrew:                 I was trying to think of the word, not comfortable. I don’t think they were playing too comfortable. I think they were playing maybe too loose. I don’t know what it was, but he was getting worked in the first half. In the second half, I thought they played much better and started blitzing a little bit. You and I said this on either Monday or Friday of last week. We said put the heat on Sawyer Smith. Make him process things quicker. It was like the opposite. It was the DBs were off of him. It was weird. It was very weird for the first, I would say, 35 minutes of the game. It was like what is going on here?

Nick:                         Yeah. It did not look good. I made my way down to the field after Florida took the lead. Shoot, I was watching that last drive from the sideline thinking Florida’s going to lose.

Andrew:                 I definitely had that impression. Then it was the missed field goal. Then it was, boom, and you were good. Crazy game. Like you said, better to be 3-0 then 2-1. Definitely better than being 1-2 like the Noles, but that’s neither here nor there. Keys this week, Nick. For me, get healthy. Figure out a way to get Burney back, even if it’s just a little bit. CJ, get him back a little bit. Get healthy and get as many reps as you can for Kyle Trask.

Nick:                         Yeah. Just stay healthy. Shoot, figure something there. You’ve got to figure something out with the offensive line. I think I have to ask Mullen something, like on Monday ask him can the offensive line get better with experience? Is it an experience thing, or is this it? Is this the line? If Florida doesn’t start being at least able to run the football, then …

Andrew:                 It’s going to be a long year.

Nick:                         I see some losses coming on the schedule. You’ve got to be able to run the football. You can’t be a one-dimensional team.

Andrew:                 Like I said, the experience stuff, I’m over it. I’m over it. This is a situation where John Hevesy has got to start eating some lunch and letting guys know that playing soft is not the way to win football games. Listen, if you’re the offensive line, and I say this, you have to take pride now in protecting Kyle Trask. This is your backup quarterback. You have to take pride in protecting him. I don’t mean that in any way bad or anything else about Feleipe or anything like that, but this is your backup quarterback. You have to know that you have to make sure to extra protect this guy. Nick, let’s go over some picks last week. You and I picked all the games the same except for USC. I guess Clay Helton still has a job.

Nick:                         For now. Clay Helton still has a job for now. Mormon Manziel. He is creating a legend, and I’m happy to perpetuate it, because I love the nickname, Mormon Manziel. We both went 2 for 3 on our player picks.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         David Reese, like I said, 16 tackles, 13 solo. Freddie Swain had the touchdown. You got Van Jefferson, that pick, shoot, Kyle Trask likes him some Van Jefferson.

Andrew:                 It seemed like those two guys had worked a lot together in the off season, because they were playing pitch and catch like it was just them two out there on the field. Yeah. I did. I went with Mr. Greenard, and he had a good one.

Nick:                         That was a solid pick. He was always going to come in playing with his hair on fire. I missed on Lamical Perine. Not a good game for him. I don’t think totally his fault. Stats, 14 rushes for 27 yards. Did get a touchdown. Could get me 3 for 3.

Andrew:                 No. Sorry.

Nick:                         Touchdown.

Andrew:                 27 yards or whatever he had, that’s not cutting it, even though it’s not his fault there. Then Jacob Copeland, outside of one missed block, was MIA.

Nick:                         Yeah. That’s not Jacob Copeland’s fault. You shouldn’t have Jacob Copeland there, I don’t think. You’ve got him lined up basically as a tight end, because they had the bunch formation there.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         You’re asking him to block a linebacker.

Andrew:                 That’s tough for a guy who hasn’t played much to do. I mean, I think I speak for when I say this that Jacob Copeland would say, I should have got that block, but that’s a tough one. It just kind of goes back to what we talked about with Mullen a little bit, and that’s a head scratcher. He talked about getting Copeland some action. Guy didn’t even touch the ball.

Nick:                         Nope. No jet sweeps. No Toney package. There’s nothing.

Andrew:                 Nothing. Anyway, Nick, we’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone.

Nick:                         Real quick. I called out, I said the sack numbers were going to come back down to life. One sack against Kentucky.

Andrew:                 I think you took some harsh criticism in the wrong way.

Nick:                         Three tackles for loss.

Andrew:                 There was no way to keep that up. I will say this though. Sawyer Smith was a pretty damn good quarterback. I don’t care what anybody says. That’s a very good backup quarterback. He’s going to make some plays this year. That Kentucky team might, I don’t think they’re going to beat Georgia or anything like that, but that’s a Kentucky team that I think is going to win some ballgames.

Nick:                         Oh yeah. I think so as well. That’s, like Dan said, Mark Stoops, all the credit to him. Listen, don’t let FSU fire Willie and hire Mark.

Andrew:                 For real.

Nick:                         The job that Mark Stoops could do recruiting at a school like Florida State instead of a school like Kentucky, my goodness.

Andrew:                 Willie’s already set it up that it’s Kendal Briles’ fault.

Nick:                         Pass the buck.

Andrew:                 Threw that man under the bus. What are you doing? Why are you not clocking the ball there? Second of all, you said you got the play you wanted? You wanted a running play with four seconds to go? Okay. Whatever. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here, and we’ll see everyone on Wednesday, as we continue to talk about Florida-Tennessee 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 consume podcasts. Just search @GatorCountry. Subscribe. Never miss an episode. Leave a rating. Leave a comment. Let us know what you like, what you don’t like. Then do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. You can find me @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 There you go. Guys, we appreciate it, and we’ll see everyone on Wednesday. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

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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.

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