Podcast: Recapping the Florida Gators win over Miami

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators big win over Miami on Saturday night in Orlando.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown how the offense did on Saturday and what went right and wrong for the Gators.

Andrew and Nick also breakdown what the Gators can do to improve between week 0 and week two of the football season as they started the season 1-0.


Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. As you can tell, my voice is gone a little bit. Orlando won this weekend, and the Gators won, Nick. Gators are 1-0. Wasn’t pretty, but they’re 1-0.

Nick:                         That’s good then, Spivey, because the people really want to hear me talk, and since your voice is hurting, I’ll just talk more today.

Andrew:                 There you go. I’ll let you go at it. You can go. Mark Richt’s not coaching for Miami, so I don’t need to get fired up.

Nick:                         No. If he was, then they would have covered the spread.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, Jarren Williams wouldn’t be the quarterback, because he was leaving.

Nick:                         Obviously, not a clean game from either side. Not a well officiated game, and not saying the officials were biased one way or the other, they were just plain bad. Plain bad for both teams. Not what we expected from Florida. I didn’t expect the penalties. Miami had more. You expect that in a first game for a new staff and a young team. I didn’t expect the penalties for Florida. I didn’t expect the turnovers for Florida. Feleipe had three on his own, two interceptions and then a fumble, which was a botched snap between himself and Lamical. Then I didn’t expect the big plays from Miami. I think Miami had a couple chunk plays, especially when they’re chunk plays out of a wildcat. I mean, come on. That’s stuff you see on film, and you should be ready for.

Overall, and I wrote this after the game, it’s what Florida, the coaching staff, preaches. The strain, the want, the desire. Don’t let go of the rope. All of those things that you can say are clichés, that’s why they won the game. It’s Nick Savage’s weightlifting program and that mental toughness. That’s why they won the game. I think they were the better team, but they didn’t play like it. Dan Mullen joked and said, “Our offense did a really good job of keeping Miami’s offense on the field by turning the ball over.” Florida did that three times. Only ran 52 plays to Miami’s 94. The time in possession, Miami had a 13-minute advantage in time in possession.

Is it good that Florida found a way to win? Yes. Good teams find ways to win. That’s not going to be good enough to win week in, week out in the SEC. You’re not going to just will yourself to victory, more times than not. Maybe you can, but more times that not you’re not going to will yourself to victory on the road in Baton Rouge or in Jacksonville against Georgia, against good teams.

Andrew:                 I think the biggest thing, Nick, is the two fumbles were drive killers. I mean, they were. They were drive killers.

Nick:                         Drive killers. Momentum shifters. Both of them.

Andrew:                 Then several of the late hits were drive extenders for Miami. This is a team that is a veteran team on defense for the most part. You wouldn’t expect that. You wouldn’t expect the late hits, out of bounds, the jawing after the play, as much. You wouldn’t expect that kind of stuff. You had way too much of it. I said it was an undisciplined football team on Saturday, and that’s what it looked like on both sides. Miami was undisciplined because they were very young. Florida was undisciplined. I don’t know the answer. Was it Game 1? We’ll see as it goes on.

When I say undisciplined, it’s the penalties, turnovers. It’s the missed tackles, Nick. You had DJ Dallas with a 50-yard run. Missed tackles. You had DJ Dallas with a 40-yard screen play. Missed tackles. You had Brevin Jordan with a long 25-yard catch. Missed tackles. They allowed Miami to stay in the game long enough that Jarren Williams got really comfortable in the second half, or in the second quarter into the second half. 19 of 29 for 214 yards for Jarren Williams.

Nick, the key for me overall is 52 yards rushing for Florida. Six of those were by Tommy Townsend.

Nick:                         Shout out. Punters are people too.

Andrew:                 Yeah. But 52 yards rushing. It’s not for lack of trying. Lamical ran hard. Damien Pierce ran hard. Malik Davis ran hard. Kadarius ran hard. There’s no room. The Florida offense line was getting bullied up front in the run game. That’s what it was. Now, Miami was stacking the box some, because they didn’t respect Feleipe.

Nick:                         Yeah. We’ll get more into Feleipe, because I think there’s a lot to unpack about Feleipe. I’ll ask you. I’m not very concerned with the running game yet. I think maybe what you just brought up, because we have been talking about the offensive line, and we knew that this was going to be a tough Miami front seven. We mentioned that on the podcast and wrote about it and talked about. You’re going to have to get a push, and it’s going to be a tough, like I brought them up earlier, but it’s going to be a tough front seven when you play LSU. It’s going to be a tough front seven when you play Georgia and Tennessee and Auburn, certainly.

The offensive line is going to have to grow up, and this was their first game together. There’s going to be growing pains when you’re talking about that offensive line, but you’ve got to work around. You’re a coaching staff that makes a lot of money, and that’s your job. You got to figure out ways to be successful, ways to scheme around it if you need to.

Andrew:                 I think that the problems on defense, the missed tackles, will work itself out, but you’ve got to scheme around the non-running game. I mean, I may be biased, and I’ve said this from Day 1, but Lamical Perine is one of the best backs in the SEC. You’ve got to find a way to get one of your best players the ball, and then allow him to do something. When you’re going into a game, and you’re averaging 1.9 yards a carry, you’re not going to win very many games. You’re not going to beat Georgia like that. You’re not going to beat LSU like that. Maybe not beat Auburn like that, if you have 1.9 yards per carry rushing the ball. That’s just bad.

I put a lot of blame on the play calling as well, Nick, because it wasn’t working, and last year Mullen did a very good job of figuring out what was working and was going to that. Obviously, it was very clear early on the stand pass, the screen pass to the receivers, was going to work. Malik Davis, if he catches the pitch on the speed option, has got 15 or 20 yards. They never went back to that play. We’ve heard all off season about Jacob Copeland and Kadarius Toney. Mullen said it in post-game on Saturday. “We got to get Kadarius Toney the ball more.” I’m sick of hearing how you need to do this. Show me.

Nick:                         Shoot, early it looked like we were going to get it.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         Kadarius, after Tommy Townsend had made the fourth play of the game, Tommy Townsend runs for 6, and then Kadarius Toney took a Vaseline bath. I mean, Miami’s getting hands on him, but they’re just slipping right off, and 66 yards to the house. You think, okay. Fifth play of the game. We’re getting KT the ball. Then he ran on other plays. There was pre-snap motion with him, and you’re setting stuff up for later in the year with pre-snap motion. I think there was a jet sweep they ran to him. I think it went away from it.

Andrew:                 Well, if the offensive line is playing terrible, you better find a way to get the ball on the perimeter. Jet sweeps aren’t the perimeter.

Nick:                         It’s something that I said about Dan Enos, and you saw it early with Enos, the way he was protecting his offensive line, which has two freshmen starters, and the way he was protecting his freshman quarterback. Dan Enos likes the screen. What’s a good way to do it? Hey, let’s just get the ball out of our quarterback’s hands. If you’re Florida, and you have to start scheming around the offensive line not giving you, we can’t take a seven-step drop, we’re not going to get five seconds to throw.

Well, you’ve got playmakers. You’ve got dogs out there too. Listen, Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson are selfless players. You stack them up with Toney, they’re going to block. They’ll block 30 yards downfield if they need to. So, find ways to get Toney the ball. If that’s a stand pass, if it’s a screen, if it’s a shovel pass. Kyle Pitts as well. Shoot, you’ve got a legitimate tight end that runs like a receiver that you can put out wide.

So, I agree with you. After every first game, when you’re talking about it was North Southwestern Easterly State, it was a vanilla play call, playbook. Listen, you’re playing Miami. You’re playing to win that game, and you can’t take anything. I don’t think it was a vanilla play call or game plan by choice, but I was not inspired by the play calling for Florida, for Dan Mullen and Billy Gonzales and John Hevesy. Was not inspired by the play calling in Week 1.

Andrew:                 Nick, we talked about this throughout the week, but Florida had such a size mismatch outside. I mean, Al Blades is maybe 5’11”. He’s listed as 6’1”. We all know that’s a lie. Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland, Kyle Pitts, Trevon Grimes, they had size advantage. The pick that Feleipe throws, there’s two guys wide open. They follow that up with a 65-yard pass to Josh Hammond. You went away from that kind of stuff, of allowing your mismatches to take over the game.

Again, I blame a lot of it on the offensive line, because the offensive line didn’t protect. I blame a lot of it on Feleipe. We’ll get into this in a second. He missed several wide-open receivers in this game. But I also blame it on the play calling, like you say, because it was just a very bad play calling game. I said this, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it did look like there was some training wheels still on Feleipe in Game 1. Maybe let’s not let him get us beat. At the same time, there was several plays that they used last year, several different schemes they used last year to work around that, and there was nothing there. The creative mind of Dan Mullen, in my opinion, was not there on Saturday night.

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t think that Dan Mullen will put that play calling or that game plan on the resume. I don’t think the game went the way that they planned for it to go.

Andrew:                 Here’s the thing, Nick, that is a good Miami defense, and I give them that. That front seven of Miami is really good. Do not get me wrong about that. Florida faced some teams last year that had good front sevens or good backends, and they were able to take advantage of it. I expected to see something different out of this offense. I’m going to be honest. I expected a couple trick plays. To me, this is a personal game for Dan Mullen, just like it was for Manny Diaz. This is a game, I don’t want to say it’s must-win. No games are must-win in Game 1, but it was a game that both of them really wanted to win to set the tone. I expected something to be out of the ordinary. I expected something to get things rolling a little bit. The Tommy Townsend fake punt was a big one, but then it was like we go up 7-3 here, let’s get vanilla again.

Nick:                         Yeah. Not a game where you needed to step off the gas, or we’ve got a lead, let’s just protect it.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         This is a game where I thought if we got a chance to, let’s run it up. Here’s something to think about, and maybe I’m being a contrarian. I’ve never really been accused of making excuses for Florida. Probably more often than not I’m accused of being too hard. I feel like a lot of fans last year, and maybe even us, talking after the game when they lost to Kentucky, were writing them off, and then it turns out that Kentucky was a darn good football team last year. Maybe Miami is a better football team than we gave them credit for. We talked about it, but maybe we overlooked Miami and didn’t give Miami enough credit.

I was impressed by how Miami played, especially given all the deficiencies they have in the first year. Having to get junior college players and transfers just to fill out the roster. Credit to Manny Diaz and his coaching staff, because that was a really good football team. Definitely undisciplined, because they’re young and it’s their first game, but maybe they’re just better than we gave them credit for.

Andrew:                 I tell you what, Jarren Williams is one of the best quarterbacks Florida will face this year. I don’t care what you say.

Nick:                         Talk about the stage that you’re on. Your first game you’re playing that kind of defense. You get sacked 10 times. I would say 11, because I think Jeremiah Moon’s at the end of the game, the last play, that should be a sack.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         10 or 11 sacks, 16, 17 tackles for loss. That was a Florida defense out for blood, and he doesn’t turn the ball over once.

Andrew:                 No.

Nick:                         That joker can play some football. I was super impressed with him. I thought Florida would be able to rattle him. That was not the case. Miami’s got a good one in Jarren Williams.

Andrew:                 I was trying to tell you that he was better than a lot of people were giving him credit for. He was. I never saw him as a freshman get rattled out there on Saturday night. I don’t think he ever got outside of himself a little at all. He was very composed for the most part in the game. I think if you look back at it there’s a few plays he’d probably like to have back, where he throws it away instead of taking the sack, but that’s a little bit of a young freshman quarterback not having that time clock in his head. Overall, I do. I think that Jarren Williams is one of the better quarterbacks Florida will face. Especially with some of the down teams in the SEC, I do. I think he’ll be one of the better quarterbacks.

Maybe you’re right. Maybe Miami turns out to be a team that wins 9 or 10 games or 8 games, something like that, and they’re a better team. The defense is better, for sure. Nick, it’s one of those things. You can do your what-ifs all day long, but if they don’t have the two fumbles in the game, how is the score different? I think that Florida scores for sure on the missed handoff to Lamical there. Probably gets some points on the Malik one, because Malik was going to take that a good distance, even though it did look like he was down there. Then if he hits, Feleipe hits Tyrie Cleveland, that’s 6. Tyrie Cleveland’s not getting stopped. I mean, he was behind the defense.

Nick:                         Yeah. I tried after the game, but it was so crazy after the game, because both teams are trying to get on the bus and leave and talk to their family. The game ended so late, I just didn’t get a chance to ask Feleipe, were you trying to get to Swain there and overthrew it, or were you trying to throw it to Cleveland Swain just stopped and got in the way of it?

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         I mean, regardless, I think it might have been underthrown if you were going to Cleveland. I think, to go against something you said a little bit earlier about Franks, I think last year at times they just asked him to be a caretaker.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Just don’t blow it. I think, going back to the second interception, which it’s just not a good throw. Feleipe said he was just trying to throw it away. He was still in the pocket, so you’re not throwing the ball away. That’s intentional grounding if your intention was to throw it away.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         I think in that moment you’re seeing Dan Mullen not treating Franks like a caretaker. Sure, there was 4.5 minutes left. You were going to have to pick up two, three, maybe four 1st downs, so you’re going to have to throw the ball. Maybe you think you’re going to catch them off guard. It didn’t work out, but I think just in that instance it shows you that at least Dan Mullen, maybe the fanbase doesn’t, but Dan Mullen has more confidence in Feleipe Franks.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I get that. I do. I get that. Again, like we put it on Dan, and we put it on the offensive line, a lot of it’s on Feleipe. I told you at one time during the game, I looked over at you, and I said, “Nick, he’s going to get somebody hurt.” There was several times in the game where he was throwing the ball where he had zero reason to throw the ball. I can count two in particular, one to Lamical and one to Josh Hammond, where he had zero reason to throw the ball there. The defender took their legs out. On that 3rd and short, if he hits Kadarius, it’s a touchdown.

There was a play in the 3rd quarter, when they’re going into the red zone, when they ran quarterback power on 2nd and goal there. He has Kyle Pitts coming wide-open on the back side of the play. Never looks that way. I hate to get onto Franks and say he reverted back to old Feleipe, because I don’t think he fully reverted back to old Feleipe, but I think he went back to a little bit of that old mindset of having that time clock in his head rush a little quicker than maybe it needed to be rushed. Also, I didn’t see him looking to escape the pocket and just go. It seemed like there was never that real urgency to escape the pocket and just go.

Nick:                         That’s what we talked about. What was such a big part of the difference and the change in him over the last four, three and a half, four games, was the willingness to run and to be physical. You didn’t see that. It was kind of more just standing in the pocket and going through progressions, which is good, and you want that to happen, if that’s part of the offense. You and I aren’t privy to the play calls and to the reads and how the progressions go, but, like you said, you got an offensive line, you’re going to be pressured, because they’re young and inexperienced. Don’t be afraid to use it. You can run. I know sometimes when it gets to be a longer run it looks like a baby giraffe, but you’re a big boy. Nick Savage has put some weight on you. You can run through some people.

Andrew:                 Yeah. We talked about it. That’s what made the difference later in the year for Feleipe. Teams started respecting he was going to run the ball. Maybe he ran a little more contained instead of full on blitz, and that was something I didn’t see out of that overall.

I guess, let’s get to the big thing that’s being talked about here on Sunday. We’re taping this on Sunday. You guys are listening to this on Monday. What Feleipe said on the camera. You want to fill everybody in on what he said that kind of has Twitter and the fanbase up in an uproar?

Nick:                         I mean, it was after Franks scored the rushing touchdown. I thought Kyle Pitts was going to get in, to be honest with you, before that. After he scored, he celebrated with teammates. Obviously, the stadium was going crazy. He’s got Gator fans behind him on the sideline. There’s a sprinkling of ‘Canes fans. I think when I was down on the field at the end of the game I heard multiple players, not just Franks, going back and forth and yelling at the ‘Canes fans that were sitting behind Florida’s bench. He said something to the effect, you played it for me earlier, but it was like, “I do this. Stop playing with me. I do this.”

Listen, I’ve been around Feleipe for a little bit. I’ve been around Feleipe. I mean, I remember meeting him. He’s two years younger than his brother. I remember meeting him when his brother was a junior in high school, so I’ve been around Feleipe. I’ve seen him. We’re not going out and hanging out. We’re not friends like that, but I’ve watched him grow. That’s his personality. That’s how he is. He’s a guy that is going to wear his emotions on his sleeve. He runs hot. When something good happens, he’s going to do stuff like that. Dan Mullen’s not stopping it, isn’t going to stop it. Maybe that’s what gives him an edge, what makes him better. Whether you like it or not, that’s him. He’s not changing. You can like it. You can not like it. I’m not telling you how to feel. I’m just saying that that’s him. That’s Feleipe Franks, and that’s what he’s going to be. That’s what he’s going to continue doing.

Andrew:                 Feleipe never lacks confidence. Never does.

Nick:                         I’m just saying, my opinion on it is that I don’t really have an opinion. That’s how some guys are. Some guys are like Josh Hammond.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Doesn’t say much. Catches the ball, huge play. Might yell yeah or let’s go after it, but then hands the ball back to the referee, and he’s back in the huddle. That’s Josh. That’s how he is. That’s not how Feleipe is. Not to compare Tim Tebow and Feleipe, but that’s not how Tim Tebow was. Tim Tebow wasn’t like Josh Hammond. He was a big fiery guy. He definitely went about it in a different way than Feleipe does, but just to say there’s different ways that guys show emotion and how they are when they’re in competition in the heat of battle.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I get that. Part of me feels like is Feleipe wanting to throw shade at people? I hate to say this, because Feleipe has confidence and all that. You want your quarterback to do that. It’s almost like, bro, you didn’t even have a good game. Why are you talking smack to people? Why are you talking smack to a tv camera and acting like that? There’s no room for it. Especially when it was 24-20 at the time. You’re in a close game, and you’re talking smack. How would the narrative be today if Miami goes and scores, and they win the game? 27-24 or 26-24, whatever it may be. How would the narrative be?

I feel like, yes, I understand, and it’s good for Feleipe to have confidence. You want your quarterback to have confidence. You never want him to lack confidence, but at the same time, it’s almost like sometimes he needs to know when it’s not good to say certain things. In my opinion, at that time, just wasn’t called for. It’s like he’s throwing shade at people. I mean, bro, you had three turnovers.

Nick:                         I think it’s something he can’t turn on and off. I get the frustration. Fans want Florida to be classy and to be a certain standard, and that’s not meeting the standard that they want their university, whether they are a graduate or a fan, not what they want to represent them. I get that. At the end of the day, to steal a line from the coaches, it is what it is. That’s Feleipe Franks.

Andrew:                 I see what you’re saying, but do you see what I’m saying as well?

Nick:                         Yeah. No. I get it. I get both sides of it. I’m not trying to tell people how to feel, and you’re not trying to tell people how to feel either. I think you and I are just giving our opinions. Maybe that’s why people listen to the show. We’re just talking. I don’t know. I get it. I get people why wouldn’t like it.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         I was the same way when I was an athlete, when I was playing. I was the guy that you probably liked having on your team when I hit a double and did that stuff, but when I chucked my helmet after two strikeouts, he’s making everyone look stupid. I was. That’s part of growing up. That’s how I was. Maybe that’s why. Have I turned from a Feleipe Franks critic to a Feleipe Franks apologist? Is that’s what’s happening here?

Andrew:                 We’re getting into that in a second. I mean, like I said, I get it. I mean, I can be a hothead at times, just like anybody else. It’s just one of those things where it’s like I think it’s a no-win to do it. In my opinion, it just wasn’t the right time. But, yes, Nick, people have spoken. You’re not allowed to pick Feleipe on Fridays no more. It turns into bad news when you pick Feleipe.

Nick:                         Yup. That’s not good news. Let me pull it up, and we’ll blaze through that real quick.

Andrew:                 I mean, 17 of 27, 254 yards, two touchdowns, two INTs, and a fumble.

Nick:                         I’m going to go with no.

Andrew:                 Yeah. You’re not getting it for three turnovers. Sorry.

Nick:                         No. I am going to get a big resounding yes for Jonathan Greenard. 358 days between football games for Jonathan Greenard. He comes out, six tackles, three solo, one and a half sacks, two tackles for loss. Could have fooled me. Wouldn’t have known that he hadn’t played football in almost a full year.

Andrew:                 And you get a win for Toney. I go 0-3 this week. Marco, I mean, he had a few missed tackles and the PI. I don’t think he had a bad game, but nothing spectacular. Van Jefferson just had the one catch for 14 yards, due to your quarterback.

Nick:                         Yeah. Big fumble recovery on the punt that Jeff Thomas fumbled. I wanted to say something real quick, and I didn’t write about, but it’s something that’s been on my mind. I love the fact that Van Jefferson, who’s a senior who thought about leaving for the NFL Draft, is playing gunner on punt. The fumble recovery wasn’t the only time you saw him down there. He made a tackle on the first punt of the game, recovered the fumble. He’s giving all he has on special teams, and this is a guy who I think will have some kind of career in the NFL. Here he is in Game 1 busting his butt on special teams. Great guy too. Nice kid off the field.

Andrew:                 I wonder how much of that is his dad telling him, listen, Van, when you get to League, you better learn how to play special teams too.

Nick:                         Probably his dad. Probably the coaching staff. Listen, man, if you’re on the bubble, and you can play special teams, you’re in that bubble.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         If you can’t play special teams, and that’s something we’ve said about guys in the past. Kelvin Taylor, I was like he doesn’t really play special teams, so if you’re on the bubble in the NFL, Kelvin Taylor didn’t really have any run in the NFL. You just got to make yourself less expendable. You can do that by playing multiple positions. Teams that are drafting will look at Van Jefferson and see plays like that, and say this guy can play for us, because he’s going to save us a roster spot. He can receiver. He can play this. He can play that.

Andrew:                 I tell you what though too. We talked about this. You talked about this a minute ago. He’ll block his ass off. There is not a selfish bone in that receiver’s body. There was several times where you had Van Jefferson blocking 10 yards down the field. It’s selfless. One catch for 14 yards, you can say he’d be pissed off. He only got one catch. He’s a receiver, this, that, or the other. He didn’t care. He won the ballgame. He got a W. At the end of the day, that’s all he cares about. Like you said, that selflessness is going to show, and eventually he’s going to get his touches, and eventually he’s going to have one of those games where we say that’s what we knew Van Jefferson was capable of.

Nick:                         Yeah. Really liked that from Van. I would have given you a yes there, but I will accept your no and take a 2-0 lead.

Andrew:                 If you’re giving me a yes, then I’m taking a yes. I mean, I guess, if we want to get technical, that fumble recovery possibly was the biggest play of the game.

Nick:                         Yeah. I mean, that was huge. There were a couple plays where you can look and see that they were turning points, but if Florida doesn’t get the ball there. I mean, the missed field goal as well. There’s some plays you look at and say, you could have a different outcome with that thing.

Andrew:                 Do I get a win for Lamical for the touchdown?

Nick:                         No.

Andrew:                 Okay. That’s okay.

Nick:                         I’m taking a win for Kadarius Toney.

Andrew:                 No. I give you two. I give you two wins. Toney and Greenard are two big ones. I thought Jonathan Greenard and Jabari had really good games. Both guys were in the backfield a ton in this game. Another guy that was back there a lot was Ventrell Miller. Ended the game with two sacks, six tackles. Was tied for the lead in tackles and had the most sacks on the team. Ventrell had the one bad penalty there, but overall I thought Ventrell played really good. Ventrell will knock you out.

Nick:                         Yeah. Ventrell not someone you want to make angry. The couple unsportsmanlike penalties, those were absolute killers.

Andrew:                 Were both of them on Ventrell? Did have two or just one?

Nick:                         I think he had one. I think Marco or a cornerback had one. It was one of Marco, Dean, or Hendo. I can’t remember which one. Those have to get cleaned up. You can’t really do that.

Andrew:                 That one on the punt was a killer, or the field goal.

Nick:                         There’s stuff to be cleaned up. It’s easier to clean that stuff up, or at least you feel better cleaning it up, with a win. Let me run through this real quick.

Andrew:                 Hold on for a second.

Nick:                         You got a win.

Andrew:                 Okay. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Nick:                         Our picks. Our picks this week. You got a win. Nova beat Colgate. I got a win. Youngstown State beat Sanford. We both picked Arizona. Almost pulled it out. Almost forced to overtime but didn’t. We both picked Florida. So I went 2-2, and you went 1-3 in your picks.

Andrew:                 How did I go 1-3?

Nick:                         2-2. Sorry. I went 2-2. We both went 2-2.

Andrew:                 I was about to say.

Nick:                         You picked Florida and Nova, and I picked Youngstown State and Florida. We both picked Arizona, so 2-2 for each of us.

Andrew:                 Yeah. One thing I wanted to say was the DBs got a lot of criticism in the game for pass interference. A lot of those were questionable. Now, does it need to be cleaned up? Sure, it does. A lot of those were questionable. The personal fouls, those were there. Those happened. The holding calls, those happened. There was false starts not called both ways. There was a lot of holding not called both ways. The pass interference was just awful. Awful. Especially in the second half.

Nick:                         Yeah. There’s a lot to clean up. I didn’t expect Florida, like I said earlier, I didn’t expect Florida to look that sloppy in Week 1.

Andrew:                 It wasn’t what I expected, for sure. Overall, like you said, this may be a better Miami team than we think. Then again, it might just be that Florida isn’t as good as we thought they would be. Both are very possible. The good thing for Florida is they shouldn’t run across a big test again until Auburn. I guess you got to throw Tennessee in there, because that’s sort of a rivalry game.

Nick:                         I was about to say. Andrew, what are you doing? Your boy Jeremy Pruitt.

Andrew:                 I do like Jeremy Pruitt. I think Jeremy Pruitt’s a good coach. I still Florida is a better team than those guys.

Nick:                         You’ve been out on Auburn. Do you think Auburn’s a more difficult game than Tennessee? Both home games.

Andrew:                 I think it just depends on where they’re at, Nick. If they lose a couple games, things could be bad. If they’re winning, they’ll be okay, but if they lose a couple games where is that mindset of that football team? Where is the mindset of that coaching staff? Is Gus Malzahn the coach?

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 I mean, you and I talked about this a lot. Gus Malzahn was close to being unemployed last year.

Nick:                         Not the coach. Close to being not the coach.

Andrew:                 It was close. We’ll see how it is. The good thing is it’s Week 0. Florida has a whole week to kind of dissect this game, and then you got to prepare for UT Martin, but at the same time you can self-scout yourself a little bit in this game and figure out where it is. Is that the best starting five on the offensive line? We’ll see. We’ll see. Does Richard Gouraige maybe make a jump? We heard a lot of good things about him. Does he make a jump and knock one of the tackles out? The guard play, what happens there? I thought guard play was very suspect in the game. Where does that go? Does Emory have a package? I’ll be honest. If you told me last night Florida wouldn’t have played Emory for one snap, I’d have probably told you you were a liar.

Nick:                         Yeah. I’m not sure where I land on that, in terms of what I expect now, because I think it’s clearly Feleipe Franks’ team. People are calling for Emory to take over. That’s not going to happen.

Andrew:                 That’s not going to happen.

Nick:                         Feleipe Franks would have to really play himself out of it for Emory Jones to take over. I don’t know where. I mean, you’re not protecting a redshirt anymore, so I don’t know where he fits in. That’ll be something we need to keep an eye on and see how they plan to use and how they use Emory Jones.

Andrew:                 Yeah. That’s something to watch, for sure. Like I said, if you’d have told he wouldn’t have played last night on Saturday night, I’d have told you you were a liar, because I felt pretty comfortable he was going to play in that game. Last thing, Nick, special teams again under Dan Mullen is one of the best. We talked about Van. We talked about Tommy Townsend with the punt. McPherson had the field goals. I thought punt itself was really good. I thought punt return, did have the big play, but didn’t have any costly plays in that one as well. They did have one decent kickoff return when Miami decided to kick it short, which in my opinion is stupid. Overall, I thought special teams was pretty good.

Nick:                         I love me some special teams. It’s not just the punter and the kicker, the long snapper. It’s everyone. We talked about Van. We talked about these guys. I mean, Freddy Swain, a lot of effort. Special teams is important to this program, and it’s a gamechanger. It’s a difference maker.

Andrew:                 Especially when you’re struggling on offense or defense. If you can flip the field around or any of that, that’s big. Nick, what’s the schedule like this week, for the bye week? Florida will practice every day, but what’s the schedule like?

Nick:                         We don’t have a schedule yet.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         I’m sure we’ll talk to Dan at some point, and then Dan will also be on the SEC teleconference with the coaches on Wednesday. We didn’t have the teleconference this week, obviously, because there was one team playing. That was it.

Andrew:                 So, get ready. Ready to watch some games this weekend. A couple of interesting games. That Auburn-Oregon game will be an interesting game. A couple games of interest there. Tell everybody where they can find us, Nick. We’ll get out of here, and we’ll see everyone on Wednesday, as we’ll talk about what Mullen had to say and all that good stuff. If you haven’t checked it out, we had a recruiting reaction piece up from the game, and we’ll have some recruiting stories throughout the week.

Nick:                         Lot of guys in there.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Lot of guys. People ask me, are guys turned off because Florida barely won? At the end of the day, they saw a win. That’s what they see.

Nick:                         Well, www.GatorCountry.com is where you can find all of that. You can find the podcast there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast wherever you listen and consume your podcasts from. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 There you go. Guys, we appreciate it so much. We’ll talk to you guys this week. As always, chomp, chomp and go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.


  1. Good Stuff guys. Seeing you do this for a living you can be more direct and not ungrateful or overly critical. I think Miami looked really good and that QB, before he leaves, will be one of the best! Sure looks like it anyway. Franks is an interesting character. I’d like to see some humility from him myself and have him keep his edge too. Remember that kid from Vandy? Now he’s a big deal NFL QB? Biggest asshat in the land, BUT…he can ball a bit. All the jawin’ is trashy IMHO. Just do your thing on the field. Show us! Balance would be good. All these guys get too much fame and too much blame.