GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators 38-24 win over South Carolina on Saturday in the Swamp.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how the Gators looked on offense on Saturday against Will Muschamp’s defense, plus how the defense looked.
Andrew and Nick also talk about what it means to have DeMarckus Bowman transferring to the Gators from Clemson.
Andrew:What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, Gators win. I don’t want to say that we kind of called it, but we did kind of call it. We said that it would probably be a lot closer than expected in the game, and it was. I know people will come out and say Florida looked really good and won 38-24. I’ll say this. I thought Florida looked sloppier Saturday than they did in Game 1 offensively. Defensively, I don’t think Florida had a great game against South Carolina, but I do think they made some slight improvements in the game, just not enough yet. I just felt like offensively they had a chance to really put their foot on the throat of South Carolina and didn’t.
Nick:Yeah. I think offensively for sure you should have put that game away. Defensively, completely different ballgame from Week 1 to Week 2. I sat here last week saying it was just explosive plays. Florida didn’t give up long extended drives. That was South Carolina’s game plan. To me, and tell me if this makes sense to you, it looked like Florida’s game plan last year going to play was the offense is electric, we need to create long offensive drives of our own to keep their offense off the field. That’s what South Carolina did, or their plan was to do to Florida, and they executed that. You look at the time in possession. South Carolina was able to hold onto the ball. 11 conversions yesterday. We’ll get into the defense, but 11 conversions yesterday. They were able to keep Florida’s offense off the field.
Andrew:You and I talked about this a little bit on the Friday podcast, and I said make South Carolina do that, and you’ll win the game. They didn’t make them do that, but South Carolina, for the most part, really took advantage of that. I’m looking here. The touchdown in the 4th quarter for South Carolina was an 11-play drive, only covered 39 yards, still 11 plays. Let’s see here. Their touchdown to start the game was 12 plays, 75 yards, and their touchdown in the game was 9 plays, 48 yards. Their field goal was 11 plays. When they had extended drives, they were able to capitalize, for the most part.
Now, here’s the thing. South Carolina was Will Muschamp, definitely, for sure, in the 4th quarter. 18 plays for 74 yards. Seven minutes and 23 seconds with the game on the line, down 14 points. At times, Nick, they were snapping the ball with two seconds on the clock.
Nick:Which came right after a total Will Muschamp play. Kick a field goal to make a three-possession game a three-possession game.
Nick:If I’m Dan Mullen, thank you, Will. You iced the game for us.
Andrew:Yeah. Later on in the game, when they got the ball back with seven minutes in the game or whatever it was, it kind of said maybe that made sense a little bit more, because then you didn’t have to have the two-point conversion. But at the time, when South Carolina didn’t have much momentum, they had went punt, halftime, a fumble, and a punt, and then they kicked a field goal. At that time, it was like, what are you doing there? Why are you kicking the field goal? Later on, it looked like maybe it wasn’t as bad of a move but have some sense of urgency.
Again, they got the ball back with over eight minutes to go in the game, and you went on an 18-play, 74-yard drive and took off seven minutes and 23 seconds. At times they were walking to the line with one and two seconds left on the clock, and they were subbing in entire hockey style subs in the game. No movement at all.
Nick:I saw some people on Twitter being like, Will Muschamp’s just trying to cover. He’s not trying to win the football game. He’s just trying to cover. He made a bet.
Andrew:There you go. Whatever you got to do, big dog.
Nick:Listen, end of the day, you get a win. You’re 2-0.
Andrew:Let me stop you there. I agree but disagree with this saying, but sometimes you have to have a loss to really get your mind going. I think in Florida’s mind they’re not going to take this a loss, but they’re going to take this as we didn’t play very good. Does this maybe help overall the team in general say we won the game, but we know we can’t play this bad against A&M, against Georgia, against LSU, and expect to win football games?
Nick:I don’t know. I don’t know if this is the wakeup call. You know what I mean?
Nick:Would you like to sit here and say, yeah, sure, this definitely woke them up, but I don’t know. I don’t know if we will know until you see them next week in College Station.
Andrew:Right. That’s true. Here’s the thing for me. A&M’s offense isn’t great, by any means whatsoever. Let’s not get that confused at all.
Nick:They might look great. They might look great next week.
Andrew:It might look great. This defense is continuing, Nick, at times to just look like a team who needs to improve in the secondary. Again, I just don’t know, and I don’t understand why this team is look as bad as it is in the secondary with as many good players. I don’t want to pick on just any old body, but it was a bad game overall for Kaiir. It was a bad game overall for Marco. Those are two guys that you don’t expect to have bad games.
Listen, Shi Smith’s a very good player. Don’t get me wrong. Still, to allow 12 catches for 85 yards in the game. I know 85 yards doesn’t seme like a lot, but 12 catches in the game. It just wasn’t there. Let’s face it. Colin Hill’s just an okay quarterback. For me, Nick, even though the secondary was bad, up front they were bad on Saturday. They only had 117 rushing yards. A lot of that was because they were behind, but at times you could have ran a Mack truck through some of them holes.
Nick:I’ve got a bunch of problems with Florida’s defense right now. One of them, to me, who is that guy that can stop the run? I’m looking at TJ Slaton getting double-teamed. I think Zach Carter had a good game, but who’s the guy on Florida’s defense right now, and I go back to talking about teams that had like Dominique Easley, Shariff Floyd. You knew those guys were going to show up. They were going to make a difference in the game.
Andrew:Greenard last year.
Nick:Greenard last year. I don’t know who I can point to on Florida’s defense right now that I can say he’s going to be the guy that makes a play. He’s going to be the guy that makes a difference this week. I just don’t know if there a guy.
Andrew:Brenton Cox hasn’t shown that yet.
Nick:He has that potential, and you think that he can be that, but he hasn’t done it yet.
Andrew:Right. That’s a little odd for me, because I thought he would be a guy. Listen, here’s the thing. We’re nitpicking this to death, because there’s a lot of good things. I understand, and I get it. He’s a guy who hasn’t played in a year and a half until the last two weeks. He’s trying to get back going fully, but we haven’t seen that yet. We haven’t seen Zach Carter just fully take over a game. Now, at times Zach Carter yesterday took over the game. A couple drives he did, and he looked very well in the game. Still, you’re looking at that. You’re thinking, who’s going to be that guy?
For me, Nick, when I look at this tackle chart from yesterday, it kind of tells a tale for me. Your two leading tackles were KaiirElam and Shawn Davis. To me, that tells me everything I need to know right there, and that is they didn’t have a good game.
Nick:You don’t want cornerbacks and safeties leading your team in tackles.
Andrew:Right. No. Don’t want that at all.
Nick:You want linebackers to lead your team in tackles, not corners and safeties.
Andrew:Right. Now, again, it shows Zach Carter had a really good game, because he was eight tackles, three solo, with a half a sack and a half a tackle for loss in the game. You look at that, and you’re okay with that overall. It’s just, again, we’re nitpicking it, because we kind of have to, and just because the defense just hasn’t looked good as a whole. I don’t know that there’s one player in particular you can look at and say, they’re not playing well. I think it’s just overall the defense as a whole just isn’t playing well.
Nick:Yeah. I explained it away. Like I just said, I explained it away last week as you weren’t giving up long sustained drives, and maybe it was just rust, because it was some chunk plays. But couldn’t get off the field. I said this South Carolina offense is just what the doctor ordered for Florida, after getting beat up by Ole Miss, who I think is going to be a great offense. They did it again. Did it to Kentucky last night. They’re going to make teams look bad. That’s just Ole Miss has good players, good skill position players. Lane Kiffin can draw up some ball plays. That’s not what I expected Florida’s defense to look like against South Carolina.
Andrew:Right. The thing for me, Nick, and this is a thing that’s irked me for the last few years under Grantham, but really on Saturday I think it rolled its ugly head. When you look at 3rd downs, at times Florida was giving South Carolina 7 and 8 and 9- and 10-yard cushions to do their thing offensively. Will Muschamp, he took advantage of it by just running little slant routes, running crossing routes, just different things like that. You wonder. Get up in the face of them. Make some of these receivers beat you. Allow your defensive linemen to kind of take hold there.
I think that’s a thing that I’m wondering with Grantham is why he’s not kind of taking advantage of that. I think in a way you kind of have to cover up that fact that your defense just isn’t getting the pressure, so maybe get over there and get that press to allow that other second. At times it was just pitch and catch easy. You and I could have thrown and caught the ball to get a 1st down. I just didn’t understand it. Especially Shi Smith, Nick, at times they had Marco and Kaiir 7, 8, 9 yards off the ball. It was easy. Slant route, boom. 1st down. It was 3rd and 7. One time it was 4th and 7, and they were 9 yards off the ball. It’s like, let me just turn around, catch it, I got a 1st down.
Nick:Watching it on TV, are they playing off everyone? To me, it seems like the guy playing field, the cornerback on the field side, is off, and then the guy on the boundary is in press. To me, it’s not like everyone’s playing off, but maybe that’s just me trying to do a bunch of things while at the game, and it’s something that you can see better on TV.
Andrew:No. At times it is. At times it is press on one, on the boundary side, and off coverage on the field side, but then at times it’s all the way off. Again, I’m not Todd Grantham here, and I don’t know what he sees differently, but for me I want Kaiir Elam and Marco Wilson in the opposing team’s face every play, or most of the plays, because I like their ability to jam up at the line of scrimmage.
Nick:Right. To me, I think you touched on it a little bit, does it almost seem like Todd Grantham’s trying to call plays to disguise stuff or to hide players or to hide deficiencies?
Nick:I’ve stuck up for him, and I think he’s a great football coach, to the point where people are wondering if he’s paying me, but to me maybe that’s it. Maybe. They obviously know more than we know.
Nick:They see the guys every day, and they’re the ones calling plays. Maybe there’s a glaring deficiency that they’re trying to hide with the way they’re calling stuff.
Andrew:Right. Maybe. I don’t know. We’re not privileged to watch practice this year or anything like that. It’s concerning to me. Again, Todd Grantham’s a hell of a lot smarter than I’ll ever be defensively, done it a long time. There’s a reason for the madness. Again, we get paid to do this, be the armchair quarterback. I just feel like at times they could do things differently to allow the pass rush to get there. Again, we’ve been so accustomed to watching Grantham bring five, six, seven guys at a time, and I think I can count on one hand how many times they just kind of brought a lot pressure up there. It just seems like they’re kind of content right now playing coverage. Obviously, that just isn’t working right now.
Nick:Maybe you’re not bringing guys because you don’t think that you can handle playing man coverage. I mean, there’s so many different reasons why you would be calling the plays that you’re calling. To me, I’m just not inspired with watching Florida’s defense and the product that they’re putting out right now.
Andrew:That’s the thing. People have been tweeting about it and saying Florida has an offense capable of going to the playoffs, and defensively they have a defense capable of losing four games.
Nick:When did you think you’d say that?
Andrew:Yeah. Listen, do I get that? Sure, I do. I understand what they’re saying, but I do think that this defense has the capability. I think they have the guys to turn this around. I don’t think this is a bad defense. I think they can figure it out and get better. It’s just a matter of doing it. Is this a product that in Game 5 it’s going to turn around, when they’ve had the opportunity to tackle more? I don’t know. I will say this. We have talked about the last couple years Florida having issues tackling.
Nick:It’s tough. You can’t make an excuse just for Florida, because everyone’s doing it. You’re not tackling the way that you used to tackle. You don’t want to get injuries. Developments with CTE, you’re not getting that same kind of physical practice. You’re tackling those foam donuts now and doing stuff like that. I don’t know though. The tackling is an issue.
Nick:Hopefully it gets better as you play more games, and you knock some rust off, but still an issue right now.
Andrew:Again, I think it’s a legit question mark of what’s going on. It’s not even that these are young guys. That’s what’s even concerning to me a little bit is it’s not like these are young guys that are out there playing and missing tackles. You got the Amari Burney’s of the world just out there missing tackles, and that’s not good.
One thing I will say, Nick, and you talked about this a little bit off the air with me. I think Trey Dean’s earned himself some more playing time.
Nick:Week 1, I think we were both surprised that he didn’t play more, especially when Shawn Davis goes out. You think he’d be the next guy up. You put Torrance in instead, and he kind of looks like a freshman. I thought Trey Dean looked really good when he was in the game with Shawn Davis yesterday.
Nick:Why are you not seeing more of it, I guess?
Andrew:That’s kind of where I’m at as well. Why are we not seeing more of him? What is it in practice, or whatever, that’s showing that he’s not able to? I really think Trey Dean’s earned himself more playing time, for sure. Over some of the guys, especially with Brad out, with Stiner and those guys, I feel like Trey’s athletic ability right now is better. Again, I just think overall in the secondary they’ve got to get better. Right now, I think they might need to go to more zone coverage than man, even though that’s a Grantham special. Something’s got to get these guys to settle in a little bit.
Andrew:Let’s go to offense though. Again, we talked about the offense. I think the offense for three quarters played reallywell, and then it almost seemed like they got the lead and kind of camped out a little bit, I would say. Let’s see here. The last three drives they went INT, punt, and then they had the end of the game. Those last two drives were really bad. They had the INT. For me, Nick, the entire series Kyle Trask just looked off.
Nick:Yeah. To me, the offense looked fantastic. It was a tale of two halves.
Andrew:I think it was a tale of three quarters compared to one.
Nick:Yeah. The last drive, not the last drive, but when Florida comes out, and they probably could have iced the game, and they come out passing. To me, I think a lot of people on our message board, lot of people on social media, were like what are you doing? Why are you throwing the ball? Come out there and run it and ice it. To me, it’s just that’s not what you are. That’s not what you are offensively.
Nick:You’re not going to go out and just do something just to do it. That’s not who you are offensively. Now, talking out the other side of my neck, what happened to Dameon Pierce yesterday? Comes out running the ball hard. Five carries on the first drive. Looks great. Ends the game with nine carries. To me, why’d you go away from that? I know that’s not who you are. Kyle Trask was throwing the ball really well.
Andrew:You look at the team in general, Nick. They only had 16 carries. Malik only had four carries in the game. Nay’Quan had one carry, and Dameon had nine on the drive. You look at it overall, and you almost said, we’re going to get away from the running game. I thought, honestly, after the first drive, Nick, I said, this team’s going to run all over South Carolina.
Nick:That’s what I thought.
Andrew:Don’t know. Again, it’s a different thing. Don’t get to see as much. I was shocked by that. I really was. I was shocked that they didn’t try to run the ball more and that we didn’t see Malik as much. I thought after Week 1 we had seen enough from Malik to say he’s ready, he’s capable of being, I don’t want to say the bell cow, because I think Dameon Pierce still is, but he’s capable of getting a lot of touches in the game. He got six touches in the game, four rushing and two receiving. I don’t think that’s enough.
Nick:It’s hard to argue, the way that Kyle Pitts and Kyle Trask and the passing game looks, it’s hard to argue that you should be throwing less, but I agree with you. After watching that first drive, I thought they were going to be able to run the ball right down South Carolina’s throat.
Andrew:Yeah. Again, here’s the thing. We all know, and you and I have talked about this many times, and that is Florida is a passing team. We’ve been begging them to, if the running game’s not there, just go to running the ball, but I think in those opportunities where it’s like that, where it’s into the game, you need to be able to do that. You need to be able to just sit back and run the ball to ice the game.
Andrew:I don’t know. How did you feel the offensive line looked?
Nick:I thought the offensive line was better. I thought, in my opinion, Stewart Reese had a better game. That was probably a guy that I think you and I were both kind of like, they didn’t run behind him in the Ole Miss game. So, I thought the offensive line played better. I’m still not …
Andrew:Interesting you say you thought Stewart had a better game. I thought Stewart played bad. There was a couple plays, Nick, in the passing game, where he was just simply beat, beat bad. Again, I didn’t see the Demarkcus Bowman, and we’re going to talk about that. That news broke in the middle of the game, and I was kind of scrambling, so I obviously didn’t get to focus as much, and I haven’t rewatched the game yet, but I didn’t think Stewart played too well overall.
Nick:I think the play that stands out to me is Trask’s run. I thought he kind of broke that. He had a really good block on that play. Maybe it’s just one play that stands out to me.
Andrew:Definitely saw the absence of Emory there with Kyle having to run the ball more.
Nick:That’s something we were watching, if you were following along with us on the website. We did not think Emory was going to play, sent that before the game, and then I’m watching him as the team is warming up. He’s out there in pads and a helmet, but he’s got some kind of brace on his arm, and he didn’t throw a single pass during warmups. It was pretty clear that he was not playing, and that if anything would have happened, Anthony Richardson would have been the backup there.
Andrew:We had heard early on that we thought he was going to play, Anthony Richardson was going to play a little bit, and then obviously he didn’t. Again, I don’t blame Dan Mullen for that at all. I think you want Kyle Trask with the ball in his hands. I don’t think you want Kyle Trask, per se, running some of those that he did, and he had that fumble that was kind of, I would say just a better play by South Carolina overall.
Once again, Nick, Kyle Pitts was unstoppable in the game. Probably the play of the game was Kadarius’s catch and run. Showed that not only can he run, but he can break a few tackles.
Nick:I think he’s still covered in Vaseline. My goodness. There were, what, five guys around him, and all of a sudden, he’s in the endzone. Second play for him of over 50 yards. He’s got a run and a catch now.
Andrew:It was one of those where he kind of just stopped a little bit in the middle of the huddle, and they all thought he was down, and they kind of hit each other, and then he was like, okay, I’m done, and he shot out of a bullet, and he was gone. Good luck catching him once he gets in the open field. Really good game for Kadarius, and overall good game. Once again, didn’t try to do too much on punt game when it wasn’t there. Overall, just played a well rounded game. Kyle Pitts had a good game overall, four catches, 57 yards, not as much in the game, and I think you’re going to have those games. Trent Whittemore with another really big catch for a touchdown. His first career touchdown.
Nick:How about that? Hometown boy getting his first touchdown catch. He probably had the biggest cheering section, because didn’t have to go far. That’s something that you’ll never forget. You grew up watching games in a stadium. I think his mom played volleyball at Florida, so he’s a legacy. Special moment for him.
Florida keeps continuing, I know you look at Kyle Pitts’snumbers, and it’s easy to say they’re force-feeding Pitts, but 11 guys catch a pass Week 1. Nine guys catch a pass Week 2. You’re spreading the ball around. Sure, Kyle Pitts has crazy numbers, and he’s going to, because he’s a mismatch, but Florida spreads the ball around. I think it’s not lip service when Dan Mullen says, we just take what the defense gives us. I think that’s what they’re doing, and I think that’s probably why the offense is as successful as it is, because I think Kyle Trask makes good decisions.
Andrew:When I look at it, I go back to LSU last year. I go back to Alabama the last few years. They have several routes that are ready for the big play, and then they always have that crossing route/safe route. The quarterback understands where the safe route is. This isn’t open. I don’t want to take this chance. Let me just check it down and get a 1st down, but then I have the playmakers there, like Kadarius, that it’s not just a check down and get five yards. It has the opportunity to go 50, like Kadarius did. I think that Kyle Trask has really taken the entire offensive concept and understands it now and just knows this is where I can go, this is what I can do, and then if not, here’s where I can go. I feel like he just goes through his progressions so quick that it really makes this offense go and click like Dan Mullen wants it to.
Nick:Yeah. I think Dan Mullen’s probably even said it. The term game manager is sometimes used as a knock or a way to bring a quarterback down, but I think that’s what he’s doing. I think he’s managing it, and I don’t think that’s a bad term. I don’t think that makes him less.
Andrew:Is Tom Brady a game manager? In his prime at New England.
Nick:Not right now. He’s thrown a pick six in four of his last six games. As a Dolphins fan, you love to see it.
Andrew:But I’m saying when he was in New England, was he a game manager? I think you could make the argument that if that’s what you’re going to call a guy like Kyle Trask, then you have to call Tom Brady, who is probably the greatest quarterback of all time.
Nick:Why you got to hurt my feelings?
Andrew:Yeah. Here, look at the numbers. 21 of 29. He had the interception and the fumble, but threw four touchdowns, 268 yards. That’s a really good game.
Nick:The interception, not even his fault.
Andrew:It wasn’t even an interception, first of all. The ball hit the ground. I don’t know why it wasn’t reviewed, but the ball clearly hit the ground.
Nick:I didn’t even see it. I didn’t even see the replay, I don’t think.
Andrew:It was pretty clear. Pretty clear, my friend.
Nick:I haven’t even done my rewatch yet of the game.
Andrew:It was pretty clear that the ball had hit the ground, and that it wasn’t a fumble, I mean it wasn’t an interception. And Kadarius slipped on the play.
Nick:Grimes and KT tripped, I think tripped each other up.
Andrew:Yeah. I will say this. Florida did get lucky on the Whittemore touchdown. Justin Shorter had a clear pick there for an offensive pass interference, but it wasn’t called.
Nick:Oh yeah. That would have been called blocking the NBA all day long.
Andrew:Yeah. For sure.
Nick:Wrapped him up. Maybe Justin Shorter can play defense, because that was almost a great tackle.
Andrew:That was there. Grimes and Copeland had, I would say, off days. Copeland had two targets to him and caught one of them. Grimes had three targets to him. He caught two of them. Xzavier Henderson looked really good though on his catch. I thought he was explosive off of his routes. Again, just nitpicking things overall, but that’s what you get to do when you win the game. Looked at A&M, and A&M looked pathetic against Alabama.
Nick:Alabama looks good.
Andrew:Alabama’s really good. Let’s go to some picks this week. You and I both will take Ws for Trask and Pitts in the game. You had Malik, and that’s a big fat no.
Nick:Yup. No. Four carries, nine yards. He had a catch, I think.
Andrew:Two catches. Kadarius, big fat win for me.
Nick:Big win. Six catches for 86 and a touchdown, two rushes for -4, but we’re talking about the 86 and the touch.
Andrew:That was play of the game, so that’s there. Then defensively, neither one.
Nick:I had Shawn Davis, seven solo tackles and a pass breakup.
Andrew:Then I had Brenton Cox with five tackles in the game and a half a sack and three quarterback hurries. Again, we talk about Brenton not having a huge game, but when you go to the stats, it looks better there.
Nick:You were told the same thing as me, the kid’s a monster. You’ll see. Best defensive player Todd Grantham’s ever had. I’m just like, I’m waiting. I’m waiting. You could see it’s there. It’s just he hasn’t put it all together yet.
Andrew:Right. Yeah. I’ll you what though, Zach Carter’s the one that most improved guy so far.
Nick:Oh yeah. He’s having a year. He’s putting it together.
Andrew:By the way, I have to mention this real quick. Andrew Chatfield, oh my word. He speared that boy. I don’t care what nobody says. He just picked that boy up and dropped him.
Nick:How about fricking James Houston? Absolutely made a running back decide, or made him question if football’s the sport for him.
Andrew:Yes. That was a good hit. Jeremiah Moon had a big hit too.
Nick:Yeah. Welcome back, Jeremiah Moon.
Andrew:Are you giving me three for three or what?
Nick:No. Two. Two for three.
Andrew:Then I’m not giving you Shawn Davis.
Nick:No. I mean, that makes no sense. Shawn Davis was second on the team in tackles. Brenton Cox, we literally just talked about him not being up to the standard that we thought he would be.
Andrew:Shawn Davis had three more tackles than Brenton. He had a pass breakup, and Brenton had a sack and three quarterback hurries.
Nick:If you want to take a win like that, go ahead. If it makes you feel better.
Andrew:Let us know on Twitter.
Nick:Hope you can sleep at night.
Andrew:Let us know on Twitter. Do I get a win or not? Let’s do, we both did terrible picking teams.
Nick:I picked TCU. We both picked Auburn. Loser. We both picked Mississippi State. Loser. How about Feleipe Franks though?
Nick:Feleipe Franks torches Mike Leach and Mississippi State. He gets the big win. We both picked Kentucky, and I will go out and tell you right now, I’m done picking Kentucky. I went on radio in Knoxville with our buddy Trey, and I go, If I’m Florida, I’m not worried about Tennessee, I’m worried about Kentucky. 0-2. Then we both picked Florida. I think I picked South Carolina with the points, and you picked Florida to cover.
Andrew:No. We both went under. I talked you into going under, and I think we both went that. Yeah. Because I had said I didn’t think Florida would cover by 17. Let’s go to some other news though. Like I said, in the middle of the game DemarkcusBowman news breaks that he’s transferring to Florida. We had, I think, the only story with full quotes from Demarkcus.
I told you, Nick. Talking to Demarkcus, man, that was upsetting. Great news for Florida, but it was upsetting when he explained about his grandpa and that kind of stuff. I really and truly believe that that was the only reason he went to Clemson, and I really believe that when grandpa died, he just kind of thought, why am I here? He felt alone and everything else up there. Big pickup for Florida. You talk about a guy who has the potential to be All-SEC kind of guy, All-American kind of guy. Really steps in and is kind of your running back for 2021, because he won’t be on campus until January. He’s going to finish classes at Clemson and workout this fall, the rest of this semester. I think it’s a big pickup for Florida. Really fills that void that they were going to have with no running back in the class.
Nick:What a way to fill that void.
Andrew:Yeah. The thing is you continue that pipeline. You and I have talked about this a ton, and that is continue to fill that pipeline, continue to make Lakeland Gator territory, because they always have top notch players.
Nick:Got to rub that in my face too, huh?
Nick:Still not over it, Lakeland.
Andrew:It’s all right. Talk to Ahmad.
Nick:Still not over it. Transfer portal U, but I’ll take it.
Andrew:Talk to Ahmad.
Nick:He ruined three years of high school for me.
Andrew:Give me your thoughts here. What do you feel on the pickup?
Nick:Huge. Obviously huge. Demarkcus Bowman was a guy that, did they sign a running back last year?
Andrew:No. They haven’t signed a running back in two years.
Nick:It was basically Demarkcus Bowman or bust last year, and you busted. Obviously, feel terrible for him and his loss, but essentially you got Bowman with a redshirt is what you essentially got.
Andrew:Not even a redshirt, because this year don’t count.
Andrew:Yeah. You basically got a back and signed him. I think that pretty much sums up the running back class for this year, not that they were even going to take one, but I think if there was any even thought about it, it’s over with, done with now.
Nick:I think it’s going to be a huge pickup. It’ll be interesting to see when he gets down and how everything goes, but I think it’s a huge pickup. Not only because of the player that he is, but also like you said, keep that pipeline strong.
Andrew:Again, I think he’s just a guy that’s going to come in, and I think he’s going to do really well in Dan Mullen’s offense. He’s a guy that can catch out of the backfield and kind of does everything. I’ll say this though, go back real quick, and that is Nay’Quan Wright’s a hell of a pass blocker.
Andrew:Did not realize how good of a pass blocker he was, but he’s a hell of a pass blocker.
Nick:Maybe they’ll give him some more reps.
Andrew:Again, where you getting reps from? A lot of guys there. Nick, any final thoughts? We’ll have our man Ryan Brauninger on this week. We’ll get him to break down A&M for us, and we’ll get ready for that game. It has been announced that it’s going to be a nooner.
Nick:Here’s a note. Let me pull this up, so I don’t get it wrong. First time Florida has had three consecutive SEC noon kickoffs since 2003. Second time this year that I will be at a game that kicks off at 11:00 AM.
Nick:Yeah. Florida stays at #3 in the Coaches Poll. Gets hopped by Georgia in the AP Poll. Florida is now fourth in the AP poll. Georgia is third. You can go ahead and be angry about it. Doesn’t matter. The two teams play in Jacksonville, so it doesn’t matter where Georgia’s ranked. Doesn’t matter where Florida’s ranked. Whoever wins that game in Jacksonville, they’re ranked higher.
Andrew:So, they stay #3 in the Coaches Poll, correct?
Nick:Yes. #3 in the Coaches, #4 in the AP. Tied with Georgia at #3 in the Coaches. Georgia moves up, but doesn’t hop Florida, in the Coaches. They’re tied.
Andrew:I thought Georgia looked really good. Now, I don’t know that JT Daniels was cleared to play, because if he was, I thought he’d play. I feel like Auburn is still Auburn, and Gus Malzahn is still trash.
Nick:You’re off the Gus bus.
Andrew:I’ve never been on the Gus bus.
Nick:Off the Gus bus.
Andrew:I’ve never been on the Gus bus. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here and get ready. Big week for you and I. We might hate each other this week. Braves-Marlins.
Nick:All I will say is the Marlins have never lost a playoff series 7-0.
Andrew:We’ll take pride in stopping it.
Nick:Got to play in Houston.
Andrew:It is going to play in Houston. Let me say this real quick. These playoffs, you look at Oakland and Houston. They hate each other. You look at the Rays-Yankees. They hate each other. Lately the Braves-Marlins have had bad blood too. They don’t like each other. Then definitely San Diego and LA don’t like each other.
Nick:Should be some exciting playoff baseball. The other playoff that’s happening, please play for my Miami Heat.
Andrew:When’s Game 3?
Nick:Sunday night. I don’t want to talk about it.
Andrew:You got like half your starting lineup out, right?
Nick:Don’t want to talk about it. Not great.
Andrew:My Hawks suck, and the world gets to watch Dan Quinn lose again on Monday Night Football.
Andrew:Lot of changing parts in the NFL. Covid has hit them pretty good this week. Cam Newton probably the biggest one so far to be out with Covid. Covid’s hitting the NFL world. I don’t know. I was talking to Lamical Perine about it. The protocols and the testing they have, I don’t know how anybody’s testing positive for that mess.
Andrew:But is what it is. Tell everybody where they can find us, Nick. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Wednesday with Mr. Brauninger.
Nick:www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. The podcast is 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’m @NickdelaTorreGC. He’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew:There you go. Guys, we appreciate it. We’ll see everyone on Wednesday. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.
Nick:You stay classy, Gator Country.