GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators come from behind win over South Carolina on Saturday in the Swamp.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown how the Gators offense rebounded behind a strong running game from Feleipe Franks and the running backs.
Andrew and Nick also breakdown what’s wrong with the defense the last few weeks.
Andrew: What’s up Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, we’re talking a come from behind victory, and I’m going to be honest with you, middle way of the third quarter I thought we were going to come on here and I was going to tell you that I told you so, when I said that the game could get out of hand. You and I are both glad we’re talking about a victory. It was a gut check, big-time victory, and I think you and I both would agree, exactly what we said we didn’t want to see didn’t happen, and that was we did not see players quit. I think that was a great thing for everyone involved.
Nick: I think people might have been thinking that the players quit when it was first quarter maybe or 31-14. The game was 31-14 with 4:41 left in the third quarter.
Andrew: Yeah. At that point in time, I tweeted, and not to toot my own horn, I said it’s gut check time. I said, are we going to see the same old answers that we saw the last few years, or are we going to see what Dan Mullen has preached to these guys, and that is go out, you leave it all on the line, and you play the next play. That’s exactly what we saw, Nick.
I’ll say this. You and I were hard on Feleipe last week, and I think we were right in our being hard on him, but I’ll say this, and I said this on Twitter as well, he showed some mental toughness in the game that personally I wasn’t sure he had. Wasn’t his best day throwing by any means, 15 of 21 for 161. I think what makes it not his best day is the six incompletions he had were just awful throws, but he had a good game running the ball, 36 yards. He had three touchdowns overall. Again, I think it was the toughness that he showed in this game. Listen, all the storylines, including with you and I, were he shouldn’t be the guy this week, that it should have been Kyle Trask. Boom, he got hurt, and it was his game. It was toughness, and I’m glad to see it for Feleipe.
Nick: Didn’t start off well. Pull up his quarterback progression. Didn’t start off poorly. Completed his first two passes. I think the pass, that first play of the game to Scarlett, that was designed. There was no read. That’s essentially a running play, but it’s also a play just to get he gets a completion. He saw a ball go into somebody’s hands. He gets a completion. That first drive, coming into the game we talked about South Carolina not being able to stop the run. That first drive was like pass, pass, pass, pass, punt.
Andrew: Actually, first two drives really.
Nick: I think, no, they ran the second drive. They threw some screens, I think, to Hammond. Second drive was Lamical. Lamical was just pounding the ball and ended up punching one in there too.
That’s just what happened. I think they tried to get Feleipe involved, but I was really impressed with the way he ran the football yesterday. The way that Jordan Scarlett ran, Lamical Perine ran. Kadarius Toney. Dan Mullen said, when he touches the ball it’s electric. It doesn’t look like what we drew up. It doesn’t look like what we practiced, but he makes stuff happen. He had four carries for 51 and two catches for 33. I mean, six touches and almost 100 yards. Then Feleipe Franks ran hard. He ran angry. We’ll get into that. He ran like he was pissed off at somebody or everybody.
Andrew: Right. Again, I’ll say the first drive, just of the game, that Dan Mullen showed why he’s an offensive guru. I think that was why you and I were so upset, I guess, with the Missouri game. Is upset the word to use, Nick? I don’t know the word to use. You and I both said the Missouri game was on everyone. It was on Feleipe. It was on the offensive line. It was on the defense, and it was on Dan Mullen. I thought Dan Mullen did not call a very good game in the Missouri game. Would you agree with that?
Nick: I would agree with you.
Andrew: Okay. I think in this game he called a perfect game. He knew what he had to do. He had to run the football. Again, I’m not saying this on Feleipe, but he knew he could not make Feleipe stand back there and throw the ball 30 or 40 times. He knew that. First of all, it wasn’t needed. I mean, everyone in the stadium, in the world, knew what was coming most of the day, running the ball, and they still racked up 367 yards of rushing yards in the game. Two guys over 100 in Scarlett and Perine.
It was just an overall a very, very well drawn up game plan. For the most part, it was executed well. There was a couple of bad throws on Feleipe part where it had happened and they had to punt the ball. They had the missed field goal as well, and we forget about that. It could very easily have been 38-31 in the game. They had the Kadarius dropped the punt, and that led to three points, or to a touchdown for South Carolina. Excuse me, it was a field goal in that. It was a game plan that I thought was well executed for the most part in the game. I think Dan Mullen didn’t over think this game plan.
Nick: I agree with that. Listen, not to be negative about it, but when you start running the ball like that, you just keep doing it. You go over to John Hevesy and say, whatever you’re telling the offensive line, tell them that again.
Andrew: Let’s also call it like it is.
Nick: Tell Greg Knox, just keep rotating them. Keep them in there. Their legs are going to be sore tomorrow, but we’re going to use them today.
Andrew: Let’s also give credit where credit’s due, and that is Scarlett and Perine ran like a bat out of hell. I mean, Scarlett, poor #10, I’m dropping his name now, but that poor guy, oh my God, he might have a concussion today. On back to back plays, Scarlett was just dropping the load on the guy, just full of steam dropping his shoulder and running over the guy. That was the best game I’ve seen Jordan Scarlett run all year, and it was a game that Jordan Scarlett hasn’t looked like he has in the past. For the first time all year, Jordan Scarlett looked like the guy his freshman and sophomore year.
Nick: 18 carries 159 yards, and definitely getting yards after YAC there.
Andrew: There you go. I think for me, Nick, and I’m going to say this, and I said this to you during the game. I’m going to say this again. When Kadarius Toney is touching the ball, he’s one of the best athletes in the country. I know some people are going to call me biased or whatever. I don’t care. Nick, he really is. I know he makes some head scratching runs where he decides to cut it all the way back across the field, but don’t all phenomenal athletes do that? You know what I mean?
I’m just going to throw some names, and I’m not comparing him to these names, but go back to guys like Reggie Bush, Percy, those guys. They do that kind of stuff. You watch it in the NFL right now. Tyreek Hill and those guys, they’re doing that kind of stuff. They believe. They trust their speed enough that they can cross fields and get a 1st down. They never think they can’t outrun someone.
Again, Kadarius had some head scratching plays. The punt returns just did not work out his way. He double caught the first one, and then he just dropped the second one. A lot of that is inexperience and him trying to run before he catches it, but when he’s got the ball in his hands special things happen, Nick.
Nick: Yeah. Sometimes I’ll tell you during a game, he’ll do something, and I’ll say, it’s not high school.
Andrew: Right. But don’t all great athletes do that?
Andrew: That’s kind of my thing. All great athletes kind of do that. 14 yards per touch on Saturday.
Nick: That’s not bad. Getting the job done there.
Andrew: Would you agree with me, he’s one of the better athletes?
Nick: Yeah. He’s a phenomenal athlete. I don’t he has ACLs or Achilles. He doesn’t have any leg in there.
Andrew: He’s doing things you’re not doing.
Nick: My knee hurts watching him cut and break like that. To me, the thing with him is, yeah, keep finding ways to get him the ball. Dan Mullen even said that yesterday after the game. He said, that’s on me. We need to get him more touches. We need to find more ways. It goes back to what we’ve said about him all year. Yes, he is that crazy athlete, but how many times can you run a bubble screen to him or a wildcat?
Nick: At some point it’s on him too to become a complete receiver. He was on the field a lot more. Kyle Pitts didn’t really do anything, but Kyle Pitts was on the field a lot. To me, that’s encouraging as well.
Andrew: Lucas Krull was on the field a lot more.
Nick: Yeah. He was on the field, caught that on the first drive, had the first down.
Andrew: He’s on special teams flying around the ball. Let me ask you this though. You said what Dan Mullen said. You know it’s on him. In my opinion, and I’m not making excuses for Kadarius, he has a long ways to go as a receiver. I mean, I know he has NFL aspirations. He’s got to finetune his route running and that kind of stuff. Isn’t it also on Dan Mullen to figure out ways to get him the ball? I say this, and I’m not being hostile to Dan Mullen at all, but why did it take eight games to figure out you could hand him the ball in the backfield? We didn’t see it until last week.
Andrew: That was something Percy Harvin, that was a mainstay for Percy. Go back to the Arkansas game, that’s his biggest run of his career as far as a running back goes. That kind of stuff. You take out the element of having to throw and catch it to him, and you just hand it to him.
Nick: Yeah. I like that. Just putting him in the backfield, and now you’ve put it on tape that we’ll hand the ball off to him. You’ve already thrown the ball to him. You’ve started in the backfield, and you’ve motioned out. Just putting him back there, now you’ve got three different things that can happen that a defense has to account for.
Andrew: Exactly. Did do the double pass to Feleipe. You almost had disaster in several different ways.
Nick: They did not bite. Safeties stayed home. They were trying to get that ball to, I think it was Lucas Krull down the field.
Andrew: It was a good designed play though, because if you think about, when Kadarius is out there most of the time you just forget about the quarterback when he’s lined up outside. You usually just forget about him, don’t account for him. It was something there.
Nick: Also, they’ve shown that play. They’ve run that play 100 times this year where they run the wildcat and Feleipe just takes that step back and puts his hands up waiting for a pass, and it’s never happened. That’s Will Muschamp. Will Muschamp had his team ready for that.
Andrew: He didn’t have his team ready for a lot of other things. We’ll get into that. That was a scary moment, and that was good on Feleipe’s part. He didn’t force it. He took off, and he ran. He did a good job there.
Wanted to hit on the offensive line for a second, Nick. Bounce back game for those guys, for the most part. Feleipe as well. Nick, there was several times in the game where you could have counted to 10. Feleipe could have taken a nap back there, because he had so much time in the pocket just to sit back there and really go through his reads. Wasn’t forced to make a quick decision or anything like that.
The offensive line, and we said this even in the Missouri game, really outside the Missouri game they played well. They’ve improved every game, except for the Missouri game. I think the Missouri game you can put that on a lot of other factors as well. Bad offense, offensive line looking bad isn’t always bad offensive line play. There’s several other factors that can go into it. Overall, I thought the offensive line did well. Any time you can get 367 yards on the ground hats off to the offensive line.
Nick: For me, the only frustrating part was the procedural penalties.
Andrew: That’s got to stop.
Nick: Week 12 now? We’re going into Week 12.
Andrew: Fred, I mean, it’s very easy man. Your helmet has to be on the waist of Nick Buchanan. You can’t be lining up seven yards in the backfield, big guy. Then Jawaan, big guy, you can’t false start. I’m sorry.
Nick: You know the count.
Andrew: You know the count, big guy. Can’t do that. Then you had the holding on Martez. That’s that. The procedural penalties have got to go. That’s something that was not there earlier in the year. It just started to really get there over the last three games really. I think it started in the Georgia game. That’s got to stop.
Nick: There’s no reason for that. You’re not on the road. You’re not having to use a silent count. You know the cadence. Same quarterback that you’ve heard his cadence a million times. There’s no reason for procedural, false start stuff like that, especially at this point in the season. Great teams don’t have that kind of stuff.
Andrew: Right. Let’s go to the hot topic, Feleipe. Didn’t start, like you said, he had some bad throws and all that.
Nick: Got booed coming off the field after the very first drive.
Andrew: Right. Liked the brass he had, per se. If there’s any women listening, I won’t say brass, but everybody knows what I’m talking about. I liked the resilience that he had. It could have been easily, and, Nick, I won’t lie, I’ll sit right here and I’ll admit it, and I guarantee you thought this, whether you admit it or not, Nick, I don’t know. After that first drive, I said, oh shit, here he goes again, because Feleipe has shown in the past that he lets one bad series go to the next and the next and the next. I thought, oh shit, here it comes again. It didn’t happen. Props to Feleipe for that. Props to Dan Mullen for that. He was able to bounce back.
Nick: That’s true. I mean, there was some bad throws. Really with him it’s always high.
Andrew: Fast ball, no change up.
Nick: High, and they got some heat on them. His quarterback progression isn’t bad when you look at it. At one point he completed five in a row, completed seven of his first nine, eight of his first 10. At the end of the day, he completed 15 of 21. That’s good. He had two rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown, three touchdowns. To me, it’s a good game. Did he look great? No. At the end of the day, when you watch the game over again, Feleipe Franks had a good game.
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying. I think there’s some throws he’d like to have back, but overall he did a good job. Will you admit that after that first drive you thought, here we go again?
Nick: After the third drive in the game, I thought, here we go again, because after the third drive of the game it was 14-0, and Florida had had a pretty lackluster first drive.
Andrew: Right. Exactly.
Nick: That third drive in the game, down 14-0, I’m thinking, oh jeez.
Andrew: Spivey’s right. It was going to be a blowout.
Nick: Going to be a long day.
Andrew: You want to hit on the hot topic, or you want to wait?
Nick: Let’s do it. We’ll probably be on this for a while, because I don’t know if we agree or not.
Andrew: Okay. After his touchdown, he shooshed the crowd. He wasn’t the only one, but he’s the one that got the headlines. Lamical Perine and a couple other ones shooshed the crowd. I’ll let you have it first. Thoughts.
Nick: I totally understand it. Understand why in the moment he did it. I was a hothead when I was an athlete. I’d probably have done the same thing.
Nick: I don’t think it’s a good look, and he apologized for it after the game. I think when I first saw it we were all kind of shocked. He just shooshed his home fans after scoring. Dan Mullen after the game says, listen, unless you’re using it for your amusement, stay off social media. These kids grew up on Facebook. When you and I grew up, Facebook wasn’t around yet. Twitter wasn’t around. These kids, college age kids, they use social media as means to talk to their classmates, their friends. That’s how they communicate. To say to a 19-year-old kid, just stay off Twitter. What? You want to take my phone too? I don’t understand.
Nick: He’s going to see it. When you’re somebody like Feleipe Franks, he’s emotional. He also identifies as a football player, so when you criticize him as a football player, him being young and emotional, he doesn’t take that as they’re criticizing me as a football player. He takes that as they’re taking shots at me, because I am a football player. I am a quarterback. That’s part of his identity. Saying that, we criticize him as a football player, that’s part of our job. Not taking shots at him personally. I say him, where he is, he doesn’t see it as they’re only taking shots at me because I had a bad game. He sees it as they’re taking personal shots at me. He takes that personally. He takes the booing personally. So, I understand why the frustration boils over. They booed me literally after the first drive. We had had six plays, and they booed me. Now three drives later, the game is tied, so shut up.
Andrew: Right. That’s the thing too. I get that. I get what you’re saying, Nick. I’ll say this. I mean, I can’t speak for everyone. I can’t speak for you. As far as personal goes, I’ve never made a comment personally against Feleipe. You and I only critique his football playing. What he does on his personal life, he’s never been in trouble, never had a grade issue, never been suspended for team rules or anything like that. As far as personal goes, Feleipe has been a standup character at the University of Florida. Now, I don’t know if there’s something, whatever else. I don’t know if he’s cheated on his girlfriend or anything like that. That’s none of our business. I have no idea. Couldn’t tell you anything else about that. He’s been a standup character at Florida. He’s done his thing.
I would say this. He’s done his best. Has sometime his best not been enough to win football games? No. As far as a person goes, we’ve never criticized him. As far as player goes, we’ve criticized him. I know me personally I’ve been very tough on him. I don’t apologize for that at all, because that’s our job. You and I get paid to do that, to talk about it. We get paid to criticize and grade each player.
I personally, Nick, I was embarrassed about it, as far as just having to watch it, because I thought it was not what the University of Florida was about. I don’t think that that’s what sports are about. I thought about this a lot, Nick, I really have. While it’s Feleipe’s fault, and it’s Lamica’s fault, and it’s whoever else’s fault, I don’t know the whole list of people who shooshed them, but it goes back to Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain too, Nick. I don’t think you thought I was going to say this, but I blame a lot of it on those guys on Saturday.
They made this motto of it’s us versus you. It’s not. Dan Mullen said it last Saturday, after the Missouri game. Championships can’t be won until the fans show up. Okay. Fine. You shooshing your fans, telling your fans to shut up, isn’t going to get them in the stands. While it’s Feleipe and Lamical and everyone else that I don’t think should have done that, I also think it goes back to Jim McElwain and Will Muschamp.
Nick: 100%. That is the opposite of what Dan Mullen is trying to preach, but these are guys who have been, in some cases, here four, five years, and that’s what they’ve been told. I mean, that’s hard to shake. I mean, Jim McElwain drilled that into them.
Nick: Drilled that into them.
Andrew: I think what they drilled in, the us against them message is a message of us against the opponents, not you against your fanbase. Nick Saban drills that into his players, rat poison of the media, rat poison of the opposing team, but he’s never said it’s us against our fanbase. I think that’s the difference. It should be Gator Nation versus everyone, not players versus fanbase versus everyone.
Again, I’m not taking away from what happened Saturday, because it was embarrassing. It was uncalled for. It as opposite of what Dan Mullen wanted to do. Personally, I think it was very, I don’t want to say childish. Immature is the best way to say it. You do not want that out of your leaders of your football team. Nick, the biggest thing is it took away from what was a good game. It took away from what should have been talk about storylines of comeback victory, big one again, the second big come from behind victory. Now you and I are spending five or ten minutes talking about this, and that’s not our fault, because we have to.
Andrew: The AP did.
Nick: ESPN, no, I’m talking about during the game. Brought up the whole Luke Del Rio-Feleipe Twitter interaction from earlier. I didn’t think they needed to put that on the broadcast. So, you’re already talking about Feleipe and Luke and this and that. Then that happens, and now that becomes … I just didn’t think they needed to bring up the whole Luke Del Rio talking about Feleipe and Feleipe responding to it. I didn’t think that was necessary to talk about during the game.
Andrew: While no, I also say yes. Unfortunately, that was a storyline. You and I talked about it as well. It was a storyline of where would Feleipe go and that kind of stuff. It was a storyline. Again, it’s storylines you want to stay away from. You and I can’t say nothing about Luke Del Rio or criticize him, because at the end of the day he’s doing the same business you are, and that’s his opinion. While Feleipe has an opinion as well, Feleipe has to understand that he’s under the microscope. He’s the one that made ESPN for giving the thumbs up. Listen, I had no problem with the thumbs up. In a perfect world, you stay away from it. Then you don’t have the headline on Saturday during the game.
Nick: Yeah. All part of learning and growing and maturing, I think, at that age, to me at least.
Andrew: Exactly. That’s all I got to say about it. It was an embarrassing moment. I know some people have told me different things, that it wasn’t, that I’ve overblown the situation. Maybe I have, but for me personally, it wasn’t a good look. I made the reference on the message boards at Gator Country that as a Braves fan I would be embarrassed if one of my players at the Braves did that. Nick, you know how much I love my Braves as well. I would be embarrassed by that. I think it’s an embarrassing moment for all parties. I will say this. I guarantee you Dan Mullen has a conversation with his team about that.
Nick: Yeah. Bet it will be first thing, 8:00am on Monday morning.
Andrew: If it doesn’t happen on Sunday night. I just don’t think Dan Mullen is okay with that. I don’t think he is okay with the us against the fanbase. That’s all I got to say about that Nick. Again, it was something that bothered me. This is a thing I will say to this, and that is while everyone has an opinion, you and I also have an opinion. You and I’s opinions differed, and we didn’t have to argue about it. Both of our opinions may have been wrong about it.
Nick: I think I’ve said everything that I feel about it. I get it. I didn’t necessarily like it. I just understood it. I understood why he did it, where it was coming from, stuff like that.
Andrew: Listen, I have no room to talk. I’m a hothead as well. Some of the people who mention us on Twitter, I would love to just give them the shoosh sign. I’m the world’s worst. At times I shouldn’t respond and do, because I’m a hothead as well. That’s that.
Let’s move on, Nick. Defense. Played terrible for the most part of the game but was able to finish strong. Bad tackling was there again, unfortunately. Getting out of gaps and playing undisciplined was bad at times.
Nick: I saw bad angles.
Andrew: Defensive ends not staying in contain.
Nick: There was a lot of things to point out. This is the first time since 1917 that Florida’s given up 31 or more points in three straight games.
Nick: To me, there’s a lot of great things. Listen, it’s a 35-31 score, 21 unanswered, being down so much in the third, you kind of forget, because the defense did clamp down. They played well late in the game.
Andrew: All fourth quarter.
Nick: Dan Mullen said it. He said, listen, winning this game doesn’t solve our problems. We can fix them with a smile on our face this week. To me, the defense, that’s not Florida football. That’s not Florida defense. I haven’t seen them in a month.
Andrew: There was that lack of pass rush again for a little bit of the game, and then it finally kind of came about, and they finally started getting some pressure. Ended up with just two sacks in the game, but they did start to get a little bit of pressure and make Jake Bentley uncomfortable. For the majority of the game, he looked like he was just a guy sitting back there in seven on seven with no worries at all. He could just sit back there and take all day to throw a pass. That’s exactly what he was doing. He started off, I think, 11 of 11 or something like that. It was something insane.
I did like at the end of the game where they stopped giving the receiver big gaps, nine and 10 yards off coverage, that kind of stuff. You and I talked about this all last week as well. Deebo Samuel, you cannot give that guy that much separation. He just absolutely torched Donovan Stiner, and Donovan Stiner didn’t have a chance. He caught the ball and had three yards of separation before Donovan Stiner was even there, and then he just broke it. A guy like Deebo Samuel is just Kadarius Toney. You give him open field, good luck.
Nick: The only thing that stopped that from being a 90-yard or whatever it would have been touchdown is CJ Henderson’s speed.
Andrew: He might be the fastest on the field.
Nick: I think he’s part cheetah.
Andrew: Good grief. That might be the fastest guy on the football field on Saturday.
Nick: He just comes out of nowhere. There was another play where Bentley was running. There was no receiver on Henderson’s side.
Andrew: On the goal line.
Nick: On the goal line. CJ Henderson came from the opposite hash, was kind of just drifting as he saw the play drifting, because there was nobody on his said, but if there’s a reverse he has to stay on his side. Once he saw that Bentley was going to run, he was off. I think Bentley took maybe three steps by the time Henderson got from one hash over to him and made the tackle.
Andrew: That was big. I don’t like such separation that they’re giving guys right now. I don’t like that at all. Then the poor tackling is back and not playing fundamentally good ball. As defensive ends, you’ve got to keep contain. It was South Carolina, smart on their part, but they just kept going at that little power play to the outside, to the edge, because they knew all they had to do was fake it inside a little bit and the defensive end was going to get out of containment, and then it was going to be boom. They were going to be good. That’s not what Florida was doing for the majority of the year, and that’s exactly what happened the last few games, they’ve gotten out of contain, and that’s bad.
I’ll say this, and that is the miscommunication with the linebackers was really bad again. David Reese and Vosean Joseph have got to figure out a way to start communicating. I think it was on Vosean on the two touchdowns, but communicate.
Nick: What do you think about just the play calling, Todd Grantham, the scheme?
Andrew: Hate it.
Nick: Okay. I was going to ask if it’s more missing assignments, or if it’s more …
Andrew: I hate it recently, because it’s become predictable. On 3rd down, good quarterbacks understand that wherever the blitz is, throw to that spot. If it’s 3rd and 5, your hot route has to go to the sticks. Jake Bentley did that. Drew Lock did that. Jake Fromm did that. You’ve got to stop being so predictable. It’s becoming one of those things where myself, you, Twitter, everyone can predict what is coming on each play, like they could with Doug Nussmeier on offense last year. That’s becoming predictable. I don’t know if it’s a lack of talent, that Todd Grantham doesn’t have the guys to fit his scheme, or what it is, but something has got to change on that.
I don’t buy into the whole 3rd and Grantham. I think that’s whatever. You’ve got to figure out a way to not be so predictable. Nick, I mean, Trey Dean is too physical of a corner. CJ Henderson is too physical and too quick of a corner to be giving guys eight and nine yards separation. I mean, if I’m a receiver, I do not want Trey Dean in my face at the line of scrimmage making me work to get off the ball.
Nick: I think South Carolina was 7 of 13 on 3rd down. I mean, if you go, really the way to look at it, for me, is by quarters, because I think that last 19 minutes of the game probably, last 16 minutes of the game, maybe changes it. If you look at the halftime stats, the first half they gave up 21 points, 241 yards, 112 rushing yards. What is 3rd downs? 6 of 7 in the first half. Only finished 1 of 6 in the second half. That 3rd down, to me, is really the troubling one when you look at it, because that’s now, going back to Georgia, three straight games where you can’t get off the field. To me, you got to figure that out. I don’t know if it’s the scheme. I like playing aggressive, but I agree with you. Playing that far off the ball, it just says to me you don’t think I can cover, I guess. You’re worried about getting beat deep.
Andrew: Right. I mean, I understand you’re worried about your safeties. You’re out Brad Stewart in the game. You can’t just change everything up. Again, not impressed with the play calling. Listen, it ain’t all on Grantham either. There’s times when he calls good plays. I mean, there was several times where they threw the screen pass. Now, had the defenders been in their face at the line of scrimmage, it wouldn’t have happened, but that just poor tackling. The Deebo Samuel play, the long play to him, poor tackling. On 89-yard drive, poor tackling. That’s key as well, poor tackling. Again, I’m not sold on the whole, just not sold on play calling.
Nick: Well, it should look better this week against Idaho.
Andrew: You would hope so.
Nick: Don’t even say it like that.
Nick: It will look better this week against the mighty, mighty Vandals of Idaho.
Andrew: Yes. Exactly. Let’s move on. We’ll get into Idaho. I mean, I don’t know how much we’ll get into Idaho, over the next few days. I don’t really know much about them. Don’t know if we really need to get into too much about it. Want to hit on our players real quick, Nick. I think I went three for three, my friend.
Nick: I saved it in a Word document.
Andrew: I had Lamical.
Nick: That’s a win.
Andrew: W. Your first pick was Jabari? Right?
Nick: I’m trying to find it. Yes. I got it. My first pick was Jordan Scarlett. That’s a win.
Andrew: That’s a win. My second pick was …
Nick: David Reese.
Andrew: David Reese. That’s a win. He led the team in tackles.
Nick: Had 10 tackles. I had Jabari as my second pick.
Andrew: That’s a question.
Nick: He had a sack, tackle for loss.
Andrew: I’ll give you a win. It was close. He had a good game. I’ll say that. He had a good game. My third pick was …
Nick: Cece Jefferson. He had his best game of the season.
Andrew: Yes. I did. I thought Cece had a really good game. Stats don’t even tell how much of a disruption he was. Cece had a good one as well. I think your last one was Brad Stewart, who gets an MIA.
Nick: Yeah. Didn’t play.
Andrew: MIA. Good week for us on that. Let’s hit on a couple things real quick, Nick. Miami. I have a news flash for you. Mark Richt is putting his stamp on your program. Congratulations.
Nick: They like were getting into it with Georgia Tech. The players were getting into it with the Georgia Tech student section.
Andrew: What are you doing? What are you doing, Mark Richt? What are you doing, Miami? Nick, let me pull this up. Hold on two seconds here. There was a stat, and I have it here. Since Miami started 10-0 last year, the Hurricanes are 5-8 in their last 13. That’s not good.
Nick: No. Right now, 5-5 with Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh.
Andrew: That’s not good. That is not good at all. Then, Nick, oh my word. Notre Dame just embarrasses Florida State again.
Nick: They might want to, I don’t know what they’re going to do, but it’s not a happy time out West. Man, they got crushed. That game probably looked good when it was scheduled. I don’t know when they scheduled it. They probably scheduled it when Jameis was there, and you’re thinking that’s a good game. 42-13. It wasn’t that close.
Andrew: It wasn’t that close. You had a garbage touchdown late. That wasn’t close. Man oh man. I mean, that’s just a dumpster fire up there, Nick. My question to you is this. I don’t know how it gets that much better next year.
Nick: Does the offensive line get better? I think that’s really the weakest link on that team right now.
Andrew: They have one good player coming in, and that’s it.
Nick: They’re sitting at 4-6. They have to beat Boston College and Florida to get to a bowl game.
Andrew: They have the longest streak in the country right now of bowl, and I believe it was 42 straight years of a winning season is the stat I saw last night on TV while watching the game.
Nick: I don’t have that one. They’ve been to a bowl game 36 straight seasons.
Andrew: I believe it was 42 straight or 41 straight, something like that, winning seasons. Man oh man, Willie the savior is not doing too good.
Nick: The other way, because they made so many bowl games, you can get to a bowl game at 5-7.
Nick: But FSU is so far down the list on the academic progress report, with a score of 941. Do you want a list of teams that would make it before them?
Andrew: No. I’m good. I don’t think they get five wins.
Nick: FAU is on that list. FAU has a better academic progress rate than FSU.
Andrew: Poor Lane.
Nick: So does Coastal Carolina and the great academic institution of Baylor.
Andrew: That’s amazing. I mean, working at McDonald’s doesn’t usually give you good academic ratings. I don’t think they get it. Nick, I’ll say this. Makes that game in Tallahassee even more important for the Gators.
Nick: Yeah. I can’t imagine what the feeling would be if Florida State and Willie Taggert figure out some way to beat Florida.
Andrew: It would kill recruiting, Nick. Kill recruiting. Would not be good. Would not be good at all. Any final thoughts before we get out of here? I have a final thought.
Nick: Lighten up on Feleipe.
Andrew: Oh, okay. I mean, I get that. That’s fair. I’ll say this. Nick, you can agree with me or not, but I think you will say that I’m pretty fair. When he does a good job, I praise him, and when he doesn’t, I criticize him. It’s not just Feleipe. I think people have to understand that is me. That’s me. I’m pretty straightforward. I don’t mince words very often. Nick, you’ve known me for eight years, nine years, however long. I’m pretty blunt about my opinion. You can either like it or not. It’s nothing personal against Feleipe. I have zero problems with Feleipe. I had zero problems when Del Rio was the quarterback. Zero problems when Treon Harris was quarterback or anyone else. Simply I want to see good quarterback play.
Like I said, I didn’t appreciate what Lamical did. I think everyone on this podcast knows I’m a Lamical fan. Didn’t think it was good on his part. Didn’t think it was good. I didn’t think it showed his character. I don’t think his mom and dad would be okay with that. I think there’s better ways to do it. Let your play talk. That’s my take. Again, my opinion may be just wrong, but that’s my opinion. The good thing about it is we all can have opinions. Listen, I respect everyone’s opinion. I respect your opinion, Nick. I mean, I get your point. I’m not saying your point is wrong. I get it. Like I said, a lot of it is on Muschamp and Mac. I blame those guys as well.
Last topic I wanted to get to real quick, and that is Florida still has an outside shot to make a New Year’s Six bowl game. You win out, you might be top 12 in that playoff poll now.
Nick: Kentucky laid an egg.
Andrew: Oh my word. Did you see Benny Snell?
Andrew: He called out his players. He said he didn’t think a lot of his players had the dog fight in them.
Nick: No. They lost it to the dogs the week before.
Andrew: Nick, I would love to cover Benny Snell.
Nick: Says what he thinks.
Andrew: There’s nothing wrong with it. Guess what? His players respect him. There’s not a guy in that locker room that’s going to say anything about it, because they know, I mean, they respect him. Benny Snell gives it his all. My stars though, lay an egg. Man, Tennessee is bad.
Andrew: Tennessee is bad. Anyway, Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Wednesday, as we talk a little bit of Florida and Idaho.
Nick: Real quick. UAB is ranked #25 in the Coaches Poll. This is a football program that was canceled four years ago.
Andrew: That’s my boy, Nick.
Nick: Congratulations to the Blazers.
Andrew: You know that’s my boy. Bill Clark, the head coach. Hired me at South Alabama. Coach Clark is a good guy. He had his opportunity when the program collapsed to go elsewhere, and he said he wanted to build UAB back. Everyone is talking about the Louisville job opening. Bobby Petrino, he’s out of a job up there. Tell you what, Bill Clark is a fine football coach. You give him a call, he can do some big things. They go to A&M this week. A&M better be careful. That’s a good football team at UAB.
Nick: Coached well.
Andrew: Very coached well. Quarterback Tyler Johnston is a quarterback. He’s a guy who led his team to three state championships, Nick. Only issue was he’s 5’11”.
Nick: That’s an issue, I guess, when you’re a quarterback.
Andrew: As Tim Tebow says, as Drew Brees says, as all the great quarterbacks say, it doesn’t matter your height, it doesn’t matter your style of play, as long as you put that crooked W up on a board on Saturdays or game day. That’s all that matters.
Andrew: I’ll take a 4’ quarterback if he’ll get wins.
Nick: I don’t know about that. That’s a little short.
Andrew: If he puts wins on the board, Nick, you wouldn’t take him?
Nick: I don’t know how he would put wins on the board.
Andrew: Let me ask you this, 4’ quarterback would make your Dolphins Super Bowl champions, or a 7’ quarterback makes your Dolphins get the first pick five years in a row. Which quarterback you taking?
Nick: I’d take the one that wins. I’m just saying 4’ quarterback is not getting wins.
Andrew: He might. He could slip through the defense. You never know. He could go uncovered. Go ahead. Tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Just search @GatorCountry and subscribe. 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 will talk to everyone on Wednesday. As always, chomp, chomp and go Braves.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.