GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators 38-0 win over Towson on Saturday afternoon in the Swamp.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how the Gators looked on Saturday and areas they improved in on Saturday.
Andrew and Nick also talk about the uniforms that were announced for the Auburn game, plus we look ahead to the Auburn game.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, no surprise. Maybe a little surprise that it was a shutout. I mean, a shutout is very hard to come by, and for the first time since 2012, the Gators have two shutouts now, as the Gators win 38-0.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I wrote about it. It’s Florida’s second FCS opponent, but you can only play who’s on the schedule, and Dan Mullen didn’t make this schedule. The players didn’t make the schedule. You play who’s in front of you, and defense pitches another shutout. They’ve shutout both FCS teams they’ve played.
Andrew: Wasn’t pretty on defense in the first half though. Towson should have scored.
Nick: Oh yeah. They just shot themselves in the foot. They’re moving the ball up and down the field, and then you get an interception in the red zone. Then you have the fumble. Hasn’t been pretty for Florida’s defense early on in games, but, man, whatever Todd Grantham is doing in the locker room, Florida is just lights out in the second half.
Andrew: Did he go in there and call them all big and fat like Mike Leach did?
Nick: I don’t know, but God bless Mike Leach. That was a funny quote.
Andrew: Wonder how many fines are coming for the poor guy. Come on. Whatever. Yeah. The offense didn’t look good in the first half either, to be honest. 17-0 was the first half. I know we’ll all sit and look and say, it was 160 yards rushing for this team, but offensive line still played bad. Dan Mullen said that as much after the game, as he called out the offensive line. I get on Dan Mullen a lot for this offensive line, but the one thing that I’ll say is that he has no problem whatsoever letting them know publicly that you’re not doing your job.
Nick: I think that was probably the most exasperated that Coach was, at least publicly. I’m sure privately probably going in there and chewing them. Basically, just said it’s got to improve. The mental toughness for the offensive line and their preparation has to improve.
Nick: This is a Towson team that was giving up 200 yards rushing against FCS opponents on average per game. So, we talked about that in our preview, and I thought, listen, if Florida can’t run against Towson, then scrap the run the rest of the year. Ran the ball okay.
Andrew: Better in the second half than the first half.
Nick: Yeah. But still, not what I would expected or would have wanted to see to make me feel good about the running game moving forward.
Nick: But last year it took till the LSU game for Florida to figure it out.
Andrew: Right. I think it did work better when they put Gouraige at left guard and moved Brett over to right and went with that. Bleich was kind of, him and Delance were both what I call the bellsmen. They were both opening the door and saying, go ahead. One play in particular, Bleich he’s got a DT running through his face, and he just basically stiff arms him right into Lamical, and it’s a three-yard loss in the game. You can’t have it. The right side of that offensive line with Bleich and Delance out there together is just atrocious.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, you’re going to get somebody hurt the way they’re playing.
Nick: You got to figure something out. I think, based on what Dan Mullen said after the game, you know, we’ve talked about it, do you shuffle players up? I think that we’re going to see some of that.
Andrew: Right. I mean, it’s Week 6 now? 7?
Nick: Heading into Week 7, Game 6.
Andrew: Yeah. That first game still throws me off as to what week we’re supposed to call it here. So, you’re going into Week 7, Week 6 of games. I mean, you’re not going to get away with being one-dimensional against Auburn and LSU. Just not. Not going to happen. Now, I will say this. I thought the screens, the stand passes, were, first of all, Towson was giving it to them. They were 10 yards off of Trevon Grimes just daring Florida to do that, which is dumb, in my opinion. We continue on the podcast to say that’s an extension of the run, please do that more. It was something that they did a lot. 3rd and 1, threw it to Grimes, threw it to Hammond. Were able to do that kind of stuff.
I think that when you look at this Auburn game coming up, you need to get the ball out of Trask’s hands away from this front seven as quick as possible in the Auburn game. You are okay with the DBs. You’re not as scared of the DBs as you are that front seven, especially that defensive line. If that means you’re not going to run the ball, you better go to the stand pass. You better be able to throw your swing passes, your wide receiver screens. Things to get the ball out of Kyle’s hands quickly.
Nick: It’s also an extension of the running game. Like we said, if you can’t run the ball. I remember, to use an NFL example, when the Patriots didn’t have a running back a couple years ago, that was their running game. It was quick screens, tunnel screens, even just a pitch. The pitch that we’ve seen where you’ve got the running back off to the quarterback’s left or right, and you’re in shotgun, and just pitch. We’re just going to get you outside quick, because if our offensive line isn’t blocking, we’ve got a bunch of wide receivers that can block.
Andrew: Right. Trevon and Tyrie are singlehandedly responsible for Damien Pierce’s touchdown, in my opinion. You can disagree there, but in my opinion, they’re singlehandedly responsible for that touchdown. You look at your blocking on the edges is much better than it is inside. You like your chances with Trevon and Van and Tyrie against any DB out there.
Nick: Yeah. I thought that, and like you said, Dan Mullen has said a bunch this year, “We just took what the defense was giving us.” They were giving them that, those screens, and I had no problem with it. Throw them. Especially at Trevon Grimes. Dude, I think I tweeted it yesterday. You put the ball in his hands. I don’t know if he’s got the speed or maybe the agility, acceleration, to like hand him the ball off like they’ve been doing with Josh Hammond, but he’s so hard to bring down. I feel like you throw him a pass out wide, it’s going for 4 or 5, because he’s so hard to drag down.
Andrew: Let me start by saying I’m not comparing Trevon to this guy that I’m going to, but it’s what Bama did. It’s what the Falcons do with Julio. First of all, Julio has incredible speed to go with his unbelievable size.
Nick: He’s an alien.
Andrew: Yeah. But still, it’s one of those things where you throw him the ball, you feel pretty good that he’s going to get you three or four yards. You’re not going to bring him down with just an arm tackle 99% of the time. That’s kind of how Trevon is as well. If you throw him the ball, you feel pretty good you’re going to get some positive yards. Again, you have that opportunity to break it. I mean, we’ve seen that. We’ve seen it a lot in the past two years, or this year and last year, where you get that little pop stand pass there, and it breaks for 30 or it breaks for 20, whatever it may be. When you’re looking at this Auburn game, if you’re not going to be able to run the ball, and quite frankly, I don’t know, unless John Hevesy and Dan Mullen are just kind of playing back and letting the offensive line look like they suck to scare Auburn.
Nick: I don’t think they’re playing possum for six weeks.
Andrew: I don’t think so either. I think you’re going to have to. You’re going to have to get creative in that. Listen, I’ve been hard on it. You’ve been hard on Dan Mullen’s play calling. You can’t judge anything by what happened on Saturday. It was simply go out there and not get anybody hurt overall. Again, Nick, Kyle Trask, 18 of 20. You jinxed it, by the way. You’re a baseball guy.
Nick: First off, I wasn’t covering a baseball game, and I tweeted that he broke a school record.
Andrew: It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, Nick. If a guy breaks a consecutive hitter’s face, are you going to tweet it if he has a no-no?
Nick: I wasn’t covering a baseball game. There’s different rules for baseball and football.
Andrew: It doesn’t matter, Nick. You’re a baseball guy.
Nick: It’s different. It wasn’t a baseball game. You’re out of line, Spivey.
Nick: You’re out of line.
Andrew: No. Twitter agreed with me. Twitter agreed with me.
Nick: I don’t know if you want Twitter to agree with you sometimes.
Andrew: Well, that’s true too. Anyway, but no, and it was. It was, I don’t know what in the world happened on that play.
Nick: Clearly, I mean, Dan Mullen went after Billy Gonzales, probably asking why is Rick Wells in the game. I’m guessing it was supposed to be a slant, based on like where Kyle threw the ball, but immediately Jacob Copeland went to block, and Rick Wells went back like they were going to throw a screen.
Nick: So, they just weren’t on the same page. Then Trask got pressured immediately. Not making an excuse for why he threw the ball, but if you’re running a quick slant, that’s a timing play. If I’m getting pressured, I’m expecting my receiver to be here, because that’s the route he’s supposed to run, and he clearly just isn’t there.
Andrew: Right. Yeah. I mean, like you say, that was just miscommunication all around. Bad luck there. I don’t care. I don’t care if you’re playing NCAA, I don’t care if you’re playing flag football, I don’t care what you do, if you go 18 of 20, that’s a pretty good day.
Nick: Pretty good day.
Andrew: Let me ask you this. What did you make and what did you think of Emory Jones?
Nick: The biggest thing for me, and we said it on the preview, I want to see Emory Jones not in the package. I want to see Emory Jones not just handing the ball off in garbage time. I want to see him run the offense. When he first game in, it was zone read, run, zone read. I’m like, here we go again. Then, boom, let him go. Let him run the offense. That was the first time I think we’ve really seen Emory Jones go out, and they’re just saying, we’re running the Florida offense, go out there. So, that, to me, was good.
Andrew: Who was the ball he threw to?
Nick: One was to Rick Wells. It was a little bit behind Wells. I don’t know if he needed to jump the way that he did. That was the first incompletion that hit in the hands, and then the other one he underthrew Jacob Copeland. Cope had to come back for the ball. Still could have been a catch.
Andrew: I think he catches it if the helmet doesn’t come off, because helmet comes off, and that was just a weird situation. Who’s the one he threw to …
Nick: Real quick. He’s fine. I had a bunch of people ask me if he was hurt. He’s fine. Probably got shaken up. I mean, it hurts when your helmet comes off like that, but he’s fine.
Andrew: Who was, was it Copeland that made the catch? Yeah. it was Copeland that made the catch on the out route on the sideline.
Nick: Oh, that was a hell of a catch. Yeah. That was first completion.
Andrew: What a throw.
Nick: He got some zip on it.
Andrew: Yeah. Then he turns right around and hits a post route to Tyrie for that, and then can’t forget about the day Keon Zipperer had for his fourth quarter. Three catches, 31 yards, gets a touchdown. I’ll say this, Nick. He was scooting.
Nick: I really liked the first play, that tunnel screen.
Nick: The one that went for a touchdown. That was Zip’s first career interception, along with his first touchdown. I think the biggest thing I saw, and we had talked about creativity, not to get away from Zipperer too far, but it reminded me of this. The biggest thing I think we saw is that Florida did a bunch of stuff that Auburn is going to have to look at. That first drive with the little reverse that they ran, that’s something we’ve seen a couple times, and there’s so many wrinkles that you can go off of that.
Andrew: Right. The motioning Josh Hammond to the backfield, and then handing it off to him. That’s something.
Nick: So many different things you can do with that. I think, we’ve even said it, I haven’t really been super impressed with Mullen’s play calling, with the creativity on offense. I think that they’re doing things that will at least make Auburn have to spend some more time and wonder, what can they do off of that? They’ve showed this, but what’s something they can do off of that? I think they’re kind of building into that.
Andrew: Right. To go back to the Zipperer play, you’re starting to see the NFL do that a ton, and it’s another one of those situations where you feel pretty good that your tight end or big receiver is going to fall forward for a yard and get a touchdown. Again, if your running game can’t get a yard, throw it out there. Let your big tight end or big receiver, whatever it may be, do that. Throw that ball to Kyle Pitts. I’m cool with that.
That brings me to my next point. You tweeted it, but the guy is a cheat code right now. Just throw the ball to him. Someone and Twitter, and I’m not going to name no names, said that that ball was a bad ball that he caught in the endzone on the out route. First of all, that was not. That was a beautiful throw. Kyle Trask threw it to where only Kyle Pitts could catch it, and then Kyle Pitts made an unbelievable grab to get two feet in. That was just an all-around great play. I don’t know what in the world that person was thinking when they seen that ball. I don’t care if you’re playing in the NFL or who you’re playing, that ball is not getting picked off.
Nick: Yeah. He threw it to a spot where only his 6’5” freak tight end was going to be able to get it. Worse case scenario, Kyle Pitts doesn’t come down with it, and you move on to the next down.
Andrew: Again, that’s what you and I called for a ton with Feleipe, and that is throw the ball up. Let your receiver have an opportunity to go up and make the grab. If he doesn’t come down with it, like you said, you move on. No big deal. It’s second down there. No big deal. Nobody’s going to get upset about it. Let Kyle Pitts have an opportunity there. Excuse me, later in the game, I think Trask would have liked to have the fade back to Van Jefferson. He had the matchup he wanted, underthrew it again, but, again, he threw it up, where if Van didn’t catch it, nobody was going to catch it. You would have liked to have more air under that, so he could have run up under it, but still, I like those. I mean, those are what NFL and the NCAA is all about nowadays, throwing it to where you have the mismatch. Let’s face it, 9 times out of 10, if Pitts or Van don’t come up with it, you’re going to get a flag.
Nick: Yeah. Little bromance going on there. Let us know if you’ve got a catchy nickname for that Kyle and Kyle. I can’t remember where I wrote it down now. It’s something like around 24% of Kyle Trask completions the last two games have been to Kyle Pitts. So, he clearly feels comfortable throwing to his big body tight end. Shoot, we’ve been calling for it. Everyone progresses and gets comfortable in their own time, but we’ve been saying it, whenever Kyle Pitts figures it out, whenever he gets comfortable, dude’s a problem. He’s a problem. He’s too big, too physical to put a corner or a nickel on him. He’s simply too fast to put a linebacker on him. He’s just a problem. He’s an NFL tight end.
Andrew: He’s one of those where you can easily put him as an inline blocker, or an inline guy, and run him on a route. He’s a guy you can easily flex out in the slot. He’s a guy you can easily flex out as a lone receiver there. Again, good luck. You can put your best corner on him. He’s too big for him. Put your best safety on him. Again, he’s too big, too fast for him. You can put a linebacker on him, but he’s just going to blow by your linebacker. Good luck. That’s where I would like to see what him and Amari Burney, I think that’d be a good one-on-one matchup.
Nick: Amari Burney, I don’t think I was wrong at the time to say it, but I said, Kentucky gave you the blueprint. They exposed Florida’s linebackers. Not when Amari Burney is healthy and when he’s in there. He got his first start yesterday. Led the team with eight tackles, half a tackle for loss. He’s their answer. I mean, David Reese, love him. Love a physical old-school linebacker. Love Ventrell Miller, who did not play yesterday. They’re just not the same kind of athlete that Amari Burney is and can’t play in space like he is. Amari Burney gives Florida just a completely different dimension to their defense.
Andrew: Right. Absolutely. To go to defense, Jonathan Greenard played well.
Nick: That’s just a broken record.
Nick: At some point, we’ll just stop saying it. Just assume, unless you’re told otherwise.
Andrew: Yeah. Moon played really well in the game.
Nick: Dan Mullen called him out after the game.
Andrew: What’d he call him out for?
Nick: Missing tackles.
Andrew: I mean, I think outside of …
Nick: You could probably call out most of the defense for missed tackles.
Andrew: Outside of Jonathan, I think you could pretty much call out the entire defense. It seemed like every play there was a missed tackle here and there. I say this, and I don’t mean this in a mean way or a bad way towards them, but at some point or another, Nick, when do you just say this is a problem for this defense?
Nick: I mean, the only two issues that this defense are missed tackles and getting off the field, and those go hand in hand.
Nick: You’re missing tackles on 3rd down, then that’s leading you to not get off the field, but those are the only two problems they have. I’ve talked with coaches. I’ve talked about the tackling with Chad Wilson, and it’s hard. They don’t practice it in the off season. That’s just where football is now. You’re not going to get guys hurt. You’re not going to tackle to the ground. You’re worried about head injuries, so practices aren’t what they used to be. You’re not going out there at 5:00 a.m. for the first of your three full contact practices of the day. There’s no three-a-days. Maybe it takes time to get back into it. It’s different tackling a guy running at you full speed than it is tackling those circular donut things that they roll around, but at some point, it’s just effort. It’s not diving and not trying to make a big hit, and it’s just breaking down and wrapping up.
Andrew: That’s what I was going to say. I would say Chad and everyone else would agree with me when I say tackling is an effort thing. It’s a want to. It’s breaking down into position. It’s a want to thing. You look at some of those guys coming in for sacks, going in for the ball. First order of business is get the guy down. The second guy’s job is to come get the ball out. Does that look good on your stat sheet? No. Neither does a missed tackle that you’re going to get credited for. That’s a big thing. Guys in open space are just not breaking down and doing their job there. That’s a major problem. When you look at what’s coming up with Auburn and LSU, you don’t wrap up Schwarz, or you don’t wrap up Seth Williams, or you don’t wrap up Jamar Chase at LSU, they’re going to have house calls.
Nick: Shoot. Keep Anthony Schwarz in front of you somehow this weekend too.
Andrew: They’re going to have house calls. I mean, that’s just what’s going to happen. You look at that Ole Miss-Alabama game, not to get ahead of it, but Devonte Smith, 250-some yards receiving, and Nick Saban said it, a lot of that was YAC yards. Guys wasn’t making the tackle. That’s a problem. It’s a problem around the country. Great defenses tackle. Great defenses make the plays. We say this all the time, but Todd Grantham can call the best play, and it should have been 4th and 3, but one missed tackle makes it 1st and 10. That doesn’t make it a bad play call, makes it poor execution. Granted, I think there’s some questionable calls where I think Grantham gets predictable at times and all that, with blitzing and that kind of stuff, but at the end of the day, it’s execution.
Nick: There’s going to be blitzes on Saturday. You got a freshman quarterback, and Bo Nix had a great game passing against Mississippi State on Saturday, but got to expect that they’ll be coming after Bo.
Andrew: Absolutely. You would expect it. They’d be coming after him and coming after him hard. Why wouldn’t you? If you’re Grantham, I don’t know about you, but I expect the Swamp to be loud. I expect the Swamp to be a place where Bo Nix isn’t going to be able to hear very much. You would think that pressure, that kind of stuff. It’s kind of like what we said about Sawyer Smith at Kentucky. Only difference is they were at home. Don’t let him get comfortable back there. If you allow him to get comfortable, and I think that’s a big thing for Kyle Trask right now, a lot of teams are allowing Kyle Trask to get comfortable back there. You need to make these guys think on the go.
Nick: I really expect, and I’m critical at times, not of attendance overall, but of fans showing up late, stuff like that. I really think that this is going to be an impressive crowd on Saturday. 3:30 game. College GameDay is going to be there. It’s Auburn. First time there has been an undefeated top 10 matchup in the Swamp since 2012, that 14-6 win over LSU with Muschamp, the one where Matt Elam went absolutely crazy.
Andrew: What was Ole Miss? Was Florida not top 10?
Nick: Florida was like 25, 24, somewhere like that.
Nick: Ole Miss was 3.
Andrew: Right. I knew Ole Miss was 3, but for some reason I thought Florida. I don’t know. Anyway, it’s crazy. Let’s just go ahead and talk about it. Gators released on Sunday they’re wearing the old throwbacks.
Nick: They’re clean. Listen, one of the dumbest, and I’m sorry if this was opinion, people being like Kyle Trask, you have an inexperienced quarterback in the biggest game of the year, and now the defensive players are wearing the same color helmets as the offensive players? They’re wearing the same color helmet in practice every single day. That’s not an issue. Kyle Trask isn’t going to go out there and throw seven picks. Kyle, what was that? I don’t know, Coach. I threw to the white helmet.
Andrew: I threw to the white helmet. There you go.
Nick: These are beautiful. There was like a mockup, a fan edit, of like the blue helmets. I was not a fan of the blue helmets. I think I’m also biased, because I grew up in South Florida, a Miami Dolphins fan, so my football team always wore white helmets. I love white helmets. I think these jerseys are beautiful.
Andrew: I love them. Outside of the two-sleeve one that they wore.
Nick: That was so ugly that you ended up liking it at some point, I think.
Andrew: I loved those two-color sleeves.
Nick: That was back in like 2002 maybe.
Andrew: No. ’05.
Nick: 2005. That was for the Georgia game.
Andrew: Those were my favorites. Outside of those, these are awesome. I know people are griping about it, and whatever. Here’s the deal, and this is what I’ll say, I would much rather Florida do throwbacks to their own jerseys than be like Oregon and just pop out some new thing. I mean, tradition means a lot. If you’re Florida, represent it. How cool is it too that Kyle Trask is wearing the same number Spurrier was?
Nick: In the Heisman pose for the stuff that they put out there.
Andrew: I love it. If you hadn’t seen some of the apparel, I think it’s cool. This is a marketing idea, but how cool would it be if they were giving out like #11 throwback jerseys, and the stadium was just completely full of Spurrier’s jersey, of the old ones? I think it’d be awesome. Obviously, that’s an expensive idea, but I’m just saying I think that would be cool.
Nick: Here you go too. I mean, if Florida goes out and wins the game, everyone loves the jerseys. They’re great.
Andrew: If they lose, it’s the jerseys’ fault.
Andrew: It’s the jerseys’ fault.
Nick: Jerseys ain’t blocking anybody.
Andrew: No. What do you think of the shoes, the cleats?
Nick: I get it. I like flashier shoes, but I get it. I mean, that’s what they wore. Even though you’re in new material, and you’ve got a basketball player dunking on your football jersey, you’re trying to make it look as authentic as possible. I loved when Texas A&M did the throwbacks a couple years back, and they painted the helmets in such a way that it looked like it was a leather helmet.
Nick: You remember those?
Nick: Just making it look as authentic as possible. They wore black sneakers, or black cleats, back then.
Nick: I think the whole look is great. You touched on it briefly. I like that they’re doing it for Homecoming, because it is a tradition thing. Homecoming is more about getting alumni back and involved. It’s a big party all week, and then there’s a parade. I like doing the throwbacks for Homecoming. I think that’s a cool touch.
Andrew: It’s probably the game that you have the most alumni back for, and it’s an opportunity to fundraise. Let’s say what it is. I mean, that’s what it is. It’s an opportunity to get some of your alumni back, get them excited, and hope that they donate to your new facility.
Nick: Which one?
Andrew: Yeah. Which one? I like it. I mean, listen, that’s the thing. I’ll say it. I mean, I know I may get bashed for saying this, and it may not be cool, but me growing up in Bama, I’m used to Bama wearing the old-school, what they wore forever ago. Penn State. I’m a traditionalist. I like that stuff, and so I’m cool with them wearing this, more so than I am. Listen, I liked it. I thought the alligator skin were pretty cool, but I’d much rather see throwbacks than those.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, Alabama, they would riot.
Nick: They would riot if they changed those. I’m a big fan of the jerseys. I think they look really good, and like you said, there’s some cool stuff that they’re doing in terms of shirts. They’re selling the jerseys, which I think look great. They’ve got hats. They got mugs.
Andrew: Those hats are awesome. I told you that before we came on the podcast. Those hats are awesome.
Nick: Yeah. The mugs that they’re selling, the owner is actually a Gator fan. They’re based on Knoxville, but he’s actually a Gator fan, and he sent me a couple of the mugs, which I gave to my dad.
Andrew: Those are awesome. Again, I think it’s cool. Let’s also say what it is too. It’s an opportunity for Florida to make a buck. That’s what it is. They sell some new stuff, and kids and adults, whatever, it’s a chance to make a new buck.
Nick: Yeah. That will be cool. Again, I don’t think it’s a distraction.
Andrew: No. It’s not a distraction at all. Nick, Mullen talked about it after the game though, and he said, this is a team that has to get a lot better before it gets to Auburn. I guess, he said everyone except for KT, Kadarius Toney, should be back in the game. How much do you think this team can improve in a week?
Nick: Well, I mean, there’s no way to spin it. They’ve been without their best cornerback, probably, and, I mean, I would say their best pass rusher, but Jonathan Greenard has taken that role. You can’t underestimate or understate what getting Zuniga and getting CJ back will do. Especially, I talk about Anthony Schwarz. I mean, Anthony Schwarz for Auburn has legit track speed. Only person that can match that speed on Florida’s team is CJ Henderson.
Nick: Who has legit track speed. Yeah. You’re going to want to get him back. I think you can clean up the tackles. Like I said, for me, the only knock I have on the defense is getting off the field and missed tackles, and missed tackles leads to not being able to get off the field. I think you can improve there. I don’t know about the offensive line though. This defensive line for Auburn is scary, so you’ve got to figure out something, whether it’s changing players or changing some schemes, doing something. You got to figure something out on the offensive line, or, like you said, we’re not going to be able to figure it out, so we got to change our gameplay and do what we did against Towson, and that’s throwing quick passes and just getting the ball out of his hands, because we’re not going to be able to run the ball between the tackles or take seven-step drops and stuff like that.
Andrew: You kind of–
Andrew: Go ahead.
Nick: Was it just me? I meant to ask you yesterday, was Florida under center more yesterday than they have been maybe ever since Mullen’s been in Gainesville?
Andrew: It certainly looked like it, and I hate it.
Andrew: I hate it, because I would say, I’m trying to think back, only once or twice did they throw the ball when they were under center. The rest of the time they handed it off. It’s dumb, because your quarterbacks aren’t used to it, so guess what? It’s possibility for more screwups. Second of all, it’s pretty predictable. So, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t like it.
Nick: Until you come out with that play action bomb.
Andrew: Yeah. And that’s okay, but, again, do you worry about Trask’s footwork? Do you worry about the handoff, I mean, the snap? Do you worry about the footwork of the running back? There’s so much. That’s why we talk about it all the time. It’s so hard for shotgun quarterbacks to go in the NFL, because they’re not used to it.
Nick: Yeah. That’s why the NFL has changed.
Nick: I was talking to Brian Johnson a little bit about it. The NFL has changed, and college changed because that’s what happened. That’s the players that they were getting from high school.
Nick: High school coaches started running spread, just to use their best athlete at quarterback and let him run around and do some things, and, all of a sudden, colleges get a guy, and, no, coach, I’ve never done that. We ran seven plays in high school.
Nick: All right. How do we win games? This is what you can do. That’s what we’ll do. Then all of a sudden, that trickles up to the NFL.
Andrew: Yeah. In a few years they’ll be back under center and running the ball more, because that’s the way the game of football goes.
Nick: Brian Johnson, he said that same thing. He goes, in a couple years they’ll probably be back in the I formation. I was like, what? I was like, no way. He goes, yeah, watch.
Andrew: That’s how it is. That’s how football is. I mean, that’s just where it goes. Five years ago the pistol was the big thing. Pistol’s pretty non-existent nowadays. I mean, you see it every now and then. You don’t see it as much as you used to.
One more thing, before we talk about our picks and stuff. Real quick, just to answer the question that I asked you, and that is I think getting the guys back healthy is a big boost. My one concern for this team is and will be, until I see a change, is the running game and the offensive line. They scare me.
Nick: Yeah. We’ve been saying it, beating the drum. You’re going to have to be able to run the ball against Auburn and LSU and Georgia. Here it is.
Andrew: GameDay is coming to town.
Nick: You’ve had maybe like an extended preseason. Not to bash Kentucky, but Tennessee is terrible.
Andrew: Kentucky lost to South Carolina.
Nick: Yeah. Will Muschamp was funny after the game, your boy.
Andrew: Let’s go to our picks here.
Nick: This is the meat and potatoes of this schedule. Auburn, LSU. South Carolina, they are what they are. Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Georgia. This is it right here. This is your whole season in these next four games.
Andrew: Right. Exactly.
Nick: You go 2-2 in this, and you’ll have fun at the Outback Bowl.
Andrew: Yup. Dreams of going anywhere are done. Let’s get to our picks. Kyle Trask, W.
Nick: Yeah. We both went 2 for 3. You get a win for Kyle Trask and Damien Pierce. Pierce, he was three yards shy of his career high. He had only six carries. I mean, Davis had six. Perine had six. Pierce had six. Josh Hammond is trying to become running back 1. He had two more carries. You get a win for that. Six for 84 and a touchdown.
You get a win for Kyle Trask, obviously. 18 of 20, 188, super-efficient. The only thing I need to see him, and I think the only way you can start to see it is from game reps, is more pocket awareness. I think two of the four sacks might have been him just holding onto the ball too long, not feeling the pressure coming from the blind side, and I think the only way that you get that is getting more comfortable, and that comes with reps. That will come in time. I think that’s really the only ding I’d have if I start nitpicking an 18 of 20 performance. If I start nitpicking it, I think that’s probably it. Don’t get a win for Jacob Copeland.
Andrew: It was close though.
Nick: If he catches that last touchdown, you’re in. Then you’re 3 for 3.
Nick: I get two wins. I get one for Amari Burney. I get one for Jon Greenard, who continues to put on for DBU. Get an interception this week. Amari Burney led the team in tackles. Then I don’t for Lamical.
Nick: Six carries, 16 yards. Had a 10-yard carry as well. Not a great day, but that first 10-yard carry, his first carry of the game, puts him over 2,000 yards for his career. That’s a testament to how productive he’s been. Congratulations to Lamical, because that’s a milestone.
Andrew: Agreed. Then we both picked the Florida game right. We both said they were going to cover. Neither one of us go the South Carolina game right.
Nick: No, we did not. Florida came and covered late. 35.5 point spread, came and covered late. You picked Utah right.
Nick: Mike Leach let me down. We both picked A&M.
Andrew: That was a scare.
Nick: That was an ugly game.
Andrew: Yeah. That was a scare.
Nick: We both got Kentucky wrong, and we both got Auburn right. Shoot, Mississippi State is not good.
Andrew: No. They’re not good at all. They’re not good at all.
Nick: We both picked Washington right. USC, your boy Helton up there might be in trouble.
Andrew: Not my boy. I don’t like the guy.
Nick: Your boy, Clay Helton, might be in trouble.
Andrew: We’ll be having a guest on Wednesday to talk about the Auburn game, and we’ll continue to get this thing rolling as GameDay comes to town. SEC Nation though is going to Tennessee. Kind of surprised. I thought both would be in town, but it is what it is.
Nick: I think they have to go to every place, right?
Andrew: Yeah. But why would you not come this week?
Nick: What other week are you going to Knoxville with that dumpster fire?
Andrew: Who do they play this week?
Andrew: Oh, that’s right. But still. You could have went there for the Vandy game. At least you’d have had something to talk about.
Nick: I’m guessing that they say that they knocked off Florida, because they went to Week 0, even though they didn’t come to campus.
Andrew: And they’ll be at Florida-Georgia.
Nick: And they’ll be at Florida-Georgia.
Andrew: All right. Tell everybody where they can find us, Nick. We’ll get out of here, and we’ll see everyone on Wednesday with our special guest.
Nick: Congratulations to Pete Alonso.
Andrew: Oh, yes.
Nick: Hit his 53rd homerun to break the MLB record for most homeruns in a rookie season. People were asking me, man, did you ever see this coming? I said, listen, Pete Alonso is going to hit at any level that he ever went and that he ever played at, but there is no way. 20 homeruns in a rookie year. 25 homeruns is a great season. 53 is an absolute dream. Congratulations to Pete. That’s truly incredible. He’s in conversations now with Babe Ruth. That’s the kind of air he’s breathing right now.
Andrew: Some of the pitches he hits too. I mean, he hit the pitch last night from Foltynewicz, and it wasn’t a great pitch, but it wasn’t a bad pitch either. Some of these balls he hits. Listen, my Braves, I don’t think anybody will ever question my loyalty to my Atlanta Braves, but my God. I was rooting for him. Anyway, Nick, tell everybody where they can find us, and we’ll get out of here.
Nick: Make Pete the guest picker GameDay. Do it. www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast wherever you consume your podcasts. Just search Gator Country. 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. As always, guys, we appreciate it. As always, chomp, chomp, and go Braves.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.