GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators win over Vanderbilt on Saturday in Nashville.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how the Gators rebounded from a 21-3 deficit on Saturday to get a 37-27 win.
Andrew and Nick also break down how the Gators offense looked and what the team needs to focus on during the bye week.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, good game in Nashville, and Gators showed they can come back from behind in a game that they tried their best in the first half to give away. Go down 21-3, but they find a way to win. Nick, I think there was a stat line, and you may be able to give me the correct stat line if I’m wrong, but something like the last 10 games Florida was down double digits they had lost.
Nick: Yeah. That, first off, is the largest deficit, ties for the largest deficit that Florida’s ever come back to win a game from. I’m pulling those notes up now. Largest deficit overcome in a road game in school history. Florida had lost 26 consecutive games when trailing by 18 or more points.
Andrew: Right. Crazy. Like I said, Florida tried every which way to give the game away. You had the Feleipe pick in the end zone. You and I will get into that in a minute. Then you had the fumble that, I mean, it bounced 70 yards backwards it seemed like before someone decided they wanted it. So, you had those.
Nick: That’s when you kind of thought maybe this is just Vandy’s day. That ball, how did that ball not bounce out of bounds? If it’s bounces out of bounds, it goes back to Florida. It just kind of trickled near the sideline, and it’s bouncing. Everyone is just like, surely someone from Florida is going to fall on this, or it’s going to go out of bounds. It just waited there. Then Vanderbilt gets it and scores.
Andrew: Right. It was weird. It was one of those where you thought for sure it was going to go out of bounds, and then you thought Florida maybe would have got it. There it goes. Nick, on the seventh play of the game, Dan Mullen did not run a trick play, but he did run one, and that was Tommy Townsend with the fake punt.
Nick: What a day. What a beautiful day.
Andrew: I don’t know what was beautiful, more beautiful, if that’s a word, seeing Tommy Townsend run for the first down, or him get up and look at the guy like, why are you hitting me after the play? I’m a punter.
Nick: He did not get his pads low enough there. He went in with some force, but the lower man wins in football, and he did not get low.
Andrew: Yeah. Nick, the turning point in the game. It comes on the kickoff, or excuse me a punt, right? Yeah. It was a punt return. Right? Yeah. Punt return. Florida was returning a punt. At the time was down, and James Houston had a questionable, well, no questionable, he was called for targeting, but was not targeting. We’ll get into that in a second. Derrick Mason decided to bring his butt to the sidelines over there and decided to argue over there and show himself, looked like an idiot almost arguing with Todd Grantham and Dan Mullen over the play, when Dan Mullen and Todd Grantham, neither one of them were saying it was okay or anything. He kind of fired the team up, and that’s the turning point in the game, in my opinion.
Nick: I don’t fault Derrick Mason at all. I think what happened was Derrick Mason came out to check on his player.
Nick: Then what happened is one of Florida’s players on the sideline said something, and then that’s when Derrick Mason got in trouble. Instead of just ignoring it, listen, you’re a grown man. If an 18 year old kid, 19, 20 year old kid says something to you that he shouldn’t have said, let his coaches handle it.
Nick: Ignore him. What happened, and what set it off, is that Derrick Mason responded to the player, responded to someone on Florida’s sideline. That’s when Todd and Dan went crazy. It’s like, don’t talk to our players. In my opinion, Derrick Mason had every right to be on the field, because his player was down. His player was laying there without his helmet on and just gotten rocked. He’s checking on his player. He shouldn’t have responded to whoever on Florida’s bench said something to him.
Andrew: He shouldn’t have went the extra 10 yards to go over more to Florida. Todd, I think, said a questionable four-letter word that we can’t use on the podcast to Derrick Mason, but that’s what I’m saying. Derrick Mason brought himself further over there. I get it. He came to check on his player, defend his player, whatever, but he’s mouthing off. In my opinion, that was just dumb on Derrick Mason’s part, because all he did was fire up Florida. Whatever it may be, it fired Florida up.
Let me hit on two things first. I want to hit on both of the penalties that were called in the game. First, James Houston was called for targeting, and, Nick, that is the dumbest targeting call that I’ve ever seen in my life. That is a good football play. Had people on Twitter say, he’s defenseless. He wasn’t defenseless. He was running down there just as well as James Houston was running down there. James Houston hit him with his shoulder. He hit shoulder to shoulder. How else do you expect to block?
I posted this on Twitter, and, Nick, I’m going to say it to you as well. The game of football has just gotten too soft, Nick. It really has. Five years ago, when we were coaching ball, when we were doing highlight films for kids in high school, those are the blocks you put on tape, because those were the effort blocks. I don’t like it, Nick. I don’t like where the game is headed.
Nick: In the NFL it started because, listen, they can say it’s for safety or whatever, but it’s not. It’s not for safety. They did it in the NFL, because they were getting sued by guys who were getting early onset Alzheimer’s and having brain trauma.
Andrew: Right. And head to head is different.
Nick: It’s a dangerous game, and you’re signing up because you love it, but you’re not signing up not knowing that it’s dangerous or I didn’t know I can get hurt. It’s a very physical game. I don’t know. To me, have the rule, and I like that they have the rule, and that they can review it, but I feel like they’re not getting it right even after they look at it again. That, to me, is inexcusable.
Andrew: To me, the reason that wasn’t overturned was the reaction and the moment that it caused. That’s the reason that it wasn’t overturned. A lot of times it’s a reaction of them making the call, one way or the other. Again, I just don’t like it. That’s a good, clean play.
Now, to go further with it. This is a rule that I think has to be changed and needs to be changed, Vosean Joseph early in the game had a stupid body slam, WWE, whatever you want to call it, suplex, after the whistle. He got a personal foul, 15-yard penalty, #1 on him. Then the entire benches on both sides, Florida and Vandy, because some of the players came on the field when Derrick Mason and Dan Mullen were acting fools, or hollering, screaming, doing their thing, everyone on both benches were given a personal foul. Vosean was ejected. I don’t know, Nick. I haven’t seen a replay close enough to see if Vosean was at the beginning or what he did or whatever it may be to come on the field, but what happens if that would have happened again? Would the game have been postponed?
Nick: Yeah. We were asking that in the press box. Is the game forfeited? I mean, we went through it three years ago. You know you have to finish an SEC game. Everyone has to finish those. I don’t know. No idea.
Andrew: I don’t like it.
Nick: I don’t like that unsportsmanlike conduct, if you get two of them you’re out, stuff like that. I think Vosean, first play, yeah, that’s unsportsmanlike conduct. You can’t pick somebody up and drop them on their head. Then the second one, I get what they’re trying to do by saying everyone gets an unsportsmanlike conduct, like get off the field. No one should have been on the field. I get that. It looked like, shoot, we were probably close to an all-out brawl if some of the GAs and stuff weren’t in between the two teams. I don’t like that. I don’t like that. They’ve got to change that rule, the two unsportsmanlike and you’re out of the game. Because if something like that happens, and maybe Vosean was the instigator, maybe he didn’t even come off the bench, but the way that they’re ruling it is it’s everyone.
It’s just the kicking people out for targeting, and I saw Chad Wilson was talking about it. It was during the Miami-FSU game, and one of Miami’s safeties was kicked out early in the game for targeting. It was targeting by the letter of the law, but you could tell that it wasn’t malicious. I think there has to be, it’s a fast game, it’s a hard-hitting game, there’s going to be targeting. I think you should be able to determine that was malicious. He went in with the crown of the helmet and was trying to hurt someone, versus that was a bang-bang play. Yes, it’s targeting, but we don’t need to kick him out for it.
Andrew: Right. That’s the whole thing for me as well, Nick. Listen, I get the whole two personal fouls, you’re done. You can’t have Vosean out there just body slamming, or anyone out there just body slamming people every play and getting away with it. So, I get that, but I don’t know how, that’s not fair to Vosean. That’s not fair to anyone. Listen, someone is going to say Vosean shouldn’t have had the dumb play at the beginning of the game. Sure. But he got penalized for that, that was supposed to be over with. Now, because, let’s just say Vosean was in the locker room with cramps. Does he get ejected as well, still, when he wasn’t even on the field? Because the way it’s ruled, yes, he would have.
Nick: Right. The referees don’t know if he’s on the field or in the locker room. They would just say, we gave everyone a penalty. He says, “I wasn’t on the field.” Well, you’re out.
Andrew: Right. I don’t like that. Anyway, let’s move on past that, Nick.
Nick: That woke the sleeping bear there. They poked the bear, woke him, and from then on, because Florida went down after that and scored on that drive.
Andrew: They got a stop, and then scored again before the half. Instead of going in 21-3 or 21-10, they go in 21-13. The rest is kind of history from there. Nick, that’s kind of what I wanted to hit on with you. I don’t know if Florida came out asleep in the game. I think they came out just being unlike themselves with the undisciplined ball, and I wanted to start with the Feleipe pass that got intercepted on the first drive. Florida just marched down there. Was it RPO? Probably. We can never say for sure. It looked like it.
Nick: Dan Mullen said it after the game. Said that was an RPO, he probably should have kept it.
Andrew: Okay. I didn’t see that.
Nick: Or probably should have handed it off. He said that in his post-game. Said that was an RPO. You can never tell, because a lot of plays are designed to look like it. Then people on Twitter are saying, he’s never doing it. I was like, you don’t know if it’s an RPO. That’s the whole thing about it being an RPO is you’re not supposed to be able to know.
Andrew: Right. Listen, it was a ball that, and Fred Johnson should have got the guy’s hands down, because it was tipped. The ball was tipped, and then it was picked off.
Nick: Who are you talking about there?
Andrew: I was talking about Fred not getting the defender’s hands down there in that particular play. Listen, should he have given it instead of pull it? Yeah, probably so. Again, we talk about a slant, and there’s a lot of things on a slant that has to go right. It’s my favorite play in the book. Outside of stand pass, it’s my favorite passing play in the book. I love it. I think a slant is one of the toughest plays to defend in the game, just because if you’re playing press, if he beats you, he’s there. If you’re playing off, it’s easy. Again, I like it, but you have to get the hands down. It was picked off. I don’t know necessarily that it was a bad throw. I think, had it not been tipped, it might have been caught by Van.
Nick: I mean, we’ll never know if it was a good throw or a bad throw, because almost instantly out of his hands the entire trajectory of the pass is changed.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. So, Florida struggles. Defensively struggled. Couldn’t stop Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Couldn’t stop him. That screen pass, Nick, I mean if there was a play designed, that should have been designed to call there, that was the play. I mean, it was wide open. Florida was bringing eight guys, sold out for the run there. They hit it, and it was just a good play. Florida had their moments of not being able to tackle in that first half of the game, and that was a turning point of allowing them to get 21 points there and a bulk of their yards. For me, Nick, Florida never got away from what they came into the game trying to do, and that was run the ball, run the ball, set up the pass. Florida ended the game with 63 carries for 292 yards. Two guys, Perine and Scarlett, over 100 yards. Overall, I think they stuck to their plan of what they wanted to do.
Nick: I don’t think they came out slow. If you look at it quarter by quarter, they had 132 yards in the first quarter.
Andrew: And 43 in the second.
Nick: Yeah. I think it was just uncharacteristic mistakes that they hadn’t been making, that they had been making the previous year, but that had been cleaned up this year. It’s what we said. My keys for the game were having a fast start, not being complacent. I don’t think they were complacent, but certainly not a fast start. I mean, you get a 3 and out, and they just methodically drove down the field, and then it’s really deflating to instantly have that turn, and then Vandy goes 98 yards for a score. Not only did you get down inside the five to throw a pick, but then you give up almost 100-yard touchdown drive.
Andrew: Momentum was changed just like that. I mean, the first drive Jachai Polite and Jabari and Cece they were just wreaking havoc in the backfield. You and I were texting back and forth it’s going to be a long day. As the game went on, Florida really stepped it up. 198 in the first half is what Vandy had yards wise. They only had 76 in the second half. Florida really controlled the game. 91 plays, I mean that’s insane for them.
Nick: 91-58, right?
Andrew: Yes. 92-58, including the kneel down. 36 minutes they controlled the clock, Nick. When you look back at this game, and every game you’re starting to see Dan Mullen have a play that he goes to that he knows is the weakness against the team. For Mississippi State, it was the stand pass. LSU it was the speed option. Then this game it was the swing pass. Vandy could not guard the swing pass. Perine, Lamical had a 63-yard gain on it. He had four catches for 93 yards all off the swing pass. Jordan Scarlett had one. Damien Pierce even had a catch off of it. You had those swing passes, and that’s where it was going in the game. When you look at Feleipe’s totals, he had 19 completions out of 29 attempts, 284. A lot of it, again, were short passes. The Van Jefferson 38-yard touchdown, that was about a five-yard pass that was gone.
Nick: Yeah. That’s why it’s your favorite play.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. It’s one of those where you beat it, let your playmakers go. Again, I think it was Dan Mullen really sticking to what he had in the play book, what his game plan was. When it was 21-3 it could have very easily gotten out of hand by him throwing Feleipe and saying, we got to get this lead back quick, throw the ball a lot. But no. He stayed with his game plan, stayed running the ball, and ended up in a big win 37-27.
Nick: Feleipe, I’m going to get a win for that.
Andrew: Yeah. I was joking with you, of course, on there, but I think so. Again, this is the way I’ve been judging Feleipe, and I would say I’m one of his biggest critics, and then at the same time can be one of his biggest fans at times.
Nick: His biggest fan?
Andrew: At times. At times.
Nick: Okay. Go.
Andrew: Let me just say what I was saying. At times, he makes some dumb decisions. The fumble, what were you doing? Just what were you doing? At times, he throws the ball, and it’s like what are you doing? Then at other times he’s shown the growth. The ball to Van, that was just a missile that he threw. It was wide open. Van had beat his guys. Threw it, and it was wide open. Those kind of things show, for me, Nick, the growth he’s making. I’m just sitting here, and I say this every week, but I’m just wondering which game he’s going to put it all together and have a complete game, because he’s got it. At times he’s got it. Listen, I’ll say this again. The 19 of 29 is a little misleading, a little bit. Van has a first down on a crossing route, just drops it, and a couple other balls that were just dropped.
Nick: I mean, there were some hideous throws yesterday.
Andrew: There were some bad.
Nick: I think he’s trying to go back shoulder on a couple of them, and it just sailed on him.
Andrew: Yeah. End of the rest of the first quarter, after he threw the pick, and then in the same quarter he had two balls that were just behind Kyle Pitts. That’s what I’m saying. He has moments in the game where he shows brightness, and he has moments in the game that make you scratch your head, like it was last year. That’s what I’m saying. Again, I know what you were saying about me being the biggest fan. At times he makes me think this is a guy that’s improving, and then at times he just makes you scratch your head and say, what the hell, Feleipe?
Nick: Yeah. It’s probably still just him being young. People probably don’t want to hear that, but being young, and not young. Someone will say he’s a junior, and it’s kind of I’m going on what Dan Mullen says. He’s not young in terms of he’s basically a junior. It’s his third year in college. He’s young in the offense. It’s really seven games in the offense, 10 months in an offense that probably takes a year. I think he’s doing fine.
Andrew: It’s learning that his God given talent doesn’t have to be used every play. He’s not the closer for the Yankees. He’s not Chapman, where he needs to throw 105 every play. The crossing route to Van, take a little bit off, Van has a better chance to catch it. The back shoulder to Kyle Pitts, he’s wide open. Take a little bit off. You don’t have to show that off every time. There’s times in the games where you need to throw 100 miles an hour, and there’s time where you can zip a change up in there. I think that that’s the biggest thing for Feleipe.
Nick, the main reason that I say you get a win is this. After the two turnovers, he didn’t duck his head. He didn’t go into full old Feleipe of pouting about it. Not that he pouts about it but allowing that to affect the rest of the game. For me, that’s the moment that, I guess, I’m the most proud of.
Nick: I think there was a moment where he did, Mullen laughed about it after the game. He said, after the fumble he was kind of moody, and Brian Johnson is up in the booth, and he said Brian yelled at him. He yelled at him over the headset and was like, stop being moody. Get back in there. You got to go back and play. That’s big. That is big for me.
Going back to what you said before I brought Feleipe up, that formula was there. That running formula that I talked about all off season, it was there. 23 carries for Lamical Perine, 16 for Jordan Scarlett, 10 for Damien Pierce. Running the ball 63 times for 292 yards. That’s what I’ve kind of been waiting to see all year, that kind of dominance on the ground.
Andrew: 211 yards of total offense for Lamical Perine in the game. Like you said.
Nick: Huge day.
Andrew: Game ball for him. Nick, I know you were tweeting about Scarlett, people getting on him. Someone said that I’ve been getting on him. I don’t know that I’ve been hard on him. I think I’ve just been saying that I think Lamical, they need to know when Jordan Scarlett should play and when Lamical should play. I don’t know that there’s been a situation that they’ve handled it better than they did this week. Perine’s vision, Nick, is just showing consistently that it’s there, and that that’s what has kind of separated him from Jordan Scarlett this year. Then Jordan Scarlett being the physical back is kind of what separated him. He did show a little bit of speed as well.
The vision, especially the long pass play, and then also a couple of runs, he just showed that vision to be able to hop. The offensive line is not getting a great push. The guys are in the backfield a ton, so you’re having to make that quick sense of movement, and that’s what has allowed Lamical to get that 121 yards, that 5.3 yards per carry on Saturday.
Nick: Lamical Perine was the first Gator since Matt Jones, and that was 2014 versus Georgia, to log 200 plus scrimmage yards, rushing and receiving. It’s the eleventh most by a Gator since the start of the 1996 season. He had 214 scrimmage yards. Also, 121 and 93 receiving yards were both career highs for him. Huge day for Lamical, and there was a good portion of that game where Florida was still down, and they were just feeding him. It turned into like, listen, you’re carrying us right now, so keep doing that. We’re going to keep giving you the ball. He answered the call.
Andrew: Then, like you said with Scarlett, he had several plays in the game that were just big plays where he didn’t stop his feet, and that forced Vandy to come up a little bit, and when they did come up a little bit, he was able to break out, and that’s what allowed that big 48-yard touchdown run. They brought everyone up on the line of scrimmage, because he’s been getting those tough yards, and then, boom, that’s what happens. He breaks it, and that’s the thing for Scarlett in the game. Van, good day for Van as well. He had that drop, but he had the big catch as well.
Nick, let’s go to the defensive side of the ball real quick.
Nick: One more last thing on the running backs. I liked that, listen, Damien Pierce, you can’t fumble the football, but I liked that the coaching staff didn’t bench him after that, especially because he’s a young player. You fumbled, and he knows he can’t fumble. You don’t need to tell him. He knows he can’t fumble, but I think it was good that they put him back into the game and didn’t just bench him. Just keep him confident. Listen, you know you weren’t supposed to do that. I don’t need to tell you. Get back in the game and do better. I like that they didn’t bench him after the mistake, but you can’t fumble the football.
Andrew: I think the mistake there for Damien was it was a read option, and he has to see the ball in a little bit. You can’t just take off. That’s something he’ll learn.
Nick, I wanted to go to the defense a little bit though. David Reese stepped up big time when Vosean went out of the game. Also, the play of the safeties, Jeawon Taylor had those two pick sixes that should have put the game out of reach. He had a really good game. Brad Stewart had a good game, and Donovan Stiner had a good game overall, Nick. I think that might be where the biggest improvement for this team has come from the Kentucky game is safety play. After the Kentucky game, you and I were talking and we were like, where are you going to go with safeties? Everyone was begging for Shawn Davis to get back. He’s done well when he’s got back, but the guy’s who’ve been there all year have finally stepped up. Probably learning Todd Grantham a little bit more.
Nick: Yeah. Todd was dialing it up again yesterday.
Andrew: Oh yeah. He was not worrying. Not afraid at all. Nick, will you give me this? You saw something out of Trey Dean on Saturday that we’ve been expecting. That’s that tough, physical aggressive style play.
Nick: Fans kind of gave up on him after a couple. Was it Kentucky? I think it was the Kentucky game where he could have gotten beat even more than he did, but there was some bad passes. I don’t think anyone has ever questioned his toughness. I mean, you see that. He’s not a guy you want to make angry. Van Jefferson said it, and I have been really high on Trey Dean since the spring when he got here early, and I think Van Jefferson said it, he’s going to be one of the best in the country soon. I think he will be. I think he’s going to be the next great Gator cornerback. I want you to say, you said it to me yesterday, I hadn’t really thought of it until you said where you see him fitting in next year. I think it makes a lot of sense.
Andrew: I was just kind of thinking about how is this team going to fit everyone in next year, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him slide into that star position, like Chauncey’s got, like Chauncey’s playing. Again, I think that Trey Dean is going to make a crap ton of money in the League playing corner, outside corner, but a guy like Trey Dean, toughness wise, coming off the edge like Chauncey does on those blitzes, I’m cool with it. I’m cool with, because, for me, you want Trey Dean hitting somebody. Outside of that one pass interference, and it was an uncatchable ball a little bit, in my opinion, but it was pass interference, he held. Besides that, they didn’t throw his way. The best combination for a corner, and the best praise for a corner, not throwing their way.
Nick: Yeah. That’s like a tip of the hat.
Nick: You’re very good. We’ll be over here on the other side of the field, so enjoy your game.
Andrew: We’ll be over here. You just keep throwing the other way. Didn’t see a ton of Jachai Polite in the game. You kind of said it in the game, on the game thread and on Twitter and stuff, he only played a lot on 3rd downs in the game. Not a slight on Jachai at all. It was more they were running the ball a lot and trying to save him for that. Nothing wrong with him.
Nick: He, as usual, is getting held tighter than a newborn.
Andrew: Oh my word, yeah. I mean.
Nick: He did get a sack, which is now five consecutive games, which is the first time since Derek Harvey, from September 23 to November 4 in 2006, that a player has had a sack in five straight games. Harvey’s was six straight games. He broke Jermaine Cunningham. Jermaine Cunningham had four in a row back in 2009. Polite’s seven sacks are the most since Dante Fowler finished 2014 with 8.5, and he’s getting a little close to the school record of 13.
Andrew: Who had 13? Harvey?
Nick: No. Shoot. I’m blanking on the name.
Andrew: Or Alex Brown?
Nick: Alex Brown.
Andrew: Okay. I couldn’t remember if Harvey had broke Alex Brown’s or not. That was where I was at. I mean, Jachai did well in the game. I thought Cece had a good game overall in the game. I thought that Kyrie Campbell played well up the middle for the team. Overall, that was a key. Then, like we said, special teams. In the game of football, special teams are key. Tommy Townsend had the big punt, fake punt. Got it. Also had a few punts that were huge. Evan McPherson continues to do Evan McPherson things on special teams.
Again, an all-around good win. This is going to sound crazy to say, but a win that I think showed a lot of people a lot of things about this team, when you come from behind like that. These teams in the past weren’t coming from behind. They were laying down, giving it up, saying we’ll try again next year, or next week.
Nick: There’s not many games where in the past you probably said Florida should have won. I feel like we’re learning something about this team, whether it’s the different players or mental toughness, mental makeup, physicality, we’re learning something different and seeing something different, I think, each week with this team, which is encouraging, especially when you’re thinking that this is just the first year with Dan Mullen and Nick Savage and this coaching staff. To see that there is continued growth every week, and there’s somebody new stepping up, or there’s something new, a different kind of adversity, so I think to me that’s really, if I’m a fan watching the games, that gets me excited for the future.
There’s never complacency with this team. They kind of keep fighting back. Mental toughness is huge. Florida, not to call out their character, but probably would have laid down last week, or would have laid down Saturday when things start going bad, when that fumble happens, and they go down, and there’s a 98-yard touchdown drive. They just laid down and watch it happen. They weren’t bystanders yesterday. They were active participants, and they just took that game.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. That was key. I mean, last little thought, 576 yards of offense, I don’t care if you’re playing Vandy or the Citadel or whoever it may, that’s a good amount of yards. Been a long, long time since the Gators had 576 yards in an SEC game.
Nick: I don’t remember. That’s not in my notes here.
Andrew: It’s been a long time, my friend.
Nick: Not in my notes.
Andrew: Let’s go ahead. Let’s start talking. They got the bye week this week.
Nick: Oh wait, real quick. You picked one game out of five right. I wanted to add that in there.
Andrew: So, I just pulled one of you from last year.
Nick: You picked Washington, loser. Wisconsin, loser. I picked Oregon and Michigan, those are winners. Auburn, see ya, Gus. We got to figure out how to pay you $42 million. Good Lord, what an egg they laid. My goodness. Georgia got smacked by LSU. I did not see that coming. LSU, that’s going to look good for Florida, but now we live in a world where Kentucky controls their own destiny in the SEC East, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, this is my thing, and that is just what happened in Baton Rouge? I mean, Georgia, good grief. I didn’t think their defense was as good as people made it out to be. You and I have talked about that all year. But I thought their offense was a little bit better than that, and that was just a smacking. Then, like you said, the Gus bus. Mark Richt though, he didn’t let Gus get ahead of him in being the most overrated coach, because he laid an egg right after that against Virginia.
Nick: Good Lord did Miami lay an egg up there in Virginia. That’s not a good VVA team.
Andrew: No. That’s a terrible team, and Miami is right there with them. Gus and Mark Richt, they just each say, hold my cards, I can do one better than you.
Nick: You love it.
Andrew: I love every second of it. $32 million. Better watch out, Gus. People at Auburn, they’ll get crazy enough. They’ll start mortgaging their house to get you out of their for their football team.
Nick: Yeah. They’ll figure it out. They’ll sell that big video board.
Andrew: For real. Old Chuck Barkley will be giving golf lessons before long.
Nick: Who’s paying for those?
Andrew: Lordy, like you said, Kentucky kind of owns their own destiny here. They’re looking good. I still think the winner of this game in Jacksonville though, Nick, will produce the contender in the Georgia Dome, but may be wrong. Florida moves up to 11. Some people are pissed off. I don’t get it right now, Nick. This is the question that I’ve told people. I said, I don’t understand. You want to be top 10, sure. I get that. At the end of the day, if you take care of your business, you’re going to the playoffs. People don’t want to understand that. If you take care of business, win out, win the SEC Championship game, going to the playoffs.
They’re upset become LSU moved up so high for beating Georgia, and Georgia didn’t drop out of the top 10. I haven’t been able to get the point across to people that people still Florida losing to Kentucky as a bad loss, and they still see Georgia from last year, and they still see LSU for that game they had against Miami. They’re not good, but whatever. They’re not dropping Georgia out of the top 10. They never were. Florida was never going to jump LSU after LSU just beat Georgia.
Andrew: I guess, do you agree with the rankings?
Nick: I never get big into the rankings, because it’s like you just said, if Florida beats Georgia and wins out and beats Alabama, they’re in the playoff. If they don’t do that, they’re not in the playoffs. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re ranked 30 right now or you’re ranked #1 in the country. If you win out and you’re Florida, then you’re going to the playoffs. If you don’t win out, you don’t. I don’t understand. To me, it’s just something just to get mad at, I guess. I don’t know.
Andrew: I have no idea. I was called an idiot, because I said Oregon may jump Florida, and they said, why? I said simply, Oregon had a better win than Florida this week. They said, Oregon didn’t jump Florida, they move to 12. I said, maybe, because you never know how the poll looks at things. They see one win as better than the other. I mean, I think you and I will both agree that Texas’s loss to Maryland looks a lot worse than every team that’s in the top 10, but you and I don’t get a pick. It just is what it is. Again, like I said, I don’t understand the whole I’m not top 10, whatever. I’m not sold on that.
Anyway, bye week, Nick. For me, the keys are getting everyone healthy, which I think the team is pretty healthy. Then just continuing to work on the small things. Every coach will tell you during a bye week they go back to doing a lot of the fundamentals of the game. Tackling a little bit better. Feleipe will work on his reads a little bit more. It’s a lot about working on yourself, more so than Georgia. They’ll quickly turn to looking at Georgia tape by the end of the week.
Nick: I think the biggest one here would probably be, like you said, getting healthy. Not necessarily getting healthy, because the guys that are hurt aren’t coming back any time soon. Marco is not coming back, stuff like that. It’s a week to get back into the weight room and those ailing bruises and soreness and pain that you’ve been dealing with for five straight weeks start to feel better there.
Then the biggest think, I think, if I’m Dan, I mean Dan and the coaching staff, they’re already looking at Georgia. When you start looking at the players, I would probably start Wednesday, dude. I mean, Georgia is pissed off. They’re going to be looking at Florida all week. They’re coming off a loss. It’s tougher going into a bye week after a loss, because when you lose you want to get back out on the field as soon as possible.
Andrew: I don’t know what mindset Georgia is going to have going into Jacksonville. I’m going to be honest with you, Nick. I don’t know. I see a lot of bickering about who should be quarterback going on with that team already. I’m not sure the mindset of that team.
Nick: I would say it’s a tough team, but then you look at the whole quarterback thing that happened, and Fromm did not look good yesterday. You didn’t really get a huge opportunity for Justin Fields. Now, because of that game, now you’re being asked about it all week.
Andrew: Right. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t know.
Nick: You’re getting asked about it for two weeks.
Andrew: I don’t know the mindset they’re going to have going into Jacksonville. I know this. It’s going to be a physical game, be unpredictable, and if Florida can go in there, play mistake-free ball, and play to their strengths, they’ll be in it in the fourth quarter. I will say this. Seeing what LSU did to Georgia does not make me believe Georgia can blow Florida out, if Florida plays a good game. If they start like Vandy, it’ll be ugly. I mean, that’s ugly against any good football team. If Florida goes in with the same game play they did against LSU, where it’s the biggest game of the season, be more physical than the team in front of them, they can win the game easily.
Nick: Before the year, I probably would have said blown out.
Andrew: Yes. I would have said three scores. Three scores.
Nick: I’ve learned a lot about this team. I mean, while my prediction, right now I predicted at this point in the season they’d be 5-2, I’m only one game off, but the way that I thought they would lose and the way that they won those games I thought they would lose, I wasn’t even close. I’ve learned a lot about this team. Dan Mullen, to me, Dan Mullen is your SEC Coach of the Year.
Andrew: Yes. Depending on how LSU finishes.
Nick: Listen, I mean, LSU is going to lose to Alabama. If Kentucky wins out, then Stoops is your SEC Coach of the Year, but I think …
Andrew: I get what you’re saying. I do think what Orgeron did at LSU, and I’m tough on O, but I do think what he did in getting his team to bounce back was pretty good. Nick, to finish this up, no press this week, except for a few players.
Nick: We’ll talk to Mullen on Tuesday.
Andrew: Oh, Mullen is on Tuesday. Okay. I thought it was just Wednesday on the teleconference. So, nothing on Monday from Mullen, but on Tuesday. Mullen and staff, they’ll be out recruiting this week. They’ll spend the first couple of days of the week and then the last couple days of the week on Friday and Saturday out recruiting. It’s a chance to go out, check on all the recruits, check on some academics, and see some new senior film. Get their face out there and the logo out there. Right now, #11 team in the country walking in the door, they’re going to get some looks. The GAs and all that good stuff, they’ll be handling practice. Again, like we said, it’ll be more fundamentals, that kind of stuff.
Nick: This is a big week for the podcast to talk about recruiting.
Andrew: Yes. We’re lining up some guests. We won’t surprise them, but we’ll definitely talk a little recruiting this week and get that stuff going. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here, and we’ll see everyone on Wednesday.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts. Just search @GatorCountry. 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’ll see you on Wednesday. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.