Podcast: Previewing the Florida Gators vs. LSU game

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we start to preview the Florida Gators vs. LSU game on Saturday at 4:00 in the Swamp.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre preview the game and we breakdown what changes we think the Gators could make on defense this week.

Andrew and Nick also talk about the offense this week against a below-average LSU defense.


Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, we’re here getting ready for LSU and Florida. If you didn’t catch the news, it moved back 30 minutes. No big deal. Still on ESPN.

Nick:                         Real quick programming note, because there’s a lot of confusion. CBS doesn’t have a double header this week, or this year. ESPN was always broadcasting Florida-LSU. The moving the kickoff back, some people were like, why isn’t it on CBS now? It was never on CBS. It’s just ESPN is probably giving it an extra 30 minute buffer, so that you don’t have the 12:00 kickoff running into Florida-LSU. If they need to kill time with a studio show for 20 minutes, they’d rather do that. I mean, how pissed off are you if Florida starts at 3:00, and the game doesn’t start on ESPN, because whatever game ESPN was showing at noon is in the 4th quarter, and you miss 10 minutes of Florida-LSU?

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         ESPN is just moving it back, so you don’t have any crossover between the games.

Andrew:                 I was telling you off the air, we were talking about that. You’re just so accustomed to it, and I even told you before the schedule came out last week I even thought, that’s a CBS game, because I’m so accustomed to it being on CBS.

Nick:                         3:30, you immediately assume CBS.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         I get the confusion. That’s why I just wanted to get it out there real quick.

Andrew:                 Yeah. So, they moved it back. Again, no big deal. No problem or anything like that. Somebody asked is there an issue of why they have to move it back? No. It’s just TV. TV runs the game, as we always say. That’s that. We’re going to spend this podcast a little different, Nick. We’re going to go through. Dan Mullen said on Monday he wants to really go through and talk about and think about moving some guys around. If there’s guys that are in better position to play to make the team better, they want to play those guys on defense. He said he was in the defensive meeting room on Sunday. I know he said the buck does stop with him, and it does. I was very vocal about that on Sunday. Todd Grantham, you can say you want to fire Todd Grantham all you want to, but at the end of the day, if Dan Mullen doesn’t fix it, then it’s on Dan Mullen.

Nick:                         Yeah. Here’s what it is. Dan Mullen is not a defensive coach. That’s now how he cut his teeth. That’s not how he became successful. He’s an offensive coach. I think he’s a brilliant offensive mind. He’s not going to call the plays. He’s not going to call defensive plays. Sorry. But at the end of the day, I forget which president it was that had the little placard on his desk that said, the buck stops here.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         He’s the head football coach, so every little thing that happens on the football team ends up coming back to him. So, is he calling the defensive plays? No. Is he responsible for how bad the defense is playing? No and yes. No, he’s not, but at the end of the day, it comes back on him.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         So, is he going to fire Todd Grantham in the middle of the season? I would bet my house, my brand-new house, that he does not do it. That’s how confident I am that he’s not going to fire Todd Grantham in the middle of the season. If the Gators’ defense continues playing like this, and he doesn’t fire Todd Grantham at the end of the season, and you didn’t get any improvement, then now it’s your fault. I understand not making a move in the middle of the year. I don’t think making that move in the middle of the year helps your football team, to be honest. That might not be a popular opinion, and I don’t know if you agree with that or not. I don’t think firing Todd Grantham right now will help your team on Saturday or the next seven games.

Andrew:                 You’re not changing your defensive scheme in the middle of the year, for one.

Nick:                         Right.

Andrew:                 So, you’re going to run the same scheme. Now, is it all scheme? I mean, is it all play calling and that? I say some of it is. Yes. I do. Would maybe having a little bit of changing in play calling do something? Maybe. It very well could. I don’t know that for complete fact that there’s somebody on the staff that could call the game better. Torrian Gray, to my knowledge, doesn’t have that experience. David Turner doesn’t have that experience. Ron English, I don’t think Ron English has it either, right? He’s never called plays, right?

Nick:                         I don’t know. When he was a head coach, maybe he was calling the defense for Michigan.

Andrew:                 Maybe.

Nick:                         But is that who you want calling plays?

Andrew:                 That’s what I’m saying. I’m sitting here telling him his safeties suck, so yeah, no. I don’t want him calling plays. Again, you look at it like that, and you say, who do you want calling plays? The answer is there’s nobody on the staff right now that you would trust fully to call the plays, so what do you really get from firing him?

Here’s kind of where I’m at, Nick, and that is if this keeps up another two games, then maybe you say, the hell with it, and you fire him. Just because. But again, that doesn’t really fix anything, because you’re not going to change any of your formations or anything like that. Again, maybe they play more press coverage, and that’s something I’ve been screaming about wanting to see. Maybe they do that, but again, I don’t know who calls the plays to make that happen.

Nick:                         Listen, I’m watching the same game you guys are watching. There’s no excuse to me for this defense. I’m going to talk to Todd Grantham. You’re listening to this on Wednesday. I’ve already talked to Todd Grantham. We’re talking to Todd on Tuesday night. I’m going to ask him, and maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he’ll tell me I’m an idiot, and I’m looking at it wrong, and that’s his answer. That’s fine. I’m going to be like, it looks like you’re playing a lot of zone. It looks like you’re not blitzing as much, and it looks like you’ve got defensive backs playing more off coverage than you have in the past. Is that an accurate assessment, in your opinion? We’ll see what he says.

I’m watching the same game you guys are watching. There’s no excuse to be made for the defense, and if the defense doesn’t get better throughout the rest of the year, then I’m with you. Change has to be made. I’m just saying I don’t think it makes you better in the short term to have that kind of upheaval.

Andrew:                 Right. Yeah. In my opinion, when you fire Grantham, you’re throwing away your season. You’re throwing away. You’re saying the season is pretty much done.

Nick:                         It’s like you said. Where do you go? You’re not hiring a new coaching. Now you’re short staffed one. Who’s calling the plays? Who’s running the practice?

Andrew:                 Right. That’s kind of where I’m at on that. There is some guys, and we’re going to talk about that here in a few minutes, some guys that we think could hop in and maybe make this defense better overall. Again, we’ve talked about it. There are some guys that just simply aren’t playing well. What product that’s from, I don’t know. Honest to God, you can’t worry about why that is. If it’s a situation of Covid, and they didn’t have it, I’m sorry, but now is the time that it’s kind of get up and go time, and you’ve got to figure it out before the season unravels to the point where now you’re looking at playing for nothing. You don’t want to get to that situation. In my opinion, you cannot have two losses going into the Georgia game and expect to win the East. Would you agree with that?

Nick:                         No. No. 100%. Listen, losing sucks, and I get it. I get the anger. Saturday sucked. Was not fun. But the season’s not over. Georgia has to play Alabama this week, and you get to play Georgia in November. The season’s not over. I think what makes it worse, and I was going through some games, I think what makes it worse, and I don’t remember this on Sunday or not, or if it was in our Zoom. No. I think I said it Sunday. What makes it worse is that you didn’t lose to a better football team.

Andrew:                 No.

Nick:                         You should have beat A&M. You’re never going to be happy with a loss, but if Florida goes out there and goes to the SEC Championship game and loses to Alabama, and you look at it, and you’re like, we’re just not as good a football team as that team we played today.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         You can kind of stomach it. But Florida lost to a worse football team, because of the defensive play and because of self-inflicted wounds.

Andrew:                 Right. 100%. That’s what pisses you off if you’re a fan, if you’re Florida, if you’re whatever. You didn’t lose to a better football team. You lost to a team who, in my opinion, is not. Now, I will say this. Actually, before we go there on the defense, and I’m the biggest critic of Dan Mullen out there, and I don’t hold back on that. I think that this is his problem, and I think he has to fix it, and I was kind of a smartass on Saturday when he said, we’re going to go back and look at it. I said, duh. I was kind of a smartass for saying that, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing he can say that’s going to make us happy, the fans happy, anybody happy. All he can do is fix the product on Saturday. He can tell us he’s going to get it fixed. Until we see it on Saturday, I don’t believe him.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 You know what I’m saying?

Nick:                         Your boy, Jimmy McElwain. Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.

Andrew:                 Right. I mean, you know what I’m saying? Would you agree with that, that there’s nothing he can say that is going to appease anyone? Sorry, but coach speak is coach speak. You can only say I’m going to get it fixed and different things like that so many times. Now, has Mullen had to do that a lot? No. But at the end of the day, this is now three weeks in a row he’s said the defense is going to improve. Sorry, buddy, it’s not improving.

Nick:                         Yeah. I’m with it. I’m with it, Spivey.

Andrew:                 But no, I went back, and I watched the game, just like you did. I went and was watching some of the clips that our man David Wunderlich was posting. As bad as the defense played, Kellen Mond also played a really good game. I thought some passes he threw that if he wasn’t perfect, it was picked off, or it wasn’t a big game like he had. I just think overall, I don’t know if we gave him enough credit for what he did, because I thought he had a really good game, after going back and watching it. Now, still, Florida’s defense sucked. They played terrible, but I also think Kellen Mond did play probably his best game of his career.

Nick:                         I think if you really go back and watch it with a level head, he’s throwing guys open. They won some 50/50 balls as well. I know it didn’t get a great reception when Dan said it, when I posted it on the message board during his press conference Monday. He said, you can’t mistake great offense for bad defense. I agree with that statement, but I think we saw both Saturday. I think we saw some great offense and a lot of bad defense.

Andrew:                 Let me say this. Alabama’s defense is terrible, and Alabama’s defense shut down Texas A&M’s offense.

Nick:                         Yeah. So did Vanderbilt.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         They can’t even play.

Andrew:                 Yeah. They got, what, 55 eligible guys? They had to postpone their game against Missouri. Again, that’s where I’m at with this. Listen, the defense has got to get better. I’ll go back and say this one more time. I don’t say Grantham needs to be fired today or tomorrow. If it continues, and you get out of the race, then yes.

Nick, big news that just came out on Tuesday. We’re taping this on Tuesday. You’re listening to this on Wednesday. Some Covid news for the Gators, and not so good Covid news for the Gators. Fill us in on what the Covid news is.

Nick:                         Florida got tested. I mean, the football players are getting tested three times a week, except for players who’ve already had it, because studies show that if the players have already had it they don’t need to be tested again. They’re not going to catch it again.

Andrew:                 Did you see the guy in Nevada though? There’s a guy in Nevada who’s got it again.

Nick:                         I’m not a doctor, man. That stuff’s above my head. I just listen to the doctors. That’s all I’m doing.

Andrew:                 No, I’m with you. I’m just messing with you.

Nick:                         So, five new positive tests this week. It’s a 10-day mandatory quarantine after, so the players that are newly tested, and the numbers we got are new since last Monday. We get numbers every Tuesday.

Andrew:                 Hold on a second. Let me ask you this, to clarify this for everyone. That’s five new ones on top of the one from last week that was reported?

Nick:                         Yes.

Andrew:                 Or four new ones and the one from last week?

Nick:                         Five new ones.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         So, the total number is six, and the number was one last week. For football.

Andrew:                 Okay. Go ahead.

Nick:                         So, Florida had six active cases in their testing on September 15. That was a week and a half before the season, but there were only a handful of players that didn’t travel to Ole Miss that week. It’s a small spike, not a huge one, but I am told that there are three linebackers in that five. So, now you’re looking at a position group that’s being hit a little bit there. Luckily, we’ll get into our next segment, which is talking about players we want to see more of. Yeah. The news on Tuesday was five new football players had tested positive for Corona, which means 10-days, and that’s five guys that will not be available on Saturday.

Andrew:                 Okay. That’s what I was kind of getting into was that. There’s just nothing you can do. It’s honestly nature, I guess is the best way to say it. There’s nothing you can do. But a defense that’s already reeling, now you’re talking about potentially three linebackers, like you said. Man, you’re going to be forced. It gets weirder. I guess that’s a little bit of an excuse for Dan Mullen, or for Todd Grantham, if you want to make one. I guess. I don’t know. I don’t like to make excuses for him. I think it’s kind of over with, done with. Your defense has been bad. So, I guess that’s where I’m at on that. How are you feeling on this? Do you think the number rises more?

Nick:                         I don’t know. It’s so difficult, because with contact tracing. But here’s the way the contact tracing works. Let’s say you and I are linebackers, and I’ve already gone through Coronavirus. You and I are obviously going to be in contact. We’re in the same meeting rooms. We’re in the same huddles and all this stuff. So, when I got it initially, you might have to quarantine because of contact tracing.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Now, two months down the line, I’ve already had it. The way that it’s being handle right now, if you catch it, it doesn’t matter if I’ve been in contact with you. I don’t have to quarantine. I’ve already had it.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         So, with contact tracing it’s like, who’s he been around? He’s been around these six guys a lot. Four of them have already had it. They’re fine. The other two now have to quarantine, because they haven’t had Coronavirus yet, and we’re going to quarantine them until they get three negatives, or for a certain period of time. That’s just stuff that I don’t think I know. I think anyone will know, other than the doctors and the people inside the building.

Dan Mullen says it all the time, and I don’t think it’s lip service. He goes, I don’t know who’s available until like Friday morning, because they get tested Friday, and they get the rapid results back on Friday. So, he could have a game plan where Kyle Trask is our starting quarterback, and then Friday comes, and Kyle’s got Covid. You’re like, shoot.

Andrew:                 Right. I do. I’ve heard that as well from several people that that’s not something Mullen knows about. It’s something that is kind of told to him when the player tests positive. He says, he’s out 10 days, and he’s not coming to practice today, or whatever it may be. Hopefully, if it is the three linebackers, not that you’re wrong, but like we just said, it’s a situation where there’s a lot of more question marks than we know, if it is, hopefully it’s not something that spreads even more. Then it becomes a situation like Vandy. That wouldn’t be good.

Nick:                         You don’t want a Vandy situation. Vandy played last week with 56 scholarship players and fell below. The SEC says you have to have at least 53 scholarship players available to be able to play, and Vandy fell below that. I don’t know what the exact number is, but they don’t have 53 guys available, for either Covid reasons, injury, whatever. They don’t have 53 scholarship players. Florida’s not anywhere near that number. Don’t worry about the game being canceled.

Andrew:                 Right. Like you said, that’s a number that just continued to get worse for Vandy after that game. That’s why you’re at the situation of now you got to cancel the game.

Let’s move on though, Nick. Let’s get into talking about some guys here. First off, let’s hit the offense first. The offense I feel like, Nick, should have a good game against LSU. Outside of Derek Stingley, I’m not sure you’re scared of anybody on the LSU defensive side of the ball. The question for me is the health status of Kyle Pitts. How much is he able to go? The second thing is who Stingley guards.

Nick:                         Yeah. Who does he guard? I think that’s the great thing about Florida’s offense is that’s fine. If you’ve got a cornerback that can take away somebody, we’ve got four other guys to throw to and a stable of running backs we can hand the ball off to.

Andrew:                 Right. Yeah.

Nick:                         You look. LSU is awful. Atrocious.

Andrew:                 Atrocious. Call it what it is. They’re atrocious on defense.

Nick:                         You thought you had it bad, Florida fans. Watch LSU play.

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         I feel bad for Coach O. Congratulations on winning your championship, but everybody left.

Andrew:                 Everybody left.

Nick:                         Everybody left, and it looks like everybody left.

Andrew:                 Definitely does. Yeah. I’m with you there. Again, I don’t think this is a problem for Florida to score on LSU. It kind of goes back to the same old thing, and that is how does Florida get some stops? Here we go. Let’s get into it. This is Nick and I’s armchair quarterback of this is what we think. These are some guys we think should play and play more this week. As Dan Mullen said, they’re continuing to evaluate and look at some other guys.

Now, are all these guys going to play? Don’t know. I’m getting that out there before anybody says, Nick and Andrew are saying these guys are playing this week. This is just strictly Nick and I playing armchair quarterback of guys we think should see more action this week, as Florida looks for better production. Would you agree with that?

Nick:                         Yeah. I agree with that.

Andrew:                 I just didn’t want nobody to kind of take it to the bank that we’re saying these guys are going to play, and then when they don’t play on Saturday, they’re pissed off, because you and I said something.

Nick:                         What happened to him?

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         Spivey told me he was playing.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Well, that’s my fault, guys. Let’s go ahead. You want to start DBs or D line, Nick?

Nick:                         I’ll just say it real quick. We don’t have anyone, like I would like to see more Ja’Markis Weston. I would like to see more Trent Whittemore, but the offense is fine. You know what I mean?

Andrew:                 Yeah. There’s guys on offense that I would like to see play more, but I don’t know who you would replace there. I’ve said it before. I would like to see some of those young offensive linemen play, but you’re not going to do that in games that are close. I would like to see Anthony Richardson get some snaps. Can’t do that in a close game. I would like to see Ja’Markis Weston get some playing time, Jaquavion Fraziers get some playing time, but again, you’re not up big enough. My thing would be I would like to see this team get up, so I can see some of these guys, but right now that’s not realistic.

Nick:                         Right. I mean, the offense is doing fine. Most of the guys, all the guys we’re going to name are going to be on the defensive side of the ball.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Let’s go to the defense. You want to start backfield or up front?

Nick:                         We’ll start in the backfield.

Andrew:                 I always like to work my way back, but we’ll go backfield first.

Nick:                         We’ll work our way up.

Andrew:                 Let’s work our way up. Go ahead.

Nick:                         I want to see more Trey Dean.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         That’s probably not something that maybe a lot of people agree with, but I want to see more Trey Dean. I think he’s played better at safety than he looked all last year, and I want to see more Trey Dean at safety.

Andrew:                 I agree with that. I think Trey has played a lot better at times. I said this to you off the air, and that is I’m tired of watching guys at the safety position. If you don’t know what you’re doing, go somewhere fast. Go somewhere fast. Don’t just stand there and look lost in the secondary and look like a guy who is lost. You can make yourself look a lot better and accidentally run into a play, if you’re doing something fast. If you’re just standing there looking lost, chances are you’re not going to find anywhere to make a play.

Nick:                         Accidentally run into a play.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Trey Dean does a lot of things fast. I want to see Trey Dean get some playing time back there. Another guy, Nick, and I say this, and that is we didn’t see a ton of Rashad Torrence this past week with Brad back. I don’t want to say I want to see more of Rashad, because I did see a lot in the Ole Miss game, and it wasn’t very good, but for the simple fact that if all of them are just as bad as Rashad, let him get in there and get some snaps by fire.

Nick:                         Yeah. You might have to take some lumps.

Andrew:                 Another guy, Nick, in the secondary, and he’s playing a good bit, but I want to see more, and that’s Jaydon Hill. He played a lot more snaps in the A&M game, but I continue to want to see more of Jaydon Hill at that corner spot. Just because I think that he plays fast. Is he in the right place every time?

Nick:                         That’s going to be a theme for you here.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Is he in the right place every time? No. But I think that he is a guy that plays fast and is at least giving me 150% every play.

Nick:                         Yeah. I want to see Jaydon. I’m not ready to bench, listen, Marco had a terrible game. He’ll tell you that. He had a terrible game. I’m not ready to bench him yet. I think he’s a good football player. He didn’t forget how to play football. Has he lost a step because of after his ACL? I don’t know. Maybe. I’m not ready to give up on Marco Wilson yet, but I see Jaydon Hill a little bit more, and I want to see Chester Kimbrough too.

Andrew:                 With Chester, and again, I’m not for benching Marco either. I think that Marco is a good football player. What’s going on with him? Not sure. I wouldn’t mind a lineup of, if one of them can play inside at times, I wouldn’t mind a lineup of Kaiir, Chester, and Jaydon. I think that’s a very quick team as far as your secondary goes. I wouldn’t mind seeing that at all.

You and I had this discussion about Tre’Vez Johnson. I know a lot of people are hyped up about him. Has he played great? No, he hasn’t. But what I told you earlier, and we just hit on it at the safety position, and that is the biggest thing for me with Tre’Vez Johnson is even when he’s not in the right place, he’s going somewhere hauling ass. For me, that’s all I can ask of a player is to give me 150% effort. I’ll go back to a play he made, actually a couple plays. For one, he has been a star in the special teams. I think he’s done really well on special teams. The play late in the game, where he was blitzing off the edge, and they ran away from him, and he still ended up making the play. For me, that told me everything I need to know about him in that he’s getting it, slowly but surely.

Nick:                         I agree with what you said. Listen, if you’re going to make a mistake, make it fast. Don’t be timid, and that’s the reason why you’re making a mistake.

Andrew:                 Yes. Any other guys? Let me just run through these. Trey Dean. I’m just going to run through the DBs.

Nick:                         We went through all the DBs.

Andrew:                 No. I’m saying let me run through the DBs that people are asking about. Jahari Rogers and Avery Helm. Not ready yet. Pouncey’s out. Quincy Litton announced on Tuesday he’s transferring. Finley Graham’s out. Mordecai McDaniel and Kamar Wilcoxson are just not ready. That’s your secondary guys that we haven’t talked about, for whatever reason, as to why they are not playing. CJ McWilliams has been unavailable, but he’s been unavailable his whole career.

Nick:                         Oh jeez.

Andrew:                 Sorry.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 I mean, am I wrong?

Nick:                         Moving on.

Andrew:                 Am I wrong, Nick?

Nick:                         I wouldn’t say that.

Andrew:                 Okay. Go ahead. Go to the linebackers.

Nick:                         Linebackers. I want to see my boy from STA, Derek Wingo.

Andrew:                 Okay. He’s been unavailable the last few weeks. Do you expect him to be available this week?

Nick:                         Expected to be available this week. Yeah. I think I was told should be on the field, given the news I got about the linebackers. This is a big one, and I think one that, steal your thunder real quick, but I think one everyone’s screaming for, including you and I, is Tyron Hopper.

Andrew:                 Okay. This is one of those that if I’m wrong I’ll come on the podcast and admit it, but I’ve heard too much about how he’s your best linebacker in coverage. I need to see that. I need to see somebody at the linebacker position that can cover, because I’m fat, I’m out of shape, and I could cover just like James Houston and Ventrell Miller, because they don’t cover. They don’t.

Nick:                         If you know they can’t, let’s try someone else.

Andrew:                 Right. That’s what we’re talking about.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Talk to me about Wingo, Nick. What do you expect when Wingo gets on the field?

Nick:                         I’m not sure what to expect. He’s big. He’s athletic. He can run. He’s physical. It’s kind of like the theme of this segment is play fast, play physical. He comes from my high school. I got a lot of people asking me, why isn’t he playing? He can do better than this. So, I think he’s been working at Will and Mike, so it’ll be interesting to see where he plays. It’ll be the first time he plays. He didn’t travel because of Covid for Week 1. Was on the field, and they planned to get him to play against South Carolina, but then opportunity doesn’t present itself, because you can’t get off the field. It is what it is there.

Andrew:                 Right. When we’re talking about him, and again, with the linebackers being out and that, it very well could be Wingo getting a ton more snaps in the game. Could it be a situation where he’s getting 30, 40 snaps in the game and playing more? I don’t know where that is, but I’m like you where I need to see what he has in passing downs. I’m okay with Ventrell. I’m okay with James playing in the running game, but I need to see those guys in the passing game a little bit.

Those are kind of the two guys that I was saying, Nick, a ton they need to play more is him and Hopper. Just because of seeing what they can do in pass coverage. Again, that’s no indictment on Ventrell or James in the running game at all. I just need to see those guys there. I’ll be honest, Nick. I kind of want to see Mohamoud jump down a little bit to the buck spot and not play as much inside linebacker as he has. What do you think?

Nick:                         I think the problem with that, and I agree. That’s where he played all freshman year, right?

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         I think the problem with that is just he’s an undersized buck.

Andrew:                 But he’s an undersized linebacker.

Nick:                         Yeah. He’s just undersized. I don’t know what the solution is. Here’s what it is. We have a problem, and you and I are trying to find answers. The problem is you don’t have athletic linebackers that can cover, and I think they were trying to say maybe Mohamoud can, and they tried to move him there. Now you’re without a spring, without a real fall camp, you’ve tried to make a position change from a guy who played one position all year, all freshman year. Now you’re trying to ask him to do something else. Do you just scrap it at this point? Because you still have the question of who can cover from our linebackers?

Andrew:                 This is my thing, Nick, and maybe I’m wrong when I say this, but you recruited the guy to play buck. What made you decide that he was going to be better in pass coverage than someone else? I mean this with all due respect, but the guy obviously was playing buck for a reason, because he wasn’t a linebacker, and he was really good in pass coverage. How many legit bucks are good in pass coverage? Not very many. So, it’s one of those things where it goes back to what we talked about on Sunday and what I was talking about on our message board, and that is you have several guys who are tweeners of where do they play, and so far you haven’t found an answer to where they can play.

Nick:                         Yeah. Okay. Then is the answer you just don’t have them on the roster?

Andrew:                 It’s what I was telling you off the air, and that is I don’t know that it’s not that you have them off the roster, but you can only sign so many of these guys. I say that in you can only have so many guys on your roster that are tweeners. Yes, you say go recruit the best athletes and figure it out. That is the case to some extent, but at the same time, you got to have some true linebackers on the field, some true corners, some true safeties, some true stars, stuff like that on the field, or you’re going to end up where you’re in this position of guys like Amari Burney, where does he play? Guys like Diabate, where does he play? Just certain guys like that that you don’t know where they’re going to play. Guys like David Reese, where are they playing? You have no place for them, so you’re doing them harm, and you’re doing yourself harm.

Nick:                         Yeah. I agree. I get the thought process of we’re not athletic at linebacker, we’re going to get exposed over the middle of the field. Florida is getting exposed over the middle of the field. We need to find an option. Mohamoud, look, he’s a little undersized for buck. He’s athletic as hell. He’s young. Let’s try this.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Maybe it’s not working.

Andrew:                 Let’s go to the defensive line, Nick. Who do you want to see?

Nick:                         First off, let’s start with a guy that has played. I want to see more Gervon Dexter. I think he’s a dude. He might struggle at times, because he’s a freshman, but he’s going to get his more than he gets got. He’s a dude. I want to see more Gervon.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I don’t understand that, why you’re not seeing more of him. When you look at, and I’m a big Zach Carter fan. I’ve talked about this forever. I’m a huge Zach Carter fan, but Zach Carter’s playing out of position. You’re doing him an injustice. You’re doing your defense an injustice of not allowing him to play where he’s going to make money at, and that’s at defensive end. So, why are you not having Gervon play more there? I’m a big Moon fan. I’m a big Brenton Cox fan. But those two guys being your two defensive ends on the field at one time is not good in the run game. They’re too lean.

Nick:                         Agree. Agree. Next one I want to see, Princely, I can’t say it. Princely. I want to see more Princely.

Andrew:                 Princely U.

Nick:                         PU.

Andrew:                 PU.

Nick:                         Princely U.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I’m with you, because we talk about if you’re going to play Zach Carter inside more, then who’s your true strong side defensive end? Don’t give me it’s Brenton Cox. Don’t give me it’s Jeremiah Moon. They’re not. So, Princely’s probably your next best option there. We heard really good things about him in the fall about how good he was looking in pass rush. Let me see it. You have no pass rush already. Let me see it. Let me see him go make some plays from that strong side defensive end spot and do it. I think he can. Again, we talk about this all the time. It’s easier for a guy to come in as a defensive end and be a pass rusher and just rush the passer, so let him do that. If it’s only on 3rd down, let him do that.

Nick:                         Right. Yeah. Don’t put a ton on someone’s plate. Give him a little bit to do well.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Another guy, Nick, that I want to see, and it goes back to that lack of depth at defensive tackle. Now, getting Kyree Campbell back is going to help that a ton, but how much is Kyree Campbell going to be able to play this week? Probably not more than 50% of the snaps.

Nick:                         Like I said about Brenton Cox, you can be in shape. Are you in football shape?

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         You’re really not in football shape until you get into a game and get back into it.

Andrew:                 Right. His gas tank is going to be low. So, I want to see Jalen Lee and see what he can do inside and see what he can do in the run game. He’s a big guy. They have him listed at 6’2”, 315. Again, another guy that we heard had good fall camp. Let me see what he can do inside. The other guys are getting pushed around. No offense to Slaton. I’m tired of watching him complain about him getting held. Bro, you’re not getting it. Make a play. Sorry. You’re not getting it. Make a play. So, something’s wrong. I want to see him. I want to see some Jalen Lee inside. I want to see what he can do and see if he can create some havoc up front and just clog the middle up. That’s what you need is just somebody to clog the middle up.

Nick:                         Yeah. You just don’t have the thighs. Florida, simply put, could not match A&M physicality up front in the second half.

Andrew:                 That’s uncalled for at the University of Florida.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Uncalled for. Yeah. Any other guys you want to see? I know we both agree that we’d like to see Bogle play, when healthy, more and Chatfield play more, from those two spots. For me, those are the guys. Will it happen this week? No. I think some of those guys play. Will all those guys play? No. But maybe some of them will play, and maybe you and I will look smart. I’m going to call it right now though. I think that Trey Dean has a big game, and I’m going to say one of those linebackers has a big game.

Nick:                         I hope so.

Andrew:                 Calling it now.

Nick:                         All right. You’ve already made your two picks for Friday’s podcast, so I’ll hold you to it.

Andrew:                 For real. I’m going to already tell you. I ain’t picking a soul on defense on that Friday podcast. Sick of it.

Nick:                         I picked two. I picked two defensive backs last week. What was I doing?

Andrew:                 I’m sick of that.

Nick:                         No more drinking before podcasting. That has to be it.

Andrew:                 Drugs are a bad thing, Nick.

Nick:                         I picked two defensive backs, and Florida gave up 1,000 yards passing.

Andrew:                 Kellen Mond looked like Brett Favre, Tom Brady, every other great quarterback combined into one. Yeah.

Nick:                         Florida played Joe Montana last week.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Joe Montana also. That’s it. I don’t know. That was not good for you on that, the defensive side. Again, we’ll see it. Hopefully, there’s some changes made. Do I have ultimate confidence there will be? No. I don’t. I hope that we see some changes, because it’s kind of time to get there. Missouri now having a bye week, they’re going to be ready to go. These next three weeks you’re going to play some pretty good offenses.

Nick:                         Yeah. Like Dan says all the time, 10 straight SEC games, they’re all going to be good. Missouri’s game cancelled this week, so they get a bye week before they come in.

Andrew:                 There you go.

Nick:                         File that away for our excuse on Monday.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’ll be something. Dan Mullen is not getting very much love for his crowd comment though.

Nick:                         No.

Andrew:                 That did not go over well. Again, it was an excuse, and the crowd didn’t do it. That’s all we’ll say on that. Any final thoughts?

Nick:                         Enough on the Monday podcast. I’m good. I’m done.

Andrew:                 Me too. Any final thoughts on this? If not, tell everybody where they can find us, and we’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Thursday for a special podcast. We’ll have a former Gator, and we’ll have an LSU writer on.

Nick:                         Yeah. It’s not our normal game week on Wednesday. We didn’t have anyone talk about LSU. We’re taping it, and it’ll be up on Thursday. So, we’ll have a special Thursday edition of the podcast.

Andrew:                 You and I just thought it was better. We can continue to talk about previewing the game and everything else, and that’s important, but we also thought you guys, Florida’s the team that can beat Florida right now.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Thursday.

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 Gator Country. Never miss an episode. Hit 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’ll see everyone then. Hopefully, continue talking about some Braves wins. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

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