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Previewing the Florida Gators vs. Tennessee
23rd September 2021 • GatorCountry.com - Your Florida Gators Podcast: Football, Recruiting & All University of Florida Athletics News • GatorCountry.com - The Insider Authority on Florida Gators Sports!
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GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we preview the Florida Gators vs. Tennessee game on Saturday night in the Swamp.

Andrew Spivey and David Soderquist breakdown the keys for the Gators in this game as they look to rebound from last week's loss.

Andrew and David also give you three players to watch for the Gators on Saturday, plus we predict several games around the country.

Transcripts

ld beat Florida would be in a:

Now with four wins a row, Florida looks to make it five wins in a row in the Swamp. So, from thrown clipboards by Phillip Fulmer to trashcans to brick by brick and to life champions, Florida has owned Tennessee thus far. Andrew, I got to ask, man.

Andrew: To McDonald’s bags.

David: McDonald’s bags too. Yes. To McDonald’s bags.

Andrew: Can’t forget the McDonald’s.

David: I have to ask you though, is there hopes for Heupel?

Andrew: No. That was Danny White desperate, knowing he did not want to go through the same path that got him Jeremy Pruitt, and he settled. Josh Heupel is known as a couple of things, a decent football coach, a lazy recruiter, and not an easy person to work for. Not the best things you want to be known for. Lazy recruiter in the SEC, not good unless you’re just a fantastic football coach. What did he do at UCF? UCF was there before he was there. UCF was already good when he was there. He didn’t do anything there.

No. No, no, no. Tennessee’s not back. Tennessee won’t be back under Josh Heupel. And as long as fat Phil’s running around that place, they’re never going to be good.

David: No. Looks like their starting quarterback already has been benched for a quarterback by the name of Hendon Hooker, 392 passing yards so far, 70.2 completion rating, five touchdowns, one interception for a QBR of 171.1. Now, let’s be honest here, their opponents have been Bowling Green, Pitt, who they lost to, and Tennessee Tech, who’s lost to the teams of Samford, who’s 0-3 in their division. Let’s just put that out there. They’re 0-3 in their division. They beat them 56-0, so they got their moral victory.

Now they come into this game with their heads held high, as we explained last week. This is the typical Tennessee thing that happens every single year. Tennessee gets all pumped up, and I’ve already seen tweets out there saying, we’re going to beat Florida. We’re taking them to woodshed. We’re doing all this. We already got the Tennessee fans involved too, so now we can get their hopes up just to crush their dreams in the Swamp.

Andrew: Florida’s biggest opponent this week is Florida. Period. End of discussion. There’s no sense of making this anything bigger than what it is, and that is Florida cannot let Alabama beat them twice.

David: Right.

Andrew: Cannot let them beat them twice. Tennessee is not a good enough football team to beat this Florida team. I don’t care what Chris Doering says. I don’t care what anybody else says. This is a Florida team that’s one of the best teams in the country, and you’re not going to convince me different. Is Alabama elite? No. Is Alabama the best team in the country? Probably. Guess what? There’s a lot of teams that’s pretty good, and no teams that’s great this year.

David: Yeah.

Andrew: Is Florida going to see Alabama again? In my opinion, yes. Is Alabama the favorite to win the national championship right now? Yes. Is Florida a team that, in my opinion, can easily get to the playoffs? Yes. Florida cannot allow Alabama to beat them twice this week. They cannot go into this Tennessee game with anything less than the focus of beating Tennessee and getting better.

People, myself included, I don’t know that Florida covers the spread. I don’t know that Florida blows this Tennessee team out. Because the Florida teams in the past have not been able to blow out the weaker opponents. That is what makes people so skeptical of this Florida team. Had Florida done what they should have done against FAU and blown them out of the water, should they have continued what they were doing in the first half against USF when it was 35-3 and blown them out, we’re not talking about Florida just got lucky against Alabama. You would have been talking a whole different story.

So, go into this game, focus on the positive. You’re better than this team in every aspect of the game, from coaching to players. Go in, dominate the football game, continue to run the ball, let Emory continue to grow as a passer, handle your business, move on to next week. That’s all it is. Don’t let a team beat you twice.

David: Exactly. Everybody worries about the hangover game. Florida State had that close win against Notre Dame, but now we’re finding out Notre Dame isn’t Notre Dame. Notre Dame never is Notre Dame, when they rank them up in the top 10, but really this year they’re really terribly bad. Florida faced the #1 team in the country, took them to the woodshed for three quarters. Didn’t finish it in four quarters though. Football is played in four quarters.

So, cleanup what you did in the first quarter against Alabama. Get off to a faster start. Everybody here wants to see a faster start. We don’t want to see 14 missed tackles in the first quarter. We don’t want to see Tennessee up 14-0, which probably won’t even happen, but if it does, we don’t want to see that. We don’t want to have to come back from behind and then beat Tennessee 40-14. We want to see Florida go in there, put up 21, 28, points, hopefully in the first quarter, at least 21 points, and then spank Tennessee.

Get your second-string guys in there. Get your third-string guys. If Anthony Richardson’s healthy, let’s see Anthony Richardson. If he’s not, let’s see Carlos Del Rio. Let’s see Lorenzo Lingard. Let’s see Demarkcus Bowman, the guys that we’ve been clamoring for, these big five-star guys. Let’s see them get on the field. Let’s finish Tennessee off. It’s Tennessee, right, Andrew? It’s Tennessee.

Andrew: It’s Tennessee, my man. They always said Peyton came back for his fourth year of school to be a three time star of the Citrus Bowl. That was a Spurrier joke, my man. Tennessee is not good enough to win this football game. You look at Tennessee putting 223 on the ground a game. 199 yards through the air is all they’re doing. They have Joe Milton, who failed at Michigan, wasn’t very good. They have Hendon Hooker, who’s been okay, and they have Harrison Bailey, who everyone loves, but just isn’t succeeding on the field.

You’ve got a team, especially when Joe Milton’s playing, they don’t throw the ball very well. We talk about Emory and his overthrows and his inability to throw the ball to the receiver on point. That’s Milton’s problem as well. Florida can capitalize on that. Guess what? Carter, Cox, Moon, the rest of the boys are going to be putting pressure on him, because this isn’t an offensive line that’s like Alabama’s offensive line, by any means. Cade Mays is a good ballplayer, but besides that, not a good offensive line. Florida will get pressure.

Take the turnovers, get some points off of it. Do not produce turnovers to allow Tennessee to create points off the turnovers. Those are just the big things. Continue to clean yourself up. Be better than last week, if you’re Florida. Even though this is not Alabama, be better. Be better. That’s it.

David: Right. Florida’s been running the ball down people’s throats. Right now they enter Week 4 ranked second in the nation in rushing. 340.3 yards per game, right under Michigan, who hasn’t really played anybody. Florida also enters Week 4 only allowing 96.3 rushing yards per game, which is ranked 28th in the nation, but Tennessee’s currently holding opponents to 1.9 yards per rush. Granted, most of the opponents have been undersized nonconference opponents. Still have to be concerned about that, I guess. I don’t know. Tennessee’s also played defenses who ranked 70th in the nation, Bowling Green, 83rd, Pittsburgh, 74th, Tennessee Tech. Tennessee Tech also, as I said, 0-3 against Sanford, Furman, and they’re giving up 44.6 points per game in their division. I posted these stats here on GatorCountry.com, their VIP boards, earlier this week.

Andrew: Let me ask you this. If I was to say, David, I bet you a hundred bucks Florida rushes for more yards in this game than Tennessee’s given up all year, which is 257 yards, would you take it?

David: I would take the bet that Florida’s going to run all over them. Yes. I would take that bet.

Andrew: That’s me. I don’t see any way Florida doesn’t put up over 257.

David: Right. Here’s another notable stat too. Tennessee is ranked 117th in sacks given up by their offensive line and ranked 126th in turnover margin at -2.5. Against opponents, like I said, Bowling Green, Pittsburgh, and Tennessee Tech. Those two stats right there, you should be able to destroy Tennessee. No problem whatsoever.

Andrew: You ready to pick your players and just say, Carter, Moon, Bogle, Gervon, Valentino, you just might as well name the entire defensive line and say, you get a sack. You get a sack. You get a sack. That probably is what’s going to happen.

David: I got to get three for three, so how about I just go- No. We’ll do that later. Yeah. The statistics, if you look them up, you got Florida still averaging 35.3 points per game. I know Tennessee is a little bit higher than Florida, but the opponents that Florida’s had compared to Tennessee has been nothing. Florida almost put up 30 points on Alabama. Tennessee ain’t doing that. I can tell you that. Florida’s defense is allowing 21.7 points per game after Week 3 against the #1 team, which is 43rd in the nation. You’re only allowing 21.7 points per game, and you played Alabama already. They scored 31.

If you minus that first quarter, you clean up the mistakes in that first quarter, you don’t have 14 missed tackles, you pretty much shut Alabama out. They score maybe 10 points, maybe 17. Without a turnover from Emory Jones, they probably don’t even score that in the first quarter. All you really got to do is clean up the mistakes. I mean, this team can compete with anybody in the nation, and I don’t give a crap what Colin Cowherd or the Mickey Mouse guy that sounds like Mickey Mouse, RJ Young, when he talks.

Andrew: Get out of here.

David: I don’t care what that [couch tweeter] guy had to say either. Who gives a damn what anybody says? The only thing that matters is what the college football playoff committee wants to do when the college football playoff rankings come out.

Andrew: At the end of the day, it only matters one thing. Take care of business.

David: Yeah. Take care of business.

Andrew: You take care of business the rest of the year. You always want to be the team in the driver’s seat. You want to be the team that controls your destiny. Right now, you have that. This is a stat that I think is going to be interesting. Let me go back. Here we go. 39 games in Josh Heupel’s career. He’s scored 30 points 36 times.

David: 30 points 36 times. But what division was that?

Andrew: Right. That was AAC, right? Isn’t that what UCF was? AAC.

David: And he’s not a national championship somewhere on his hand. I don’t know where it’s at.

Andrew: Right. It’s somewhere. You have to come in defensively. Like you said, clean up the mistakes. Don’t be silly. Obviously, Tennessee’s not going to get the pass interference calls that Alabama did, because they weren’t pass interference in the first place, but that’s neither here nor there. So, you do have to go into that knowing that. Velus Jones is another guy who is a transfer from USC, really good returner. He’s got some speed, so don’t allow him to catch the ball in the open field and then have those mistakes that you had in the Alabama game, where you couldn’t make a tackle in the open field in the first quarter, that kind of stuff.

Be ready. Have your head on swivel. Like I said, Milton and Hopper, Hooper, however you say his name, all those guys, they’re acceptable to throwing interceptions. Have your head on swivel. Be ready to go. Don’t give them penalties, and don’t give them turnovers to allow them to get points, and you should be good in this ballgame.

Like you said, they come in #2 ranked defensively in rushing yards. That doesn’t mean anything to me. Don’t mean anything to me.

David: No. If you look at the quality of opponents that they’ve played, it don’t mean anything to me at all. You mentioned special teams. Last week--

Andrew: That was a concern.

David: When I looked at our special teams, I shook my head. I shook my head. I don’t know if Ja’markis Weston’s a credible returner or not. I have no clue.

Andrew: No. No.

David: Take him off. Lorenzo Lingard has been begging for playing time. Put him back there. I don’t care.

Andrew: Xzavier Henderson is a freak. Put him out there. Where’s Finlay Graham? Finlay Graham was signed for this reason and this reason only.

David: Right.

Andrew: That’s what he was signed for. It wasn’t to play DB. It wasn’t to play receiver. He was signed to play special teams. Figure out a way to get him out there. Lingard’s the same way. He wants to play. Get him out there. I look back at last year. Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith for Bama were two of the best returners in the game. So, don’t tell me your starting receiver can’t get out there. Put Henderson back there. We talked about it last week. I said one of the keys was special teams. You lost two special teams. You lost the PAT, and you lost the kickoff. You can’t do that. Clean it up. Get better there. Figure out the field goal situation in general. Is it Howard? Is it Christmas? Who? Figure it out. Get something. You can’t miss PATs.

David: That’s something they’re going to have to clean up. I’m pretty sure against Tennessee they’re not going to have a problem of a close game to where they have to kick a PAT, or if they miss one it’s going to be close, but that’s something you want to work on in this game. This is the game where you want to get up huge. You want to get up big. Then third, fourth quarter blow them out by 30, 40 points. Get some people out there. Work on the things, like special teams, that you couldn’t work on the last couple weeks, because unfortunately Emory Jones was throwing picks, and it was going the other way, and you had to keep some first-string guys in there.

Emory Jones needs a clean game. He doesn’t even really have to throw the ball this game. He doesn’t. Hand the ball off. Let your offensive line do the work. Let your defense get sacks. Let them get turnovers. I’m sure they’re going to get turnovers with Tennessee being -2.5 in turnover margin against these kind of opponents. I can imagine what an SEC opponent is going to do to them.

You have the opportunity to blow these guys out, work on some things that you couldn’t work on in the past couple of games and get your team ready for the tougher schedule ahead. You’re going to have Kentucky. Then you’re going to have Georgia. You’re going to have LSU. Those are going to be tougher teams. You’re going to need special teams in those games. You’re going to need everything on one page to come together and be 100%.

Andrew: I don’t think you see Richardson this week. If I’m Dan Mullen, and I know he says we expect him to play, but that doesn’t mean anything to me.

David: It don’t mean anything.

Andrew: First off, if he’s doing an MRI on Friday, that means that you’re still a little concerned. Why risk it? Play him in Lexington next week.

David: Yeah.

Andrew: Good. Spoke to someone close to Emory, and I won’t name names and all that stuff. I said to them, the difference for me with Emory was the first two games Emory never looked like he had fun. He just looked like he was out there. First half of the game, kind of the same way. The second half, he came out there, and it was the same Emory. Emory’s known for that smile, that laughing and just kind of life of the team kind of thing. You didn’t see that. You saw that in the second half where he really got that energy back, got that confidence back. I want to see him build on that.

This is Emory Jones’ football team. We didn’t say that last week. This is Emory Jones’ football team. Get over it, if you don’t like it. It’s Emory Jones’ football team. Anthony Richardson is going to play. Anthony Richardson is going to be a big part of this football team, but guess what, it was Chris Leak’s football team in ’06. Tim Tebow just helped them. This is Emory Jones’ football team. Go out and have that same energy, confidence, fun loving spirit, and have a game.

Work on the aspects that you worked on in the Bama game in the second half and continue to build on it. Take the dinks and the dunks, because, guess what, everybody’s doing that to you and your defense. Do it to them.

David: Yeah. Wear down the defense, especially your run game. You can do that with dink and dunk and run plays.

Andrew: Right.

David: Your offensive line is playing lights out.

Andrew: Guess what? That sucks them up. Deep balls open next.

David: Deep balls open, and the defense gets tired. You wear them down. That was a big Will Muschamp thing that he used to do. Will Muschamp had the defense to back up whatever, but he used to love to run it down people’s throats.

As far as this, I found a good running back stat that I posted earlier this week. Dameon Pierce, Malik Davis, Nay’Quan Wright, Lorenzo Lingard, and Demarkcus Bowman all have combined for an average of 6.04 yards per rush and 501 total yards. If you’re averaging anything over four points per rush, you’re a pretty good running back. If you’re getting an average of five, you’re a really good running back. If you’re getting six or higher, that’s on almost the elite level. If you’re averaging six yards per rush, that’s basically every time you touch the football, you’re getting a 1st down every two plays, as a combined total for all these guys.

This is another freaky stat. Anthony Richardson has surpassed all these running backs in average. He’s averaging 25 yards per rush in two games. I think it’s 275 yards as well. Just in two games. If you get Anthony Richardson back, like you said, you don’t really need him this game, and I don’t care if he sits him, but throughout the year, and as you said, as Emory Jones settles in, and he’s not throwing as many picks, and he’s not throwing as many interceptions, and he really gets settled into that role, as soon as Anthony Richardson gets healthy, you can do like you said, a Chris Leak kind of Tim Tebow thing.

You don’t need Emory Jones to be an elite quarterback with this offensive line. You need him to be a good, decent quarterback. That’s it. You sprinkle in a little bit of Anthony Richardson every now and then, and then teams cannot handle this team. Nobody would be able to. I can guarantee you this. I’ve said it a million times. If Anthony Richardson was healthy last week, we win that game. We might even win that game by two touchdowns last week. That’s something we’re not going to stew on. I don’t care about last week’s game anymore.

I just want to see Florida go in there, blow Tennessee out like they always do. It’s Tennessee. Then work on the special teams. I also want to see less missed tackles. Missed tackles killed us last week against Alabama. That whole first quarter there was 14 missed tackles. You saw every 3rd and 8, 3rd and 6, maybe 3rd and 2. We had the running back. We had him wrapped up. Missed tackle. Or we’d have the quarterback. We’d have the quarterback pressure, no sack. Take a sack, it changes the whole game. Definitely want to work on missed tackles this week.

Like I said, Florida, get off to a fast start. It’s Tennessee. I don’t think we should have a problem. Right now, ESPN has Florida at 88.6% chance to win this game in their matchup predictor. Like I said, Florida is pretty much beating Tennessee in every statistical category. Tennessee’s averaging 422 yards per game, where Florida’s averaging 553. Yards allowed though, Florida’s allowed a little bit more yards, but also had to play Alabama, so that stat kind of goes out the window when they’re playing Tennessee Tech, Pitt, and Bowling Green.

Yards allowed, Florida and Tennessee are around neck and neck in pass yards allowed. Tennessee at 210.7, Florida at 229.7. Rush yards allowed, Tennessee’s actually only allowing 54.3 yards per rush, but that’s probably going to change this week too. We’re going to have to pump the numbers up there for Tennessee. What do you think, Andrew?

Andrew: It’s going to be bad. It’s going to be bad. If it’s not, then that’s where you have some concern. I said this before. Handle your business and handle it well.

David: Right.

Andrew: It’s not the BCS where you have to win the games by 40 points, but handle this game. Handle this game to where there’s no question of who the better team was. There was no question of who the better team was in FAU and USF, but they allowed them to stick around. They allowed that frustration to build. Don’t allow that frustration to build. The difference between good and great teams are they play the same every week. They play with the same tempo, same mindset.

Mullen said on Wednesday, during the SEC teleconference, the guys were a little quiet on Monday, and he said that concerned him a little bit, but then once they got going, he was like, they were quiet because they were super focused. He called it one of the best practices they ever had. That’s what you want to hear. Now, take that to the game. Tennessee sucks. We know that. Pound them. It’s your rival. Pound them.

David: Also, and I’ve noticed this too, redzone. Florida has trouble scoring in the redzone. Every time they’re in the redzone, they either settle for three points, or they don’t get any points, and they go for it on 4th down. It happened a lot in the Alabama game. I think they were in the redzone one time with, I believe it was Dameon Pierce, and they scored a touchdown there. Right now, especially opponent redzone scoring, Florida has allowed every single opponent to score when they were in the redzone. Florida’s going to have to clean that up too.

Andrew: I will say this. That stop they had, which Alabama did drop a touchdown on that drive in the 4th quarter, but that was a really good stop. Dexter and Big Des, they should be on every goal line together. You’re not running at those guys.

David: Yeah. Somebody posted a clip of Gervon Dexter at that goal line stop, and he completely took the head off of that running back. The running back was still up after the hit, but he finished the job and laid him down. That’s good to see. I’m glad to see that Gervon Dexter is growing up, as a sophomore now. He’s throwing around people like Alabama already, just being a sophomore. Imagine his junior year and everything else. You really like to see those young guys, especially when they spurt up to their sophomore year from their freshman year and really take control of whatever their position is.

Hats off to Kaiir Elam, man. I think there was a stat out there that said he had the most pass breakups of any cornerback so far in the nation last week against Alabama, but he was heavily targeted too against John Metchie. He did a fantastic job. I have to give my hats off to Kaiir Elam.

I want to see a lot more better play from that second cornerback position. Star wasn’t too bad last week. I think everybody on defense did their job for the most part last week, except for the first quarter. I really want to see that star position. I want to see more Perkins. I like Perkins. I want to see Perkins out there. I want to see Diwun Black. He made some plays last week. These are guys that we should see in this game.

Tennessee, you should be able to handle them. We saw a lot of tight ends get involved. I think we’re going to see a lot more of wearing down Tennessee, more pass plays with Jacob Copeland. Justin Shorter has been very silent this whole year. I don’t know what happened to this guy. I’m hoping this guy can get it back out there.

Offensive line, I don’t see Richard Gouraige, Ethan White, Kingsley, Stuart Reese, Delance, anybody having any issues stopping Tennessee. Tennessee, like I said, is ranked 126th in sacks. We should be able to get a good bit of sacks. Zachary Carter should eat this game. I just don’t see anything that stands out to me statistic wise against Tennessee, considering the opponents that they’ve had or anything else like that.

Andrew: It’ll be interesting to see Stuart Reese, Jean Delance, in this game. Reese went out with an ankle injury. Delance’s knee. He played, and he was okay. Kaiir Elam’s knee was banged up a little bit in the game. It’ll be interesting to see some status of those guys, how much they play in this game. Elijah Blades is supposed to be back this week, after not playing but the first half of the FAU game. That’s a little more depth there.

You get some guys the opportunity to play that maybe haven’t played a lot. You get Braun and Tarquan, probably will play a lot more in this game on the right side of the line. I think Kaiir plays and plays a good bit, but maybe get him some rest a little bit as well. The Kentucky game, Kentucky’s not great, in my opinion, but they’re going to be a good test up in Lexington. Get a little healthier for that game.

You got to take care of business first. That’s winning this ballgame and getting better. Again, I can’t say that enough. Just get better from last week to this week. Get better. Continue to clean up the little things. The penalties, the off sides, the pass interference. The little things that separate you. Continue to clean up the passing game. We know Emory struggled a little bit there, but he looked good in the second half. Got to improve there as well. You’re looking at a defense is decent. It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s just decent.

You want to continue to clean up those things, and I don’t think you’re going to see a ton of gimmick plays or a lot of things we haven’t seen in this game. I’m sure you’re still going to see some of the speed option stuff, because I think that’s going to work against Tennessee. I think you’ll still continue to see the tight ends involved, because the tight ends were involved a lot, and that’s an easy throw for Emory. You want to see that. You’re going to see the deep ball, because Tennessee’s going to suck up. They’re going to play eight and nine in the box. You’re going to get that now. You’re going to get eight and nine in the box, and Emory’s going to have his chances to do that. You just want to clean up things. You want to come out with that energy.

Hopefully, the Swamp is as packed as it has been the first two games. You’re definitely not going to get the energy you got against Alabama, because it’s not Alabama, but it is Tennessee. Like you said earlier, come out strong. Come out with a purpose in that first quarter, like you did that USF game where you get some early points, and you allow your defense to really settle into this game instead of putting them on the backburner. You got to get a shutout for the first quarter.

David: Right. You mean to tell me there’s going to be no trick plays. There’s not going to be any 4th and 1 passes to the tight end and running all the way to the endzone for a touchback?

Andrew: Could be, man. You never know with this game. I just don’t think you’re going to see tons of wrinkles, per se, and everything else that you were able to see in the Bama game. I don’t think you’ll see a ton of that, and I don’t think you’ll see the two-quarterback set or anything like that in the game. There’s always something new that Dan’s going to bring out, something he’s been keeping for this Tennessee game. Be interesting to see. It’s always a chess match.

David: Right. You were talking about getting off to fast starts, and Florida’s averaging actually 10.3 points in the first quarter, more than they average in the second, third, and fourth quarter. 9 points in the second quarter, 7 points in the third quarter, 9 points in the fourth quarter. Pretty balanced, when you look around across the board, when it comes to scoring. They have the most points in the first quarter. They did start off kind of fast against FAU and USF, but you definitely want to see it against Tennessee, a team that you should be able to go in there and handle quite well. Jarrett Guarantano doesn’t play quarterback for them anymore.

Andrew: Too bad, man. That was fun.

David: It was fun. It was fun for a good bit of years.

Andrew: Him and alien man.

David: And the alien man. What was his name? I forget.

Andrew: Joshua Dobbs.

David: Mr. Dobbs.

Andrew: He’s watching Ben Roethlisberger suck it up up in Pittsburgh.

David: Yeah.

Andrew: If I was a rocket scientist or whatever the crap he was, why are you sitting the bench?

David: I know.

Andrew: Go be a rocket scientist.

David: To the moon, right? Like Dogecoin?

Andrew: Yeah. What’s his name? Elon Musk. Maybe him and Elon can team up and get some more people from down here up to space and payback, what was it? $700,000 or some trash it costs to go up to the moon. You ain’t getting me to the moon, boss. You ain’t getting me up there. No thank you. I’m perfectly fine down here on Earth, where I can feel my body weight and everything else. You’re not getting me up there, buddy.

David: That’s right. I looked at the spread here. It’s 19 points. I guess it dropped. I thought it was more than that. It’s at 19 points right now, Spivey. You think they cover the spread?

Andrew: You going to put me on the spot.

David: I’m going to tell you.

Andrew: They should.

David: I was about to say.

Andrew: They should.

David: I’m going to say yes.

Andrew: They should.

David: They should.

Andrew: But this team struggles with putting people away. They do. I’m going to be confident and say they do. It would not shock me if they didn’t.

David: FAU, they let FAU kind of come back there with the second-string guys. They didn’t cover the spread there, but they still were in a pretty big lead when they did that. I think they cover the spread too. I’m going to go ahead and go with that.

Andrew: You know how they are. They struggle with that. They just struggle with putting teams away. I don’t know why. They just take their foot off the gas. It’s been a problem under Mullen in general. They just take their foot off the gas.

become the first coach since:

David: Too bad it won’t happen.

Andrew: Things don’t look good for Mr. Heupel.

David: Too bad it won’t happen. We won’t have to worry about that, right?

Andrew: That’s it. That’s crazy.

David: You mean to tell me though, if Heupel comes in here, and he loses to Florida, Heupel has, I would say, decent talent on Tennessee, with all the transfers that came over after the McDonald’s bag, he has decent talent. You mean to tell me if Florida beats Heupel with decent talent, even better talent than UCF, Florida can beat UCF?

Andrew: UCF’s not very good. Joey Gatewood’s going to be playing quarterback for them for a while, and seems like he’s on his umpteenth school. Auburn didn’t let him play quarterback. Kentucky didn’t let him play quarterback. Nobody else in the country wanted him to play quarterback, and then he went to UCF and Gus was like, sure, buddy, I feel sorry for you. Come on and play.

David: We got to do our three players now, man.

Andrew: Yeah. Who goes first? You went first the first week. I went the second week. So, it’s my week to go first.

David: Coin toss. There you go.

Andrew: Eat time for Zach Carter. Sacks. Sacks galore.

David: Man, you picked my guy. I’ll do this. Brenton Cox. How about that? We’re going to go ahead with Brenton Cox. Since you’re going to pick Carter, I’ll pick Cox.

Andrew: Mark the Alabama game as the coming out party for Brenton Cox. Just mark it down. I feel good that Brenton Cox is turning a corner. I think he’s healthy. He’s good.

David: Yeah. What about the second guy? Who are you going to pick for the second guy? Are you going to pick another D line guy?

Andrew: Nope. I’m going to go with Malik Davis.

David: Malik’s been running it.

Andrew: He’s been running it. He’s the guy. He’s the workhorse. He’s the guy this week. Malik Davis over 100.

David: He actually leads the team in rushing at 212 yards.

Andrew: Proud of him, man.

David: Right in front of Dameon Pierce at 110.

Andrew: Proud of him.

David: I am going to pick. I want to pick Jean Delance again, but I’ve picked Jean Delance twice in a row. I think the jury’s not out on Jean Delance anymore. He’s done a fantastic job. I’m going to go with #76, Richard Gouraige. I’m going to pick him. Offensive linemen really pushing people around last game. I think Richard Gouraige is going to have a field day with this defensive line for Tennessee. I think he’s just going to be pushing kids around even more.

Andrew: I’ve been pumped to see Ethan White. He’s done really well too. You go there, and I’ll raise you another guy. I’m going to go on the defensive side of the ball, and I’m going to go with Mr. Jason Marshall.

David: Jason Marshall.

Andrew: He’s going to get some PT. Get a lot of PT. Tennessee’s susceptible to throwing the ball over people’s heads. Throw it into 3’s hands.

David: Well, I want to pick Kaiir Elam, but I don’t think they’re going to throw to him that much. I think they’re going to be kind of skeptical about throwing it towards him, especially after watching that Alabama game.

Andrew: They’re not going to be like Bama and just test him all day?

David: No. I’m going to pick Cope. Jacob Copeland.

Andrew: Okay.

David: I think there’s a lot of deep shots this game.

Andrew: Okay. I was going to go Emory as my third guy. Thought he had a big game, but I like it. I like Cope. Whatever it takes, my friend. Just win the ballgame. Win the ballgame. Go out, do your job, come out early, come out with energy. It isn’t Alabama. It’s Tennessee. You don’t like them. Nobody likes Tennessee. Nobody likes the gaudy orange. Nobody. Nobody but Knoxville.

David: That’s it.

Andrew: People in Knoxville are the only people who like Tennessee. Get ready. You got Kentucky next week. Get ready. Get ready for that game. It should be fun. Swamp’s going to be rocking. I know you’re going to be there. Couple visitors are coming in. You want to continue to build off of that. Go into this game and win the football game and win it handily.

Couple games. Let’s pick some games around the country. First, I have a question for you.

David: What’s that?

Andrew: Will Alabama cover against Southern Miss with a 45-point spread.

David: No. I’m picking no.

Andrew: 45-point spread.

David: That is an insane spread. That’s so hard for any team to cover any kind of spread like that, no matter who they’re playing. I would pick no. Because you know what’s going to happen, they’re going to run up the score. They’re going to put in backups, and then the backups could give up some points, some yardage, some time. I don’t know. I would not pick 45, if I was betting my money.

Andrew: Southern Miss has lost to my South Alabama Jaguars 31-7, but they did beat Grambling State 37-0, but they did lose to Troy 21-9. I don’t think so either. 45 points. That is a buttload of points.

David: There’s no way I’m betting on that.

Andrew: Yeah. 45 points. Jeez. That’s a lot of points. 45 points. Here’s a game for you. Notre Dame-Wisconsin.

David: Notre Dame-Wisconsin. I’m calling upset. I think Wisconsin’s going to take them to the woodshed, man.

Andrew: At Wisconsin.

David: At Wisconsin. I’m doing it. What’s the spread on that game, 6.5? I’m picking Wisconsin.

Andrew: Actually, Wisconsin’s the favorite.

David: ESPN says they’re a 54.6% favorite.

Andrew: Wisconsin’s a 5.5-point favorite right now. No, currently 6.5-point favorite right now. Wisconsin wins. What is it up there? I forgot what they call it up at Wisconsin, the bounce place where they bounce around.

David: The bounce house.

Andrew: Yeah. Something like that. That’s exactly what it is. I’m with you. Wisconsin wins. Let’s go to the SEC. A big one, a huge one.

David: I’m looking at it right now. I think I know what you’re about to say.

Andrew: The Aggies traveling to the Hogs?

David: Yup.

Andrew: 5-point favorite for A&M, who does not have their starting quarterback.

David: I think Arkansas wins, man. I’m going to go ahead and pick Arkansas. I’ve seen how they’ve played against Texas. They can run the ball. They can really run the ball, and their quarterback isn’t bad. They’re averaging 41 points per game. Texas A&M averaging only 28. I haven’t been impressed with anything that Texas A&M has done this whole year. I really haven’t. That’s not me being a you-know-what, just because I didn’t like them because they beat us. I just haven’t been impressed. I haven’t seen anything that stands out to me from Texas A&M this year. I don’t see them as a top 10 team. I’m picking Arkansas, and they might even cover the spread, 4.5.

Andrew: I’m going A&M, but it’s a tossup to me. What’s I think concerning to me a little bit, if you’re A&M, they only won by 11 last year against Arkansas at home. I think it’s a close game. I’m giving A&M the edge, simply because I think they have a little more talent at the skill position. It would not shock me if we talk on Sunday and Arkansas’ winning this football game.

David: Look at this. 5.7 points allowed per game from A&M and 16 from Arkansas. Both of them really good defenses. With A&M being without their starting quarterback, I don’t know. What about this? Clemson’s had some close games here. Clemson and NC State going to play each other here in the ACC.

Andrew: We all talked about how great Georgia was on defense because of what they did to Clemson. I think we may be talking about Clemson’s offense just sucks. I think they just might suck. I think Clemson still wins the game. I don’t think North Carolina State’s that good. They lost to Mississippi State, who’s not good. I’ll give Clemson the edge, but I’m interested to see if Clemson gets better offensively. They’ve been lucky. They’ve had some really good quarterbacks over the last few years. Under Dabo in general. DeShaun Watson, Kelly Bryant wasn’t bad in college, and then Trevor. They’ve had some good quarterbacks. What is going on up there? Clemson wins, but it’s close.

David: I don’t know. Georgia Tech’s terrible defense held them to 14 points last week.

Andrew: That’s what I’m saying.

David: NC State’s only allowing 10.3 points per opponent. I know they played USF, which we all found out sucks, Furman, then they lost to Mississippi State, but they did give up 24 points there. I don’t know. If it was me, I would pick Clemson too, but NC State averaging 33.3 points per game, where Clemson’s only averaging 22. I will say this. Florida fans that are upset about us being in the AP poll at #11, you might see a few upsets in the top 10 this week, and we might be climbing. That’s all I’m going to say.

Andrew: West Virginia-Oklahoma’s a game to watch.

David: Yeah.

Andrew: Oklahoma hasn’t looked good. What does that game look like at the end? That’s a game.

David: 17 point spread.

Andrew: Here’s an SEC game. LSU-Mississippi State. Both teams have had trouble this year.

David: Yeah.

w: It’s at State. It’s an:

David: Man.

Andrew: That’s a good one to watch.

David: I’m going to go with, I really want to say LSU, but it’s crazy. Let’s see. 2.5 spread. I’ll go LSU.

Andrew: I’ll go LSU too. Neither team is very good, which is surprising. I thought Mike Leech would do better than he did. That’s it. Any final thoughts on this game, besides just go out and win?

David: Pretty much. Just go out and win. At the same time, all you got to do is clean up what you had the mistakes with last week. Getting off to a fast start, clean up the missed tackles. I really want to see missed tackles cleaned up. Get better on special teams. I want to see a lot better special teams play. No flack on Ja’Markis Weston, but I want to see somebody else returning the ball, especially after what I saw last week. Ja’Markis Weston was highly regarded by Dan Mullen before the season, when he was recruited. I’m not saying he’s going to be bad. I just don’t think he’s the guy that you need on special teams. He needs to be somewhere else on the field. Get better on special teams.

I want to see at least six to eight sacks. You should have no problem against Tennessee doing that. I’ve seen their offensive line. Their offensive line is just as bad as Miami’s, if not maybe worse. I want to see sacks all game long. I want to see that quarterback rattled. I want to see picks. I want to see interceptions. I think the defense is going to have one hell of a game.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s a good point. You want to see it cleaned up, for sure. You want to see a team come out hot. Like you said, you want the special teams to get better. One thing is this. The physicality of this team is better. Physicality transfers. Physicality can go from one team to the other. No matter how good the opposing team is, physicality always wins the game.

David: Yeah. And effort.

Andrew: And effort. Bring that. Continue to bring that. You’re good. That’s all I got, man. I’m ready to talk smack about Tennessee. We don’t like them.

David: If Will Muschamp can win four games in one season and still beat Tennessee, we can beat them too.

Andrew: I mean, they’re bad. They’re a bad football team. Hey, we’ll see. See what Heupel does. Hope it works out for him. Not really.

David: We will see. If you look at the tweets around the SEC and Florida, a lot of the players are already tweeting out there’s no moral victories. They look like they’re focused. I think the team’s focused.

Andrew: There is no moral victories.

David: No, there’s no moral victories. I think they’re going to come out, and they know what’s in front of them. They know they’ve got to win every game on the SEC schedule. They know to get back to the SEC Championship, whether they play Alabama or not, which Alabama’s got to play Ole Miss, Arkansas, those are going to be some games to watch, Auburn. We don’t know who’s going to be in that SEC Championship game. It might be Alabama, but it may be somebody else. The players are focused. They want to make it back to the SEC Championship. I think you’re going to come in here with a focused team. They’re going to take it to Tennessee, and hopefully we can make more Tennessee jokes after the game on Twitter.

Andrew: Always. Always, my friend.

David: You got anything else, Andrew?

Andrew: That’s it, my man.

David: No Tennessee jokes?

Andrew: That’s it. Be ready. It’s going to be a good ballgame. I have always got Tennessee jokes. I mix them in. I think I’m going to save a few for Twitter on Saturday. Like I said, Sandra Bullock said it best, never wear the gaudy orange.

David: Right. You never do. Maybe after this week we’ll see Heupel kicking a whiteboard.

Andrew: Trashcans, man. I need trashcans in my life. I need some brick by brick life champions in my life, because Tennessee is the only school in America that just makes their own jokes. Outside of Georgia’s national championship continued hype and not having it in 31 years, whatever it’s been, Tennessee makes their own jokes. They’re just from McDonald’s to the brick by brick. Butch Jones was the man. I loved Butch Jones. I loved making fun of Butch.

David: Life champions, man. Life champions.

Andrew: That’s right. Brick by brick, we won.

David: From bricks, from trashcans to whiteboards to slammed footballs by Dooley, this will be it for the GatorCountry.com podcast. You can follow me @SoderquistGC on Twitter, and you can follow Andrew Spivey @AndrewSpiveyGC on Twitter as well. That’ll wrap it up, folks, for this episode of the GatorCountry.com podcast.