GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the Florida Gators 38-14 win over Tennessee on Saturday night.
Andrew Spivey and David Soderquist breakdown how the offense did and how Emory Jones' performed on Saturday night.
Andrew and David also look ahead to this week's action as the Gators travel to take on Kentucky on Saturday night.
David: What’s up folks of Gator Country? This is none other than your boy David Soderquist, along with Andrew Spivey. Good old Rocky Flop leaves Gainesville with a 38-14 loss on their SEC resume, but not to be without some early first and second quarter dramatics. Florida would eventually pull away in the second half and give Heupel and the Tennessee fans the surrender cobra status in the crowd.
I was front row there in section E, where the recruits were, and it was jampacked. The recruiting section was jampacked. I was also out there tailgating before the game with the Harmonic Woods tailgate, which Dan Mullen actually jogged by in the morning on his morning jog. We even saw Emory Jones’ parents walking up to the stadium as well. Overall, a good trip for me and a good birthday as well.
Andrew, I know you were watching at home. I was not. What are some of your basic takeaways? First off, before we break this all down.
Andrew: First off, happy birthday.
David: Thank you.
Andrew: Good win for you. When you look at this game, you look at it in a couple ways. We talked about this on Friday. You always worry about a letdown from the Bama game, and the emotional toll, the physical toll it took on you. I know Dan Mullen said they had a great practice this past week, and they probably did. I don’t doubt that. From everything I’ve been told, they did. But it’s still an emotional toll when you get out there, and you see another team that’s not Alabama, and you come out.
They came out a little slow, but at the same time, that’s been a problem for this team. They’ve come out slow. They came out slow against Alabama. If they don’t come out slow against Alabama, we’re talking about an undefeated Florida team. 261 yards for Tennessee in the first half and 213 for Florida, and it was a 17-14 lead for Florida. Just like happened in the Alabama game, Florida dominates the second half. 21-0 in the second half. 292 to 162 in yards in the second half. They dominated.
To look at it in a general perspective, Florida did a good job. They won 38-14. That’s a big win in the SEC. Could it have been worse? Sure. You do have that letdown from Alabama. You didn’t lose. You took care of business. You got out of there pretty injury free. Kaiir Elam didn’t play in the game, so you had a lot of DBs get some action in the game. Anthony Richardson didn’t play again, which was zero surprise to me. You get ready to look at Kentucky, who’s a good football team.
David: Right. 505 yards of total offense. I can’t sit here and say that that was a really terrible game, if you look at it from an offensive standpoint. You have over 200 yards of rushing again, which would be the fourth game in a row that Florida has had 200+ yards or more rushing. Florida now is averaging 3.25 rushing touchdowns per game also as well. Florida’s fourth consecutive game this season, like I said, with 200+ rush yards or more. They’re third in the nation in rushing with 323 rush yards per game. Guess what, man? First in the nation, averaging 7.5 yards per rushing attempt. Florida may not have the best passing attack this year, but if you look at it from the rushing standpoint and from that standpoint overall, the rushing game is pretty elite.
This offensive line did have troubles in that first, second quarter. You just saw Tennessee obviously was playing run defense, and you knew that was going to happen at the beginning of the game. Your guys are fresh. Everybody’s fresh right at the beginning of the game. They’re going to try to do run defense, and Florida did start off kind of hard. They do a 3 and out with Tennessee, and then they come out with a touchdown there. You’re obviously thinking, good, this is what we want to see, a fast start like we’ve all been talking about.
Then Florida would give away a six-play 80-yard drive for a 47-yard pass that was actually more yards after catch after a missed tackle. I believe it was from Amari Burney there. Set up Tennessee for 7-7 tie right at the beginning. You complete that with a field goal and a 10-play 45-yard drive from Emory Jones, and now you’re up 10-7. Exchange punts there, and then touchdown for Tennessee. A busted play, I believe, it was by Jason Marshall, and you got Mordecai McDaniel trying to run down the receiver, making it 14-10. Everybody in the stands, and I was sitting there, they were kind of worried. I’m not going to lie. I was waiting for Florida to pull it off. Obviously, they have the better talent. Obviously, they have the better rushing game, and I thought so.
From then on there, Florida would go into halftime 17-14, and then start to wear down Tennessee’s defense with the rushing game. That’s what I figured would happen in the second half. You didn’t really see many big pass plays. A lot of just trying to establish the run, and eventually Florida would do that. They would cap it off with, like I said, over 200 yards rushing, 283 yards actually.yards rushing since:
Andrew: He was pretty good.
David: I think he was, right?
Andrew: He was pretty good. There’s a couple ways to look at this defensively. Did Florida play good defensively? Absolutely not. It was not a good defensive game. Kaiir Elam being out definitely hurts. This is not a good defensive back group. It just is what it is. They’re just not. You really have Kaiir Elam and that’s it. Avery Helm hasn’t really stepped up to be the guy yet. Jason Marshall still really learning the position. When I say learning the position, you have to remember he did play a lot of corner last year, but he also played offense and stuff like that as well. He’s still really trying to get adjusted to being a full-time corner. Elijah Blades, him and Jadarrius Perkins are just guys out there right now.
Florida got lucky a couple times where Tennessee couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn if they had to. They couldn’t throw it into the ocean. You had Calloway with a drop on 4th down. Missed tackles. There’s still a lot to clean up, a ton to clean up. Florida got the win. They were the beneficiary of some bad play by Tennessee overall. But there’s holes. We knew that in the Alabama game, there was holes. Bryce Young just didn’t really complete them. Florida didn’t get the pass rush I thought they would get in this game. I don’t know if that was a little bit of being tired after the Bama game or what it is, if Tennessee was just doing a better job up front than they were earlier in the year. But Florida has a ton to clean up. We all know.
They have to clean up missed tackles. I don’t know what it is about this team the last two years. They can’t tackle in space. That’s a severe problem for them. There’s still too many guys looking at each other saying, who’s supposed to guard who? Can’t have that happen. You can’t. Georgia makes you pay in those games. Alabama makes you pay. Probably Kentucky makes you pay here this coming weekend in that. Got to clean it up. There’s a lot to clean up.
To go to Emory Jones, I thought he played well. I know people, and, David, I hate to call you out, you said the same thing, you were a little worried about him early.
David: I did.
Andrew: The thing for me, and I said this to you. I’m not telling people that Emory’s great. I’m not telling people that this offense is great. I think this offense is really good. We said it at the beginning of the year, this is a different offense. This is a difference offense than what we knew was going to be from last year. This is going to be an offense that is predicated off the run, and the run sets up the pass. Emory’s doing what he’s been asked to do. Would I want to see Anthony Richardson some? Sure, I do. Do I want to see him airing out some? Sure, I do. Everybody loves the passing game. That’s what makes football fun. Heck, that’s why Steve Spurrier’s a legend is because he won, and he aired it out. The fun and gun. This is the offense that Dan Mullen is going to run with Emory Jones.
David: That was just a birthday rant of me being in the stands and all that.
Andrew: I’m not calling you out. I just use you as an example.
David: I know. It was though. I did say it. I do think, if you add Anthony Richardson, you sprinkle him into this offense, it makes it a lot better. I’m not saying that you completely have to replace Emory Jones and make Anthony Richardson the starter or anything like that. I think Anthony Richardson, obviously, adds a different dynamic to the offense, gets the offense going. He’s probably the better, might be the better passer out of the two. Running a 4.4 240, we’ve all discussed that before. He’ll be healthy, according to Dan Mullen and his press conference. He’ll be healthy for Kentucky. We’ll see if he actually plays.
Andrew: I think he does. I really do. David, not to cut you off. I think he does. I think this was the plan all along. I know a lot of people wanted him to play in the Alabama game, and a lot of people wanted him to play in the Tennessee game. You know now he’s 100%. Most strained hamstrings, if you stay off of it, do a good job, 14 days. It’s been 14 days. When it comes to the Kentucky game, it’s technically been 21 days. I’m okay with him sitting. I know it’s not the popular decision. Listen, I’m not a Dan apologist. I’ll call Mullen out when Mullen needs to be called out. I think he made the right decision here.
David: Yeah. In a game like this too, especially with a team that obviously is not the best team in the SEC. It’s Tennessee. We’ve always said it. It’s Tennessee.
Andrew: Hey, Josh Heupel’s improving.
David: He’s improving. Yes. I didn’t see him kick a whiteboard at all. I was waiting for that one.
Andrew: I didn’t see a trashcan either.
David: I didn’t either. Tennessee’s on the up. Get rid of the trashcan and the whiteboard, and then maybe we got something going here.
Andrew: Guarantano still plays for them. He’s just disguised as somebody else.
David: I just want to see Guarantano back. That’s all I want to see.
Andrew: He’s disguised. Hooker and Milton, they’re disguised like that. Neither one of those guys could throw a ball. I thought Feleipe Franks was inaccurate.
David: I told a lot of fans in the crowd, a lot of them, especially beginning of the game, were talking about Emory Jones needs to let go of the ball. I said, have you seen Tennessee’s quarterbacks? I said, the only thing that’s going on really was, like you said, the missed tackles. The missed tackles really killed us. There were so many yards after catch and so many missed tackles. Obviously, Tennessee scored 14 points. One missed tackle by Amari Burney that was over 40-yard touchdown, and then you had a miscommunication, and then Tennessee gets open for another touchdown. After that, Tennessee wouldn’t score a point all game.
Florida’s defense, like I said, didn’t get off to a fast start. Florida is giving up more points at the beginning of the game as they are in the second, third, and fourth quarter. In the first quarter, they’re giving up 7.8 on average. Second quarter, elite status here, 1.8 points average. Third quarter, 4.2 points, and fourth quarter is 6 points. First and fourth quarter. First quarter, you’re still trying to figure out what the other team’s going to do, defense, understandable. Most teams in the first quarter will give up more points than the second, third, or fourth quarter. Fourth quarter, obviously, they’re giving up the second most amount of points, which is 6. Also, defenses start getting tired, worn down, and if you’re blowing somebody out, second team comes in.
We saw that here in the Tennessee game. Tennessee got about a 65-yard scamper there towards the end of the game, and that counts as the defensive yards that Florida’s given up, but I really don’t like to count the garbage time yards, but it still counts. Florida would actually give up the most yards it has all year of an opposing team’s offense. They gave up 423 yards this game.
Looking at it overall, you can afford to give up 400 yards to a team like Tennessee, because they’re not going to really score that many points. When it comes down to like Georgia, Alabama, and we saw it in the Alabama game, they didn’t give up as many yards, but they were able to score a lot more points than Tennessee was. Overall, the defensive stats, defense wasn’t that great. Missed tackles were a big major factor in this game, but overall there were some good key 4th down stops the defense got that I like to see. Lot of good key 3rd down stops as well. I can’t really say that the defense overall did terrible, but they really do have to start improving on the missed tackles, because that’s going to kill them out there on the road, especially against those UGA teams that love to run the ball and can’t really pass the ball that well.
Andrew: You want to see that defensive front get a little bit more consistent pass rush. In that game against Tennessee that wasn’t very good. You started to see a little bit of pass rush being allowed by Florida, and that wasn’t something we were accustomed to seeing the first few weeks. Was that due to Delance and Stewart Reese being a little banged up, Kingsley a little banged up later in the game? Was that due to that? Maybe. It might have been. Was that due to Tennessee doing some different things? Maybe. Emory Jones, Dameon Pierce, and maybe it was Malik after the game, all said Tennessee threw some different things at them that they weren’t accustomed to seeing in practice. You get a lot of those things. Obviously, that was Tennessee’s championship game, pretty much. They want to beat Florida, and they come in. When you’re Florida, you’re going to get the best licks of everybody, especially rivalry games against Tennessee.
Again, was there some disappointment in the game? Sure. There really was, but overall you put up 505 yards, and you did your job. Listen, you didn’t turn the ball over through the air. Jacob Copeland had the fumble. And people get on that. Listen, I understand it, but that was Jacob should have been smarter and went ahead and got out of bounds, but he was fighting for yards. He shouldn’t have been, but he was. I can’t get onto him too much for that, because you were doing your fighting for extra yards there. He’s doing a good job. Emory didn’t turn the ball over through the air. The running backs didn’t fumble. All in all, pretty clean game offensively.
David: Jacob Copeland, as far as fighting for yards, I’m okay with that. He’s just got to learn how to hold onto the football when he does that. You always want to see a receiver give that extra effort to try to get those extra yards, unless you’re in a 4th down, you need the time situation. Then you need to get out of bounds in that standpoint. Definitely not mad at Jacob Copeland for that. It’s just an unfortunate event. Good strip by Tennessee though. Got to give your hats off to that, because Jacob Copeland’s a big dude. It’s hard to strip a football away from a big dude. Got to give my props to the Tennessee DBs and the defense for actually stripping that ball.
Emory Jones through four games now, 67% completion rating, 667 total yards passing plus rushing, 6.5 yards per attempt, 5 touchdowns now, 5 interceptions, 127.7 QBR. That’s all you can really ask for from Emory Jones. He had a clean game. Now his statistics don’t look as bad as it did maybe a couple weeks ago, when he was throwing two interceptions per game. Now zero interception game, zero turnovers.
What about Justin Shorter? We said when is Justin Shorter going to start getting involved, and he had three receptions for 54 yards, averaging 18 yards per play. Definitely got to see more of Justin Shorter. Rick Wells, what have we got to say about Rick Wells? Sits there for about seven years, finally is a difference maker on this team. Has a touchdown, four receptions for 39 yards. Rick Wells, hats off to him. He sat for so long, and now he’s starting really starting to see how much of a playmaker he’s starting to be on this team.
Andrew: My man’s got gray hair now and a doctor’s degree. I’m just kidding. I’m just messing with you, Rick. Good game. This isn’t an offense that, again, you’re not going to see receivers put up the gaudy numbers they did last year. You’re just not.
Andrew: Obviously, you had Cope in the, was it USF game, where he had 175? Or was that FAU? One of the two. I can’t remember.
David: USF, I believe.
Andrew: I think it was USF. Obviously, you had that, but for the most part you had a distribution of catches between a lot of receivers. You had nine guys catch balls on Saturday. You have a distribution of that. That’s by design. That’s what this offense is. Again, will this offense look different next year with Anthony Richardson? Maybe. I don’t know. We’ll see. Will it look different if Emory Jones returns? He probably will. Will it look different? I don’t know. Maybe. That’s what this offense is this year.
Nay’Quan Wright, really good game. Malik Davis, really good game. Dameon Pierce, another really good game. One concern for me, David, and it stuck out like a sore thumb for me all year, perimeter blocking by the tight ends and the receivers this year is downright crappy.
Andrew: It sucks. It sucks. That’s not a characteristic of Billy Gonzales. Billy Gonzales’ teams usually block really well, but this team blocking on the edge sucks. It is bad, bad. If there’s one negative about this offense, that’s what it is, and that’s not a good thing when you want to run the ball so much. It is bad. One particular play was a swing pass to Dameon Pierce, and I texted you about this during the game. I believe it was Wells and Kemore on the edge. I believe. Don’t quote me on that, but I believe it was those two on the edge. Both guys got blown up before the ball even got to Dameon, to where Dameon was hit as the ball was caught. Cannot happen. You’re one on one with a DB.
Andrew: Block him and drive him to the bus.
David: That’s how you get explosive runs on the edge is good perimeter blocking, and that’s how you get those running backs to the second level. This is going to come into factor in the years to come, when you have those speedy running backs, like a Lingard or a Bowman. You want to have good blocks on the edge, because one good block could take it to the house with those kind of guys that’s on your offense. I’m not saying that Dameon Pierce, Malik Davis, or Nay’Quan Wright can’t do that as well. I’m just saying it comes more into a factor when you have speedy running backs out there as well. Good perimeter blocking, obviously, gets you an easy 1st down and makes it way easier on your quarterback. It makes it to where he doesn’t really have to throw the ball much as well.
Andrew: It’s an extension of the running game. That’s what it is. It’s an extension of the running game. It happened last week. I want to say it was Kemore and Ethan White on the screen pass against Bama, where neither guy got a block. The screen was open, if those two guys get it. I believe it was Malik that was hit as soon as he caught it. Either way, back to back games now where big plays were taken away, because you were not able to get your job done.
Same thing as an offensive lineman, David. It’s man to man. You beat your guy in front of you. You put a hat on him. Blocking is effort. Blocking is effort. Do your job. Put a helmet to helmet. Do your job. You want to make catches, cool. You’re earning your money by blocking.
David: Right. Make sure you go through all the way with the play, and make sure that the play is over with before you stop pursuing the guy that you were blocking, because I saw that a lot too. A lot of guys quitting thinking the play was over, and the play wasn’t over. The Tennessee guy’s just running the guy down.
I really want to talk more about this offense right now, but I got to get some shoutouts to this defense. What about Trey Dean? That guy was everywhere in this game. 11 total tackles, 5 solos. Tackle for loss, 1.5. Just all over the place. I remember seeing zero the whole time I was on one end of the sideline, and where I’m sitting you can’t see the other end of the field. You’re right near the tunnel, so you can’t see the other end of the field, but every time I’d look up the at the TV, Tennessee would be taking off the ball, and Trey Dean was right there trying to tackle or make a tackle or got a tackle. I have to give my hats off to Trey Dean there.
Mohamoud Diabate had a good game too. 8 total tackles, 1 solo tackle. Overall, the defense, 3 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hurries. Overall decent showing by the defense.
The missed tackles is what really killed them in the numbers. If you start making most of your tackles, say you make 90-95% of your tackles, the offensive numbers for the opposing team is going to go down. You’re giving up 423 this game, but a lot of this is on missed tackles. It really is. Without missed tackles, you probably only give up, what, 200 yards to Tennessee? Probably don’t even give up any touchdowns. This game, if you look at it, could easily been 14-45, if Copeland doesn’t fumble, you get a couple of your tackles. It could be 7-45. It could be 50-7. You never know. When you look over games like this, and you kind of break them down, overall you don’t feel too bad about it. When you see missed tackles two games in a row, especially when you know you should be making these tackles, it is a cause for concern.
Andrew: Yeah. How much of that is the miscommunication, dealing with not having Ventrell Miller, your leader, out there?
Andrew: I don’t know. How much of the open receivers was not having Kaiir Elam out there? Don’t know. You have to improve. It’s that age old saying, and I said it last week, and I’m going to say it again. Improve from Tennessee to Kentucky. Okay. Continue to improve. That’s it. You missed tackles in this Tennessee game. You got to go to Kentucky on the road. It’s going to be a hostile environment. I don’t think Kentucky’s great. I think they’re okay. They’re better than Tennessee, but so am I. Go up to Kentucky, get better. That’s the goal is to get better every week. I don’t know that the team got better defensively against Tennessee. I think they took some steps in some direction and took some steps in the other direction in the other one. Still, take steps. Continue to improve. Sooner or later, they’ve got to figure out that second cornerback spot. That just is what it is.
Andrew: Somebody, whether it’s Marshall, Perkins, or Helm or Blades or whoever, somebody’s got to step up and take that spot.
David: Yeah. The breakdowns that I saw in the backfield, that was not good, especially that last touchdown Tennessee had. That was one of those ones that you just can’t do. That’s a complete miscommunication of Marshall looking back when he should have been looking forward. Instead, you got your safety Mordecai McDaniel trying to chase him down. Obviously, a receiver’s going to outrun a safety, for the most part.
Andrew: Right. Too, as a safety, never let anybody get behind you.
David: That’s true. You can’t let anybody get behind you. You know what, actually we saw Jace Christmann this game as well. Finally. Actually hit a 47-yard field goal, which looked pretty damn good. Hats off to Jace Christmann. Finally we got to see a little bit of better special teams play this game.
Andrew: What was Tennessee doing? Did the guy not understand he couldn’t hit Xzavier Henderson on a punt return?
David: Right. That was crazy. I remember seeing that. I was like, that’s a penalty.
Andrew: Jeez. He didn’t even try. He just basically came down the field the whole time thinking, I’m about to knock this dude out, and he did. He came down there and laid the boom to Xzavier Henderson. Obviously, was kick catch interference. It was targeting. It was unsportsmanlike. It was everything you could think of and the kitchen sink. What are you doing? I don’t know. That was bad.
David: Another stat, what we talked about last week, redzone scoring. Florida right now is scoring 82.35 in the redzone between touchdowns and field goals. They’re also allowing teams to score 90.91% of the time when they’re in the redzone, which is terrible, but it’s down from the 100% total which is even worse last week. Florida did improve in the redzone statistic categories. I believe every time Florida was in the redzone this game they did score.
Andrew: What about the kodak, the trick play. Whittemore.
David: The kodak. Yes. I even posted a thing on Twitter that said Trent Whittemore has a better QBR than your quarterback.
Andrew: That’s right. People were mad saying, got to have a trick play. Whatever. It’s in the playbook. Everybody knows it’s coming. Guess what? They can run it again tomorrow, and it doesn’t matter, because teams are going to bite on that stuff. I’ll say this. Tennessee didn’t really bite on it.
Andrew: They bit just enough to allow Kemore to get behind them, but they didn’t bite fully. They didn’t bite fully. A lot of that is due to the receivers not selling it. It’s a touchdown in the books.
David: I don’t care how you got to score points against teams, and I don’t care what teams it’s against, as long as you’re putting points up on the board, putting us ahead of the other team that’s in front of us, I do not care. I don’t care if you run a triple flea flicker or whatever you want to do. I don’t care, as long as you can put points on the board. I don’t care how it’s done. A lot of people loved that play. We were sitting in the endzone where it was scored, and the whole crowd went crazy after that.
Just overall, offensively a great day. Like I said, 500 yards of offense. Florida’s offense has moved up to averaging 36 points per game, which is good for 24th in the nation. That’s an elite offense, if you ask me. 541 yards per game, 6th in the nation. 323 average yards rushing per game. 218 yards passing per game, which is 72nd in the nation, which is kind of like right in the middle.
When you’re rushing this many yards per game, and you’re in the top 10 in rushing, you really don’t need to pass that much. You just kind of need your passing game to be a little mediocre, maybe on the average side. You just don’t need it to be borderline or just in the hundreds, because then obviously if you can’t pass the ball teams are going to prepare for the rush, and then you have no offense. Then you’re not passing the ball anywhere.
Andrew: The deep ball’s coming.
David: It’s coming.
Andrew: When, I don’t know. It’s coming. It hasn’t been shown, hasn’t been thrown. It’s coming. I don’t know when. Might be this week. Might be LSU. Might be Georgia, but it’s coming. It’s coming soon. Hopefully they can hit it. Again, over 500 yards total offense. You and I suck this week on picking players.
David: I think I picked one guy that was a winner.
Andrew: I picked Zach Carter. I’m not taking a win for it. The man played okay. Got two tackles and a sack.
David: No moral victories.
Andrew: No moral victories. I’m not taking it. You picked Brenton Cox. Had some missed tackles.
David: He did all right.
Andrew: Four tackles, 2.5 tackle for loss. I’m not giving you a win. If you want a moral victory, okay.
David: I don’t do moral victories, man.
David: I got to have a clear victory.
Andrew: There you go. I think where you and I both will get a win, Malik Davis, 45 yards rushing, and then he had the 7-yard touchdown catch. Two touchdowns, so I’ll take a W there. You had Dameon Pierce. 8 for 62, and then two catches for two yards. I’m going to give you a win there. I thought Dameon had a lot of good run after contact and stuff like that. I’ll give you a win there.
Then you picked Richard Gouraige. Worst offensive lineman performance on the team on Saturday. Sorry. Just is what it is. Sorry.
David: Watching the highlights back, and shoutout to Live Gator, who breaks down all the offense and defensive plays. Looking back at it, when you’re in the crowd and you’re trying to watch from the crowd level, you don’t really get to see everything until you see it on TV. Came home the night after, watched it, and I said, picked the wrong guy on that one.
Andrew: Then I picked Jason Marshall. Zero.
David: See, I’ve been picking Justin Shorter, and finally he has a good game, and I didn’t pick him.
Andrew: Not good at all. Hold on. Wait, you picked Copeland.
David: I did pick Copeland.
Andrew: You didn’t?
David: I did. I remember picking Copeland.
Andrew: Sorry. No. Not happening.
David: There wasn’t any big receivers in this game, except for Rick Wells and Justin Shorter. I can’t take that moral victory either.
Andrew: Yeah. No moral victories.
David: He had some good blocks, but other than that. Can’t take that one.
Andrew: Some good games around the country though. Some really good games.
David: Some unexpected upsets too.
Andrew: Yeah. We’re starting to get to that point in the season where you’re seeing some upsets. Arkansas, man.
David: I know.
Andrew: Are they for real?
David: I don’t know.
Andrew: Are they for real?
David: I don’t know. They got to play Georgia next week, so I guess we’ll find out. Man, knocking off Texas A&M, 10-20. Arkansas.
Andrew: They dominated that game too. That’s the thing. They just dominated that game from start to finish. I don’t know. Here’s the thing for me. Arkansas isn’t as good of a passing team as Florida, and I don’t know that they respect him as much as they’ll have to respect Emory. I don’t know. I think Arkansas is good. I don’t think Arkansas is great though.
David: Yeah. You saw Texas A&M at the beginning of the season as well, and they weren’t putting up impressive numbers, especially with having that loss to Colorado.
David: I don’t think Texas A&M is the same Texas A&M they were last year or the year before. You can kind of take this game with a grain of salt, but hats off to Arkansas. After what they’ve been through, being one of the worst teams in the SEC West, coming back and being 4-0. It was the first time they’ve been 4-0 in a long time. Just for them to be able to put off a 4-0 in the SEC playing the teams that they have. You can only beat the teams that are scheduled in front of you, so I got to give my hats off to Arkansas. They’re going to have a tough test this coming week against Georgia.
Andrew: Here’s the thing. They’re doing their job. They’re a much improved team, #8 in the country. I don’t know when the last time they were #8 in the country, probably the McFadden, Darrian Felix era. It’s been a while. Props to them. It’s going to be a good game.
Bama covered. Bama covered against Southern Miss with a 45-point spread. They covered and won 63-14. Insane.
David: I bet you Nick Saban made one of his friends bet against that spread, just so he would show people that Alabama can blow teams out like this.
Andrew: That was insane.
David: I think Nick Saban was a little mad this game.
Andrew: Wisconsin sucks.
Andrew: Notre Dame blows them out, 41-13. Back-to-back pick sixes. They’re awful. Whatever. That’s stupid. They’re not good. FSU continues to lose. Referee’s so bored in the game he’s eating Skittles.
David: I saw that picture out there on social media. If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a picture going around on social media of the game of when Florida State lost their 0-4 game that there’s a referee holding a bag of Skittles while he’s trying to coach the game. That just goes to show you how bad of a team Florida State is and how bored the referees were during this game.
Andrew: Clemson lost again.
David: Yes. They did.
Andrew: They’re out. They’re terrible. Oklahoma looked like trash against West Virginia.
David: Oklahoma’s going to lose a game. It’s happening.
Andrew: They were chanting for the backup quarterback in that game.
David: Yeah. Old Spencer Rattler.
Andrew: Spencer Rattler was coming into the season the #1 pick by most people in the country, if he came out of school, and they were chanting for the backup quarterback.
David: He’s the #1 booed quarterback now. I don’t think Emory Jones got any boos this game.
Andrew: LSU won.
Andrew: They’re okay. Man, what a week of football though we have coming up. We’re going to start the day with Georgia-Arkansas.
Andrew: Then we’re going to go to Tuscaloosa for Bama-Ole Miss. Then we’re going to end the day with the Gators and Wildcats. AP poll will be destroyed after this weekend with Ole Miss probably losing to Bama. We’ll see. With Arkansas-Georgia, the loser of that game being bumped back. Can Florida become the best one loss team in the country after next weekend?
David: I think they can. With a win over Kentucky. We will see though. I’m really curious to see how Georgia really is, how good they really are. They have to play Arkansas, and up and coming team. Georgia had an impressive win against Clemson, but how impressive does that win look now, considering Clemson is almost knocked out of the AP top 25? They’re sitting right at 25 now, and they don’t have an offense. Their offense is terrible. I think their offense is ranked almost in the hundreds. How good is Clemson really? Vanderbilt is one of the worst teams in the SEC. I’m going to go ahead and put it out there. They might be one of the worst teams in the nation. I’m not going to give Georgia moral victory, 62-0 victory over Vanderbilt. South Carolina, they don’t have a quarterback. There’s a big thing going on over there. We’ll see what Georgia is.
Andrew: Georgia’s doing what they’re supposed to do.
David: They’re winning games. That’s all you got to do. To be honest, I think Georgia has one of the best defenses in the country. I still really do, even though they haven’t played the best teams. I still think their defense is pretty good.
Andrew: 100%. Their offense is suspect, I think. Arkansas’ defense is good. We’re going to see really what they’re made of this week when they have to face an Arkansas defense that’s better. We’re going to see that. It’s a game that I think most of us heading into the season thought was going to be a cakewalk for Georgia. It’s not a cakewalk now. It’s a good game, good schedule. Let’s see here. Holy cow. 18.5 point favorites, Georgia?
Andrew: Holy cow.
David: If you look at it, there’s two top 10 matchups. You got Cincinnati and Notre Dame as well.
Andrew: Is Cincinnati contenders, or what?
David: I’ll be having two streaming platforms running at 2:30 and 3:30 with Ole Miss and Alabama and Cincinnati and Notre Dame.
Andrew: Florida’s an 8.5-point favorite here. Cincinnati’s 2.5-point favorite. Let’s go to this Bama game here. Bama, 14.5-point favorite.
David: Dang. I don’t know if I take that with Ole Miss and their offense.
Andrew: Saban doesn’t lose to former assistant coaches though.
David: He might.
Andrew: He never has.
David: He never has.
Andrew: Matt Corral, I’m interested to see this. What was it last year? Let me pull this back up. 62-48 last year. Alabama wins. That’s going to be a good game. Matt Corral’s a good quarterback. I’ve said that for a long time. Matt Corral’s a good ballplayer. Again, I think it’ll be a good game. I think it’ll be a good weekend. Florida comes in #10 in the AP poll. We’ll see where they shake up. Again, handle your business. Do your thing. Go.
Let me ask you this. This is a question that I think fans will be split on. Do you want to see Georgia lose on Saturday, or do you want to be the team to knock them off?
David: We were just talking about that, and I said I’d love to see Georgia lose. Don’t get me wrong. I live here in Georgia. I would love to talk trash and talk dirt to Georgia fans. At the same time, you want Georgia to win, because if Georgia gets knocked off, the rest of your schedule you’re not really playing any highly ranked teams, when it comes down, you break down the schedule. LSU is not LSU. Florida State is obviously terrible. They might go 0-12 this year. Not really any other big teams on your schedule, and you need a top 10 win over a #2 team on your schedule. With a close game against Alabama, you’re really going to need that Jacksonville game, whether they’re #1 or #2 coming into that game, you need them to be there. That way you can make it into the playoff.
If you get to the SEC championship, there’s no telling where Alabama’s going to be ranked, or if Ole Miss is going to be up there, or if Arkansas, the way that they’re playing, if they’re going to be up there. Who knows? You do need Georgia to be ranked at least somewhere in that top 5 before you play them in Jacksonville. I would say if you want to see Georgia lose this week, I’m cool. I’m all for it. I’m not going to sit here and say, no, we need them to win, because I don’t like to see Georgia win. You really do kind of need them to win to help improve to get you into the playoff.
Andrew: I’m going to take the opposite. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. Win, you’re in. That’s it. One loss SEC team that goes to Atlanta and wins the SEC championship will always get into the playoffs.
David: You actually do need them to have an SEC loss. Well, no. Technically if Florida wins out, then they only have one SEC loss, but if you have Georgia have an SEC loss, and you beat them, they have two. You have one. You’ll win the SEC, but if you beat Georgia, and you’re tied anyway, you’re still going to win the SEC. They’ll throw that one out the window. Plus, it’s the #8 team, so if they lose in a close game to a #8 team, how far are they really going to fall? Not that far, I wouldn’t think.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s it. It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. I don’t think it matters at all. Here’s the thing. I hate Georgia bad enough to say, lose. Lose.
David: Lose in a close one.
Andrew: Don’t care. Don’t care at all. To me it doesn’t matter. I think fans will be split, because I think a lot of fans will take your opinion on it that let Florida be the team that knocks them off in Jacksonville. I’m okay with that, because GameDay would be there. It would be an unbelievable atmosphere in Jacksonville. Not that it won’t be, even if both teams have one loss. Still. Then I think some people are saying, let them lose. Let them lose. It doesn’t matter.
I will say this. I want to see this weekend of football. I think we’re going to learn a lot about the SEC in general. We’re going to learn how really good Arkansas is. We’re going to learn really how good Georgia is. Alabama against an Ole Miss team. Florida was able to run all over Alabama in the game. Can Ole Miss throw all over them? Can Ole Miss score like they did last year against an Alabama defense that I think is a little bit different? We’ll see. We’ll really see. What does Alabama’s offense do against this Ole Miss defense that was not very good last year? We’ll see. Lot of good games. Cincinnati-Notre Dame. Is Cincinnati for real? We’ll see. I think Cincinnati’s a better team that Notre Dame, because I don’t think Notre Dame’s very good.
David: I don’t think Notre Dame’s good either. You were mentioning Ole Miss and Alabama. Ole Miss has the #1 offense right now, 52 points per game, and Alabama 46 points per game, #3 offense. It’ll be the #1 offense versus the #3 offense. That’s going to be a pretty good game.
Andrew: Last time I checked Corral was leading the Heisman odds too.
David: Yeah. He was. I don’t think anybody else clearly would be, considering just about every team is starting a new quarterback. Like I said, Emory Jones doesn’t need to be an impressive quarterback with his rushing attack, but no quarterback really has jumped off the charts, except for Matt Corral, that I’ve seen in the SEC.
Andrew: Who else would be your leading guy? Spencer Rattler’s not doing well at Oklahoma. Nobody from Georgia is there. Their defense is good. Oregon, Kayvon Thibodeaux is their best player. He’s out. Bryce Young’s done well, but I don’t think Bryce Young’s put up Heisman numbers, by any means. Bryan Robinson, their running back, was up there at the beginning of the year. He’s not doing anything spectacular. I think right now it is Corral. Does Florida State get their first win against Syracuse when they come to Tally Town?
David: I’m going to say no. You lose to Jacksonville State, you could lose to Syracuse.
Andrew: Does Miami finally get an ACC win, as Virginia comes to town?
David: I don’t know.
Andrew: Both teams are awful.
David: Are they going to put the turnover chain out there, man? I’ve heard.
Andrew: Are they going to have enough players? Because everybody’s wanting to transfer out of Miami.
David: I’ve heard that fool’s gold helps you win games.
Andrew: There you go. Manny Diaz, the report out there is that some boosters want Manny out. Good luck. You’re not getting Mario Cristobal. You can’t afford Mario Cristobal.
David: Good distraction too, by the way, for that game.
Andrew: I’m all for it. I can’t stand Miami and their trash and FSU and their trash. I told you this through text. The best thing that that referee could have done was pull out some crab legs.
David: Right. That’s exactly right.
Andrew: One thing, my Falcons did win.
David: I did see that. I saw that.
Andrew: They will not use Kyle Pitts, and I’m ready to slap Arthur Smith up there. Dude, you drafted him #4 overall. You didn’t draft him #4 overall to be a freaking blocking tight end. Throw the ball to the man. I have him on my fantasy team. I need it. Then New York, throw the ball to Toney.
David: Yeah. I know. How do you get these first round Draft picks and then you don’t utilize them? You pay them all this money, but then you don’t even utilize these guys out here on the field.
Andrew: Ask Jacksonville. They just traded CJ Henderson, another first round pick, for the Jaguars traded.
David: That just happened about an hour ago, couple hours ago?
Andrew: Traded to the Carolina Panthers.
David: Crazy things in the NFL. Actually, if you want to talk about the Atlanta Falcons, they’re going to need Kyle Pitts to block, because that offensive line is atrocious, man. Their offensive line is bad.
Andrew: I need Kyle Pitts to catch passes, man. Blocking doesn’t win me fantasy football points. Yesterday was not a good day for me, because AJ Brown went out for me. Tyler Lockett went down for me. Going to pick up my first loss of the year in fantasy football. Thanks, Arthur.
David: Thanks, Arthur.
Andrew: Dan Quinn would have thrown him the ball.
David: It’s a good thing I don’t play fantasy, or else I’d probably be crashing and burning. Yeah. I’m not the best NFL guy out there. If you want me on your fantasy team, I will be in the loser’s bracket in about three days.Have Arkansas and Georgia at:
David: It is weird game times. You know what, what’s funny is I looked at the rest of the schedule. After the Kentucky game and after all the good games are gone, Auburn and LSU play at 9:00.
Andrew: Auburn should have lost, by the way.
David: They should have. Georgia State. We didn’t even mention that. They should have lost. Apparently they benched Bo Nix.
Andrew: Bo Nix is out. TJ Finley threw the game winning, and TJ Finley transferred from LSU. That game’s at Baton Rouge too, right?
David: Looks like it.
Andrew: TJ Finley will have to return back to Baton Rouge, face his old team. Good football. I’m pumped. Football season is really in the thick of things now. Your cupcake teams are over with. The SEC will really showcase how good they are this weekend. I think you could make the argument that four of the best teams in the country are from the SEC, and that is Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, and Alabama. Four of the, I would say, top eight teams in the country. Outside of really Oregon. I just never trust Iowa. They always seem to lose a game in October or November that they shouldn’t. Oklahoma just isn’t that good to me. I don’t care what anybody says. Notre Dame’s Notre Dame. Let them to get to the playoff. They’ll get shellacked by whatever SEC team they play. Cincinnati, we’ll see. We’ll see. Luke Fickell, he’s got a good program.
David: We’ll see. Notre Dame hopefully will not make into that playoff, because that’ll be a waste of a playoff spot for everybody.
Andrew: I’m just tired of watching it. That’s the thing for me. I know people will say, he’s just a hater of Notre Dame. I don’t like Notre Dame, but I get tired of watching them get shellacked in every game they play in the playoffs. It’s pointless.
David: Right. I’m sure they’re going to lose a game. I’m calling it. They probably will lose to Cincinnati. I’m going to call it right now. They’re losing to Cincinnati. We won’t see Notre Dame in a playoff.
Andrew: We won’t see Notre Dame. Sign us off of here, buddy. Let’s get out of here. Let’s get to rolling. We’ll be back Friday and break down some kitty cats and gators.
David: That’s right. A big slate of games this week in the SEC. Like you said, we’ll find out who the men are from the boys this week. Florida will travel to Lexington, Kentucky to take on Stoops. Always a close game when they play Kentucky, usually, for the most part. Hopefully, Florida can squeak out of here with a victory if it is close. Hopefully, for the fans’ sake it’s not even close at all, and we blow them out.
For Andrew Spivey, for David Soderquist, signing off here. 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.