Kentucky, Florida, Anthony Richardson discussed on The Paul Finebaum Show


Welcome back as fans here are excited about an undefeated Vanderbilt team. How about that? We'll talk to the Chancellor of this university and about 15 minutes. Our next guest. Certainly phi beta Kappa at his school. Chris doering, joining us to talk about the weekend's games. Hey, Chris. Good afternoon. Welcome. Good to be with you, Paul. How you doing? Thank you very much. We're doing great. Let's start with the most obvious game that I'm sure you've been hearing a lot about. And it's the transformation of the Kentucky Florida game and all the things that have changed. You live down there. I mean, how crazy has this week been? It's crazy right, just the transformation, as you mentioned, I mean, for so long, all we talked about with the domination by Florida 31 straight years of defeating Kentucky, and then all of a sudden, in the last four, you split two and two, including a win where Kentucky went to the swamp and showed that they could win under the lights in prime time there. So I don't think Kentucky's at all intimidated anymore by Florida. I think they go in and believe that they can play with the Gators and I do think things have even changed some from where I thought this game was gonna be in the preseason. You know, I famously amongst the Florida fans picked Kentucky to win it in the off season and that was because I thought Kentucky was going to be able to run the football a little bit better than what they did against Miami. I thought they'd be able to protect a little bit better than what they did against Miami of Ohio and I didn't think quite honestly that Florida's offense would be quite as good and quite as dynamic as they looked and a lot of people want to talk about Anthony Richardson, but it wasn't just him. I was surprised Paul, but the offensive line, I thought they were more physical than what I expected in the running backs. They were a nice compliment to what Anthony Richardson did on the ground. So I think these things have changed a lot since we kind of looked at it back in July when we were at SEC media days. So has it changed enough to change the outcome and see the Gators start off two and O. You know what? I did not at all believe that they would be able to do it. I know there's been some shuffling on the offensive line and no horse he's back for Kentucky, but for whatever reason, I think Florida is going to win this game. And I think it comes down to that Florida defensive line against Kentucky's offensive front. I think that's the one deficiency for Florida. I think that's the Achilles heel is they're not up to what you would expect typically from a Florida defensive front. You go back and look at that second half of the game between Utah and Florida last week. They gave up almost 7 yards of carry in the second half. I think that indicates that they were over a size, and I think that they were very thin and starting to get fatigued. But the one thing that will hurt Kentucky this week, no Chris Rodriguez, the running back room was pretty much been decimated, which is crazy to think about with all the talent there, but I think that's the matchup within the match up that's going to decide the game. I'm going to give Florida the edge there. South Carolina and Arkansas, we all know the backstory here, the gamecocks have a shot next week with a win here to host where they're going to host Georgia, whether they want to or not, but the enthusiasm for that game would go through the roof of the win. Are they going to get one in razorback land? You know, Paul, it was great to be in Columbia last week. I got a chance to call that game against Georgia state and all of the talk in the off season was about Spencer Rattler. Well, the storyline was that the defense and special teams dominated that game in the offense was actually not as big of a factor, primarily because of the offensive line issues that they had. All 5 starters return and all off season we were told how much better that group was going to be, but Spencer Rattler was under constant pressure the entire night never really got a chance to set his feet and throw. And I think it's a shame because there's a lot of talent. I think the most talent in the skill positions around the quarterback that South Carolina has had in a long time. But that is all a moot point if you can't protect. The biggest plays he made were scramble plays where I was able to keep it on the run and make some guys miss and allow receivers to uncover. So I think the difference is that very Odom's defense. They were flying around last week against Cincinnati. I think the ball carriers for Cincinnati averaged like .26 yards before contact, and that does not bode well against the Carolina offensive line that really was not good in past protection or run blocking last week. So I'm going with Arkansas on this one, Paul. Tennessee and Pitt in Pittsburgh. This is my favorite game of the weekend. You know, ironic because I think that lost last year to pit was something that didn't sit well with the fans and said, well, with the players, it's one they felt like they could have had and let get away. But ironically, that was the change in the trajectory of this team. That's where we saw hinden hooker get inserted into the starting role from there, that offense has just been rolling. In fact, the last four ball games they've scored at least 45 points or more. I just don't see pit being able to one slow them down because of the tempo and the execution that the offense has. But two, I don't think they're going to be able to score with the Tennessee balls. I think they just got too much offense and this one gets a little bit of a reserve revenge served to the folks from Pitt. Why don't you other games before we get to the big one here in Nashville? Mississippi got a late game at Arizona, this game a little bit hard to figure out what have you figured out on this game. Two weeks in a row, right? I mean, I think Mississippi states suffering from what a lot of PAC 12 teams suffer from and that's not people here on the east coast being able to watch them because of the game ending so late due to weather last week. Will Rogers was amazing through the ball 49 times completed 78% of those passes, including 5 touchdowns. He's got a bunch of weapons around him that even though they're young by years, they've played a lot of football together. They played a lot of football in this offense and it's fun to watch the rhythm and everybody being on the same page. This thing's kicking it all cylinders right now. And I just don't think that Arizona is going to be able to score with what Mississippi state can do. Now obviously there's a great storyline with the quarterback for Arizona having committed to Mike leach at Washington state before leach left for starkville. But I just don't think as much as they probably improved in jet fish's second year there in Tucson. I don't think that they have the offense to score with what Mississippi state will be able to put up. And finally, the game here in Nashville, a chance for Vanderbilt to go three and zero on the season, Chris doering, you're going to make these fans happy or are you going to ruin their night? Yeah, this is the best story of the year so far for me. I mean, we were in Atlanta at media days. We heard all of these players talking about playing championship football. I think a lot of us laughed about that, but that's exactly what they've been doing. I mean, they've completely changed what they've done dynamically on offense and Mike Wright has a lot to do with that. Ten touchdowns in the first two ball games of the season. We know about his athleticism and speed. I think the thing to me though is the resiliency. We're in the past things have happened poorly for vandy and it's been a downhill spiral. I think

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