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November 14, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Mike DiRocco

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the Worst College Football Game that Florida has Played this season?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:01 PM)

Last week .......

Michael (Perry FL.)

Who do you think is the better QB Jeff Driskel or Jacoby Brissett and why

Michael DiRocco
  (4:03 PM)

Michael -- Driskel, because of his mobility. Especially with the state of the OL being what it is. I think he also gets rid of the ball quicker than Brissett, even though Driskel holds it too long sometimes, too.

Bob (Md)

Mike, how realistic is it to hope/pray that Taylor and the other stud TE we signed last year can help improve the passing game next year?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:04 PM)

Bob -- I think it's pretty realistic that Taylor may end up being part of the passing game, especially if only one of the four committed WRs can get on the field. Thompson is more of a blocker, but he could become a red-zone weapon. If nothing else, Thompson should be a huge help in the jumbo package.

Bob (Md)

What do you think are realistic expectations for this team next year? All we heard/said at the beginning of this year was "if the qb play is good, ceiling is high...". And it hasn't been. I know we'll lose several underclassmen on D and seniors, but could Fla have back to back 10 win seasons again?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:09 PM)

Bob -- There will be a lot of losses on defense. I expect Elam, Floyd, Jenkins and Easley to leave early. Bostic, Hunter and Evans will be gone, too. There's talented guys behind all of those players, but they'll need some time. The defense will take a bit of a step back, I think. The schedule, though, isn't bad. Certainly not a brutal October like 2011 and this year. The key will be the OL and the WRs. If the line gets better (which it should because of the transfers) and those freshmen WRs can be counted on to make plays, then nine, 10 wins are likely. But if the OL and WRs don't improve, it'll be hard to win a lot of games because the defense won't be as stellar as it was this year and therefore won't be able to carry the offense.

Poko (Fl)

Who makes the biggest jump as far as improvement from this season to next?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:11 PM)

Poko -- Great question. Driskel has to be one that does. So do some of the young DBs, like Poole and Bailey. But I think the two guys who will really jump out at people next year will be Bullard and Fowler. They've really come on at the end of the season and are starting to make plays. A year in the weight room will help tremendously. A real sleeper? DL Alex McCalister. Staff loves him. He's just got to get bigger and stronger.

Poko (Fl)

What's your (and the media's) current take on Urban Meyer? I feel like everyone's forgotten how awesome he was here just because the mess he left. I, for one, miss that beautiful man!

Michael DiRocco
  (4:13 PM)

Poko -- Meyer did some great things here, obviously. He gets ripped for leaving the cupboard bare, but that's not the case. He left plenty of talent here. What he also left was a mess in the locker room. Attitude problems, entitlement issues, work ethic issues, personality clashes .... all that popped up in 2010, which is when he lost the team. It took a year to fix that.

Bill (NYC)

What a man's schedule the SEC is playing this week

Michael DiRocco
  (4:15 PM)

Bill -- It doesn't look good, does it? Bama-Western Carolina, Florida-Jax State, SC-Wofford, Alabama A&M-Auburn, Ga Southern-Georgia Sam Houston State-Texas A

Thomas (Birmingham)

If Brissett can open up a passing game against J State does it make FSU's defense have to prepare for some different looks from UF? and does Brissett then split time with Driskel against FSU?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:16 PM)

Thomas -- I don't think it matters what happens against Jax State. The Gamecocks have one of the worst defenses in FCS. I'm doubtful that Driskel will be able to play against FSU. He gives UF the only chance in that game. Brissett isn't mobile, and with UF's OL struggling and FSU's dominant defensive front, it will be a long day for Brissett. He'll get battered and bruised.

Ry (Left Coast)

Mike, I got a feeling about Brissett. It has been said from the beginning that Jacoby was the better passer and I am thinking he lights it up this weekend. I believe that Jeff has been decent, but the reality is that he has only had one 200 yard game. Everyone wants the Gators to throw it around, well here ya go. Thoughts on Brissett's upcoming performances?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:18 PM)

Ry -- Brissett should light it up this weekend. Jax State has a terrible defense, one of the worst in FCS. If Brissett had played all year, he wouldn't have had much more success throwing the ball than Driskel. He'd have the same OL and WR problems.

Goe (Salem)

Do you think the Oregon Ducks are capable of crushing Florida?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:18 PM)

Goe -- I don't know about crushing UF, because the Gators' defense is really, really good. But I think they would win the game. No way could UF keep up with that offense.

Tom K. (Melbourne, FL)

What do you see as this year's Gators biggest weakness? It seems to me the offensive line can't block.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:20 PM)

Tom K. -- OL and WR, and I'd probably argue that the WRs are a tiny bit worse. There's at least help coming on the horizon for the OL with a pair of transfers that have played at BCS schools and the obvious star-in-waiting in D.J. Humphries. UF has to hope a couple of the WRs that are committed are tremendous.

Jarko (Kinna)

Do you think Florida still has any BCS Bowl hopes?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:21 PM)

Jarko -- They do, but it's slim. Alabama's loss hurt UF there. But the bottom line is this: Beat FSU and there's a chance. Lose to the Noles and no way.

Justin (DeLand)

Best case scenario (also unrealistic), say this weekend Brissett lights up the field and ignites some kind of spark on offense that hasn't been seen most of the year. What would be the odds that Muschamp and Co. would start Brissett even if Driskel was to be medically ok'ed against FSU?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:22 PM)

Justin -- Zero. The OL is struggling in pass protection and FSU has one of the nation's top defensive fronts. The pass rush will be fierce and the Gators need Driskel's mobility. Brissett will look good this week because Jax State has one of the worst defenses in FCS. Don't read too much into this game.

KMO (Dallas)

2 questions if you know or have a guess: if they Sugar Bowl hosts one of the semi-final games, what bowl will SEC and Big XII champ play if not part of the top 4 (automatic that they will play in Sugar in semi-final year? Also, is the Championship final in addition to the 6 playoff/access bowls? Or part of the six.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:26 PM)

KMO -- It'd take a lot of space to go through it all. Here's a link that explains everything.http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8624387/college-football-playoffs-six-access-bowls-sources-say

boss (tally)

what is the feeling in the locker room concerning next weeks hate fest? does UF think they come in and win easy, win period, lose, or lose big?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:27 PM)

boss -- Well, nobody ever goes into a game thinking they're going to lose, let alone lose big. The Gators are pretty confident they'll win. But that's what you'd expect. The defense and special teams are very good and if the offense shows up they've got a chance.

Steve (Tuscaloosa)

Im not sold on FSU's dominant front. They looked very mediocre against NC State, Va Tech, USF. How many wins might they have if they played Florida's schedule do you think?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:29 PM)

Steve -- That's something I was debating with someone the other day. I think LSU, Georgia and Texas A&M are better teams than FSU now, but the Noles would win at least one of those games. So, they'd be 8-2 right now, probably. They're defense is SEC good. They're fast, athletic up front.

Justin (DeLand)

After watching the FSU-VA Tech game, wouldn't the logical answer to slow down FSU's offense be to bring the house like the Hokies did? E.J. looked as lost as Driskel has this year in that pocket. Any thoughts on how miserable the Gator's offense will be against that defensive line/pass rush?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:32 PM)

Justin -- UF plays a lot of man coverage, which you have to do in order to have a chance with a blitz. I like the thought of the Gators being ultra aggressive, but you have to be careful there because big plays happen if the rush doesn't get to the QB. I think Dan Quinn will mix it up. Probably won't blitz a lot on first down. As for the offense, even if Driskel plays I think the best way to handle the game is play very conservative. Maybe some WR screens, end arounds, wildcat stuff. Nothing too risky. Let the defense and special teams win this game.

Mario (Atlanta UGA )

If all the one loss teams lost, we beat FSU and BAMA beats UGA. Could we see an all SEC BCS. The computers love us, would the pollsters.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:34 PM)

Mario -- It's an unlikely scenario, but that's probably what would happen if all the one-loss teams lost. There probably would be a backlash by the fans, but I'd like to think the human pollsters would recognize that UF would have four wins over BCS top 10 teams (more than any other team) and would reward the Gators for that.

Hiram (Pensacola)

Do you think Reed, Elam, and Floyd are leaving after the season?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:35 PM)

Hiram -- Not sure on Reed. Haven't gotten a good read on him (no pun intended). I think he needs another season, to be honest, so the coaches can get him to stop jumping every time he catches a pass. Elam and Floyd are gone, I think.

Brendan (New Jersey)

Do you think Jacoby Brissett will be also a rushing threat this weekend?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:35 PM)

Brendan -- He may scramble around a bit. And the staff may even call some read options for him, too. But remember, it's against a bad FCS defense. He may get some yards, but he's not a running threat. Especially against FSU.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What is the Hottest & the Coldest SEC College Football Game that you have been to?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:38 PM)

Chris -- The coldest games was a UF-FSU game, that I think was '95 or '97 (I have a bad memory for stuff like that). Press box was packed and I had seats on top. It was very windy and cold. Any game in September at Florida Field is hot. It's an open-air press box and I'm always sweating if it's a noon or 3:30 kickoff.

Corey (NYC)

Mike: I have felt for years that Notre Dame's problems have been poor coaching decisions. Now that we have a good coach, I look at Notre Dame as a sleeping giant that is up and ready to flex its muscles, and get back to the top of college football. Your thoughts?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:38 PM)

Corey -- Gotta fix the offense, though. But I agree that Brian Kelly is a very good coach. He'll get it done there.

Corey (NYC)

Mike: what college football team do you believe has the biggest fan base?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:39 PM)

Corey -- Biggest? Probably Notre Dame. Now if you want to talk about most annoying ...... :)

Tom K. (Melbourne, FL)

So, how did we end up with an OL that's so awful? Subpar recruiting? Injuries? Poor coaching? I don't get how a major program could end up with a line that's so outmatched every game. As for the WRs, you're probably right, but I can't say, since I don't remember seeing any of them this season! lol

Michael DiRocco
  (4:40 PM)

Tom -- A little bit of all of that. Tim Davis, though, has done a very good job this year and he'll have more to work with next year and the line will be better. You have to remember, these guys were spread linemen -- meaning there was more of a premium on athleticism, quickness, blocking in space. Will wants big, solid, tough road graders. Takes time to transition to that.

Brendan (New Jersey)

How do you see the defense going up against Florida State next week?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:42 PM)

Brendan -- I don't think FSU will have much success against UF's defense. Gators held the Noles to less than 100 yards last year, and that defense wilted all the time in the fourth quarter. This unit is tougher, smarter and creates more turnovers than last year's unit. The team that makes the less mistakes on offense (negative plays, penalties, turnovers, drops, etc.) wins.

Justin (DeLand)

With all the SEC head coaching jobs opening up this season, what are the chances Pease takes one? (Personal opinion I think he will hold true to the commitment he made to his family, unlike one of the past offensive coordinators...) And any thoughts on any of the other coaches maybe looking to pursue new career options?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:45 PM)

Justin -- I don't think Pease leaves this year. Some of the jobs that will be open aren't very good (Kentucky) and others will want someone who has been a head coach before (Tennessee). Besides, UF's offense this year isn't anything to put on a resume. That being said, I think he's done a very good job getting what he has out of the offense. He has't quite made chicken salad, but he's got a few ingredients at least.

Ben (Tallahassee)

Mike,I agree about Elam and Floyd leaving early..I wouldn't be so sure about Easley and Jenkins...Both have missed time this year due to injury, especially Jelani...Of course, they may leave regardless..

Michael DiRocco
  (4:46 PM)

Ben -- You may be right, but I know that Easley just had a son and it'd be hard to turn down the money, even if it is third-round money. I'm a firm believer that if you're a first-round pick, you should go. If you have a chance to improve your stock, you come back. Unless you have family/financial issues, of course. Then you have to make the best decision for that situation.

michael (france)

Call me crazy but i dont think the O line is that bad. It's still pretty good in the run game. I also think that more of the blame should fall on Driskel. He seems to tell the other team the snap count. More counts please! Your thoughts

Michael DiRocco
  (4:52 PM)

michael -- You're crazy. Actually, you're right, it has been better in the run game than the pass game. The problem is, though, that the Gators can't pass to loosen up defenses so they will quit stacking the box. A big reason, other than the WRs, is the pass protection. As for Driskel, I'm not sure what you mean about him seeming to tell the other team the snap count. If you're saying the Gators always go on one, then maybe he should vary that.

Jermey (Pennsylvania)

I know this may be a dumb question, but do you think Sam Houston has a chance against A&M this Saturday?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:52 PM)

Jeremy -- No.

Tom K. (Melbourne, FL)

Do you think last weekend's performance was a glitch or will they have trouble with Jax State too?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:54 PM)

Tom -- It wasn't a glitch. The Gators can't throw the ball and ULL did what everyone else has done -- load the box. It's hard to run against eight- and nine-man fronts. UF shouldn't have trouble with Jax State. They have one of the worst defenses in FCS -- they rank 89th or worse (out of 121 teams) in the four major defensive categories.

Justin (DeLand)

With FSU's butter fingers, is it crazy to think that this game could end up like another FL-SC game? The defense/special teams win the game? I just have no confidence in our offense against anybody, obviously with what the Ragin Cajuns did to our O-line!

Michael DiRocco
  (4:59 PM)

Justin -- You're exactly right. The defense and special teams will have to win the game for UF. Expect a highly conservative offense, especially if Brissett is in there.

Steve (Tuscaloosa)

Looking back at LSU; how in the world did we run the ball like that against them? The Ragin' Cajuns killed us up front

Michael DiRocco
  (5:01 PM)

Steve -- I think it was partly because all offseason and throughout the preseason all the line heard was how tough it wasn't last year. Then they heard the LSU game was the game where they would prove they were tough. They did. It was their best game and they haven't reached that level again. Also, LSU's D-line did wear down a bit in the heat and the LBs were banged up. That helped. But I think it was more the first reason.

david (texas)

do see florida getting harris on friday

Michael DiRocco
  (5:01 PM)

david -- That's the general feeling, yes.

michael (france)

follow up question, if the O line is that bad, and everyone knows it (except me) why don't theyhave more designed rolled outs?

Michael DiRocco
  (5:03 PM)

michael -- They have done some of that, but the OT's have struggled probably more than any other position on the line. Can't roll out if there's a DE in your face. Also, there's been some where Driskel has held onto the ball too long and not delivered it timely or had to throw it out of bounds. Against FSU, watch for more screens and short, quick passes. That's the best way to attack that pass rush.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:03 PM)

OK everyone, that's it. We'll talk again next Wednesday before we all go into a turkey coma.