Monday Practice Report

Chris Leak will have a tough act to follow heading into Saturday's game against Ole Miss. Also, Kenny Parker likely will have his knee scoped....

QB Chris Leak has continued to dazzle his observers five weeks into his collegiate career. But before the expectations rise too high, one challenge may be more difficult than most.

Trying to match Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons' game against the Rebels on Saturday certainly won't be easy. Symons threw for 661 yards – yes, you read that right – against Ole Miss in the third-best passing performance in NCAA Division I-A history.

"That was something that baffled me," OT Max Starks said. "You can't even do that on a video game – not unless you have it on extended-time mode. Teams can't even mass total yards like that, let alone in one aspect of the offense."

Ole Miss has now allowed 1,665 yards passing in four games, the worst total in Division I-A football.

IT'S THE SNAP THAT COUNTS

Coach Ron Zook continues to claim every aspect of the Gators has improved since last season. One unit, however, clearly has made far better strides than any other.

Florida's punting team jumped from being one of the weakest links to one of the strongest. The Gators sprung from No. 106 in the nation last season to No. 26 this season.

Most of that, of course, is due to the quick progress of true freshman P Eric Wilbur.

"He's doing a good job, he really is," Zook said. "He has to be a little more consistent, but he gets the ball off and he's an athletic guy."

But here's another name to pay close attention to: senior LS Casey Griffith. The former walk-on, who picked up a scholarship in August after three years as the team's long snapper, may have more to do with the unit's success than most would think.

"The consistency of a long snapper allows the punter to speed the operation up because he knows where the ball is going to be and he can step into it," Zook said.

Not to mention, Griffith's outspoken leadership has played a vital role on Florida's sideline – especially when his team fell behind against Kentucky.

"Casey Griffith was getting everyone so fired up," Zook said. "I'm so proud of him. He wanted to be able to say they never lost to Kentucky."

PARKER PARKED

DT Kenny Parker, who suffered a knee injury against Kentucky, likely will have his knee scoped. Should he undergo the procedure, he'll miss several weeks of action.

Parker, a starter on the line, would likely be replaced by DT Mo Mitchell. Although Mitchell also was nagged by back spasms Saturday, Zook expects him to be prepared to play Saturday.

Because Mitchell and Parker spent more time than usual tending to injuries on the sideline, true freshman Marcus Thomas saw extended time Saturday.

"We'll be fine," Zook said. "We still have five guys ready to go on the line."

BRIEFLY

Although he was most impressive during his fourth-quarter comeback Saturday, Leak hasn't always been a late-game bloomer. While at Independence High, the freshman rarely had any pressure by that point in the game. "He came out throwing from the beginning," Zook said. "By the fourth quarter, they were up by about 50."…LB Channing Crowder was limited Monday because of a sore knee.


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