A Freshman in name only

<b>Chris Leak</b> is still technically a freshman. But after leading No. 23 Florida past fourth-ranked Georgia - the Gators' third consecutive victory against a ranked SEC team away from home - the quarterback has been promoted by his teammates.

"We don't think of him like a freshman anymore," Florida tight end Ben Troupe said. "He really knows the offense."

Chris Leak, a highly-recruited prospect out of Charlotte, N.C., saved his best for last on Saturday. He compiled modest numbers - 13-of-23 for 235 yards and one touchdown - but his performance on the Gators' game-winning drive is all anyone will remember.

Leak completed all three of his attempts for 44 yards in leading the Florida offense 66 yards for the game-winning field goal, all against the No. 1 defense in the country, and in the biggest game of Leak's young career.

"As the game goes on you get a good look at their defense and can get into a rhythm and feel for what they might do," Leak said. "We also get a feel for what our players are going to do and the work that we need to do to put the points on the board."

Florida head coach Ron Zook, after rotating Leak with quarterbacks Ingle Martin and Gavin Dickey for the first four games of the season, installed Leak as his starter for the Kentucky game. Since then Florida is 4-1, including wins against then-No. 6 LSU and then-No. 11 Arkansas on the road and now Georgia at a neutral site.

"Chris is improving," Zook said. "Our football team is very confident in Chris and they feel very good about Chris in the huddle."

Never more so than on the game-winning drive.

"He came into the huddle with a grin on his face. That's what makes him good because he is so confident and calm," center Mike Degory said. "He's a freshman, but he leads like he is a senior."

Fightin Gators Top Stories