Clearly relieved by the latest three-game win streak, Zook appeared noticeably relaxed in his weekly press conference. The second-year coach actually spent some time joking about the rough times behind him.
"I judge how bad it is by how far away people call me from," Zook said. "If they call me from the west coast and say, ‘Man, are you ok?' then I know it's pretty bad."
Zook said he is most relieved for the sake of his family. While he's learned to ignore the critics, those closest to him find the task a bit more difficult. Zook said his mother occasionally calls from her home in West Palm to complain about the headlines.
"I said, ‘Mom, you can do one of two things,'" Zook said. "Either don't complain about it or don't read it. It's that simple."
Despite his more media-savvy personality, don't think Zook hasn't steered far from his desire to remain on track.
"I know this," he said. "We're 60 minutes away from being right back where we were. It's imperative we continue to stay focused
RECORD MUST WAIT
If your wondering why CB Keiwan Ratliff's fourth-quarter catch was not ruled an interception in Saturday's win, you aren't alone. Turns out, players and coaches are still talking about what should have been a record-breaking play.
Ratliff, who had previously snagged an interception in the game, clearly came down with Bulldog QB David Greene's pass while still in bounds. But referees ruled that the senior went out of bounds then illegally came back on the field for the pick.
Initially, because he was thinking about NFL rules, Zook thought it was an appropriate call. He later realized it was incorrect.
"In the NFL, you cannot go out of bounds then come back in bounds and be the first to touch the football," Zook said. "In college, the defensive player can do that. So really, it probably should have been an interception."
Normally, Ratliff would put it in his past. But this time, the referees' mistake may have temporarily delayed Ratliff's attempt to break the school record for most interceptions in a season.
Had it been ruled a pick, the interception would have been his eighth of the season. Ratliff is currently in a four-way tie for the record.
"That game's a long time ago," Zook said. "He just has to go get another one now."
Zook said he has spoken with backup QB Ingle Martin about staying focused despite his role as a second-string player. "He is one play away from being the man [if Chris Leak were injured]," Zook said. "Both [offensive coordinator] Ed [Zaunbrecher] and I have talked to him about that. It is hard to be the backup. Even in the NFL they have trouble keeping those guys focused. But he has great morale, and he was excited after the game this past weekend." Monday, Martin debunked reports that claimed he decided to transfer away from Florida.