Ask Ack: September 8, 2004

In this week's edition of Ask Ack, I answer questions about how UF will attack the freshman quarterbacks of Tennessee, who stood out from the SEC last weekend, SEC officials and more!

First off, with the lack of depth at linebacker, why didn't they move Brian Crum back there to help out seeing how it doesn't look like he is going to get much playing time at tight end?  Also, what is your best starting lineup for the offensive line?  It seems that there are 7 or 8 guys capable of starting, which is a very good thing, but which lineup do you think we will see the most?  

I think Brian Crum was more comfortable on offense. He just never got comfortable at linebacker and I think the coaches feel the two freshman are already better. Crum is a good enough athlete that if he develops he could be a good tight end. I think the offensive line is set right now with Colon, Butler, Degory, Mitchell and Hand. Tavares Washington and Steve Rissler will play a lot and freshman Drew Miller could see some serious time as well. 

Will UF be completely healthy for Eastern Michigan?

I think so especially since most of the injuries were nagging leftovers from camp. Practice may be a bit upbeat this week but barring any mishaps during the week I expect UF to be as healthy as anyone in the country this week. Deshawn Wynn,J avier Estopinan, Tate Casey and Tavares Washington all benefited from the week off for various reasons.  

Ack, anything catch your attention from the SEC this weekend?

First, UF's next opponent Tennessee looked as good as they ever have in an opener. I do not think they can beat UF with freshman quarterbacks but they looked very tough. The offensive line looks improved, but there are still questions for me in the passing game and their secondary. LSU should have lost and would have if they would have left Marcus Randall in or the Oregon State kicker could make a field goal. Maybe Nick Saban should take a lesson from Phil Fulmer and start a freshman at quarterback. Both teams look shaky at receiver. Georgia looked dominant and Danny Ware is legit. The one thing about the Dogs will be their offensive line and can they hold up in pass protection. South Carolina impressed me a lot. I thought Vandy might get them but USC's defense under Rick Minter looks very physical. They may be a major factor in the East if they can get any quarterback play at all. Ole Miss will miss Eli Manning and Miss. St. may not be a great team but sure looked more disciplined in one game with Sly Croom at the helm.

Not to get ahead of myself, but will Charlie Strong attack the freshman QB's of Tennessee and will he hold back this week to not tip his hand against Eastern Michigan?

This is a good question and after seeing the two Sunday night I think you have to approach each guy differently. When Shaeffer is in the game you must keep contain and force him to throw. Linebackers must keep an eye on number seven, he is very elusive. Ainge looks to be a good passer and may handle the blitz pretty well but I would think Strong may use some of his safety blitzes to confuse the Vols' other quarterback.

Do you have any info on the various SEC officiating crews? How do they rank/grade-out and which have called the Gator games the fairest in the recent past?  Also, what sort of pre-game meetings do coaches or AD's have w/ officials and what sort of post-game protocols are in place to issue grievances or reviews etc?

I do not follow the crews as closely as many others do in the media. The crew is reviewed weekly by Bobby Gaston of the SEC and each week coaches can send disputed calls to the office for review. Coaches know the personalities of certain officials and what to expect. The officials will meet with each coach and captains before each game to discuss any concerns and so forth. This is usually the time when opposing coaches try to point how Florida does not get enough men on the line or the tackles are too deep. Officials will look for this when the game starts. Personally I think the SEC has average officials and I prefer that most games be decided on the field. I did notice the first implementation of the celebration penalty with the "q" dog sign given by Kevin Burnett after a tackle. I am sure SEC officials will call anything with regards to celebration.

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