Ack's Insights on Coach Zook and the Georgia Game

The past week has been one of turmoil for the Florida football program. Zook was fired on Monday in only his 3rd season as Gator coach and during the week of Florida's biggest rivalry. I believe Zook was let go too soon and while I admit to being provincial, we'll never get to see if Zook would have reaped the benefits of his hard work. Did Zook have to learn on the job the last two seasons? Sure he did, so why not allow him to take those lessons and a talented veteran team into his 4th season?

The Mississippi State loss was devastating but there is still four games left in the season and who knows what might happen. This team lost on a bad call to Tennessee who is probably going to win the east and on a late touchdown to the defending national champions. This is not a bad football team but yet an inexperienced team that needs to learn how to win. There are those who believe Zook would not have taken this talented team next year to the next level. I believe and will stand by the fact that not only would he and his staff had UF in Atlanta, but in National Title contention.

Go ahead and laugh if you will , but we will never know if next year with the game on the line and a veteran quarterback, Zook throws it on third down versus Tennessee instead of letting the officials decide the outcome. The next coach at Florida, whoever that may be has no excuse for not having this team in title contention and the next hire for the Florida program will be the most important in Gator Football history.

This Week's Game....

The Gator offense, which is at the top in almost every category, goes up against a stout Dog defense. Georgia is 11th in the country in total defense which is only good for fourth in the conference. This year the Dogs move David Pollack around a lot and he is the best defensive end in the country. It is hard to get a read on him so either offensive tackle could end up one on one with Pollack. Odell Thurman is a load at linebacker and the Georgia defense gives up just 106 yards a game on the ground. The best all around player for the Dogs may be safety Thomas Davis. They will move him around a lot and bring into the box in running type situations. He freelances much the way Sean Taylor did a year ago for Miami. The strength vs strength matchup will be on third down. The Gators still lead the conference at 51% while the Dogs are second on defense only giving up 26%. Look for UF to be in the shotgun almost the entire game because of the pressure from Pollack. Florida will look to throw to set up the run this week against a dog defense that has recorded 20 sacks this season.

The Gator defense has it's hands full with the Georgia running game. The Dogs rolled up 200yds on the ground versus the LSU defense and should have freshman phenom back in Danny Ware. Both Dog backs Ware and Thomas Brown are averaging more than 5 yards per carry. After watching the film, I am sure Georgia will try to establish the ground game against Florida. Channing Crowder must not freelance and play within the system. Crowder is the best player in the front seven but when he gambles and misses it usually results in a big play. Kyle Jackson should see more time this weekend as well because of his physical nature against the run. The passing game is still very pedestrian for Georgia and David Greene. The Bulldogs have talented receivers who lit up the LSU secondary but have not shown any consistency. Look for the Gators to play the "bend but don't break" method this week because of the Dog's difficulty in the red zone. Keep an eye on the first drive -- the Dogs are 3-0 when scoring first this season.

Snippetts and Tidbits...

Look for Lance Butler to start at left tackle for the injured Jon Colon. Steve Rissler or Anthony Guerrero will go at left guard. Butler is without question UF's most valuable lineman. UF will try to spread the Georgia defense out because the Dogs blitz more this year than last season. The Gators are prepared to see DJ Shockley in the first half and probably a steady diet of quarterback draws and traps. The Gators must keep the time of possesion close to equal to have a chance to win this weekend. While the Gators lead the SEC with 19 drives for scores in less than two minutes, look for them to "slow" tempo the dogs to buy the defense some rest during the game. The Gators' achilles heel has been the fouth quarter with only 28 points all season long. Florida has traditionally won the fourth quarter in this series and has won six straight. The last time Georgia beat Florida was 1997 and the Dogs only loss that season was to Tennessee. Ray McDonald should be able to start this week and be much healthier than he was a week ago versus Mississippi State.

Key Players: Ciatrick Fason,Chad Jackson, Lance Butler and Jarvis Herring.

Stat of the Week: 5-1. Ron Zook is 5-1 against top 11 teams away from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Prediction: Georgia 30 Florida 21

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