UAB Game Week Press Conference

Gainesville, Fla. -- Head Coach Ron Zook and Florida players spoke to the media today about the season opener against UAB on Saturday, Aug. 31. Below are the quotes from the conference

University of Florida Football
Press Conference for UAB Game
Aug. 27, 2002

Head Coach Ron Zook
Opening Statement…
"Obviously a lot has happened here since January 9. This is the time of the year that every one has been waiting for. Our staff and our players are excited for it. I think our camp has been as good as we can possibly ask for. Our players have given us everything we have asked them to do. Now it is time to go out and see where we're exactly at as a football team. I have no reason to believe that we're not going to do anything but exactly what we've been coaching. These guys have done everything we've asked them to do. The attitude has been super. We're excited to get going."

"I'm expecting a very well coached football team. Obviously, they have some questions being a young team. I coached against Watson Brown when he was the head coach at Austin-Peay in 1978. He is a heck of an offensive coach. He is a guy that will present problems for your defense. Defensively, they were fifth in the nation last year. They're a very good defense. They've lost a lot of people, but on that same token they feel like they are going to be much quicker. It's a defense that we have to be ready to attack as well. I think anytime you play a first game, you're not really sure what you're going to get. What we have to do as a football team and as a staff is to make adjustments during the course of the game."

RB Earnest Graham
On the first game of the season…
"It means a lot to Coach Zook. We love playing for Coach Zook, and we want to go out and have a good performance. We want to show people that he can go out and get the job done."

QB Rex Grossman
On the 2002 Gators…
"I feel like everyone is a little uncertain because we don't know how good we are until we play someone else. I think this whole team needs to play well early and play well in the UAB game. I'm sure all eyes will be on Florida. We need to prove to ourselves that we can play well too."

On the wide receivers…
"Over the summer, we got a chance to see how well they were going to do. They proved that they are going to be good. Taylor Jacobs is going to be great. We're going to be just fine at receiver. Vernell Brown is a little guy, but he can catch some screen passes and do some little things. We're looking for him to be contributing a lot."

OT Max Starks
On UAB defense…
"I know their defensive front last year was really tough. This year they have experienced guys, but they are not starters. The guys play just like starters so we have to assume there are three seniors on the starting line. They have some experience playing in games. It's going to be a challenge for us. The team actually ran better than they did last year so we're looking for them to be more aggressive than last year."

DT Ian Scott
On UAB's offense…
"They do a lot of things well. They have a balanced offense. They've shown that they can throw the ball well. They have a good passing game and they have a lot of different formations and stuff they can run the ball out of. I think one thing they can do well is keep a defense off-balance with the formations and things that they use. Hopefully we can work hard and take care of the things that we need to and hopefully make them one- dimensional."

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