Ack's Insights

Some news and notes about the big rivalry game this weekend between the Gators and Seminoles. Both teams have some significant injuries as well. Plus, some Gator Hoops notes.

Running off at the Keypad

It may not be one of the nation's most historic rivalries but Florida and Florida State is certainly one of the most bitter.   This year that will be put to the test with both teams ranked outside the Top Ten since 1986.  Coincidentally, that was the last time UF won in Tallahassee 17-13. 

First for UF this week is the injury update. It looks as if both Taylor Jacobs and Ian Scott will go through the week as if they are going to play and be factors in the game plan.  Ben Troupe's sprain, like many in the high ankle area, has not responded quite as positively.   

With a win the Gators can also extend it's 9 win streak to 13 seasons. The offensive line is getting better and you could see significant snaps from young players Randy Hand and Mo Mitchell. The Seminoles have a rash of injuries themselves most noticeably to Nick Maddux's ankle and the offensive line, with Antoine Miramabeau and Montrae Holland.  Mirambeau would be very tough on the Noles because of the play of Tron Lafavor, Bryan Savelio and Scott the past month.  

FSU's loss Saturday will not hurt UF's chances because it gave the defensive staff a good model plan to work from for the spread attack of FSU.   Florida's pass defense is ranked third in the country.  OJ Small and Aaron Walker will figure largely into Florida's offensive game plan this week against FSU. As for the running game, NC St. had a lot of success running at the Noles and neutralizing Michael Boulware and Kendyl Pope's sideline speed.   Special Teams will be a huge factor this week as both teams have area's in which they would like to shore up.  FSU had their punt team struggle on Saturday a week after their field goal team was less than perfect.  

Ron Zook was 2-3-1 against the Noles in his five years at Florida as an assistant. He helped formulate the defensive game plan that the Gators used in 1995 to shut down FSU's attack.

Gator Basketball... Team chemistry is really good right now during the 3-0 start, largely because Justin Hamilton and Matt Bonner are "fitting in" with the freshmen. The older guys are allowing the young players to gain confidence and success as they get ready for the conference schedule. I expect Brett Nelson to start at the two guard when he comes back with Matt Walsh at the three and Hamilton at the point.  Roberson would go to the bench and provide instant offense. Regardless of the rotation the options in the backcourt and the three spot are endless for Donovan.  One thing that can improve is foul shooting. Expect Stanford to be more physical and tough on the Gators on Wednesday and they may need to  step up the percentage in a closely contested game.

Snippets and Tidbits

Rex Grossman's 242 completion's this year is third best single season effort in school history.  FSU leads the series 8-5-1 since 1990.  As of this past weekend the NCAA rated Florida's schedule the third toughest in the country. This is the fifth ranked opponent (although barely) that UF has played this year.  Zook is 2-2 vs Ranked opponents.  FSU has been a balanced team statistically over the course of the season at 428 yards a game and 204 on the ground per game. Against NC State they had 177 yards their worst output since 173 against Nebraska in......1986!  Much is made of the rushing stat in this series but this year turnovers may be the key. Aaron Walker will be a focal point across the middle this week, he has 11 receptions in the last four games.  FSU did not have an offensive touchdown on Saturday and opponents have not thrown a touchdown pass on the Gator Defense in 11 quarters. Florida has scored a touchdown on it's last 7 trips into the Redzone.  Florida has thrown the ball 428 times this season and run it 395.   In UF's 3 losses this season they have thrown it 56% versus Miami,60% vs Ole Miss and 64%vs LSU

College Football... In no particular order the five for the Heisman are Dorsey, Banks, McGahee,J ohnson and Palmer. Johnson set a single season yards per attempt record and is the fifth back over 2,000 yards in the history of college football. Five of the other eight before him have won the Heisman..  LJ gets my vote.  Ohio St. just keeps winning but wouldn't you like to see them play the other Big Ten conference Champ?  FSU appears headed to the Sugar Bowl although it won't effect ticket sales as long as Georgia gets there. Dog fans are going nuts over SEC tickets imagine the trip to New Orleans. With Miami favored to win it's last two games it appears the so called execs at the BCS will come out of this season relatively unscathed, but to their defense the month of November has been playoff like across the country. We started the month with 8 undefeated teams and now there are only two. Early   Prediction Ohio St. will beat Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Rex O'Meter - uneffected by the off week, still holding strong at 4.


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