"I think it's exactly what we needed," Ron Zook, the second-year Gator boss said. It's an easy argument to make that the break came at a bad time. The Gators barely survived a visit to Kentucky, then lost at home to Ole Miss. But Florida stormed back by beating LSU in Baton Rouge and Arkansas on the road as well, both opponents ranked higher than the Gators.
To say Florida had momentum is an understatement. But maybe the Gators
got the right work in to sustain it.
"We were able to get better as a football team.," he said,
back on fundamentals and so forth, able to get away for a little bit,
get a little rest."
The last time Florida played Georgia after a playing date was 1992.
The 20th-ranked Gators beat Louisville 31-17 on Oct. 24, then nipped
No. 7 Georgia 26-24 on Oct. 31.
It was a year later, the second season of divisions in the SEC, that
the schedule gave Florida the week off before the Georgia game. Florida
regularly played Auburn the week before the Bulldogs.
The Gators are 18-6 after a bye week, and 9-1 when Georgia's that first
Zook is happy his team had a chance, go back to work on some simple
things, but he's not sure about any strategic advantage to the time off.
"It's more important that you get a little rest and refuel yourself
once again go back and work on the things that you know Georgia's gonna
work on to beat you."
Only two teams on Florida's schedule this
year have losing records.
San Jose State, a 65-3 season-opening victim, is 2-5 and off a 77-14
whipping by Boise State.
And Vanderbilt, which is at Florida next week, is 1-7.
Kentucky, which blew its chance to beat Florida in Lexington, is 4-4.
Overall, Gator opponents are 60-30.
The Gators have played 14 true freshmen this
year, including quarterback Chris Leak.
Five true freshmen have started: Leak, linebacker Channing Crowder (of
Atlanta), guard Steve Rissler, linebacker Earl Everett, and defensive
tackle Marcus Thomas.
Florida has scored less than 20 points in three games so far this year.
Last time the Gators have done that? Not since 1989, when the Gators had
games of 19, 16, 7, 10, 17, and 7 en route to a 7-5 mark.
Not surprisingly, that was the last year for Galen Hall, and the season
before Steve Spurrier arrived. ...
Four different Gators have started at middle linebacker and at
strongside linebacker, three on the weak side. The same trio hasn't
started in consecutive games.
The secondary has had the same four starters for every game, and
Florida's pretty much stuck with a consistent rotation at wideout. ...
Injury update: The Gators will get at least a few days of practice from
tailback Ran Carthon (hamstring), Ciatrick Fason (hamstring) and DeShawn
Wynn (shoulder). Defensive tackle Mo Mitchell broke a bone in his hand
against Arkansas and is in a cast, but won't miss any time.
Florida Notebook 10/27
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