The Gators (4-3, 2-3 SEC) fired third-year coach Ron Zook on Monday but announced Zook will finish out the year, which means he'll be on the sideline Saturday at 3 p.m. coaching against the No. 10 Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1).
Mike Bobo played for Georgia in 1995 when Ray Goff was fired the week
before the Georgia Tech game. The Bulldogs went on to beat the Yellow
"I really think that (Florida's players) are going to rally around
their coach," Bobo said. "That's what we did under Coach Goff."
That's also what Kentucky did against the Bulldogs in 1996 the week
after coach Bill Curry was fired. The Wildcats were 1-6 coming into the
"And they whipped our butts (24-17)," Bobo said. "I threw
Bobo's thoughts were typical of most of the Bulldogs' reaction to the
news. The Gators will rise to the challenge this week and play inspired
football Saturday, they believe.
"I hate to see anybody lose their job, and I'm sorry for Coach Zook
that it happened, I really am," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "My
is the players will be very adamant about playing hard for Coach Zook
and that entire coaching staff. Hopefully, I can get our guys to match
that level of intensity."
"From what I hear they liked that coach," linebacker Odell Thurman
said, "so they'll be motivated and ready to play."
Georgia offensive coordinator Neil Callaway was on Mike DuBose's staff
at Alabama in 2000 when DuBose was fired before the final game of the
season. There are challenges, he admitted, but they usually don't get in
the way of the action on the field.
"It's very tough on the players and coaches to try to stay
he said. "It's a distraction, but there are always lots of
Georgia tight end Leonard Pope narrowly chose the Bulldogs over
Florida in a recruiting battle, and he remembers Zook fondly.
"I just wish the best for those guys," he said. "They were
coaching staff. (The players) are going to play very hard, and we're
going to play very hard. This is Georgia-Florida. This is going to be a
Quarterback David Greene said he thinks the shock of Monday will be a
memory by Saturday.
"They're going through a whole whirlwind right now," he said.
could be a lot of distractions down there, but when it comes to playing
the game, there aren't any distractions."
The only less-than-sympathetic voice was senior wide receiver Fred
Gibson's. He didn't have anything bad to say about the Gators, but he
made it clear he was thinking only about his team.
"That's their problem to worry about, not ours," he said.
trying to just stay focused on our team. If they get their thing
together, they get their thing together."
Georgia Reacts to Zook's Firing
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