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I want players to think as positively as the
85-year-old man who married a 25-year-old woman
and bought a five-bedroom house next to
the elementary school.
Charlie Pell

2002 Overall Record:  8-5
Conference Record:  6-2
 
Returning Starters:  Offense 6, Defense 3, Kicker/Punter 2

Next Game:  August 30 vs San Jose St. @ Gainesville

Want a little info on San Jose State?

SEC East Out Of Conference Opponents:

2003 Forecast: 

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Talent, but no experience.  That about sums up what Ron Zook fields this year. 
 
The Gators return 6 starters from the offensive side of the ball and 3 from the defensive side.  The offensive line appears to be the strength of this team, and RB Ron Carthon has looked good during spring drills.  All-SEC performer OG Shannon Snell will open the holes.
 
The Gators will need someone to step up at the WR slot, after the loss of Taylor Jacobs.  Ingle Martin is the only QB with experience on the roster.  The defensive line lost all 5 starters.  There are plenty of question marks.  There is one corner without a question mark, however:  Senior CB Keiwan Ratliff mans one corner.  He may the best athlete in this squad.  Expect opponents to throw to the opposite side all year long. 
 
Coach Ron Zook had a respectable 1st year, but needs improvement to keep the natives happy.  Florida fans are not used to 8-5 seasons. 
 
Florida has a week 2 (September 6) date with Miami, and closes with Florida State (these two beat the Gators last year by a combined 72-30).  In between are road games to Baton Rouge and Fayettville, and a home game vs Tennessee.  There is also the yearly "cocktail party" vs Georgia.  A tough schedule to improve one's record against.
 
Still, until they prove me wrong, I am picking the Gators to be in the race for the East crown until late in the year.  But, if the injury bug hits, this could be the longest year of Coach Zook's life.
 
Prediction:  7-5 overall.  5-3 SEC.  Mid level Bowl.

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Gator News:

CFN 2003 Florida Gators Preview

8-21 Practice Report for Thursday

8-21 Injuries impact the O-line

8-20 Zook mum on QB pick

8-18 Leak posts bests stats of Florida's four QBs in scrimmage

8-18 Trial Date Set For Florida Player Harris

8-16 Position battles are heating up

8-15 Thursday Gator football update

8-14 Freshman QB Leak shines, defense doesn't, in Gators' scrimmage

8-13 Parents Of Florida Player Who Died Of Heatstroke File Suit

8-10 Versatility part of line's '03 strength

8-10 Leak serious about getting ready to play

8-10 A Fresh Glow At UF

8-9 Florida freshman QB Midgett feels he can start

8-7 At workout, expectations weigh heavily on Gators

8-7 Facing the future

8-7 Troubled receiver off team

8-5 Zook in No Hurry to Pick Gators' Starting QB

7-29 Gators' media guide mistakenly has crocodile on cover

7-29 Gators' media guide has crocodile on cover

7-18 Foley says Gators staying put in SEC

7-13 Pure potential

7-10 Earning praise

7-7 Recruit sides with UF

7-5 Gators land forward from Tennessee

7-3 Summer sizzle

7-1 Top 10 stadiums: No. 4, Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

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SEC Sports Smack note:  I really do feel for Coach Ron Zook.  He appears to be a great guy.  He is just in the wrong place, at the wrong time.  Replace Steve Spurrier?  Are you nuts, Ron?
 
Coach Zook had a good recruiting year.  Of course, I could recruit in talent rich state of Florida. 
 
Another 8-5 season may be in the works, and Gator fans won't take kindly to 8-5 years. 
 
No one would argue (after losing the best coach in the conference) that Florida football would suffer.  I would just hope the UF fans and administration give the guy a few years to put his team on the field before judgements are made. 

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium @ Florida Field (83,000)
National Championships:  1996
SEC Championships:  1991, 93,  94, 95, 96, 2000
Alltime Record:  582-354-40
Bowl Record:  14-16

2003 Florida Gators Football Schedule

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