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Five keys to victory

ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published October 30, 2004

FLORIDA KEYS TO VICTORY

1. CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS: Florida's biggest concern could be what happens if it falls behind early. The players have been on an emotional roller coaster this week with the firing of coach Ron Zook. This game is usually filled with hype. Letting their emotions get away from them, Zook said, could be a big problem.

2. CONTAIN REGGIE BROWN AND FRED GIBSON: They are second and third in the SEC in receptions per game and are two of quarterback David Greene's favorite targets, combining for 66 of the team's 120 receptions. Florida's secondary hasn't been consistent. Gibson, who considered Florida in the recruiting process, never has had an impact game against the Gators. He's a senior, so it's his last shot and he's motivated.

3. PLAY BETTER ON SPECIAL TEAMS: A field goal won the game for Florida last year. Florida has had no impact plays on special teams this season. In a rivalry such as this, special teams always play a part.

4. GIVE THE BALL TO CIATRICK FASON: The junior running back is averaging 5.7 yards, but has disappeared in key moments of huge losses. Why is he on the sideline? With a defense like Georgia's, Florida must be able to run the ball to open up the pass. Fason, a Jacksonville native, will be eager to impress the hometown fans and the Gators need to hand him the ball. 5. BLITZ DAVID GREENE: It's time to open up the playbook. What do they have to lose? Greene is second in the SEC in passing average (213.0) and Georgia's only loss came against a Tennessee defense that kept him off-balance.

GEORGIA KEYS TO VICTORY

1. AVOID BLACK CATS AND LADDERS: It's Halloween weekend, but the Bulldogs need to let go of the past and superstition. Yes, they've lost 13 of the last 14 and these guys admit that Florida is in their heads. But they are facing a team whose coach just got fired, they are ranked No. 10 in the country and have a lot at stake. They need to play like it.

2. DON'T GO CONSERVATIVE: Traditionally, Georgia has killed itself by being too careful, too early. It is third in the league in passing offense and fourth in total offense. It needs to open it up early, get Florida down and keep it there.

3. HOPE DANNY WARE HOLDS UP: Ware bruised a lung last weekend, but his questionable status was upgraded Friday to probable. The freshman running back has rushed for 506 yards in just 102 carries. He's not only key to this game, but to the rest of this season.

4. KEEP CHRIS LEAK OFF BALANCE: The sophomore quarterback clearly was confused at the end of the game by Mississippi State's stunting and blitzing. Don't think Georgia hasn't been studying that game film. The Bulldogs have scored 41 points off 11 turnovers this season.

5. DAVID POLLACK, WHERE ARE YOU?: Opponents have double- and triple-teamed the defensive end all season and he still leads the SEC in sacks (six). With Florida's offensive struggles, it's likely Pollack won't see any double teams, leaving him free to do what he does best: wreak havoc. He's one of the senior Bulldogs who have never beaten Florida. Don't think this guy isn't hungry.

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