How fired up are the guys in orange and blue?
Dooley: I think they're as fired up as any Florida team is for FSU. They've played against these guys, and they don't want to go back to their home towns and hear about it. But I think the game has lost a lot of luster with nine combined losses. Look, nobody's playing for anything. FSU's going to the Champs Sports Bowl and Florida's going to the Gator Bowl. That's not exactly what we expect out of these games.
The gators looked out of sync last year against FSU. Is the team more united now with a new coach and system?
Dooley: One thing Will (Muschamp) had to deal with is, there are a lot of players on this team who came to play for Urban Meyer. So they've got some issues, certainly. And I don't see a lot of leadership on this team right now. They are a team that makes mistakes at key times. A team that struggles in the red zone. A team that isn't bad but isn't good. They've been through 11 weeks of tough, physical games. And their schedule's been brutal.
But (to win) they need to get off the field defensively and need to stay on the field offensively. The problem is, they're not very good on third down. A lot of that's because they're in third and long. And that's because if their running backs don't have a crease they're not going to move the chains.
What do you think of the job Muschamp is doing?
Dooley: I've told people this a million times: Urban Meyer wasn't recruiting for Will Muschamp, he was recruiting for Urban Meyer. Will Muschamp would not have recruited a lot of guys on this team because he believes in a different kind of offense and defense...
It's funny, these two teams are mirror images in many ways. They both lost their quarterbacks during the season, that effected their records. They both lost to some ranked teams. And didn't make the big plays to beat those ranked teams. After all, college football comes down to a handful of plays in a handful of games.
With both offenses struggling, will this be a defensive battle?
Dooley: It could comes down to Charlie Weis against Mark Stoops. Although, Florida's defense hasn't played that poorly. They just haven't gotten turnovers. They get tired because their numbers are down, so guys are playing 60 to 70 plays. And I have a lot of respect for FSU's defense. But again, you're talking about two quarterbacks who haven't lived up to the hype, as well as two offenses that haven't lived up to the hype. So I think it's going to be a 20-14 type game.
Do you think Charlie Weis has made the most out of his playmakers, Demps and Rainey?
Dooley: I think he's fallen in love with those guys in terms of any time they get the ball they can break it. Like, if we give it to them 25 times and we break two, that's two touchdowns and that could be good enough.
Will Coach Weis have any surprises in his offensive game package?
Dooley: There haven't been a lot of gimmicky plays with Charlie Weis, They have them in, but whether they run them or not is the question.
Will next year be even more of a challenge because the gators won't have Brantley, Demps and Rainey?
Dooley: But everybody else is back. I talked to Will about that. They feel like they're going to be better next year because they only lose a handful of guys. They'll be a different looking team, though. I think they'll be bigger at tailback. They've got some running backs coming in that are big time recruits.
Will Jeff Driskell get it together to become the starter at quarterback?
Dooley: They're going to open it up in the spring. Both (Jacoby) Brissett and Driskell will battle it out. My guess is they won't name a starter till he walks on the field for the opening game, so it's going to be one of those two guys.
Speaking of Muschamp, he's had some real meltdowns on the sidelines.
Dooley: Well, he's emotional, but he's toned it down a bit. I think he's learning to be more of a head coach and less of a defensive coordinator. Muschamp has a clear focus. He's trying to clean up some messes.
Will Florida fans be patient through the growing pains as the team transitions to his system?
Dooley: Gator fans patient? Those two words don't belong in the same sentence. No, they're not going to be patient. But I think the athletic director is and that's all that really matters.