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Defense leads Florida to victory over Georgia in annual rivalry

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The impressive defense of the Florida Gators bared its teeth again Saturday in their annual rivalry game against Georgia.

The Gators held Georgia to only 21 yards rushing on 19 carries in a resounding 24-10 victory over the Bulldogs. For Florida coach Jim McElwain, it was a win over former co-coach Kirby Smart. The two coached together at Alabama.

The Gators are second in the nation on defense, trailing only Michigan.

“People pick this team apart quite a bit and this and that,” McElwain said. “Guys, this is a good football team. The Florida Gators are a good team, all right. I’ll go with these guys against anybody and we’ll figure out a way to get it done, and that’s the way they are in that locker room.”

Georgia took leads of 3-0 and 10-7, but the Gators eventually wore down the Bulldogs’ offense, holding Georgia to 164 yards of total offense.

Florida wasn’t great itself on offense, gaining 246 yards. But the Gators scored the game’s final 17 points. Jordan Scarlett and Antonio Callaway scored on short runs, and C‘yontai Lewis caught a 19-yard scoring pass from Luke Del Rio. Scarlett rushed for 93 yards on the day.

Florida is leading the SEC East at 6-1. The Gators play Arkansas Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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