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CeCe Jefferson

Florida Gators face tough challenge of rebuilding stout defense

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When coach Jim McElwain took over at Florida, he inherited one of the Southeastern Conference’s stingiest defenses. The unit got even better during McElwain’s first two seasons in Gainesville. The Gators finished eighth in yards allowed in 2015 and fifth last year, no question the main reason they played for back-to-back conference championships.

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Gators survive behind unlikely hero

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The Florida Gators are headed to the SEC Championship Game. Austin Hardin’s career-long 43-yard field goal with 2:22 remaining sent Florida past Vanderbilt, 9-7. Going into Saturday’s game, few thought the troubled Gator kicking game would prove to be the difference. Most expected Florida to play their way into the title game for the first time since 2009. They almost played their way out of it. After trailing at the half, 7-6, the Gators managed all of four first downs…

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