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Gators’ defense returns two interceptions for scores in big win

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You can talk about quarterbacks all you want, and about running backs and about receivers.

The strength of the Florida Gators, as everyone knows, is on defense.

The Gators, ranked second in the country defensively, flexed its muscles in a 40-14 victory over Missouri Saturday. Florida’s secondary was all over Tigers’ starting quarterback Drew Lock, holding him to four completions in 18 attempts and returning two interceptions to the end zone for scores. Galen Tabor returned one interception 39 yards for a score and Quincy Wilson returned one 78 yards for a touchdown.

“Quincy was jealous,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “They feed off of each other. What you hope for is the same thing feed of both units, all three units. That’s something we’re starting to get a little bit.”

The Gators’ offense eventually got untracked, and both Lamical Perine (106) and Jordan Scarlett (101) broke 100 yards for Florida.

It was the return game for quarterback Luke Del Rio, but Del Rio suffered three interceptions.

Florida has an open date next week, then faces Georgia in their annual game in Jacksonville.

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

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