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Gators make up-close comparison between Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook

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The hard part about determining the nation’s best running back is that the University of Florida has to stop them both.

Leonard Fournette of LSU? Or Dalvin Cook of FSU?

For the Gators, who have the 12th-ranked run defense in the country, it’s a matter of picking your poison. Saturday, they have Fournette, who leads the nation in rushing with 204.4 yards per game. Later in the season, they play against Cook, who is second with 158.4 yards yards per game. In other words, the next few games will be a matter of fastening the chin strap for the Gators.

So far, Fournette has been the best story in the country. He’s rushed for 1,022 yards and scored 12 touchdowns, and he turns every play into a threat to go to the end zone. He has seven straight 100-yard games.

But Cook hasn’t been bad, either, despite missing almost all of Wake Forest and some of the Miami game. He’s rushed for 792 yards, the sixth highest total in America. He’s scored eight times.

Florida was also scheduled to play against Nick Chubb if Georgia, the eighth-ranked back in America, but he’s out with a knee injury.

For the Gators, it will be a test. Playing without suspended quarterback Will Grier, the defense will have to carry the day. The Tigers are undefeated and ranked sixth, two spots ahead of Florida.

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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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