Gators Go from One Set of Bulldogs to Another

The Florida Gators moved to 7-0 on the season with a 29-19 win on the road at Mississippi State on Saturday night before a record crowd.

Tim Tebow ended the night with 12 completions on 22 attempts and two interceptions both returned for touchdowns. The first and most damaging came right before the half on an ill-advised pass trying to force the action. The second came from his own end zone as he had Riley Cooper breaking wide open which would have resulted in the longest touchdown pass in Tim Tebow's career. Instead a block was missed and Mississippi State's Pernell McPhee rushed in changing the directory of the throw.

It was not all bad for the Gator signal caller as he tied Georgia legendary running back Herschel Walker for the most rushing touchdowns (49) I wonder if Tebow will break the record against Walker's beloved Bulldogs this Saturday? The Gators also extended the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games.

Tebow ended the night with 22 carries for 88 yards and one rushing touchdown. Chris Rainey might have played his most complete game as a Gator with 12 carries for 90 yards and one touchdown. Special teams play is where Rainey shined blowing up a fake punt attempt deep in Mississippi State's territory and blocking another punt earlier in the game.

The Gators' defense once again dominated holding the Bulldogs to 237 total yards, 145 passing on 23 attempts, three interceptions (a fourth called back) and 93 rushing on a night in which Mississippi State had to run the ball to have a chance. The Florida defense was able to find the end zone while holding the Bulldogs offense out of the end zone on a night in which Charlie Strong's unit once again flexed its muscle. They did so without its top defensive player linebacker Brandon Spikes who should be good to go this Saturday against Georgia.

The Gators will get back to work with this week's annual showdown with the other Bulldogs this Saturday in Jacksonville. Defensively the Gators bring to the table the nation's top overall unit ranking No. 12 in rushing defense holding opponents to less than three yards per carry and 94 yards per game. They rank No. 2 in the country in passing defense with 10 interceptions on the season. The Gators defense has allowed only two passing touchdowns all season, the fewest allowed in college football. The Gators are also ranked No. 1 in total defense holding teams to less than 230 yards of total offense per game allowing only six touchdowns on the season which is also the fewest in college football.

The Gators have struggled at times inside the red zone and will need to improve on but the bottom line is this team wins with defense and will win again on Saturday with Charlie Strong's unit overwhelming the Georgia ground game. Georgia has had issues getting the ground game going this season ranking No. 103 in the country at 108 rushing yards per game. If you can't run the ball and keep the Florida defensive line honest you are in for a long night.


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