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Playing defense a challenge for both Florida and FSU so far

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All of the sudden, Florida and FSU’s football teams are concerneda about their defenses.

Really.

How has this happened? Only a week ago, Florida was the No. 1 defense in America. But after the Gators gave up 38 straight points to Tennessee, the Gators have fallen to fourth. Statistically, it still isn’t bad, but considering the way that Joshua Dobbs and the Volts went through the Gators in the second half, it’s troubling.

Through three games, Florida had allowed only 389 yards a game. But Tennessee piled up 498 yards. It is reason to at least reassess to Gators and question how much of their success was due to an easy schedule. Certainly, coach Jim McElwain has to wonder.

Then there are the Seminoles, who have given up 98 points (and 13 touchdowns) the last two weeks. Considering that FSU’s defense was supposed to be a strenth on the team, that’s far too lenient. Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher was unhappy after a 55-35 win over USF, saying his team “quit doing their jobs” in the game.

FSU’s defense is ranked 86th in the country.

Both teams have conference games this week. FSU plays a North Carolina team that can move the ball, while Florida plays Vanderbilt.

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 [email protected]

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