Gators rush defense a key to their 2012 season

Chris Graythen

Florida's run defense could be a key component to their victory, should the Gators defeat Georgia on Saturday.

In their two biggest 2012 victories over LSU and South Carolina, the Florida Gators have employed an absolutely dominant run defense. The Gators allowed only 42 and 36 yards to the Tigers and Gamecocks, respectively. Their run defense is a big reason they sit near the top of the BCS standings going into a massive showdown against Georgia.

Florida's impressive effort against South Carolina came after a less-than-impressive showing against Vanderbilt. The Commodores racked up 126 rushing yards. The Gator coaching staff used that as motivation as they prepared for the Gamecocks.

"We felt like obviously that would be key in the game," Florida coach Will Muschamp told the Gainesville Sun. Last year South Carolina had been "able to bleed some yards on us and get four, five and six yards a pop. We had a hard time stopping the run, so we really challenged our guys."

Florida responded by limiting South Carolina's star running back Marcus Lattimore to 13 yards total.

"It felt great," Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd said. "It's one of the games we had marked on our schedule."

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