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Gators to Watch

Jalen Tabor (photo by Florida Athletics)
Jalen Tabor
(photo by Florida Athletics)



The Georgia-Florida is upon us and Murray Poole has some Gators that bear watching for this Saturday’s WLOCP showdown.



Tabor, a 6-0, 201-pound junior, is a big-play guy for a Florida defense that ranks among the nation’s top three stop units, one that is giving up only 12 points per game to opposing offenses while allowing just 253 yards of total offense per contest. With the talented Gator secondary having picked off 10 passes this year, Tabor has four of those interceptions himself for 47 yards in returns. Last season, this All-SEC first team selection had a whopping 18 pass deflections, which tied for the conference lead. Truly, Jacob Eason and the Bulldog receivers have their work cut out this Saturday at Jacksonville’s EverBank Field.



If Jalen Tabor wasn’t enough, the Gators also boast a ball-hawking corner on the other side of the field in Quincy Wilson. Wilson, a 6-1, 213-pound junior, has three interceptions this season and has returned them for a total of 80 yards. Tabor and Wilson team with Florida senior safety Marcus Maye (#20) to give the Gators arguably the best secondary in collegiate football. Maye this season is third on the team in tackles with 35 and also has an interception. No question, the Georgia passing game is about to get its stiffest test of the season thus far.



When Florida goes on offense, the Bulldogs’ defense is bound to be aware of this guy as Callaway, a 5-11, 197-pound sophomore, torched Georgia for more than 100 receiving yards in the Gators’ 27-3 pounding of the Bulldogs last season. Named a freshman All-America receiver, Callaway also totaled 100 yards against both Tennessee and LSU. Entering Saturday’s game, Callaway has 23 catches this season for 399 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also one of the most electrifying punt returners in the country as he returned kicks for touchdowns against SEC powers Alabama and LSU last season.



The ringleader for the Florida defensive unit, senior linebacker Davis (6-2, 238) will certainly be pumped to play against the Bulldogs as he’s a former Camden County standout from Kingsland, Ga. However, an injury versus Mizzou in Florida’s last game has him listed as questionable. After recording 98 total tackles (11-for-loss) in 2015, Davis is the Gators’ leading tackier this season with 48 stops. The fact that Davis is a solid All-SEC candidate who possesses outstanding speed and a real nose for the football makes it an understatement that the Florida coaching staff is hoping he can play when the 3:30 p.m. kickoff arrives on Saturday.




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Murray Poole is a 1965 graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. He served as sports editor of The Brunswick News for 40 years and has written for Bulldawg Illustrated the past 16 years. He has covered the Georgia Bulldogs for 53 years.