Originally written on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 1/18/13
(AP) -- Not even when Billy Donovan was guiding Florida to back-to-back national championships did he oversee such a stellar defensive team, as this season's Gators rank among the best in the country. Missouri's task of cracking that defense likely will be more difficult if Laurence Bowers isn't in the lineup. The 10th-ranked Gators host the No. 17 Tigers in an SEC showdown Saturday in the first meeting between the schools. Donovan took over in Gainesville prior to 1996-97, and through his first 16 seasons - which included national titles in 2006 and '07 - his teams gave up an average of 66.8 points. Florida has been far better on the defensive end this season, ranking third in the nation with 51.7 points allowed per game. The Gators (13-2, 3-0) held an eighth opponent to fewer than 50 points in Thursday's 68-47 victory at Texas A&M, which shot 34.0 percent. "We as a coaching staff have made some adjustments on things and we've done some different things that have helped," ...
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