After the annihilation of Vanderbilt at home, the Gators will now travel to Columbia, Missouri to take on the Tigers. Florida dropped last year’s contest against Mizzou 38-17.
The following are our staff predictions for this year’s game:
The Gators are coming off of one of their most dominant defensive performances of the season and even though it was against Vanderbilt, that same Vanderbilt team found a way to beat Mizzou. The Gators will be looking for a way to avenge their previous two meetings with the Tigers on Saturday and I think they’ve got the weapons to do so. Mizzou has dominated opponents when playing at home this season but Florida will be the toughest test they’ve had on Faurot Field this season, by far. As long as the Gators can get the energy going for the 11 a.m. kick and protect the football, they will win this game. Gators win, 38-21.
The mystical game against Missouri is here. And if one thing is for certain, some aspect of this football game will be a head-scratcher — it always is. However, I think Florida will come out on top and snap a two-year skid to the Tigers. While Kelly Bryant is set to start against the Gators, I think Dan Mullen and Todd Grantham will come out with the perfect game plan to combat the double-threat QB. After all, Mullen has produced some pretty productive dual threat QBs in his time — he knows what makes them tick and what makes them blunder. Offensively, the Gators have an interesting test with Missouri being very efficient in defending the pass — something that has become Kyle Trask and the Florida offense’s bread and butter. While I think Trask has the precision to pick apart the Missouri secondary, my guess is that he won’t need to. Florida’s ground game will see their best game of the season on Saturday as the Gators run out to a 34-10 victory over the Tigers.
Missouri has dropped their last three contests, all on the road at Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Georgia. The Tigers head home for the first time since their October 12th win over Ole Miss, this time to take on the Gators. I expect this to be a low scoring defensive battle, as both teams have only given up more than 30 points one time all season, Fortunately for the Gators, they have been a much better offensive team this year than the Tigers, and because of that I am banking on Florida ending their two year losing streak to Mizzou. Final score: 21-10 Gators.
Historically, Florida has struggled with Missouri.
The Gators are 3-5 against the Tigers all time, and they’re 1-2 in Columbia since Mizzou joined the SEC. They’re also riding a two game losing streak to the Tigers, so they’ll try and exorcise those demons in The Show-Me State.
Missouri’s defense is strong, especially against Florida’s strength, the pass. The Tigers are No. 4 in the nation in pass defense (147.7 yards per game).
However, Mizzou has lost three straight SEC East matchups (Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Georgia), and a key to each defeat was the opponent’s running game. Each victorious rival rushed the ball at least 38 teams and for a minimum of 150 yards.
Meanwhile, Florida struggles to run the football, as it’s 105th in the country (131.0 yards per game).
With a bad matchup on offense, Florida will depend on its defense. It must stop the rather inconsistent quarterback Kelly Bryant, running back Larry Roundtree and red-zone specializing tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (six touchdowns on the season).
I think this one is closer than Vegas’ 6.5 point advantage to UF. Gators win a thriller, 21-20.
While Mizzou led the SEC East just a month ago, they have fallen on hard times, having dropped three straight division contests.
The Tigers are expected to start transfer QB Kelly Bryant on Saturday. The senior left the Kentucky game in the third quarter and didn’t play at all against Georgia. Regardless, Bryant adds the dynamic of a dual threat option under center.
The Tigers have one of the top defenses in the NCAA. They are No. 10 in the nation in total defense and No. 4 in passing defense.
It will be interesting to see how Dan Mullen and his staff game plan, especially on the offensive side of the ball. I would expect to see a lot of quick passes (bubble screens, slants, etc.) to open the field.
Florida should come away with the win as they have the better defensive playmakers but it should be relatively low scoring, I’m taking the Gators, 24-14.
Also make sure to check out Own The Fourth Quarter featuring Michael And Will Miles of readandreaction.com.
What are your predictions, Gator Nation? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook.