Despite being out of the race pretty much in the SEC East, Florida still have one of the best defenses in the nation, against a Missouri team that’s still undefeated, one of the most surprising in College Football not to mention a top 10 offense so far this year.
The most interesting aspect of this meeting is the backup quarterback factor: Tyler Murphy has taken over for Jeff Driskel as the Gators starting quarterback; Maty Mauk has taken over for James Franklin, and will get his first start of the season against Florida, following a brief and accurate performance in the 41-26 win over Georgia, which put the Tigers at #14 in the nation according to the AP Poll.
The last time Missouri had a 7-0 start was 53 seasons ago. They’re putting up 45.7 points per game, including 41 points against a ravaged Georgia team, getting some strong performances from Russell Hansbrough and Henry Josey at running back, with the team averaging 239.3 yards per game.
Florida don’t have much to offer except their defense, which still hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in a game this season. However, they scored only 6 in the loss to LSU and the only times they’ve been able to score over 30 points was against a weak Arkansas and Tennessee teams. Their defense however, allowing only 13 points, 235.3 total yards and 152 passing yards per game, is good enough to keep them in a game with anyone in the nation, including Missouri.
Florida have more offensive problems than just Driskel being out for the season, although that might be a blessing in disguise considering he didn’t look like the kind of player who can march this team to the very best of achievements. Running back Matt Jones is also out for the season, meaning the Gators will have to do without his 339 yards in 79 carries so far this season, as they visit Missouri for the first time in history.
Prediction – Missouri aren’t going to be the explosive team they were earlier this season with Franklin under center, and while the Gators are painful to watch on offense, against most college football teams, their defense is good enough to make up for this problems, and Missour fall into that category.