Week 8 SEC: Missouri at Florida

    Missouri (4-2) at Florida (3-2) Oct. 18, 7:00, ESPN2 Here’s The Deal: Effectively an elimination game for Missouri, the Tigers were flattened and shocked

    October 15, 2014

    Missouri (4-2) at Florida (3-2) Oct. 18, 7:00, ESPN2 

    Here’s The Deal: Effectively an elimination game for Missouri, the Tigers were flattened and shocked by Georgia last week in a game that wasn’t even remotely close from the start of the 34-0 obliteration. The Bulldogs came out with a purpose, Mizzou didn’t seem prepared, and now there’s no margin for error. The offense is inconsistent, the defense isn’t anything special, and this is nowhere near the powerhouse that came within a game of playing for the national title, but with home games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky up next, and with no Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn or Alabama to face, a win in The Swamp might be the spark to a terrific second half of the season. 

    Speaking of inconsistent, that’s been Florida from the start. Is the offense going to work this week? Will the ground game produce? Will Jeff Driskel be able to get anything rolling with the passing game? Will the defense be ripped up like it was against an Alabama attack that went flat in the following two games, or will it be a killer like it was against Tennessee and at times against LSU. Coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Tigers, the Gators have to beat the other Tigers on the slate before resting up for two weeks to prepare for Georgia. Beat Mizzou, and the Cocktail Party is for the SEC East lead. 

    Just the fourth time the two programs have played, Missouri rolled to a blowout win last year after the Gators came up with a 14-7 down-to-the-wire thriller in 2012. Mizzou won the first meeting in the 1966 Sugar Bowl, 20-18. 

    Why Missouri Might Win: There’s no way, no how the Tigers will be that flat for a second game in a row. After being stunned at home by Indiana, they were getting rolled for around 50 minutes at South Carolina before pulling out the late 21-20 win. Can they be that type of team that finds a way to follow up a loss with a win by refocusing? For the most part, this is more of a gritty team than the flash of last year, and it has the ability on the defensive front to be disruptive enough to stop the Gator passing game from ever getting going. Over the last three games in SEC play, Florida has come up with two touchdown passes and seven interceptions.

    Why Florida Might Win: Nick Chubb. Georgia came into Columbia without Todd Gurley and pounded away on the Tiger defense with 210 rushing yards and three touchdowns highlighted by a huge day from Chubb, a talented freshman. The Tigers are 0-2 this year when allowing 200 rushing yards or more – also getting destroyed by Indiana’s Tevin Coleman – and now, under Gary Pinkel, they’ve lost the last ten games when allowing 195 rushing yards or more since beating San Diego State on September 18th of 2010. Since then, Florida is 18-2 when running for 194 or more. 

    Who To Watch Out For: What’s Florida going to get out of Treon Harris? Jeff Driskel will never be the quarterback the Gators need, but he outside of two picks he came up with a decent day against LSU with 71 rushing yards and a score along with 183 yards through the air. Past the allegations of sexual battery from a week ago, Harris has been reinstated and will see time as the coaching staff is looking for some sort of a spark. Can Will Muschamp be patient enough to build for the near future? Driskel will still get his chances, but Harris is the X factor. 

    What’s Going To Happen: Missouri is resilient, but Florida has the right matchup potential to get out with a tough, physical performance. The Tiger offense is just too bogged down, and Mauk is too erratic. Florida will run the ball, and Missouri won’t be able to. 

    Prediction: Florida 24 … Missouri 20 
    Line: Florida -5.5 o/u: 49.5 
    Must Watch Factor: 5: Birdman – 1: The Voice (now that the blind auditions are over) … 3

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