Two teams with identical 5-5 records meet on Saturday in Columbia, MO, as the Florida Gators travel to face the Missouri Tigers. Here are the three keys for the Gators.
By Steve Wright
1 – Stop Tyler Badie
The Mizzou running game has been hit or miss this season, but lead back Tyler Badie is ripping teams to pieces when he is on. He has rushed for over 200 yards in three of his last five games – the outliers being the outstanding run defense of Georgia and Texas A&M. Florida is not an elite run defense. They aren’t even a good run defense as they are 78th in the country giving up 157 yards per game. Against South Carolina last weekend Badie went for 209 yards as the Tigers controlled clock and won the game. Florida has to find a way to stop the second-best offensive player in the SEC behind Bryce Young.
2 – Keep the offense purring
The defense might have decided that it has no interest in playing football, but the Florida offense is still mighty impressive. It was only Samford, but in the second half especially the Florida offense was immense as it scored 70 points in the game and overcame whatever it was the defense was doing. Mizzou has looked better against the run of late, but this Florida machine – if the passing game is working – should be able to pick up chunk yards and go for over 450 yards of total offense. If last week is any kind of example it will need every one of them.
3 – Show some fire
Enough has been said about the game against Samford last Saturday to write an entire series of novels. If Florida comes into this one with the same attitude that they did against the Bulldogs, they will get blown away by a Mizzou team that really isn’t all that good. Giving up 42 points in a half is a joke and no matter the status of Dan Mullen at the end of the season he needs his players to perform. The missed reads and missed tackles were things you would be frustrated with at the high school level. It just has to be better.