Florida vs. Missouri
Florida faces off against second year SEC foe Missouri in a conference showdown with major BCS implications. Several weeks ago, one would not have thought the Tigers would be on the verge of cracking the top-10 but a week after blowing out Georgia in Athens, Missouri finds themselves sitting at #10 in the voters’ polls a week before the initial BCS standings are released. Continued success for the Tigers will be more difficult with quarterback James Franklin out for the season. The Gators find themselves in a must-win situation if they want to stay alive for an SEC championship game berth.
Plagued by an offense that is “offensive” moving the ball through the air, it’s not a huge mystery trying to determine what the Gators will try to do in Columbia this Saturday. With Matt Brown out with an injury, Missouri will get a heavy dose of junior Mack Brown and freshman Kelvin Taylor. On the defensive side of the ball, Florida boasts one of the best in the country. The Gators have not allowed more than 24 points in league play in over two years; given that they rank 102nd in scoring offense, they’ll need to continue the trend to get the win this weekend.
With quarterback Maty Mauk making his first start, Missouri will need its big time wide receivers to make plays for the freshman signal caller against a stout Gator secondary. Defensively, Missouri will counter the Gators’ rushing attack with a defense that is third in the SEC against the run, allowing fewer than 130 yards per game. The Tigers rank fourth in the country in turnover margin and will need to create some big plays to take the pressure off Mauk and the offense.
What will happen: Expect both teams to come out conservatively on offense. Missouri is breaking in a new quarterback against an extremely tough defense and won’t want to allow Maty Mauk to make any confidence shaking mistakes. The Gators already have difficulty scoring, and losing Matt Jones doesn’t help, but look for the Gator defense to make a couple big plays while Missouri flops in the spotlight following the big win against Georgia.
Prediction: Florida 26 Missouri 17
The Play: Florida -3
2013 ATS Record: 12-5-1