Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: 73°F (feels like 73°F), clear, winds WSW at 4 mph
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT
TV: ESPN2 (Joe Tessitore, Brock Huard, Shannon Spake)
SiriusXM: 119/191 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
|FLORIDA GATORS||MISSOURI TIGERS|
|Head Coach: Will Muschamp||Head Coach: Gary Pinkel|
|Record: 3-2 (2-2 SEC)||Record: 4-2 (1-1 SEC)|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Southeastern|
Odds: Florida -5.5 | O/U 46.5
KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS
Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!
Notebook: Missouri prep begins with Florida playing two quarterbacks
Notebook: Kurt Roper talks Gators’ offense and rushing attack
Story: Jeff Driskel will start as Florida readies Treon Harris
Notebook: Will Muschamp updates team injuries, quarterback situation
Friday Final Florida preparing for Maty Mauk; Gators defense hoping to step up
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Florida trails in its all-time series with Missouri 1-2 but won the sole meeting between the programs in Gainesville back in 2012. The Gators and Tigers are 1-1 since the latter joined the SEC that season.
» UF has lost five-straight games against top 25 opponents and is now 4-13 against ranked opponents under Muschamp.
» The Gators are 21-5 against unranked opponents under Muschamp and 12-3 against unranked SEC teams during his tenure after losing to LSU last week.
» Florida enters Saturday’s game at 3-2 on the season. The Gators have only begun a season 3-3 twice in the last 28 years.
» UF has not lost consecutive homecoming games since 1946-47; the Gators fell on homecoming in 2013.
» Florida has converted 19-of-20 red zone trips into points this season but have only scored 11 red zone touchdowns through five games.
» UF leads the SEC in passing plays of 70+ yards with three despite playing one or two fewer games than every other team in the conference.
» The Gators are 115th (out of 125 teams) nationally in third down conversion percentage (.317) and 82nd in third down conversion defense (.418).
» UF has allowed five sacks in five games, including none against three separate opponents (Eastern Michigan, Alabama, LSU). Florida’s offensive line leads the SEC in fewest allowed and is ninth nationally.
» The Gators have forced 15 turnovers through four games, tying for the most in a four-game stretch for Florida since 1996. None were forced last week.
» The Gators had only allowed 11 double-digit runs through its first four games but gave up 10 last week alone to LSU.
» UF is now tied for 19th nationally in turnover margin (+5) after finishing the LSU game at -3. Florida has coughed up the ball 10 times this season, T-54th in the country.
» The Gators are first nationally in punt return average at 26.63 yards per return.
» Florida has scored a touchdown on a kickoff or punt return for 10-straight seasons; UF is in a three-way tie for longest active streak in the nation.
TWO QUARTERBACKS, ONE BALL
The Gators are expected to debut a two-quarterback system on Saturday with redshirt junior Jeff Driskel likely getting the start and taking the majority of the snaps. Freshman Treon Harris‘s role is not yet defined as of press time, and Florida coaches refused to acknowledge whether the youngster would be substituted to run certain plays or have his own designated series to lead.
Muschamp and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper pointed out during the week that Driskel is not only more experienced than Harris but he also has a complete command of the offense. Driskel helps a number of teammates get lined up properly and his on-field communication has been of great importance for the Gators this season.
If Harris’s contribution level is limited on Saturday, it will likely be for that reason. He has been working hard to learn the system and earn additional snaps on the field, but Florida cannot put out a signal caller who, despite potentially being more talented, is unable to run a vast majority of the team’s sets.
INJURIES AND ABSENCES
» Probable (4): Junior running back Matt Jones (ankle/knee), junior left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee), sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (head)
» Questionable (5): Redshirt senior defensive tackle Leon Orr (knee), junior wide receiver Latroy Pittman (head), redshirt junior WR Valdez Showers (ankle), freshman linebacker Daniel McMillian (head), redshirt freshman LB Matt Rolin (ACL)
» Out (4): Redshirt senior tight end Jake McGee (leg – season), junior RB Mark Herndon (ACL – season), freshman defensive back J.C. Jackson (shoulder – season), freshman DT Thomas Holley (hip – season)
TIM TEBOW ON FLORIDA-MISSOURI
“I want to talk about the ‘money down.’ That’s third down. You look at what Florida’s done: Jeff Driskel is second-to-last in the country… You look a Missouri, they’re 0 for their last 21 third downs. The team that wins this game is the team that wins on the money down; that’s third down.”
WHAT’S AT STAKE
After falling apart in crunch time last week against a different set of Tigers, the Gators have no choice but to pull out a victory on Saturday in The Swamp. Florida made the necessary plays on offense and defense to win the game, but devastating miscues on both sides of the ball led to the program’s 10th loss in its last 13 games. Muschamp’s leash is getting shorter by the week, but a homecoming victory over a competitive SEC East opponent will ensure that he stays on through the bye week and has yet another chance to get his first career win (as a member of either school) in the Florida-Georgia series. A loss on Saturday may be Muschamp’s death knell as the Gators will be 3-3 on the season and facing the possibility of winning six games or fewer with contests against UGA, South Carolina and Florida State still on the schedule. Simply put, it is put up or shut up time for Muschamp and these Gators, especially if they have any designs on actually competing for the SEC East crown this season.
There was some hope early in the season for Mizzou when it ran through its first three (non-conference) opponents, but a 31-27 home loss to Indiana and 34-0 shutout loss at home to Georgia has the Tigers reeling. Quarterback Maty Mauk has shown promise for the Tigers, especially last season when he beat the Gators in his first career start, but he’s also struggled just like Florida’s signal caller. Pinkel’s job is safe and Missouri has plenty of winable games left on its schedule, but the Tigers can certainly deal a major blow to a division opponent and begin a last-ditch effort to get back in the SEC East race with a win on Saturday.