Gameday: No. 7 Florida Gators vs. Missouri

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 75°F, sunny, winds NW at 4 mph
Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT

Tickets: Starting at $10 on TiqIQ

TV: ESPN2/ESPN2HD/ESPN3D (Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, Jenn Brown)
SiriusXM: 85 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper

No. 7 FLORIDA GATORS MISSOURI TIGERS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Gary Pinkel
Record: 7-1 (6-1 SEC) Record: 4-4 (1-4 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -17, O/U 42

HOMEWORK

Need to catch up on what has been going on with the Gators over the last week? No problem. OGGOA has been here the whole time posting a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam on Saturday.

Brent Pease wants Florida’s offense back on track | Gators’ defense stepping up as a whole, Dan Quinn says | Muschamp updates team health and injuries

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida and Missouri will square off for just the second time in the history of the programs. The Tigers defeated the Gators 20-18 in the 1966 Sugar Bowl in the teams’ only other meeting (see: Last Time Out).
» In its first season as a member of the SEC, Missouri is looking for its second league win. Florida, on the other hand, can win seven SEC game for the 12th time in school history and first time since 2009.
» UF is one of two teams nationally (Notre Dame) with three victories over ranked opponents this season. The Gators are only team in the country with a pair of top-10 wins and earned them in consecutive home victories for the first time in school history. » The Gators are 11-1 against unranked opponents and 3-6 against ranked teams under Muschamp since he took over in 2011. Florida is 3-1 against ranked opponents this season with wins of Tennessee, LSU and South Carolina and a loss to Georgia.
» Florida was 0-5 when trailing at the half in 2011 but have started the 2012 season 3-1 in that category with all three victories vs. SEC opponents (two ranked).
» The Gators are 9-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and 1-5 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. UF is also 11-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 9-3 when scoring first and 11-1 when leading at the half.
» Florida has scored on 27-of-31 red zone trips (87.1 percent) but have only converted 17 of those possessions (54.8 percent) into touchdowns.
» UF has converted 46-of-115 of its third-down attempts (40 percent) this season.
» The Gators have held their opponents to 30-of-116 on third down conversions (25.9 percent), which is good for fifth-best in the nation. UF was second nationally in third-down defense (27.3 percent) last season.
» Florida is averaging 34:04 in time of possession through eight games, a margin that ranks fourth nationally and just 12 seconds behind the country’s leader.
» The Gators are outscoring opponents 124-38 in the second half and 64-20 in the fourth quarter. UF was the only team in the nation that had not allowed a fourth-quarter point until three weeks ago.
» Florida had a stretch of not allowing a touchdown in nine-straight quarters and is fourth in scoring defense nationally (12.75 points per game).
» The Gators are +8 in turnover margin through eight games after being -12 in 2011. UF has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (336) since 2000.
» Florida has grabbed 11 interceptions so far in 2012 and has already surpassed its 2011 total of eight picks. UF has registered at least one pick in seven-of-eight games and has also forced seven fumbles.
» The Gators are third nationally in pass efficiency defense (90.63), sixth in total defense (280.9 yards per game) and 13th in rushing defense (100.5 yards per game).
» Florida has at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons after never having more than one in a single season before 2010. UF has not yet registered a kick return (or punt return) in 2012.
» The Gators are first nationally in net punt average (44.48 yards per punt).
» Missouri is 16-4 in the month of November over the last five seasons.
» The Tigers are 111th nationally on third down, converting just 31.71 percent of their opportunities. Mizzou’s defense, however, is 10th nationally on third down, holding opponents to 29.73 percent on conversion attempts.
» Missouri is first in the SEC in punt return average, gaining 16.86 yards per try.
» The Tigers have recovered 14 fumbles on the season, second-most nationally to Louisiana Tech. Mizzou’s +6 turnover margin is a big reason why the team has been able to be competitive this year.

Read the rest of the Florida-Missouri preview including injuries and absences and which players to look out for from both sidelines.

LAST TIME OUT

Florida and Missouri have only squared off on the gridiron once before with the Tigers edging the Gators 20-18 in the 1966 Sugar Bowl. Mizzou was ranked No. 6 in the nation at the time and scored 20 unanswered points to start the game. Florida quarterback Steve Spurrier got his team back in the game with three fourth-quarter touchdowns, all within the last 11 minutes of the contest. Spurrier tossed two scores and ran for another but threw incomplete on all three two-point conversion attempts. Spurrier and the Gators out-passed the Tigers 352-50 in the game, but UF struggled getting yards on the ground and did not do enough to overcome its 20-point deficit.

INJURIES AND ABSENCES*

» Active (2): Junior safety Matt Elam (flu), junior defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (hamstring)
» Inactive (12): Redshirt senior Buck linebacker Lerentee McCray (ankle), senior left tackle Xavier Nixon (knee), redshirt junior wide receiver Andre Debose (unknown), redshirt sophomore DT Leon Orr (flu) Junior DB Cody Riggs (foot), redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral), junior long snapper Drew Ferris (collarbone), redshirt freshman guard Tommy Jordan (shoulder), junior Buck LB Ronald Powell (ACL), freshman TE Colin Thompson (foot), redshirt junior DE Kedric Johnson (knee), senior defensive lineman Nick Alajajian (knee)

* As of Saturday at 11:40 a.m.

PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

FLORIDA
» Senior running back Mike Gillislee (#23)…who is entrenched as the Gators’ starter. He registered a career-high 34 carries for 146 rushing yards three weeks ago and has averaged 4.5 yards per carry and just under touchdown per game this season. Gillislee has totaled 729 yards on 161 carries with seven scores but struggled each of the last two weeks with a total of 114 yards on 41 touches.
» Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel (#6)…who was officially named the starter in week two and has shown remarkable growth. He has completed 64.9 percent of his passes (100-of-154) this season for 1,120 yards and eight touchdowns and had only thrown one interception through the first seven games. Driskel struggled mightily last week against Georgia, coughing up four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles) and failing to score a touchdown. He totaled seven touchdowns combined in the prior two games. Driskel also has 317 net rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
» Redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed (#11)…who is leading the Gators in receptions (30) and receiving yards (355) through eight games. His 30 catches are most at his position in the SEC. Reed became a full-time tight end in 2011 but missed four games that season due to injury. He has the ability to be a major receiving threat and big-time mismatch for Florida offensively.
» Senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic (#1)…who is the straw that stirs the drink for the Gators on defense. He is first on the team in solo tackles (32) and sacks (three) as well as second in total tackles (45) and tackles for loss (six). Bostic also has three quarterback hurries and two pass breakups on the season.
» Junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (#94)…who is back to playing his natural position and is having a breakout campaign. Floyd has registered a team-high seven tackles for loss (out of 30 total tackles) and three quarterback hurries this season. He appears to be improving with each passing game.
» Junior safety Matt Elam (#22)…who has grown into his role as a leader and is undoubtedly the Gators’ most dynamic playmaker on defense. He is third on the team in solo tackles (29) and total tackles (41) this season with four for last yardage as well as a sack, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
» Senior S Josh Evans (#9)…who matured and improved as a junior but has taken yet another step in 2012. Evans leads the Gators with 50 total tackles and is second with 30 solo tackles. He has a nose for the ball carrier and is one reason why Florida’s sack total and tackling is much-improved from 2011.
» Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis (#19)…who is starting for the Gators for the fourth-straight season. He has already kicked three of the four longest field goals of all-time for the Gators and is just six made field goals away from tying Jeff Chandler’s 67 for most in school history.
» Sophomore punter Kyle Christy (#4)…who is having a breakout campaign in his second season and posted the best punting performance in school history two weeks ago, averaging 54.3 yards per boot on seven punts against South Carolina. He ranks second nationally with an average of 47.8 yards per punt and is the main reason why Florida ranks first in the country with a 44.48 net punting average.

MISSOURI
» Senior RB Kendial Lawrence (#4)…who is leading Missouri in rushing and has come on strong over the last four weeks. Lawrence has three 100+ yard games and three two-touchdown in 2012 ; he has averaged better than 3.7 yards per carry in every game.
» Junior QB James Franklin (#1)…who is coming off a knee injury but is expected to start and play the whole game. Franklin has missed two games and playing sparingly in two others this year but can be quite effective when he is active. Franklin went 25-for-41 for 269 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against Georgia during the second week of the season.
» Junior DT Sheldon Richardson (#34)…who is the reigning SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after forcing and recovering a fumble on the first play of his team’s game last week. Richardson leads Mizzou in tackles with 57, which is the most for an SEC interior lineman and second-most for an SEC defensive lineman. He had 14 tackles against Alabama a few weeks ago.
» Sam LB Andrew Wilson (#48)…who is third in the nation with four forced fumbles this season. Considering Florida coughed up so many balls last week, Wilson’s penchant for stripping the ball could come into play in a big way on Saturday.

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6 Responses to “Gameday: No. 7 Florida Gators vs. Missouri”

  1. Basshole says:

    Let’s hope there is no hangover from last week. Go Gators!

  2. VO2max says:

    Knicks put a thumping on the defending champs last night. I smell a championship run!

  3. ulysses1221 says:

    Wow why is this stadium so empty? We still have a chance to go to the SEC Championship and in reality to the BCS championship so why are we not supporting this team. They have given it their all in every game and u spoil gator fans cant come here and support them, Wow talk about being truly spoil. Damn one loss and some of u are jumping off ship. Damn we are suppose to be the Swamp.

    Do u all realize that this attitude doesnt help us with recruiting and all around the nation.
    We look like a fan base of spoil brats that cry over a win..
    Damn lets stay positive.