Week 10 – Missouri at Florida

Posted Nov 2, 2012

Week 10 Fearless Predictions - Missouri at Florida


Missouri (4-4) at Florida (7-1) Nov. 3, 12:00, ESPN2

Here's The Deal: Florida has to keep on pushing and keep on fighting with the hope that Georgia loses to either Ole Miss or Auburn. If the Gators win this week, and if they get a Bulldog loss, they'll end up representing the East with a shot for the SEC title and an outside chance at the national championship, but the bandwagon has been emptied for the moment after a bad performance in the loss to Georgia last week.

All season long, Florida has been air-tight with its ability to keep the mistakes to a minimum, get the running game going, and grind out big win after big win, but for the first time all season, Jeff Driskel looked like the young player he is with two awful interceptions to go along with the team's four fumbles. Even with all of the problems, including ten penalties, Florida still had its chances to pull out the win. At worst, though, with three easy home games until the showdown at Florida State, 11-1 could mean a BCS bowl bid.

Missouri is fighting for a bowl of any sort, needing to win two of its last four games, but with three of the dates on the road including trips to Tennessee and Texas A&M. The offense has been bad, the defense hasn't been able to pick up the slack, and the new move over to the SEC has been a major disaster. One win in Gainesville would change around the entire year and would make the season.

Why Missouri Might Win: It's strength vs. strength when the nation's No. 1 punting game goes against the nation's No. 6 punt return game. Florida has thrived off of pinning teams deep thanks to a brilliant season from Kyle Christy, but Marcus Murphy, despite being held in check last week against Kentucky, has been a weapon who has helped bail out the struggling offense. Can he get a few chances? At the very least, Christy has to worry about kicking to him.

Can the Tigers get the same mistakes from the Florida offense that Georgia was able to come up with last week? Mizzou has been fine at holding on to the ball, even with six turnovers in the last two games, while the defense has done a great job of taking the ball away with 14 fumble recoveries and five in the last two weeks.

Why Florida Might Win: How will the Missouri offense work? Florida might not have a high-octane offense, but that's a bit by design trying to pound with the running game while relying on the defense. Missouri needs to connect on the short-to-midrange pass, and it needs to come up with the deep ball from time to time. However, the passing game is the least efficient in the SEC – that's a little bit hard to do.

Forget about the Tigers gaining much on the ground. The Tigers came up with three touchdown runs against SE Louisiana, Arizona State and Kentucky, and ran for a score against UCF. Those are the only four games this year that MU has rushed for a score, and those are the only four games the team has won. Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Alabama shut down and shut out the Tigers on the ground. Florida is giving up a bit over 100 rushing yards per game.

What To Watch Out For: Missouri has never been able to find a groove this year mostly because quarterback James Franklin hasn't been able to stay healthy. Banged up with a variety of issues all season long, he missed the Alabama game and didn't do much against UK completing just 6-of-9 passes for 16 yards. A bit of an X factor with his mobility and his smarts, he needs to be careful with the ball, take what the Gators give him, and take off when needed to try moving the chains.

What Will Happen: This is only the second time the two teams have played each other, with Missouri winning the 1966 Sugar Bowl 20-18. This isn't going to be a shootout in any way, but Florida should be able to roll without a problem, pulling away in the second half as the power of the ground game grinds down the Tiger defensive front seven.

CFN Prediction: Florida 31 … Missouri 10
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Florida -17 O/U: 42
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Man With The Iron Fists, 1 – Election coverage until Tuesday morning): 3