The No. 22 Florida Gators (4-2, 3-1 SEC) travel to Columbia to take on the No. 14 Missouri Tigers (6-0, 2-0 SEC) in a battle of Top 25 teams. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:21 p.m. and the game will be televised on SEC TV.
Florida is coming off a 17-6 loss at LSU last week. Missouri, on the other hand, is coming off easily its best win since joining the SEC last year, a 41-26 victory on the road at No. 7 Georgia.
This will be just the third all-time meeting between these two schools. The series is currently tied at one win apiece. Florida won last year’s meeting in Gainesville 14-7 in what was a defensive struggle (is there any other way to describe a Gator win lately?)
Here are a few things to keep an eye on throughout the game.
SEC East lead at stake
Florida football fans were certainly disappointed after losing to LSU last weekend, but with a win over Missouri this Saturday the Gators will be back in control of their own destiny in the SEC East. It won’t be easy though, off to a surprising 6-0 start, Missouri has come out of nowhere to take control of the Eastern division. And, they proved last week that their undefeated record was no joke, going on the road and knocking off Georgia. Divisional match ups are already hotly contested as is, but with first place on the line, it should only add to the intensity.
Kelvin Taylor gets his chance
The Gators have been decimated by injuries this season, and that trend continued this week, as sophomore running back Matt Jones was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury against LSU. Jones’ injury now opens the door for freshman running back Kelvin Taylor, who will split carries with redshirt junior Mack Brown.
The 5-foot-10, 214 pound Taylor saw his first extensive game action of the season against LSU and responded well, gaining 52 yards on 10 carries. If the youngster can play well on Saturday, his role in the offense should only expand as the season wears on.
Who is Maty Mauk?
Missouri’s injury situation may not be quite as bad as the Gators, but the Tigers did lose starting quarterback James Franklin to a shoulder injury last week at Georgia. In place of Franklin, Missouri will turn to Maty Mauk. It could be a rough day for the redshirt freshman, who will be making the first start of his collegiate career. The Gators come in with the No. 3 overall defense in the country and are allowing just 152 yards per game through the air. Two things working in Mauk’s favor will be each of Missouri’s big-play receivers, Dorial Green-Beckham and L’Damian Washington, who have combined for 11 touchdowns on the season.
Florida 20, Missouri 13