I didn’t get the chance to write a Friday Forum post yesterday, but know it would’ve been this: Do you, Florida Gators fans, think you would miss playing the Missouri Tigers every year if that series went away?
I don’t think so, personally, and not just because Missouri illogically being in the SEC East means Florida’s longest road trip this year came in November, for a game starting at 11 a.m. local time (noon Eastern, CBS or CBS Sports), and with precious little for either side to play for but pride.
Florida does want to preserve its chances of finishing the regular season with 10 wins, sure, and Missouri probably wants to keep its hopes of a winning record intact — but those are more or less pride reasons, and Missouri’s winning record doesn’t even earn a bowl berth thanks to some NCAA violations that led to a bowl ban. Florida naturally wants to improve on its 1-2 record at Missouri (and 3-4 record against the Tigers) since the Tigers’ SEC entry — but, like, it’s a 1-2 record, which is not nearly as big a black mark as it could be.
The game is predicted to be a close one, with Florida favored by about a touchdown, because the Gators haven’t been that great away from home and Missouri has been quite good in Columbia, but those Tigers games came with a fully operational Kelly Bryant — and Bryant, who should play today, may not be at full health right now, having left the Tigers’ loss to Kentucky and missed their loss to Georgia.
And if it actually is that sort of close game, it’ll probably be fodder for frustration. But this is a game that Florida should win, whether ugly or impressively, and yet one that Florida will get next to no credit for winning because, well, it’s Missouri.
What a wonderful foe to have on the schedule every year!
Here are 25 predictions for Florida-Missouri, which I’ll probably get to reviewing either this week or in December. (Really. I swear.)
- Florida will score in the first quarter.
- Kyle Trask will throw for under 300 yards.
- Trask will not complete a pass of more than 50 yards.
- Trask will throw for at least two touchdowns.
- Emory Jones will throw at least five passes.
- Jones will account or at least one touchdown.
- Florida will have multiple offensive players catch touchdown passes.
- Florida will rush for fewer than five yards per carry.
- A Florida player will have a run of at least 30 yards.
- Florida running backs will combine for more than 100 rushing yards.
- Florida will record at least three tackles for loss.
- Florida will record at least three sacks.
- Florida’s secondary will account for at least one sack and one interception.
- David Reese will lead Florida in tackles.
- A Florida freshman cornerback will have at least three tackles.
- Florida’s safeties will tally more than 12 tackles combined.
- Florida will force at least two turnovers.
- Florida will allow points in multiple quarters.
- Florida will not allow more than 400 yards.
- Florida will not allow more than 21 points.
- Florida’s defense will allow between 3.0 and 5.5 yards per play.
- Both teams will score in double digits.
- Florida will not trail after halftime.
- Florida will cover.
- Florida will defeat Missouri, 38-17, and run its record to 9-2.
Please behave yourselves in the comments.
And as always: Go Gators!