Jump inside below as the GatorsTerritory crew make their predictions for Florida’s Halloween matchup against Elijah Drinkwitz and the Missouri Tigers.
Bender: I don’t expect Saturday to be one of the cleaner performances from Dan Mullen’s squad. There is no doubt which roster is equipped with the most talent, but Missouri has a good chance to play spoiler on Halloween. Other than last week’s victory over Kentucky, the Tigers’ offense has recorded at least 35 points in every game this season and is more than capable of racking up several touchdowns in Gainesville as well; however, it’s still difficult envisioning the Tigers outscoring UF through four quarters, despite the Gators having just a few full practices to shake off the rust. Florida’s offense will continue to roll and eventually pull away at the beginning of the fourth quarter. A win is a win this week, especially considering the hurdles the Gators have had to overcome.
SCORE: 38-28, Florida.
Abolverdi: If an outbreak never occurred and UF played Missouri as scheduled last Saturday, I think this would have been an easy win. But with Florida going 21 days without a game and not holding a full practice until Thursday of this week, the Tigers have a chance to make this a game. I was surprised to see the Gators as a 13-point favorite, but they’re still the more talented team and will eventually overpower Mizzou with their high-scoring offense. Florida will be missing some starters on defense due to COVID protocols, but the unit should play better up front with the return of nose tackle Kyree Campbell.
SCORE: 35-24, Florida.
Clarke: With the Gators getting back from a layoff and expected to play some new starters due to necessity, I think the team will be shaking off some rust and possibly going through growing pains early in the game as they try to find their footing. Because of that, I think this matchup will be close early and maybe even heading into the fourth quarter. I do expect Florida’s offense to continue to fire away like it during the first month of the season, and adding Campbell back to the lineup will help the defense finally take a small step forward. The Gators should pull away late.
SCORE: 38-27, Florida.
Reynolds: After a three-week break for UF, I don’t think this game will be an especially clean one. I expect to see some messy play, but the key for the Gators will be correcting their miscues early so they can find their groove as a team. Florida’s offense should have no problem producing against the Tigers, the only SEC team without an interception this season. However, Missouri should also have some success offensively with quarterback Connor Bazelak matched up against a vulnerable UF secondary. Avoiding blown coverages and just playing a clean game will be key for the Gators on Saturday.
SCORE: 38-24, Florida.