Time: 4 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic)
Odds: Florida (-6)
Before I start this preview, I have a piece of good news for you, the reader.
Congratulations! You have as many wins against ranked teams as Missouri head coach Barry Odom.
Last week’s loss to Kentucky dropped Odom to 0-8 against ranked opponents in his tenure coaching the Tigers, and it’s hard to imagine that changing this weekend in Gainesville.
While some of the year to year regression of Missouri quarterback Drew Lock can likely be blamed on Mizzou’s soft schedule down the stretch last season, Odom and highly-touted (and highly paid) offensive coordinator Derek Dooley also deserve a fair share of the blame. Lock has 16 passing touchdowns in eight games this season. Of those 16, one has come against SEC opponents. Lock threw a touchdown in the first quarter of Mizzou’s loss to Alabama. That’s it. He was kept off the board against Georgia, South Carolina, and Kentucky. At some point, there needs to be some accountability.
It’s pretty clear at this point that the key to beating Mizzou is slowing down Lock. This was a problem for the Gators last year, as they allowed Lock to throw for three touchdowns and 228 yards en route to Missouri’s 45-16 victory. However, that was a much different Florida team, as interim coach Randy Shannon was at the helm for the Gators, who were in a freefall.
That isn’t the case for Florida this year. While they took a loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville last week, Dan Mullen has done a phenomenal job making the team competitive with largely the same group of players as last season.
It’s very hard to imagine Florida losing this game. They’re facing a far lesser opponent at home, and look like they could run the table the rest of the way (Missouri, South Carolina, Idaho, @ Florida State) to finish the regular season at 10-2. That would be far better than anyone could have expected for Mullen’s first year