The Florida Gators (2-1) return to action Saturday against the Missouri Tigers (2-2) following a two week COVID shutdown.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network Alternate (Check local listings)
Line: Florida -12.5
Missouri: The Tigers improved to 2-2 on the season with a 20-10 victory, the second straight victory for Mizzou.
Florida: The Gators were off last week due to the program’s COVID-19 outbreak.
How will the Florida Gators bounce back from a two week shutdown and one of the worst COVID outbreaks in all of college football this season? That’s the biggest question going into the game against Missouri. Even if Florida’s players are all 100% healthy, something that remains to be seen as COVID tends to have lingering effects even after a person is deemed “recovered”, how will the team be able to recover from basically pulling the plug on their season for two full weeks?
Prior to the outbreak, the Gators looked like one of the nation’s best teams offensively despite a 41-38 loss to Texas A&M. Can Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts continue their elite connection and get Florida back on track?
For Missouri, there is confidence and optimism in the air for the first time since the Gary Pinkel era. After taking losses to Alabama and Tennessee to open the year, the Tigers roared back with wins over defending national champion LSU and Kentucky to pull to 2-2 on the year. After juggling quarterbacks over the first couple weeks, Eli Drinkwitz made redshirt freshman Connor Bazelak the starter and never looked back. Even if Mizzou end up finishing the season under .500, they have two wins already which is as many as some thought they would pick up all year, and even though the sample size has been somewhat small, Bazelak has already looked like a middle-tier quarterback, which is a great sign for a redshirt freshman with plenty of time to still develop.
In their eight meetings as conference foes, the Tigers and Gators have split the series 4-4. Mizzou’s most notable win was a 38-17 drubbing of the then-#13-ranked Gators in Gainesville in 2018.