The Missouri Tigers and the Florida Gators have played an interesting series ever since the Tigers entered the SEC. For the Tigers, Florida has been the deciding game on whether they hit bowl eligibility or not and this year shall be no different. The interesting turn now is Florida is also not only playing for bowl eligibility but may also be playing to save their coach's job. Dan Mullen has taken a lot of heat recently and if he fails to win one of these last two games the Gators will fail to make a bowl game and could be looking for a change at head coach.
How to watch Florida vs Missouri
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Watch Online: ESPN App
(via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Spread: Florida -9 | Missouri +9
Moneyline: Florida -350 | Missouri +270
Despite winning last week against FCS Samford no one in Gator nation was happy, and with a final score of 70-52, it’s not hard to imagine why. Even after firing Todd Grantham the Florida defense just has not improved. Liam Welch the Samford QB completed 33/52 passes for 400 yards. The Gator rushing defense allowed 3.6 yards per carry against Samford which doesn’t seem like much but it was an FCS team and their task is much more difficult this week. The good news for the Gators is Emory Jones was on his game and broke several school records. Throwing for 464 yards and 6 touchdowns while also running for 86 yards and another touchdown. Now if the defense wasn’t a disaster Jones wouldn’t have put up those numbers but it was nice to see Emory have a career day after going through a lot this year.
On the other side, Missouri is coming off what might be its best performance of the season. If not for some ugly and I can’t emphasize this enough UGLY turnovers by quarterback Connor Bazelak it could have been a rout in Columbia, Missouri against South Carolina. The much-maligned Tiger defense had its best game of the year. Allowing only 250 total yards and 57 yards on the ground. For most of the season, it seemed like an offensive line made of us here at Team Speed Kills could run for 150 but defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has turned it around. After as good an attempt as any against Georgia, they stifled the Gamecocks run game for 1.6 yards an attempt. After all, the worrying about the future of the Tigers despite an incredible 2022 recruiting class, and wondering if Drinkwitz is their guy this team is only one game away from salvaging their season, and with how porous this team has looked getting to even 7 wins would be quite a feat.
Now the reason for the Tigers' success and why Florida fans are worried about this game is Missouri running back Tyler Badie. I wrote in my preview, which feels like I wrote years ago, about how Tiger fans should be worried if Badie could handle the workload after Larry Rountree lll left. After four 200 yard games and now 4th in the country in rushing it seems crazy that anyone was worried. Heck if Mizzou was able to pull off wins over Kentucky and Boston College Badie might be on the periphery of the Heisman race that’s how good he has been this season. He’s 339 yards away from breaking the Missouri single-season rushing record and based on how Florida has performed these past few weeks he could take a massive chunk out of it.
Florida is more talented and is still the favorite despite all the inconsistency and if these two teams played even a month ago one would imagine the Gators would win by a landslide. Now it is up to Dan Mullen and crew to turn this thing around and get some momentum heading into 2022. They are facing two teams they are better than and have an opportunity to get to 8 wins if they can manage to win a bowl which despite still being a down season would look a lot better than the alternative.
It would be hard to finish off previewing this game if we didn’t mention the massive brawl last year between the two. A brawl that saw Mullen and Drinkwitz in each other’s face. Both coaches have played coy this week and have mentioned that last year is in the past and there’s no point in dwelling on it. However, there has to be some animosity between the two teams and we will have to wait and see if things explode again.
This is a big game for both teams and it should be an entertaining game in good ole Columbia, Missouri.