Take Five Breakdown: Florida-No. 11 Missouri Preview

Missouri Preview

by Chris Will
0 comment

Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

It is a story of two programs on seemingly very different trajectories at the moment. Both the Florida Gators and Missouri Tigers finished last season 6-7. Going into their matchup this year the Tigers are a top-20 team looking to go to a New Year 6 bowl game while the Gators are looking to secure bowl eligibility. Now, the two teams face off in Columbia with a lot on the line. Inside the Gators caught up with Harrison Vapnek of KOMU News to preview the matchup

Five Missouri Tigers to Know

Brady Cook, Quarterback, Junior

  • This season has been a big step up for Cook. He has already surpassed last season’s total passing yards, and touchdowns on fewer interceptions. “He’s really been the reason that this team has been steady all season long,” Vapnek said. The Missouri quarterback started the season with five straight games without an interception but has thrown six since.

Luther Burden, Wide Receiver, Sophomore

  • There has been no sophomore slump for Burden. After losing Dominic Lovett to Georgia, Burden has been the leading man. He’s third in the SEC with 984 receiving yards and has eight receiving touchdowns. “[Missouri] really found ways to get him in space and especially off the play action,” Vapnek said.

Cody Shrader, Running Back, Senior

  • The story of the season has been Cody Schrader. The Truman State transfer walked on to Mizzou and is now their top offensive weapon. He leads in the SEC in rushing by nearly 200 yards and has 11 touchdowns. This is a guy who had over 200 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving against Tennessee last week. A steep climb for this Florida defense to conquer and stop.

Ty’Ron Hopper, Linebacker, Senior (Reported Friday that he will be sidelined for the game

  • This is a familiar name to the Florida faithful. The Florida transfer now leads this Missouri defense. He has 36 solo tackles and three sacks this season. “He did have an ankle injury against Tennessee,” Vapnek said, “He got injured in the first second quarter, didn’t come back. Drinkwitz said on Tuesday’s presser that he was going to be questionable.”

Kris Abrams-Daine, Defensive Back, Junior

  • With four interceptions, Abrams-Draine is tied for second in the SEC. His 11 pass nearly double the next best on the team. “He is a good knack for the ball, and I assume he’ll probably shadow Eugene Wilson on Saturday,” Vapnek said.

Five Fast Facts

  • The all-time series lead is on the line, as the two teams are tied at 6-6 dating back to the first meeting in 1965.
  • Before the last two matchups (2022: UF 24, MIZ 17 | 2021: MIZ 24, UF 23 – OT), each of the last eight games in the series had been decided by 17 or more points (from 2013-2020).
  • This is the fourth meeting between UF HC Billy Napier and Missouri HC EliahDrinkwitz as HCs, as both first found success in the Sun Belt Conference – Napier with Louisiana (40-12) from 2018-21, and Drinkwitz with App. St. (12-1) in 2019. » Drinkwitz’s 2019 App. St. team went 2-0 vs. Napier’s Cajuns. After last year’s win, Napier is 1-2 vs. Drinkwitz.
  • Florida ranks 16th in the FBS with a 92.7% red zone conversion rate. The Gators have converted on 36 of 37 trips to the red zone across their last nine games.
  • WR Eugene Wilson III leads all FBS true freshmen in receptions (51) and receptions per game (6.4) while sitting second in receiving yards per game (59.9) and third in receiving yards (479).

Five Game Day Storylines

Bowl Game Prevention

  • This is an SEC matchup that has increased in intensity over the last couple of years. From the halftime brawl to the Darth Vader press conferences it’s safe to say there is some tension. That said, there is a lot on the table for Saturday. Mizzou looks to lock in a NY6 Bowl Game and needs to win to do that. Florida is looking to finish at least at .500 and Mizzou may be the best opportunity.

Top-10 Finish

  • After a turnaround season, Missouri finds itself in a spot to place in the top 10 at the end of the season, maybe even higher. “If this was a 12-team playoff year, they’d control their destiny into it,” Vapnek said. It’s a blueprint for what many will expect Napier to do real soon. An SEC program, sitting around .500 now turning things around.

Florida Defense

  • This Florida team was at one point this season a top-five defense statistically in FBS. That is not the case anymore. Florida gave up over 700 yards of offense to Jayden Daniel, Malik Nabers, and the rest of the LSU Tigers and now faces the tough task of defending Cody Schrader and Luther Burden. All that before they must defend Keon Coleman and Trey Benson.

Forcing Turnovers

  • One thing Florida has done well this season is not turning the ball over, at least passing. Graham Mertz has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in college football with just two interceptions. But the Florida defense hasn’t forced many turnovers of their own. Despite just nine turnovers on offense, Florida sits at -2 in the turnover margin.

Senior Day

  • It’s going to be Senior Day in Columbia. It’s a class of seniors who graduated high school and started college in 2020. A class that has now seen this program turn around and can add another win against an SEC foe. “I think this would be a nice exclamation point to a long four-year career on national TV in front and SEC rival at home with a top ten team, a chance to push forward into a New Year’s Six. But it may be an emotional win for the guys,” Vapnek said.


  • Chris Will: Mizzou 35-28
  • Harrison Vapnek: Mizzou 34-21

Go to discussion...

Related Articles


Leave a comment

Please log in to your forum account to comment

Community platform by XenForo® © 2010-2022 XenForo Ltd. Style and add-ons by ThemeHouse