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The Florida Gators got the dominant win against their FCS opponent last week and now go in search of their first SEC win. The Missouri Tigers gave the reigning National Champion Georgia Bulldogs quite the scare. The Gators and the Tigers will meet on Saturday in the The Swamp and Kyle Pinnell of the Columbia Missourian helps Inside the Gators break it down.
Five Missouri Tigers to Know
Brady Cook, Quarterback, Sophomore
- From Connor Bazelak to Brady Cook, the Missouri Tigers underwent a similar transition this season with a young quarterback taking the reins for the first time. Pinnell said the homerun plays are few and far between and there have been some growing pains with Cook. Pinnell said it won’t be the best quarterback the Gators face, but he can get the job done if given the opportunity.
Nathaniel Peat, Running Back, Senior
- Peat and Cody Schrader are the one-two combination in the backfield for the Tigers. The two have combined for over 500 yards on the ground and five total touchdowns. The Gators offense knows all too well how a running back by committee works and the Tigers will bring that same dynamic.
Dominic Lovett, Wide Receiver, Sophomore
- Far and away the top target for Cook. With 460 yards, Lovett leads the SEC by nearly 100 yards. Pinnell said he’s made the biggest plays for the Tigers this season, but an injury in the Georgia game has his participation in the Tigers’ trip to Gainesville in question.
Ty’Ron Hopper, Linebacker, Junior
- The former Gator is now the leader of the defense for Missouri. He leads the team in solo tackles and sacks. He has also added an interception and a forced fumble to accompany a stellar Tiger defense in their first year under Blake Baker’s direction.
Jaylon Carlies, Junior, Defensive Back
- He leads the team in total tackles. Pinnell said he had a standout game against the Georgia Bulldogs. Being from the Orlando area, this is a homecoming of sorts for Carlies.
Five Fast Facts
- Week 6 represents the 12th all-time meeting between Florida and Missouri including the sixth matchup in Gainesville.
- With a win, the Gators would tie up the series (which dates back to 1965) at six wins apiece. Meanwhile, Florida is 3-2 at home against Missouri.
- This is the third meeting between UF HC Billy Napier and Missouri HC Eliah Drinkwitz 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.
- QB Anthony Richardson is coming off back-to-back 200-yard passing games – the first two of his career.
- The Gators’ three sacks allowed are tied for the seventh fewest in the FBS and rank second in the SEC.
Five Gameday Storylines
The recent tensions between the teams:
- From the halftime brawl two seasons ago to the Darth Vader costume and then Eli Drinkwitz “May the force be with you,” after the Tigers’ OT win last season, the tensions between the two teams have been relatively high in recent history. Is certainly a storyline to watch out for on this homecoming.
Missouri Coming in on Homecoming:
- Pinnell said it was Auburn’s homecoming when the two teams squared off and Missouri will have their homecoming after their bye. In four weeks of play, that’s three homecoming games. They’ll be looking to try and ruin Florida’s homecoming on Saturday after falling just short against the Auburn Tigers.
Ty’Ron Hopper’s Return to The Swamp:
- Pinnell said there is a lot of excitement to return to The Swamp. With that said, Pinnell said the coaching change for the Gators has kept Hopper from gaining too much of an advantage coming into Saturday. He said Napier is running very different schemes that Hopper has to figure out as if it is a brand-new team.
Close Call with Georgia:
- There is confidence,” Pinnell said, “All season long, Missouri has talked about starting games quicker. The Georgia game they started quickly.” Now, the Tigers are focusing on finishing strong on top of that and not letting the Georgia game get in the way of their focus on the Gators, according to Pinnell.
Any other storylines?
- The defense has been incredible this first year under Blake Baker,” Pinnell said. He said that you know what you’re going to get with the defense, but the difference in this game will be what Missouri offense shows up.
- Pinnell: UF 31-24
- Chris Will: UF 34-24