Fives for Missouri

Maty Mauk is dangerous, even if not living up to the hype so far this year...

Five things to know about Missouri

Defensive line is good… Led by junior defensive end Shae Ray who leads the SEC with 12.5 tackles for loss and senior defensive lineman Markus Goldman who is 3rd in the SEC in TFL with 8.0, the defensive line likes to move around a lot and make things difficult to plan against for the teams they face.

Linebacker tackling machines… Sophomore Michael Scherer is second in the Sec with 58 tackles and junior Kentrell Brothers is fifth in the conference with 50 tackles. The guys up front are really disruptive and their second level guys clean up on the tackles.

Three offensive touchdowns in SEC play… Missouri has three touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball in SEC play even though they have only played two games so far. A South Carolina defense that is giving up over four touchdowns a game in conference play held Missouri to three and two of those were drives started in Gamecock territory. The Tigers were held scoreless against Georgia last weekend as they invited the Bulldogs onto their home field for the lopsided 34-0 loss.

Pass offense has not been good… Sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk is 21-55 for four interceptions and no TD’s in the two losses against South Carolina and Georgia. The Gators have picked off six passes in SEC play but have also given up nine touchdowns through the air in four SEC contests.

Overall defense solid in SEC play… Despite the substandard offense, and despite the turnovers in the two games, Missouri is sitting at 358 yards per game on defense, good for fifth in the SEC right now. If there offense can keep from making big mistakes and they hit a play or two they are in business.

Five things we want to see from the Gators

Treon Harris makes his return to action Saturday...

Both quarterbacks shine… What better way to make the thing work than for both guys going out there and looking good. We all know the offense needs a spark and there is little doubt that Treon Harris has been able to do that so far and will get the chance to do so again on Saturday. That said, a little jump start from Harris being on his tail might be a good thing for incumbent Jeff Driskel. We have seen dual quarterback systems work in the past in a great way, it just gives opponents defenses a lot to think about.

Keep their jerseys clean… The Florida offensive line has allowed just five sacks in five games. The Gators are tops in the league in conference play giving up just five in four games for a 1.25 sacks per game average. However, they have played most of the worst sacking teams in the conference. Missouri is second in the conference and has six sacks (3.0 per game) in their two SEC contests. They play a lot of games up front to try and confuse and Florida will have to be on their toes and counter with power running plays that make them pay.

Keep it in front of them… Florida’s defense’s biggest issue has been the busted and big play. Missouri is prone to turnovers, but the gators have to make sure that the Tigers have to earn every drive they get. Keep them away from the big plays that have plagued the Gators so far and that Mauk is very capable of making. The receivers have been the issue for Missouri, so the match up issues shouldn’t be there in this game.

Own 3rd downs…

Neither team is good at converting third downs or defending them. Florida happens to be better at both in terms of SEC play. This goes back to keeping it in front of them , but letting Andre Debose return punts because you stopped them on third down is a huge advantage for the Gators. Keeping drives alive by converting is also huge. There wasn’t a single offensive penalty against LSU, that needs to continue to help with getting first downs.

Run the ball… With both Florida quarterbacks able to run the ball, we may see more than that from them than expected. Both guys staying fresh and alert are keys here and the two bring different intangibles to the running game when they are in there. The Tigers have faced two of the better running attacks in the league with Mike Davis at South Carolina and Nick Chubb running great last week when they played Georgia. I don’t think this will be an easy task, but Florida needs to be able to run it.

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