Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

Gators Focus on Missouri

While the hullabaloo continues on about the postponement of the Florida-LSU game, the Gators have a game to play in five days. It is Homecoming and the opponent is SEC East foe Missouri. It’s a big game for Florida and the Gators are moving ahead.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE The Gator defense has their hands full Saturday. It is a Missouri offense that is tops in the SEC in passing (350.6 yds/game), fourth in scoring (37.0), and second in total offense (508.6). The Tiger quarterback Drew Locke and company.

“Right now what we've got to do is we've got to turn our focus to homecoming, play Missouri, a team that's coming off a bye that is the kind of team that gives us a ton of trouble because of the amount of explosive plays they create,” Florida head coach Jim McElwain said Monday in front of the Florida media. “When you look at their explosive play total, they've already doubled it from a year ago and they're only five games in.”

It is a quick hitting passing game designed from the old Oklahoma fast paced passing games we have seen in the past.

“They haven’t given up sacks,” McElwain said. “The quarterback gets it out of his hand in Huepel’s system there that has a lot of similarities to what Baylor does with the RPO and the kind of half-site reads stuff that they do. Locke is doing a hell of a job with that thing, too. This guy’s got a great arm and is a really good player.

While the Missouri defense isn’t ranked among the best, they have been able to cause turnovers and defensive end Charles Harris a guy that really gave the Gators and left tackle David Sharpe fits a year ago.

“Obviously, defensively getting a ton of hands on the ball,” McElwain said of the Tiger defense. “They’re around the ball a ton. That defensive end that gave us trouble last year is back and playing lights out. This should be fun for us as far as coming home for a homecoming crowd. Trying to restore some order and normalcy in what we do and how we go about it.

McElwain says he is really stressing to Sharpe and right tackle Jawaan Taylor about the play of Harris in particular.

“Really good guy,” McElwain said of Harris. “I had David do this even going into the last game, too. Take a look at last year when you played against him. Just take a look and see how the intensity was matched, the initial block to the finish. I think what separates those great players on defense, especially on guys like this, is their relentless effort to play through the whistle. Even when you get them blocked sometimes, they’ll make a tackle from behind because they wouldn’t say no. They just have that no-quit attitude. That’s something we have to match and take it a step above. It’ll be a good challenge for him. And Wanny (Taylor), too, because he’ll be on both sides.


The weekend off from football certainly didn’t hurt in terms of Florida getting a little healthier. McElwain gave updates on linebackers Daniel McMillian, Jeremiah Moon, and Jarrad Davis, quarterback Luke Del Rio, defensive back Garrett Stephens, defensive end Justus Reed , receiver Chris Thompson, and offensive lineman David Sharpe.

“Injury wise, moving forward, DMac (McMillian) is still kind of questionable. Jarrad is still sore, but I just don’t see him not playing. It just means so much to him. Luke, we were prepared to play him this week. We’ll plan to play him again obviously moving forward as we go. Let’s see, Garrett Stevens is back. Jeremiah Moon will be allowed to possibly practice with that pin out. That’s yet to be determined. He hasn’t practiced in about four weeks. Obviously, that would be a little bit different. Sherit is still out, Ivie is still out. Obviously, Dre. Justus Reed might be back. Chris Thompson, with those guys that are running as fast as he does, when the ‘strings tighten up a little bit. .... we’ll see how that is throughout the week as we move forward.”


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