Missouri Tigers (4-4 SU, 3-4-1 ATS) vs. No. 8 Florida Gators (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday November 3rd, 2012. 12:00PM Eastern
Where: Ben Griffin Stadium Gainesville, F.L.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MO +16.5/FLA -16.5
Over/Under Total: NL
The Florida Gators suffered their first loss of the season last week against Georgia 17-9 during their annual rivalry meeting down in Jacksonville. The loss dropped the Gators six sports to number 8 in the polls and nearly diminished their chances towards reaching the SEC Championship. The Gators will have the opportunity to bounce back this week as they return to ‘The Swamp’ as sizeable favorites against the visiting Missouri Tigers. Still even with a victory over Missouri, Florida will need a Georgia loss against Ole Miss to make it to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
Even if the Gators fail to make it to Atlanta, they have still had a great season with a chance to make it even better. Few expected Will Muschamp to have the Gators in the SEC and National Championship talk this year following a 7-6 campaign from 2011. However, the Gators have been absolutely dominating on the defensive side of the football holding opponents to just 280 yards per game which is 6th best in the FBS. Additionally, the Gators defense has been great at forcing turnovers and giving their offense the short side of the field.
Offensively, the Gators average just 339 yards per game of total offense (100th in FBS). However, do not let those numbers fool you. The recipe to success in the SEC is playing elite defense and running the football by winning the war in the trenches on both sides of the football. Just think of the past 6 BCS National Champions. The Gators have been able to duplicate that recipe this season with their defensive play and strong running game behind Mike Gillislee. Gillislee has produced solid numbers this year running the football for 729 yards and 7 scores. Because of that recipe of success, QB Jeff Driskel has not thrown the football too often this season with only 153 passing attempts on the year (19 per game). Driskel has been effective completing 65% passing for 8 touchdowns and 3 picks. However, the Gators are a running football team and the run will be what Missouri needs to stop to pull off the upset this Saturday.
Speaking of that winning recipe, Missouri has not exactly found the ingredients to winning in the SEC this year as they are just 1-4 in their first year in conference play. The Tigers were able to capture their first SEC victory last week in a 33-10 victory over Kentucky. Still, Missouri has learned that life in the SEC can be brutal. In the Tigers’ 3 biggest test this season, (Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama) Missouri was outscored by a combined 114-40. This week Missouri gets their 4th crack at a top 10 team when they travel to Florida in attempt to pull off their biggest win of the year.
So far this season, Missouri has been awful moving the football averaging just 317 yards per game (109th in FBS). Quarterbacks James Franklin and Corbin Berkstresser have combined to complete just 55% passing for 7 scores and 7 picks. Franklin has battled injuries all year and is still not completely healthy. Outside of the dead passing attack, running back Kendial Lawrence has proven to be the biggest playmaker on offense with 632 rushing yards for 7 scores on the season. However, Lawrence has been stonewalled in the big games this season gaining just 145 yards against those 3 previously mentioned top opponents. Therefore, Missouri has to do a better job of running the football with Lawrence against the top competition in the league. Because if you cannot run the football, you cannot win in the SEC.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Missouri’s defense has been really solid this year and I believe this is a letdown position with Florida in a noon kickoff game following that highly emotional Georgia contest last week. I think this turns out to be a low scoring game with the Tigers hanging around. I’m betting Missouri +16.5.
Additional College Football Betting Previews