To preview Saturday’s matchup, I interviewed the editor of Hail Florida Hail, Liam Jones. You can head over to the Florida FanSided site to see his work and check out more previews for the Missouri Florida game. Thanks to Mr. Jones for joining us and answering these questions.
Truman’s Tales: What are the strengths and weaknesses of this Florida team?
Liam Jones: Overall, Florida’s strength is their defense. They have kept the Gators in multiple games that they didn’t deserve to. With Hargreaves III and Purifoy in the secondary, opposing wide receivers will be hard pressed to get any separation. Their weaknesses include their offensive line. Which played poorly against LSU and in addition to giving Murphy little to no protection, has been mediocre at best in run blocking.
TT: Have you been impressed with the play of Tyler Murphy after Jeff Driskel went down for the season?
LJ: Before last week’s game against LSU, I would have told you VERY impressed. Granted, playing in Death Valley for your third ever collegiate start isn’t the easiest, 115 passing yards is very low. Part of it is the playbook not looking down field as much but he did have receivers open downfield sometimes, including Trey Burton on a potential touchdown. I still have been very impressed in his pocket presence and running ability. Both I think are better than Driskel’s was before his injury.
TT: How do you expect the Gators to replace Matt Jones?
LJ: Personally, I believe the Matt Jones injury will not hurt the Gators as much as everyone believes. Mack Brown rushed well in his absence week one against Toledo and has provided a great second punch. In addition, freshman Kelvin Taylor looked explosive against LSU and will figure to see carries increase as well. From what little we saw on Saturday, Taylor could live up to the enormous hype.
TT: What do you think worries Florida the most about Missouri?
LJ: The offense. Even without Franklin, the Tigers offense is a scary proposition for the Gators. They put up 41 against Georgia and average 8th in the nation in points scored. Mauk isn’t any scrub and L’Damian Washington has pieced together a great season thus far. This game can either be huge confidence booster for the Gators are push them even farther down in the national discussion. This will have to start with the defense.