Missouri Tigers look to continue winning streak against Florida

COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 2: Quarterback Drew Lock
COLUMBIA, MO - SEPTEMBER 2: Quarterback Drew Lock /

After pummeling UConn last week, the Missouri Tigers hope to continue their momentum for their fourth win of the season against Florida, at home.

Mizzou has looked better, as the weeks have gone by, and the team looks the most competent and confident it’s looked all season. Opposed to Florida, whose season seems to be getting worse by the week after the firing of head coach Jim McElwain this past week.

Florida is now led by interim coach Randy Shannon, who hopes to turn the season around beginning at Columbia, which may be easier said than done, because this is not the same Tigers team that we saw earlier in the year.

Drew Lock has been on fire, throwing for 1,097 yards ,15 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions in the past three games.

Missouri Tigers Football
Missouri Tigers Football /

Missouri Tigers Football

Wide receiver Emmanual Hall and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam have emerged as the most consistent play makers on the field, while running backs Larry Roundtree and Ish witter have been a deadly backfield duo.

While the Tigers’ offense is certainly clicking, the Florida defense won’t be that of a UConn or an Idaho. While the Gators’ defense was embarrassed by Georgia last week, it’s usually top-notch in defending the pass, keeping most quarterbacks under 200 yards, which isn’t good, considering Lock’s struggles with competent secondaries.

Florida’s defense is to be respected, but the same can’t be said about its offense. Ranked among the bottom of the SEC in offense, the Gators have struggled getting the ball beyond the 50 all season,  which prompted Shannon to name Malike Zaire the starter this week against Missouri instead of Feleipe Franks, who has struggled all season.

This could be a good move for the Gators considering Zaire’s athletic ability and mobility. Zaire has proven he can play spectacularly while he was at Notre Dame and may be the jump-start this offense needs.

While the Tigers’ defense needs to respect Zaire, it has been playing much better these past two weeks. Granted, the improved play came against UConn and Idaho, but it has to start somewhere, and the defense has been forcing turnovers and rushing the pass effectively. Perhaps the past two weeks will have given the Tigers D enough confidence to finally show up and play good football against an SEC offense.

With both teams sitting at only three wins, the game has been considered a toss up with Missouri being a 3 point favorite. If Drew Lock and the offense continue to shine and the defense plays with the same tenacity it has the past two weeks, then the Tigers will walk out with a win and get one game closer to bowl eligibility.