This weekend, the Florida football team travels to Columbia, Missouri for the first time in program history to take on the Missouri Tigers.
Number 14 Missouri, which joined the SEC last season, currently sits atop the SEC East standings. The Tigers (6-0, 2-0 SEC) are undefeated and coming off a big 41-26 win at Georgia Saturday.
However, in that win, Mizzou lost its starting quarterback, James Franklin, to a shoulder separation. He's expected to miss three to five weeks.
Florida defensive coordinator DJ Durkin said although redshirt freshman Maty Mauk will start for the Tigers, the offense will still be a challenge for the No. 22 Gators (4-2, 3-1 SEC) to defend Saturday. Durkin said Mizzou's receiver corps is also fast and lean.
“Those guys are all rangey guys, they can run, they're big, they're long,” he said. “They're a tough match-up for anyone.”
Missouri is 15th in total offense in the nation and second in the SEC in scoring offense with 45.7 points per game. On the other hand, Florida ranks third in the country in total defense and first in the SEC. But coming off a 17-6 loss at LSU Saturday, Durkin said his squad needs to do more to give the Florida offense opportunities to pull ahead.
“We didn't play well enough to win in this past game,” he said. “There were plenty of things that game we could have done better as coaches, as players on the defense that would have given us a better chance to win. And we didn't do that.”
The Tigers average 515 yards a game on offense and they also run the ball very well, averaging 239 yards on the ground, the second best total in the SEC. The combination of Russell Hansbrough and Henry Josey combine to run for 125 yards a game.
The Tigers boast two excellent receivers as well in veterans L'Damian Washington and Dorial Green-Beckham. They've combined for 56 receptions and over 850 receiving yards.
Coverage of the Florida-Missouri games starts Saturday at 9:15am on ESPN 850 WRUF.