Sunday, December 17, 2017
Colleges

College football preview: No. 22 Florida at No. 14 Missouri, 12:20 Saturday, Ch. 38, 620-AM

No. 22 Florida at No. 14 Missouri, 12:20, Ch. 38, 620-AM

One year after Missouri (6-0, 2-0 SEC) struggled through an injury-plagued 5-7 SEC debut, the undefeated Tigers sit atop the East Division. Florida (4-2, 3-1) must win if it wants to keep its East title hopes alive. The Tigers average 46 points in SEC play but will miss starting QB James Franklin, who separated his shoulder last week. Missouri is second in the SEC in rushing (239.3 yards per game), and the Gators have the league's No. 1 run defense (83.3) but had trouble stopping the run last week at LSU. The Gators' toughest challenge might be defending Mizzou's receivers. The Tigers have seven that are 6 feet 2 or taller, including star Dorial Green-Beckham, who is 6-6 and has 27 receptions. Florida's tallest DB is Loucheiz Purifoy at 6 feet. Ultimately, if the Gators can't score — again — it could be a long day.

Watch out for…: Look for Missouri, second in the league in sacks, to pressure the Gators and their offensive line that struggled mightily with protection last week. Florida has lost starting RB Matt Jones for the season, so responsibility falls on junior Mack Brown and freshman Kelvin Taylor. UF has to get its running game going to give QB Tyler Murphy and his receivers a chance and keep the offense from becoming one-dimensional.

Antonya English, Times staff writer

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