Florida Football: Can the Gators break the Missouri curse in Week 12?

Florida football comes into Week 12 as the highest ranked two-loss team in the country. Can they stay on the New Year’s Six bowl path this week at Missouri?

The Florida Gators are back after their most complete game of the season, blowing out lowly Vanderbilt 56-0. Despite the poor competition, Florida’s second half was very good, spearheaded by an early second half fumble return for a touchdown by Jonathan Greenard.

They take on the Missouri Tigers, who have given the Gators a lot of problems during their SEC tenure. The Tigers are 4-3 over seven contests against Florida, and have beaten the Gators the last two seasons.

This game comes with two teams going in opposite directions. Missouri has lost three in a row, and has looked miserable in their last three contests. The last two have been without Kelly Bryant. But the Tigers offense has been lackluster, not finding a lot of room on the ground and struggling through the air.

For Florida, they are the highest ranked two-loss team in the country. The Gators have been led by a great secondary and pass rush, that can smother a lot of offenses.

Here’s how to watch:

Date: Saturday, Nov. 16
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, Mo.
Venue: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field
TV: CBS
Live Stream: CBS All-Access

Keys to Victory

For the Gators, the keys to victory are to dominate the line of scrimmage. Florida’s defensive line stands out as one of the best in the country, especially with Jabari Zuniga returning. Missouri struggles in the red zone and with passing efficiency. If they can get some pressure, the Gators will create some turnovers, and the Tigers have no chance on offense.

Offensively, Kyle Pitts should have a big game in this one yet again. Missouri has one of the worst pass rushes in the country, so Kyle Trask will have a lot of time to throw, which will bode well for Pitts and Van Jefferson in finding holes in the secondary of the Tigers, which is pretty good.

For the Tigers, they need to control the clock and force some mistakes out of Trask. He has proven he can force some throws and Missouri needs to capitalize in the secondary to make some plays.

Offensively, Missouri needs to find some momentum on the ground. They are 5-0 when they rush for 160 yards or more as a team, and 0-4 when they cannot find the same success on the ground. If Missouri can find ground success, it throws off the Gator pass rush and they have a great shot to win.

Betting Odds

Per The Action Network

Line: Florida -6.5
Over/Under: 49.5

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Prediction

Florida, of course, is the favorite in the contest. They are the better team, and have much more talent on offense and defense. I think the Gators give the Tigers a lot of problems, and Missouri is going to struggle to get some yards in this one.

Florida gets some pressure on Bryant, CJ Henderson gets his first interception of the season, and the Gators roll on.

Final Score: Florida 24 Missouri 17