Undefeated Missouri hosts Florida on Saturday in an SEC battle that could get ugly.
The Tigers impressively knocked off Georgia last weekend on the road, thanks to a dominant defensive effort that resulted in four turnovers for the Bulldogs.
Unfortunately, quarterback James Franklin injured his shoulder in the game, and he's expected to miss three to five weeks, as noted by ESPN's Brett McMurphy:
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel tells @ESPNDari that QB James Franklin will only be out 3-5 weeks— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) October 14, 2013
Redshirt freshman Maty Mauk is now the man leading the offensive charge for Mizzou, and he'll be tested right off the bat against the No. 3-ranked defense of the Florida Gators.
The Gators enter the contest with a record of 4-2, having lost close games to Miami and LSU—two of the best teams in the nation.
Florida's offense has perked up a little bit since Tyler Murphy took over for Jeff Driskel a few weeks ago, but he struggled badly against the formidable defense of LSU last weekend. He'll need to rebound in a big way for the Gators to get back on track with a win.
When: Saturday, Oct. 19 at 12:21 p.m. ET
Where: Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.
Watch: ESPN 3
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 44.5 pts.
- Spread: Missouri (+3.5)
Florida Injury Report (via USA Today)
|D.L. Powell||WR||Ques Sat - Ankle - 10/15/13|
|Chris Thompson||WR||Ques Sat - Foot - 10/13/13|
|Dominique Easley||DL||Ques Sat - Knee - 10/13/13|
|Quinteze Williams||DL||Ques Sat - Disciplinary - 10/13/13|
|Matt Jones||RB||Out for season - Knee - 10/14/13|
|Jeff Driskel||QB||Out for season - Leg - 9/21/13|
|Matt Rolin||LB||Out for season - Knee - 9/5/13|
|Chaz Green||OL||Out for season - Shoulder - 8/30/13|
|Jordan Sheritt||DL||Out indefinitely - Knee - 9/20/13|
|Andre Debose||WR||Out for season - Knee - 8/14/13|
Missouri Injury Report (via USA Today)
|James Franklin||QB||Ques Sat - Shoulder - 10/13/13|
Will Maty Mauk Survive Against Florida's Defense?
It's a lot to ask of a redshirt quarterback, throwing him out against one of the nation's stingiest defenses and expecting him to win.
But that's exactly what Gary Pinkel plans on doing this Saturday.
Mauk stepped into a difficult situation last weekend at Georgia when Franklin left the game with his shoulder injury, so he's not completely untested. He completed all three of his attempts and helped lead Missouri on a scoring drive in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
But Georgia's defense hasn't been able to shut anyone down this year.
Florida, on the other hand, features one of the most feared defenses in college football. The Gators have allowed just 13 points per game, which is the fourth-best total in the nation.
Mauk will be tested like he's never been tested before.
Florida's defense will overwhelm the redshirt freshman on Saturday on passing downs, applying heavy pressure in an effort to force turnovers.
As a way to protect the young quarterback, Missouri must rely heavily on its rushing attack, but there won't be many open running lanes against the nation's No. 4-ranked run defense.
Which team will win?
On the other side, Florida's running game will have better success against Mizzou, and Murphy will bounce back after his rough outing against LSU.
The Gators have lost two tough road games this year, but the losing stops this weekend on the road against the Tigers.
Florida wins 21-17.
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