Florida Gators-Mississippi State Bulldogs: Urban Meyer Vs. Dan Mullen

James Walker@BRJamesWalkerAnalyst IIOctober 22, 2009

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 10:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators looks on during the game against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

This weekend on ESPN, the Florida Gators will visit Starkville to play Dan Mullen's Mississippi State Bulldogs. 

Tune in at 7:30pm ET because it's going to be a great game.

Yes, I said a "great" game.  If you haven't noticed, the Gators offense has been mediocre at best this season, and conventional wisdom leads most to believe Dan Mullen's departure from the Gators may be the leading cause.

Mullen worked for Meyer at Bowling Green, Utah, and the University of Florida before accepting the head coaching job at Mississippi State.  Saturday will be the first time they face each other in competition as head coaches.

The Florida Gators are still a question mark offensively even though they are ranked No. 6 in Total Offense.  Through six games the Gators are averaging a total of 470.5 yards per game.

Will this be the latest version of David vs. Goliath?


Mississippi State, defensively, has given up 22 touchdowns in seven games, whereas the Gators have only given up four.  Offensively, the Bulldogs have found the end zone 23 times and average 390.29 yards per game, while the Gators have held their opponents to 228.33 yards per game.

Mississippi State will have to play lights out if they have any chance whatsoever in winning this game.

One thing that statistics cannot measure is Mullen's knowledge of the Florida Gators offense, and to a point their defense.  Will that be the X factor in giving Mississippi State any hope in winning the game?


Let's face it; the Bulldogs are grossly mismatched at practically every position on the field.  So much so that Mississippi State may not provide the defense needed to keep the Gators misfiring on offense.

The Bulldogs defense has given up eight TDs through the air while grabbing nine INTs.  Tim Tebow, the Heisman front-runner, has had a two INTs this season, so don't be surprised if he gives up one or two more. 

Remember, Coach Mullen knows Tebow very well.

The Gators will most likely view Starkville as a rest stop on the road to Pasadena.  When it is all said and done, Meyer and Mullen will shake hands in the middle of the field, and then call each other Sunday morning to discuss the specifics of the game.

Meyer may even apologize in his own way for the game's score.

Prediction: Florida 51 and Mississippi State 10.