Tag Archives: Missouri

The Weather in Missouri

University of Florida athletics "Gators&q...

University of Florida athletics “Gators” logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s all about the weather, Gator Nation!

When the Gators woke up this morning, it was 38 degrees where they were playing. It’s supposed to get into the high 50’s by kickoff. I know the weather isn’t what I normally talk about when it comes to Gator games, but understand the farthest north we generally play in the SEC schedule is Lexington, KY. It usually is pretty warm there too. Missouri’s chances of winning increase exponentially if the temperatures creep toward the 40’s at kickoff. I had this conversation with a fellow Gator on this just this week.  Let’s talk some football…

Weather aside, Missouri is a good team and lead the SEC East. They manhandled Georgia last week which was supposed to be their first test as team with a slew of soft games at the beginning. They have tons of offense and showed they could play physical defense at times last week. Of course, it must be noted they will be without starting QB, James Franklin, who is out for the next 3-5 weeks with a shoulder injury. Their backup is Maty Mauk who was a highly touted dual threat QB out of Ohio before redshirting last season. He is the heir apparent to this system and is probably very comfortable with this offense coming into the game. Even though it is his first game, I’d expect he will not perform poorly. He has three really big receivers to throw to…and I mean big…they are all 6’5 and 6’6. They dwarf our secondary which will have its hands full on the outside….meaning our pass rush has to show up this week after being dormant last week. Georgia was broken last week and their defense is not our defense. Still, the Tigers are good and are pretty much going to be the favorite unless something changes. Mizzou averages 40 points and 500 yards a game. This is not a good situation going in for the Gators, but it is also the way the SEC is setup and you step up when you have to do so. Something gives today, either our defense or their offense. I’m banking on our defense shutting down their offense.

That said, we are out Matt Jones for the season and Damian Jacobs for the game and I’ve heard that Ronald Powell is not at full strength. I get the whole “man out, man up” concept that Muschamp preaches, but that is all based on the fact that you have men to turn to when one goes out. We are rapidly losing players this season and the next few games are pretty critical to our success. I’d expect our defense to be more than they were last week and are probably ready to shut down the Tiger offense, but we have got to have a good running game today to setup our offense. Tyler Murphy as human last week, but let’s face it, our offensive line was useless against LSU. The fact that Murphy didn’t turn the ball over last week was impressive. Expect to see more Kelvin Taylor, but that also means poor pass blocking when he is in the game. Mack Brown has had a week to prepare. It is conceivable that we have a dominant run game today which will help slow down the Missouri pass attack only because our sustained drives will be 8-9 minutes long. We will definitely need a defensive or special teams score to help out today, along with a possible consistent field goal kicker. Who’d have thought our weak spot this year would have been punting and field goal kicking. Regardless, Mizzou’s defense isn’t LSU’s defense and we have A LOT to prove today because I’m sure the Gators have heard all week that they aren’t favored in the game. We play with what we got today. Florida 20 Missouri 17. Game time is 12:21 EST, 9:21PST on ESPN3 or Gameplan. I’m in the middle of Illinois so I don’t know where I’m going to watch it today. I may have a very stressful day with ESPN Gamecast. You should not. Join your local Gator Club where a Victory in our first visit ever at Missouri is best served with Gators! ‘Nuff said.

Go Gators!

My Conversation with Timmy Gator

I recently had an email conversation with a Gator fan, we will call him Timmy Gator, that involved some very good discussion. Printed below is our exchange. It has been edited for brevity and some unrelated material as Timmy Gator and I go way back and it isn’t always about football. Warning: This isn’t the normal bias I usually exude in my posts and it discusses a variety of teams in the SEC and beyond. Don’t read if you don’t want an all glowing positive review on the Gators.

Timmy Gator:
Very interested in your post-game thoughts. The defense showed up on both sides of the field. O looked anemic. What the heck happened to GA. I know they were in the hurt locker with injuries so we didn’t see their full offense, which may have helped keep Mizzou off the field…and their D has been soft all year.

I would have liked to see the Mizzou QB against FL this week. Too bad he got injured. Not sure what to make of the game this weekend. I think we win, but not sure we prove anything without their QB in place. Gurley will be back in time for UF so we will play a better team than Mizzou did.

I’m starting to think LSU might knock AL off again.

TGN:
Ok—post game thoughts are this—the game went as I pretty much expected with the exception of LSU’s defense. Their defense has been porous and undisciplined at best and they put together probably the best 4 quarters they have had all seasons in the game against us. Of course, that’s what good teams do and in an unbiased view, they are a good team. Of course, having said that…LSU will not win the BCS National Championships. The numbers don’t work for them. They may get to the game, but won’t win. Our defense did not have the pass rush we needed, but they were still very good. Really, 17 points allowed—-that’s not a bad showing.

Georgia is better than Mizzou who is better than Florida. Missouri got lucky facing Georgia when they were broken. We are, in turn, getting the same situation…..almost exactly since we will be playing at Missouri and they played at UGA. We “may” beat Missouri if we fix a few things and with a week to prepare we can re-establish how we will run the ball without Matt Jones. Kelvin Taylor is a brilliant runner, but a crappy blocker…which is why he is not getting time because he is an abject failure on the pass rush. UGA defense is indeed soft and without a prolific offense, they were primed for an upset against Mizzou. That said, Missouri’s defense will do exactly what LSU’s did and put all their effort in stopping the run and forcing the pass. Our offensive line was very offensive. Credit goes to Tyler Murphy because he did not turn the ball over and probably should have several times when he was running for his life. We did see what Tyler Murphy lacks…..precise passing under pressure. Still, his game management is above question. The rest of the offense is trying really hard for him and are much more relaxed.

‘Bama is at home against LSU. LSU could bring their A-game and still lose. This one goes to ‘Bama. I don’t foresee LSU getting that kind of defensive effort on the road.

Forget Georgia. Hope Gurley does come back. We can beat them. I don’t care what happens next week against Mizzou. If Muschamp loses this game to UGA it will officially be a Georgia winning streak. He’s done to me if that happens.

The exceptional detail for this week at Missouri—it is probably going to be in the 50’s for the game and possibly raining. The Gators aren’t used to the Midwest and the weather. If the weather is not nice, this game is strongly favored for Mizzou. The colder it is the less the Gators chances are of winning.

Forget OSU. Get a real schedule and play in a real conference if you want respect.

Unfortunately, there is a real possibility that we lose three of the next four. Muschamp and Pease just aren’t the X’s and O’s coaches who can put a complete winner together.

Timmy Gator:
I’d love to see OSU play Oregon (or Bama/LSU) during the regular season. Any of those three would light them up. I think Oregon/Bama are the national championship game. I had forgotten Bama/LSU is in ALA. That changes the upset probability. Frankly, LSU will need more offense than 17 against ALA. No way they hold ALA to under 21.

I still love watching A&M. That always fun. Absolutely no defense on their side of the ball but they can score. I wonder what they are left with after Manziel. Real problems for them.

So here’s the real question, does Mizzou represent in the SEC Championship game??

TGN:
Yes. If Mizzou beats us it is likely they will be in the SECCG. Of course they could go into a death spiral without Franklin, but their untested frosh QB is supposed to be all world. It actually could make them better by seasons end.

I think we should pull out a squeaker against them this week.

Oh yeah…right now the championship is Oregon’s to lose.

————–
So that was my conversation this week with Timmy Gator. I will update “The List” after this weekend. You will absolutely be stunned with some of the teams on it.

Armageddon!!

English: Logo of the Southeastern Conference (...

English: Logo of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another loss on the road this week, Gator Nation.

Everything is falling apart. Locusts are coming. The pale rider is galloping near. Soon hellfire will be raining from the sky. Ok, not so much. Yes, we blew a 13-point lead at Mizzou and that coupled with the loss at Arkansas and at Arizona now has the nation convinced that we can’t win big games on the road. Does anyone remember a 2007 Gator National Championship team that lost 3 straight games right before the SEC tournament?

How we respond to games like this is the biggest thing this Gator team can learn right now. No team in the nation is going undefeated and upsets are rampant. It’s all about the preparation and learning to play your best as a team. Finding where you are weak, addressing the concerns and showing the distinct ability to play hard at all times. Wallowing in a loss isn’t this team’s style.

Tonight’s game against Arkansas should fuel the fire for the Gators. Last time we played them at Arkansas and they came lights out from 3-point range and we never caught up. We have them at home and I think this game will play out just a wee bit different. From a season standpoint we are definitely at a critical point in the last part of the regular season. After this we have Tennessee on the road, a home game against Alabama and Vandy with a final regular season game at Kentucky. To maintain control of the SEC we have to win them all, but we need to start it tonight with a win and then move on to the next game.

At Missouri we completely got out of our game plan. No one was attacking the basket. We were content to launch threes at every place on the court. We basically handed the game back to Missouri at the end. Heck, we still should’ve won. Time to get back to the basics. Wilbiken needs to run the point, penetrate and open up shots for everyone. We need Patric Young to dominate the boards…COMPLETELY. Our defense needs to ramp back up.

Arkansas has won their last two games by 2 points each at home. This will prove to be a much tougher contest than those. The Gators will have to show that they can get their mojo back on defense. That has been the deciding factor all season. It has to show up tonight regardless of whether we are raining threes or not.

I hope you’re tuning in or putting it on the DVR. We are 12-0 at home and its time to make it 13.

Go Gators!

Mizzou in Waiting

Mizzou Arena from the North facade.

Mizzou Arena from the North facade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A great test tonight, Gator Nation.

On the road again at Missouri which promises to be more exciting than our game at Auburn. Missouri has been the tale of two teams. On the road they have been completely demolished (including an 83-52 shellacking at Gainesville). At home it is quite a different story. They are 14-0 at Mizzou Arena and completely dominated Ole Miss, Miss State, Alabama and Vandy. “What?!?” I hear you say. “So have we?!?” Of course, we have, but that is not the point. The point is that we are facing a much different team than we did a month ago at home. One that could provide a much needed test for our Gator basketball team.

Last time we played they had just lost Laurence Bowers who was the heart and soul of their team. He’s back this time around and they have an explosive offense to go with it. They have six players averaging double figures. They are also #2 in the nation of rebounding. It is also unlikely that their point guard, Paul Pressey, will have the same 10 turnovers he did last time….though I’m still counting on Scottie Wilbiken to shut him down.  It’s going to be a closer game and it’s going to be good. We need a battle on the road to test our mettle and to really see if the Gators learned something from that Arkansas game. Mizzou is going to come out with guns a blazin’ and they are going to try and amp up the crowd with some high intensity offense. It will be good to see how the Gator defense can react to an initial blitz and if they can completely shut them down again.

I don’t really like close games any more than the next Gator fanatic, but the truth is leading up to the SEC and NCAA tournament, we need some on the court tests away from home. It might cause misfirings of some pacemakers, but when it is all said and done, I believe this Gator team will prevail. They’ve come a very long way this year and have matured quite well as the season rolled along.

Now, it must be said, that being without Yeugete tonight will be difficult. Missouri brings Alex Oriakhi in with almost 9 rebounds a game to go with his 6’9″, 260lb frame. Will Yuegete is a great equalizer there. We’ve seen Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II step up in recent games. Tonight will be a much interesting assignment for both. They do not have to have monster nights, but if Prather can battle down low and grab some more rebounds and MFII can nail 2 or 3 three-point shots, then they will add a consistency to an already steadily performing team. It’s not about being all-stars…it’s all about team contribution and working together. This has been one of the best seasons ever to watch because this Gator team has serious chemistry and really likes going out and lacing them up and getting on the court. If someone is down, another steps up. It is great to watch. Who would have ever thought we would have Kenny Boynton around 13 points per game instead of 16…and still clobbering teams. The fact is he doesn’t have to do it alone anymore. His assists per game are up and he is still a legitimate threat from the outside. Just having him on the floor puts enormous pressure on the opposing team. An opponent, quite frankly, has to account for every Gator on the floor including those off the bench. Plain and simple.

It’s a late game tonight, but well worth staying up and watching….or at least put it on the DVR and watch it tomorrow. This has been an exciting season and one you will want to see through to the end.

Go Gators!

Auburn Game Takeaways

Primary logo for all UF athletics since the ea...

Primary logo for all UF athletics since the early 1990s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A relatively efficient win for us, Gator Nation.

The biggest takeaway from the game this weekend at Auburn was our efficiency on offense—our ball movement was exceptional—and the hitting open jump shots on the road. The road wins are by far the most important thing to us right now because it is the best we can do to prepare for the SEC and NCAA tournament. The more hostile the environment, the better it is for the team in preparing for the tourney.

We were so efficient the other night that Patric Young didn’t really even need to contribute in the rebounding department. Auburn boxed him in all night and that gave everyone on the perimeter open 3’s to shoot with 25 assists along the way. Hitting over 50% of our 3’s was huge. Having Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II step up and have solid games is also helping negate the loss of Will Yuegete.

All of that said….we have an interesting road on the way to the SEC tournament.

We are at Missouri this week and then have Arkansas visit in a contest, I’m sure is circled on the calendar by this group of Gators. Not to mention games at Tennessee, and at home against ‘Bama and Vandy. The regular season would have culminated with a game at Kentucky, but that doesn’t look as impressive now that they are down their most dominant inside player. None the less, this is crunch time of these Gators. They need to treat these games seriously as preparation for tournament time. We only go 7 deep right now without Yuegete and we aren’t the tallest. We have limitations. There just needs to be a continual focus on proper execution.

Exciting times. I hope you’re catching this season. It’s a good one to be watching.

Go Gators!