McElwain's crew welcomes Tigers to Swamp
Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio hasn’t played since injuring his left knee Sept 17. Can the redshirt sophomore quickly regain his touch against Missouri?
The two SEC programs square off this Saturday, with a 4 p.m. ET kickoff at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Online sports book BetDSI opened the Gators as 13-point favorites over the Tigers. The over/under is 50.
Due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew, UF postponed last weekend’s bout vs. LSU. Thus, coach Jim McElwain avoided having to make a potential game-time decision on his No. 1 signal-caller. Del Rio was hit low in the team’s 32-0 shutout of North Texas. He’s thrown for 762 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions in his first campaign as a starter.
Even if Del Rio still seems compromised for the MU tilt, however, McElwain shouldn’t hesitate to insert Austin Appleby. The fifth-year senior completed 19 of 28 passes in Florida’s recent tussle with Vanderbilt. Yet the offense consistently struggled to finish drives in that 13-6 squeaker.
Meanwhile, the buzz around Mizzou keeps growing. With sophomore Drew Lock at the controls, the Tigers’ aerial attack seems capable of perplexing all foes not named LSU. (Ed Orgeron’s outfit dropkicked Barry Odom’s group, 42-7, on Oct. 1.) Lock’s biggest weapon, J’Mon Moore, boasts 27 receptions for 450 yards. His six touchdown snags also lead the SEC.
MU actually fared extremely well in its last visit to Gainesville, with Braylon Webb’s two interceptions keying a 42-13 rout. The final score here won’t be nearly as lopsided. Nonetheless, we expect Lock & Co. to move the ball enough to ensure a tight one in the fourth quarter.
WEDNESDAY NCAA FREE PICK: MISSOURI +13.5