It’s amazing how much 10 minutes of football, and two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, can change things. Heading into the fourth quarter against Tennessee last Saturday, the game seemed lost for Florida, and many were already wondering how bad things might get a week later against No. 3 Ole Miss, a much better team than the Vols.
But after Will Grier and the Gators almost willed themselves to that dramatic win, many now are thinking Florida has a legitimate chance to pull off the upset in The Swamp on Saturday. I’m kind of feeling that myself.
The Rebels are very deep, very talented and playing with a great deal of confidence. And they will not be influenced by what will be a loud and electric Swamp. These guys won in Tuscaloosa two weeks ago, so there will be no road intimidation factor Saturday. The Rebels will come marching in here with all kinds of swagger.
There’s definitely a lot to like about Ole Miss. And yet I think this is a good matchup for the Gators. If the defense doesn’t miss 200 tackles like a week ago and Grier and the offense can get off to a better start and play with more consistency, Florida has a good chance to pull this out and move to 5-0 on the season.
One of the keys for Florida will be taking care of the football. The Tide was careless with it two weeks ago, turning it over five times, and the Rebels used the takeaways to pull away from Alabama.
Here’s another must for the Gators: they’ve got to protect Grier better than they did a week ago, and the defensive front has to put steady heat on quarterback Chad Kelly and bump him out of his comfort zone, which he’s totally immersed in at the moment.
Jim McElwain has been giving in to his inner Vince Dooley this week with all the glowing comments he’s been making about the Rebels. I also have sensed a strong inner confidence from McElwain and the Gators. I think they think they’re going to win this game.
That’s good enough for me.
Prediction: Florida 31, Ole Miss 30