Andreu's Analysis: Gators will bounce back after long layoff

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
Florida linebacker David Reese II tackles Missouri running back Tyler Badie during the second half of last year's game at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field.

After all this time off, you have to wonder if this double bye is going to spell double trouble for the Gators on Saturday night against Missouri.

 Will the long layoff lead to the offense struggling to find the groove it was in during the first three games in which the Gators were close to unstoppable at times?

 Will it lead to more rust for a defense that couldn't shake it off at the start of the season?

 Let's take a look at the offense first. Having an experienced and proven starting quarterback (Kyle Trask) should help the Gators replicate the rhythm they were in earlier in the season. But it's not going to happen right away. The offense is going to struggle to find that rhythm through much of the first half against a Missouri defense that is coming off a dominant performance in a 20-10 win over Kentucky last Saturday. But the Gators eventually will find that rhythm and start going up and down the field like they've done in every game so far.

 As for the defense, I think the long layoff actually is going to help the Gators. It gave the players and coaches time to analyze what's gone on, what's gone wrong, and self evaluate and make appropriate changes. With the coaches determined to put the right players in the right spots to make plays, there will be some personnel changes for this game. New blood will mean new energy, something the defense has lacked for most of the season.

 The Gators are going to give up some chunk plays and points, and again, will struggle to get off the field on third down. But the effort and energy are going to be better and so will the overall results.

 Prediction: Florida 31, Missouri 28.