Abolverdi's Analysis: Gators defensive woes will continue at Missouri

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports
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Fool me once, shame on you. 

Fool me twice, shame on the flu.

The Gators’ flu outbreak two weeks ago was, in my opinion, a big reason South Carolina smoked them. But had the team been healthy, I still think the Gamecocks would have won the game based on the way Florida played against Samford last week. 

It was another debacle from the defense, and this time there wasn’t the flu or Todd Grantham to blame. The Gators allowed a program-worst 42 points in the first half and gave up 416 yards passing. 

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As suspect as the secondary looked last Saturday, the cause for concern in Columbia will be Missouri running back Tyler Badie. He’s the SEC’s rushing leader and has eclipsed 200 yards four times.  

Can Christian Robinson have the Gators' defense playing at a high level against the hard-running Tigers?

Badie is probably chomping at the bit to face Florida after seeing LSU’s Tyrion Davis-Price rush for 287 yards against this defense. However, Badie has been held under 100 yards in his other six games this season, so he can be stopped. 

And fortunately for the Gators, it remains to be seen whether Mizzou can stop their offense. As bad as Florida has played defensively, the Tigers have been even worse. 

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Their defense is one of the worst units in the country and has allowed 38.9 points per game against Power 5 opponents, including 62 points to Tennessee. Much like the LSU and Samford games, the Gators could find themselves in another shootout Saturday with multiple lead changes. 

Following the loss at LSU, I expected Florida to get beat by Georgia before finishing out the regular season with a four-game winning streak. In hindsight, that was foolish. 

I’ve given this team the benefit of the doubt one too many times. UF has yet to win an SEC road game this year or successfully defend an elite running back, and I’ll believe it when I see it. 

Prediction: Missouri 38, Florida 34

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