1. Kyle Trask vs. Missouri defense
Missouri will once again play a Southeastern Conference game where the opponent’s starting quarterback isn’t the same one who started its season opener. Trask took over after Feleipe Franks suffered a season-ending injury in September and hasn’t been overwhelmed by the job of starting behind center for the Gators. Trask is a pocket passer who doesn’t mind running, but he much prefers his arm. In nine games, Trask has thrown for 2,011 yards and 19 touchdowns with only six interceptions. The Missouri defense has allowed nine passing touchdowns on the season, including two to Georgia’s Jake Fromm last weekend. Can Trask pick apart the Tigers' defense, or does MU limit another SEC quarterback?
Edge: Missouri defense
2. Missouri running backs vs. Florida defense
The Tigers haven’t found a way to set up their ground attack over the past three games, making it tough to do anything offensively. While the statistics don’t look that bad for Larry Rountree, Tyler Badie and Dawson Downing, their recent impact has been minimal. While some of that falls on the offensive line for not opening enough holes, none of the backs have made huge plays since the win over Mississippi. The Florida defense is coming off a shutout against Vanderbilt and has given up seven rushing touchdowns this season. Does a spark ignite the Tigers’ stagnant rush attack back at home? Or is it another week without Missouri effectively implementing the run game?
Edge: Florida defense
3. Florida wide receivers vs. Tyree Gillespie and Joshuah Bledsoe
The Gators have seven players with 200 receiving yards or more, including four with 398 yards or more coming into Saturday’s matchup. Missouri’s cornerbacks have the task to limit the likes of Freddie Swain and Trevon Grimes, but stopping big plays also falls on the shoulders of MU safeties Gillespie and Bledsoe. Missouri head coach Barry Odom has called them the “protectors” of his defense, and the two of them are second and third among active players in tackles on the team. Gillespie and Bledsoe also have a dozen pass break-ups between them. Do Florida’s wide receivers make a profound impact on the game and disrupt the play of two of the Tigers’ most important players? Or do Bledsoe and Gillespie get the upper hand defensively again?
Edge: Gillespie and Bledsoe
4. Tigers’ offensive line vs. Gators’ defensive line
Florida leads the SEC in sacks (35) and has made a point in each game it has played this season to get after the opposing quarterback with speed and an aggressive nature. Even if a sack doesn’t take place on any given play, the Gators make their presence felt. Missouri has given up 19 sacks to opposing teams this season, more than the 14 the Tigers' defensive line has created. The Gators have 11 players with two or more sacks, led by Johnathan Greenard, who has four. Can the Tigers’ offensive line figure out any chemistry issues and prevent Kelly Bryant or any other quarterback MU turns to Saturday from taking hits? Or does the Florida defensive line overpower the Tigers?
Edge: Gators’ defensive line
5. Albert Okwuegbunam vs. Florida pass defenders
It’s been a point of emphasis for Odom over the past few weeks: get No. 81 more involved. Okwuegbunam did get more into the action against Georgia with four catches but had to fight off double teams throughout the game. Florida knows the threat Okwuegbunam presents. He’s one of the most feared tight ends in the country for a reason. But the Gators have a play-making tight end of their own in Kyle Pitts. Does practicing against a solid tight end in practice every day make the Gators' pass defenders prepared to stop the 6-foot-5, 255-pound Okwuegbunam? Or can No. 81 be the terror other teams have come to know since he stepped foot in Columbia?
Edge: Florida pass defenders