The Florida Gators need to win one of their last two games to qualify for a bowl game this season. Their first shot at bowl eligibility comes in Columbia, Missouri, against the Mizzou Tigers. How does Mizzou finish out the year strong?
Pinnell: I think for Mizzou, what would qualify as a successful end of this season, you have Florida and you have Arkansas: I know where Florida's been this year, but Missouri has been equally as interesting. They played close against Vanderbilt. The same team that Florida, when they were clicking, if you want to call it clicking Obviously, you have Georgia in between but they beat Vanderbilt, and then they beat South Carolina. I think making a bowl game, just picking up a win, you gotta do it against Florida or Arkansas. I think more Missouri fans are confident, as confident as you can be if you're a Missouri fan, against Florida versus going to Arkansas, even though Missouri's beaten them the Razorbacks each of the past like five seasons.
So pick up a win, become bowl eligible. End this season on a strong note. The Tigers are led on offense by running back Tyler Badie. He le the SEC in rushing by over yards and averages 6.
What about his game is so effective, and how can Florida contain him? Pinnell: Badie has been the best part of this Missouri team, the most fun player to watch. Obviously, last year it was Nick Bolton, this year to Tyler Badie.
You always had a feeling with him… He's been behind Larry Roundtree the past few seasons, now really stepping into his own. I think the question going into the season was would he step into that role? He was utilized as more of a pass-catching running back out in the backfield than a workhorse back, and so this season has been awesome to see his development.
I know Drinkwitz talked [Tuesday]. He said he Badie is responsible for like five wins… He's been impressive… Badie has been so great, one he has great speed.
He's still obviously a good pass catcher. So if you send too many people at whoever Missouri starts at quarterback on Saturday, you at least have Badie as an option out of the backfield. He's been able to run it up the gut, run it down the sides, for most of these games. He was relatively quiet against South Carolina, and then that final drive, Missouri just needed to run out the clock, and they had about four minutes to do so.
He had a few runs of plus yards, and so the Tigers can rely on him to do something with the ball. Now, there's been times where he's had quiet games, where he's gone for maybe 50 yards in the game and doesn't do much.
But when he goes off, he goes off for over yards. It's just been impressive to see the way he's been utilized in both the running game and in the passing game a little bit. How can Florida hope to contain him? I think if you sell out on him, you can stop him. You look at the receivers that Missouri has… The receivers are good, not great.
So, I think if you slow down Tyler Badie, and the way to do that, obviously, you stack the box. I mean, I'd rather stack the box against Missouri than a team that has enough threats to cover It's not like you're stacking the box against Georgia, when they have the wide receivers they have, or insert your pick of better wide receivers in the conference.
Missouri has a solid wide receiver room. It's better than last year and it's going to take another step forward next year with Luther Burden No. I think if you're Florida it's pretty simple: Just stop them on the ground.
The only thing with Badie is he's really well-rounded as a running back. He does everything really well. He's not like great, great… like he's not going to create his own space and create his own play like that. His ceiling if he goes off in the game is really high, so he's just really well rounded.
You can't just take away the run game and take Tyler Badie away because then he'll be an option in the passing game, get him going that way. So that's the hardest part about dealing with him. While Badie gets the attention that he deserves, the Mizzou passing offense has also put up some s this season. Quarterback Connor Bazelak is fourth in the conference in passing yards and fifth in completion percentage.
What is his biggest strength as a passer? Pinnell: I don't know if you're gonna see Bazelak on Saturday…I know you're gonna probably quote me on that…Now, I think there's a better-than-average chance he starts, but Drinkwitz pulled Bazelak on the last drive of the game [last week] after an interception he threw and Brady Cook finished it.
He was asked about that. He kind of downplayed it; he was just talking about Bazelak still recovering from a soft tissue injury he picked up against Vanderbilt, they needed some like a quarterback who can run or someone who can use some legs.
So that was kind of interesting. It was a very interesting situation. I've always said it when talking about Bazelak; he has a solid floor, but he does not inspire me. I think it just goes back to nothing's flashy.
So, there's a lot of highs and lows with him, like he's made some good plays, he's a good game manager, Eliah Drinkwitz trusts him… He's had a lot of good games. But when he's bad, there's been some really questionable interceptions. What should Florida be trying to expose Saturday? Pinnell: If you were to have asked me this question a few weeks ago, I would have been a lot more down on this team than I am right now. They held Georgia to a three-and-out on their first drive; that doesn't happen often.
Georgia's first touchdown was a beautiful pass from Stetson Bennett, 35 yards, that was on fourth down and six or something like that, so Missouri almost had a fourth down stop on their second drive. Then you go into that South Carolina game, you have a fumble recovered in the endzone for a touchdown, you have a couple of interceptions, two interceptions wiped off the board.
It was their best defensive game since week one against Central Michigan… So I think right now, I'm definitely more positive about the defense. There's times where the tackling has been an issue. There's times when Missouri concedes third and 12s, 3rd and 10s, 3rd and longs. If you're Florida, I honestly think you got to at least try running the ball to start, see where the Missouri defense is at. If they sell out on the run, there'll be options to kind of attack there. Missouri, when they face rushing quarterbacks in addition to a running back, they can barely handle their running back.
So if [Emory] Jones is going to pull the ball down, I fully expect him to scramble for a good amount of yards. Maybe some deed runs if you're just Dan Mullen to try and throw Missouri off a little bit. I think that can be an option for Florida. The defense hasn't been great, but they are coming off their best defense. One thing I'd be interested to see is how much momentum is a real thing on that side of the ball…If you're Florida, it's not going to be the toughest defense.
Obviously, the s speak for themselves. The only thing I'd be cognizant of is that momentum that the unit has going into this game. See, I think if Missouri gets a couple of three-and-outs to start this game, it can give them confidence, but if Florida breaks something from the first drive, it could be a long afternoon. What effect do you think the Columbia crowd will have on the game? Florida has just one road win victory this season, and it came in Tampa against USF. How will traveling to Mizzou affect the outcome of the game?
Pinnell: I think this is exactly what you want if you're Florida.
Thanksgiving break starts on Friday, so there's gonna be a lot of students home. It's gonna be dead.
It's also not going to be that cold. It's going to be 55 — I guess it's cold in Florida standards — like overcast and It's going to be cold, but it's going to be good football weather. Most students are going to be home, especially because this isn't a football-crazy school like a Georgia or maybe even a Florida where you're going to have a lot of people stick around and then go home on Sunday. People are leaving on Friday. So I think if you're Florida, this is a good time for this game…But I think if you're not used to playing in front of that type of crowd, I think it'll be a good crowd.
I don't want to completely discourage the Missouri fanbase, but it's not gonna be rocking. It's kind of like the US Soccer team playing in Jamaica, right? It's gonna be weird if you're used to, like, half the environment you have…It is an interesting environment. I think if you're the road team, it's going to be a little harder to pick up some momentum just because it's a dead atmosphere too.
Pinnell: Like I said earlier on, I think Missouri fans, if you had to ask them if they're going to beat either Florida at home or Arkansas on the road… I think Florida is more up in the air. And so, I just don't know. So for me, I don't know…I don't think Missouri really wins Independent classified escort girls Missouri game. I think it's going to be somewhere in the range of like a 42 to 38 type game, and I think Florida wins, but Missouri covers.
At the end of the day. I think it's pretty high scoring, and I think it's gonna be not a lot of defense. But I could also see Missouri winning this…I will say Florida will win this game. It's easier for me to see Missouri winning this game than beating Arkansas in a week. He has a minor in business and leadership and is a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars fan. ZIP: