The Missouri Tigers will be taking a trip to Gainesville to take on the No. 7 ranked Florida Gators this Saturday in one of the most hostile environments known to college football, "The Swamp." This Florida team is coming off of its first defeat of the season in a tough loss to Georgia and will certainly be looking for revenge against Missouri.
There are a few things Tigers fans should know if they plan to make the trip down to Gainsville on Saturday.
1. Blue and Orange Chant
During the game, half of the stadium chants "blue," while the other chants "orange." It is very similar to the "Miz-Zou" chant.
2. "We Are the Boys"
During the course of the game, Gators fans will put hands over each other's shoulders and sway while will sing "We Are the Boys."
3. The Gator Chomp
If this happens, this means things haven't been going well for Missouri. It happens before games as the "Jaws" theme is played and after big plays or a win.
Just how tough is it to play at "The Swamp?"
Florida is 126-20, winning 86 percent of its games since 1990 - one of the best records in the country. The Gators win a majority of these games with an average attendance at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium of over 90,000, which doesn't make matters any easier. The Tigers will certainly have all they can handle on Saturday.
With the crowd playing a factor, Missouri will have to figure out a way to get the offense moving against the 4th-ranked defense in the country. Defensive end Ronald Powell, who led the Gators in sacks last year, will be looking for James Franklin throughout the game. On the offensive side of the ball, Florida has weapons behind the arm of Jeff Driskel, who has thrown for 1,120 yards and eight touchdowns, and running back Mike Gillislee, who has rushed for 729 yards on the ground with seven touchdowns so far.
Missouri can find a way to escape "The Swamp'" with a win if James Franklin can finally get this offense moving down the field. If he is 100 percent, look for Missouri to integrate more runs from Franklin along with running back Kendial Lawrence. To be effective, Franklin has to find a way to keep Florida on its heels by establishing a solid running game and hitting targets downfield in Lucas, Moe, and Green-Beckham. The Missouri defense will need to stop the running game and force Florida to pass. By doing so, there will be more opportunities for Richardson and Sam to put pressure on Jeff Driskell. The task will not be easy.
Missouri faces a huge test this week as it tries to take one step closer to bowl eligibility. The Tigers have some momentum coming off of their first SEC win in school history, and a win at Florida will certainly help this Missouri football team gain more respect in the SEC. However, the history shows that not many teams survive "The Swamp."