Sep 26, 2020; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts (84) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Mississippi Rebels during the second half  at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

No. 10 Gators return as Mizzou’s latest ranked foe

After facing its toughest challenge of the season, No. 10 Florida returns to playing football Saturday night.

The Gators, sidelined since Oct. 10 due to a COVID-19 outbreak following a loss at Texas A&M, will host Southeastern Conference foe Missouri in Gainesville, Fla.

“It’s been two weeks since we’ve practiced. It’ll be three weeks between games. That’s not kind of a normal deal,” Gators coach Dan Mullen said Monday. “Usually when you have that break, you’re playing a bowl game, and you have a very different set schedule.”

Mullen, who suffered mild COVID symptoms, said he and the Gators (2-1, 2-1 SEC) were treating this week as one coming off a bye. A big difference, however, is that he won’t be sure which players will be available until gameday morning. ESPN has reported that at least 26 Florida players tested positive.

“The league says if you have 53 (players) you got to play,” Mullen said. “I’m sure we’ll have 53 guys be able to play.”

Redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask (74 of 103, 996 yards, one interception) has thrown for 14 touchdowns and averages 332 yards through three games, sixth best in the country. Junior tight end Kyle Pitts (17 catches, 274 yards, seven TDs) creates a difficult matchup for defenses.

“They split him out. They use him like in the NFL,” first-year Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said Tuesday. “They line him up, single receiver to the weak side and make you isolate him with no underneath coverage.”

Pitts’ seven touchdowns are third most in the country, leading all tight ends in major college football.

Defensively, the Gators have allowed 33.3 points a game after beating Mississippi (51-35) and South Carolina (38-24), and losing at Texas A&M (41-38).

Mullen said he was seeking “consistency of play” from a unit surrendering 495 yards per game.

“We’re gonna keep looking at different things,” Mullen said. “Obviously, (the break) gave time to research it, spend time on it, find ways to make sure our best 11 guys are out there on the field.”

The Tigers (2-2, 2-2), who originally had been scheduled to visit The Swamp last week before the outbreak, are coming off a 20-10 home victory against Kentucky. Florida will be Missouri’s fourth ranked opponent in five games.

Through opening losses to Alabama (38-19) and Tennessee (35-12), and victories against LSU (45-41) and Kentucky, Missouri has surrendered 365 yards per game overall, 243 of it through the air. Junior linebacker Nick Bolton leads the team with 43 tackles, including 32 solo.

Senior Larry Rountree III has rushed for 396 yards (4.6 average) and three scores. Redshirt freshman quarterback Connor Bazelak has completed 70.7 percent of his passes for 893 yards, four TDs, and one INT.

“I think he did an outstanding job on third downs (against Kentucky),” Drinkwitz said of his QB, who was 21-for-30 for 201 yards. “He was incredibly efficient on third downs, finding the right decisions and taking off running when he needed to.”

Still, the coach cited three plays on which Bazelak made poor choices.

“The issue is, when you’re a quarterback, those three plays could be the difference in the game,” Drinkwitz said. “It’s not like you can make a 90 on the test and still win the game.”

Florida will wear retro uniforms consisting of blue jerseys, white pants, black shoes and blue helmets with the classic orange “F” in a white orange-lined circle. The uniforms are similar to those worn during Steve Spurrier’s time as Gators quarterback in the 1960s.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Upcoming Games

Aug 28th, 1:00 PM

Nebraska -9.5 -110

Illinois +9.5 -110

@

Aug 28th, 3:30 PM

Hawaii

UCLA

@

Aug 28th, 3:33 PM

UCONN

Fresno State

@

Aug 28th, 3:33 PM

UTEP

New Mexico State

@

Aug 28th, 10:00 PM

Southern Utah

San Jose State (24)

@

Sep 1st, 7:30 PM

UAB

Jacksonville State

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Weber State

Utah

@

Sep 2nd, 3:33 PM

Houston Baptist

New Mexico

@

Sep 2nd, 6:30 PM

Temple

Rutgers

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

LIU

Florida International (FIU)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Western Illinois

Ball State (23)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

The Citadel

Coastal Carolina (14)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Wagner

Buffalo (25)

@

Sep 2nd, 7:00 PM

Boise State

UCF

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

USF

NC State

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

UC Davis

Tulsa

@

Sep 2nd, 7:30 PM

East Carolina

Appalachian State

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Ohio State (2)

Minnesota

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Bowling Green

Tennessee

@

Sep 2nd, 8:00 PM

Tennessee-Martin

WKU

@

Sep 2nd, 10:00 PM

Eastern Washington

UNLV

@

Sep 2nd, 10:30 PM

Southern Utah

Arizona State

@

Sep 3rd, 6:00 PM

North Carolina (18) -6 -110

Virginia Tech +6 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

St. Francis-PA

Eastern Michigan

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Old Dominion

Wake Forest

@

Sep 3rd, 7:00 PM

Duke

Charlotte

@

Sep 3rd, 8:00 PM

South Dakota

Kansas

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Northern Colorado

Colorado

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

Michigan State +7.5 -110

Northwestern (10) -7.5 -110

@

Sep 3rd, 9:00 PM

South Dakota State

Colorado State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Colgate

Boston College

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Louisiana-Monroe

Kentucky

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Army

Georgia State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Stanford

Kansas State

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Holy Cross

UCONN

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Oklahoma (6)

Tulane

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Western Michigan +17 -110

Michigan -17 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Penn State +4.5 -110

Wisconsin -4.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 12:00 PM

Fordham

Nebraska

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Fresno State

Oregon

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Rice

Arkansas

@

Sep 4th, 2:00 PM

Lafayette

Air Force

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Northern Iowa

Iowa State (9)

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Alabama (1) -19 -110

Miami-FL (22) +19 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Miami-OH

Cincinnati (8)

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Marshall

Navy

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

Indiana (12) +6.5 -110

Iowa (16) -6.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 3:30 PM

West Virginia

Maryland

@

Sep 4th, 3:33 PM

Portland State

Hawaii

@

Sep 4th, 3:33 PM

Montana State

Wyoming

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Central Michigan

Missouri

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

LA Tech

Mississippi State

@

Sep 4th, 4:00 PM

Massachusetts

Pittsburgh

@

Sep 4th, 4:30 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette (15)

Texas (19)

@

Sep 4th, 5:00 PM

San Jose State (24)

USC (21)

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Campbell

Liberty (17)

@

Sep 4th, 6:00 PM

Gardner-Webb

Georgia Southern

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Eastern Illinois

South Carolina

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Akron

Auburn

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Southern University

Troy

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Missouri State

Oklahoma State (20)

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Monmouth-New Jersey

Middle Tennessee

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Baylor

Texas State

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Syracuse

Ohio

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Central Arkansas

Arkansas State

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Norfolk State

Toledo

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Texas Tech

Houston

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Nicholls State

Memphis

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Abilene Christian

SMU

@

Sep 4th, 7:00 PM

Oregon State +6 -110

Purdue -6 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Georgia (7) +3.5 -110

Clemson (3) -3.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Florida Atlantic

Florida (13)

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

NIU

Georgia Tech

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

Northwestern State

North Texas

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

William & Mary

Virginia

@

Sep 4th, 7:30 PM

UTSA +7.5 -110

Illinois -7.5 -110

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Montana

Washington

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

East Tennessee State

Vanderbilt

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Kent State

Texas A&M (4)

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Southern Miss

South Alabama

@

Sep 4th, 8:00 PM

Duquesne

TCU

@

Sep 4th, 8:30 PM

LSU -4 -110

UCLA +4 -110

@

Sep 4th, 9:00 PM

Bethune-Cookman

UTEP

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

Nevada

California

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

BYU (11)

Arizona

@

Sep 4th, 10:30 PM

New Mexico State

San Diego State

@

Sep 4th, 11:00 PM

Utah State

Washington State

@