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Florida's defense is the early-season havoc king. Is the Mizzou offense ready?

Let's peruse the Florida defensive depth chart!

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Cece Jefferson (6'1, 270, Fr.) -- 9.5 tackles, 1 TFL (0.5 sacks), 1 PBU, 1 FR
Jordan Sherit (6'4, 250, So.) -- 6.5 tackles

Joey Ivie (6'3, 290, Jr.) -- 10.0 tackles, 3 TFL (3 sacks), 1 FF
Taven Bryan (6'5, 290, RSFr.) -- 3.0 tackles, 1.5 TFL (0.5 sacks)
Khairi Clark (6'2, 321, RSFr.) -- 1.0 tackles

Jon Bullard (6'3, 280, Sr.) -- 22.0 tackles, 9.5 TFL (4.5 sacks), 1 PBU
Caleb Brantley (6'2, 303, So.) -- 6.0 tackles, 2.5 TFL (1 sack)

Bryan Cox, Jr. (6'3, 265, Jr.) -- 7.5 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR
Alex McCalister (6'6, 235, Jr.) -- 11.0 tackles, 6.5 TFL (4 sacks), 1 FF, 2 FR

Geoff Collins' Gator defense isn't amazing at any one thing (in terms of the opponent-adjusted stats, anyway), but it's aggressive as hell. They are willing to risk big plays with the knowledge that they will make more of them than you do, and they can be this aggressive because the defensive front is both active and sturdy. Six different linemen have made at least 1.5 TFLs each, and Jon Bullard is as quick and active as any defensive tackle in the SEC. You don't usually see tackles that lead the team in sacks.

Florida rains havoc on you. The Gators make more havoc plays -- tackles for loss, passes defensed, forced fumbles -- than anybody else in the country. They're active in the front and back. And that means Missouri's offensive line is going to be the key to any chance the Tigers have of winning. We saw nice progress up front last week, and now here comes a much larger challenge.

Antonio Morrison (6'1, 234, Sr.) -- 25.5 tackles, 6.5 TFL (1.5 sacks), 1 PBU
Anthony Harrell (6'2, 237, Sr.)

Jarrad Davis (6'2, 232, Jr.) -- 28.5 tackles, 6.5 TFL (1 sack), 2 PBU
Daniel McMillian (6'1, 216, Jr.)

Florida's injury list is pretty small, but it's affected the linebacker two-deep as much as anything -- backups Alex Anzalone and Jeremi Powell are both questionable and were unlisted on this week's depth chart. But that's fine; Morrison and Davis are awfully good. The depth gets shaky awfully fast, but that really only matters if there's an injury. Mizzou's not operating at a breakneck pace, so it's not like Morrison and Davis are going to wear down.

And if you are trying to figure out why Morrison's name rings a bell ... well ... I bet I know.

Vernon Hargreaves III (5'11, 200, Jr.) -- 14.5 tackles, 3 INT, 1 PBU
Deiondre Porter (6'0, 178, RSFr.) -- 1.5 tackles

Quincy Wilson (6'1, 210, So.) -- 9.5 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PBU
Jalen Tabor (6'0, 197, So.) -- 9.5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 4 PBU

Keanu Neal (6'1, 215, Jr.) -- 21.5 tackles, 1.5 TFL (1 sack), 1 PBU, 1 FF
Marcell Harris (6'1, 211, So.) -- 9.0 tackles

Marcus Maye (6'0, 210, Jr.) -- 24.5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU, 3 FF
Nick Washington (6'0, 189, So.) -- 9.0 tackles, 0.5 TFL

Brian Poole (5'10, 208, Sr.) -- 13.0 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 6 PBU
Duke Dawson (5'11, 203, So.) -- 3.5 tackles, 1 FF

From my Florida preview this offseason: "The secondary might be the nation's best. If you face a third-and-long, just punt. It's better than an interception." Florida 'only' ranks 20th in Passing S&P+, so maybe it's not the nation's best, but it's really, really good. Vernon Hargreaves III continues to be absolutely ridiculous, and when opponents turn to the side of the field that Hargreaves isn't occupying, Quincy Wilson and Jalen Tabor have been mostly ready to make plays. ECU's Blake Kemp was able to find a little bit of success against the Gators with Hargreaves out (34-for-54, 333 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 129.4 passer rating), but ... well, Hargreaves isn't out. Tennessee briefly found some success, but ... remember how good Kentucky's Patrick Towles was against Mizzou? He was 8-for-24 with two picks against the Gators.

South Carolina's defense isn't wretched, but moving from SC to Florida is going to be a serious "taking the training wheels off" experience for Drew Lock. And hey, maybe he's ready. He better be, anyway.

Special Teams

Jorge Powell (5'10, 171, RSFr.) -- 6-7 PAT, 2-2 FG under 40; 13 kickoffs, 6 touchbacks
Austin Hardin (5'10, 205, Jr.) -- 13-14 PAT, 3-6 FG under 40; 20 kickoffs, 15 touchbacks

Johnny Townsend (6'1, 200, So.) -- 24 punts, 45.0 average, 6 fair caught, 7 inside the 20

Brandon Powell (5'9, 185, So.) -- 13 KR, 20.8 average (long: 39)

Antonio Callaway (5'11, 206, Fr.) -- 10 PR, 9.9 average (long: 37)
Brandon Powell (5'9, 185, So.) -- 1 PR, 0 yards

With Jorge Powell taking over for Austin Hardin (who missed three FGs against ECU and Kentucky) in the kicking game, it appears this unit has solidified a bit. Punter Johnny Townsend's got a booming leg, Powell's solid, Hardin's still an awesome kickoffs guy, and at the least, returns aren't a liability. Powell and Callaway haven't taken any return to the house yet, but they've got the jets to do so.

Field position's going to be a pretty vital thing in this game; whatever Townsend does in the punting game, it's pretty vital that Corey Fatony matches him.