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A sturdy, disciplined defense can control the Florida offense. Is Mizzou sturdy and disciplined?

A look at Florida’s offensive depth chart in anticipation of Saturday’s UF-Mizzou matchup.

NCAA Football: North Texas at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We kind of know what we’re getting when the Mizzou offense faces the Florida defense. We can hope for advantages, a couple of big passes, etc., but we know what the battle is going to look like, at least.

We have very little idea what will happen when Florida’s offense goes against Missouri’s defense. We know that the play-calling will be designed to take heat off of a new/young quarterback — UF rushes only 53 percent of the time on standard downs (99th) but 40 percent on passing downs (29th). We know that, overall, the Gators will run the ball as much as they’re allowed to. And if they establish a rhythm with it, they’ll kill you with the play-action deep ball.

What we don’t know, however, is how well this approach will work.


  • Luke Del Rio (6’1, 211, So.) — 62-for-101 (61%), 762 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT, 1 sack (7.4 yards per attempt); 7 carries, 26 yards (3.7) OR
  • Austin Appleby (6’4, 240, Sr.) — 44-for-72 (61%), 470 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 4 sacks (5.9 yards per attempt); 7 carries, 47 yards (6.7)

Del Rio went down late in a mediocre win over North Texas. Against UMass and UNT, he completed 43 of 69 passes (a solid 62 percent), but for only 442 yards and a 122.8 passer rating.

Against Kentucky, though, he had been fantastic: 19-for-32 (59 percent) for 320 yards, four touchdowns, one pick, and a 178.4 rating. For frame of reference, that’s basically halfway between Drew Lock’s performances against Georgia (153.9) and EMU (211.6).

One assumes we’ll see a concerted effort to keep Del Rio safe and comfortable. That means lots of short passes on first downs and between-the-tackles running. (If you watched the Mizzou-LSU game film, you’d probably decide to run a lot, too.) How well will it work?

In Del Rio’s absence, the well quickly dried up. Florida bolted to a 21-0 halftime lead against Tennessee, but in the last six quarters (two against UT, four against Vanderbilt), they scored just 20 points. They should be better than that with Del Rio, but it’s unclear how much better.

NCAA Football: North Texas at Florida
Luke Del Rio
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

  • Jordan Scarlett (5’10, 213, So.) — 55 carries, 274 yards (5.0), 4 TD; 3 targets, 2 catches, 9 yards (3.0) OR
  • Mark Thompson (6’2, 237, Jr.) — 47 carries, 197 yards (4.2), 2 TD; 2 targets, 0 catches OR
  • Jordan Cronkrite (5’11, 204, So.) — 23 carries, 106 yards (4.6), 1 TD; 15 targets, 11 catches, 71 yards (4.7), 1 TD OR
  • Lamical Perine (5’11, 220, Fr.) — 37 carries, 194 yards (5.2), 1 TD; 2 targets, 2 catches, 57 yards (28.5), 1 TD

This foursome of young backs has combined for 4.8 yards per carry and 154.2 yards per game. The carries have been split rather evenly overall, but in the last two games, against UT and Vandy, Scarlett received the most carries. He had 10 for 44 against UT and 12 for 55 against Vandy — not great.

Overall, UF ranks 98th in Rushing S&P+ — 38th in rushing success rate (efficiency) and 121st in rushing IsoPPP (explosiveness). This can be an efficient run game even if it doesn’t produce big plays; will Mizzou let the Gators establish the run, or will this be more like the Mizzou D that mostly shut down Georgia’s running game?

NCAA Football: Florida at Vanderbilt
Jordan Scarlett
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Receiving Corps


  • Antonio Callaway (5’11, 197, So.) — 32 targets, 20 catches, 371 yards (11.6), 2 TD
  • C.J. Worton (6’0, 196, Jr.) — 7 targets, 4 catches, 45 yards (6.4)
  • Chris Thompson (6’0, 170, Sr.) — 1 target, 0 catches


  • Josh Hammond (6’1, 186, Fr.) — 11 targets, 8 catches, 118 yards (10.7)
  • Freddie Swain (6’0, 186, Fr.) — 7 targets, 6 catches, 74 yards (10.6), 2 TD
  • Unlisted: Brandon Powell (5’9, 184, Jr.) — 28 targets, 19 catches, 168 yards (6.0), 2 TD


  • DeAndre Goolsby (6’4, 244, Jr.) — 31 targets, 22 catches, 175 yards (5.7), 1 TD OR
  • C’yontai Lewis (6’4, 231, So.) — 12 targets, 6 catches, 57 yards (4.8)
  • Moral Stephens (6’3, 249, So.) — 2 targets, 1 catch, 14 yards OR
  • Camrin Knight (6’3, 246, So.)

Brandon Powell wasn’t listed on the depth chart but is evidently listed as probable for Saturday. We’ll see. Powell is a slippery dude who allows Florida to better establish a short passing game if healthy; with Del Rio behind center for three games, Powell caught 14 of 20 passes for 136 yards.

Regardless of Powell’s status (and honestly, his backups, Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain have done just fine for the most part), the go-tos are Antonio Callaway and DeAndre Goolsby. Goolsby caught eight of nine passes against Vandy, albeit for just 37 yards; Callaway, meanwhile, was incredible in the other two SEC games. Against UK and UT, he caught nine of 16 passes for 263 yards.

Callaway isn’t a big, imposing receiver; his battle with Aarion Penton could be fascinating. And telling.

NCAA Football: Florida at Tennessee
Antonio Callaway
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line


  • David Sharpe (6’6, 357, Jr.)
  • Kavaris Harkless (6’5, 310, So.)


  • Martez Ivey (6’5, 305, So.)
  • Nick Buchanan (6’2, 301, RSFr.) OR
  • Brandon Sandifer (6’3, 323, RSFr.)


  • Cam Dillard (6’4, 313, Jr.)
  • T.J. McCoy (6’1, 308, RSFr.)


  • Tyler Jordan (6’4, 309, So.) OR
  • Fred Johnson (6’6, 311, So.)
  • Richard Desir-Jones (6’4, 292, RSFr.)


  • Jawaan Taylor (6’5, 340, Fr.) OR
  • Fred Johnson (6’6, 311, So.)

Sharpe was injured against Vanderbilt and is currently listed as questionable for Saturday.

Florida ranks 32nd in Adj. Sack Rate, a product of the quick-passing-on-early-downs style offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has clearly tried to implement for his potentially iffy quarterbacks. But this rebuilt line hasn’t done the job on the ground — the Gators rank 106th in Adj. Line Yards and 78th in opportunity rate. You aren’t penetrating the line very well (UF ranks a healthy 17th in stuff rate), but they aren’t opening huge holes.

We’ve heard a lot about discipline and gap integrity this year, and we’ve heard a lot about it since the LSU game. Discipline and sturdy play could go a long way toward rendering Florida one-dimensional. This isn’t a scary run game, but if it’s working, the Gators will ride it.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Florida
Martez Ivey, Jordan Scarlett, and defensive lineman Bryan Cox
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports