Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hungry Gators; Missouri Will Face a Florida Team That Must Win after Loss to Georgia

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hungry Gators; Missouri Will Face a Florida Team That Must Win after Loss to Georgia

Article excerpt

If Florida wants to retain any hope of winning the East Division in the Southeastern Conference, the Gators must beat Missouri on Saturday in The Swamp. The Tigers can count on facing an angry and determined bunch.

Florida was pursuing Alabama at the top of the BCS standings when its offense fell flat against Georgia, committing six turnovers and finishing with 266 yards. - Georgia focused on stopping Florida's vastly improved running game, and the Bulldogs succeeded by holding the Gators, who dropped to eighth in the rankings, to 81 yards and 2.0 yards a carry.

"I don't think we ran the ball well enough," Florida coach Will Muschamp told reporters. "When you become one-dimensional it gets hard. ... We have to find better ways to run, which we've done in seven of eight games this year."

Despite the bad day, Florida is still 34th in the country and fourth in the SEC in rushing at 196 yards a game. Missouri will enter with a run defense that ranks 41st nationally.

Before facing Georgia, Florida was plus-11 on turnovers for the season. But the Gators lost four fumbles and threw two interceptions, all of which led to 10 points in their 17-9 loss.

"We're not a team that has a lot of margin for error," Muschamp said, adding, "We're just not quite explosive enough offensively to overcome six turnovers."

Florida will have to make some adjustments this week because of injuries. The offense lost receiver Solomon Patton, who had become a weapon in the running game, to a broken arm.

Defensive lineman Damien Jacobs missed the game with a hip injury, and linebacker Jelani Jenkins aggravated a hamstring.

"I said in the locker room, 'You've won well together and now we have to find a way to handle adversity,' " Muschamp said. "We've done that very well in my time."

WHERE'S THE BIG TEN

Wisconsin's home loss to Michigan State left the Badgers at 3-2 in the Big Ten, but the third-place Badgers remain the Leaders Division's likely representative for the conference championship game because Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible. …

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