Missouri will be in for a challenge this weekend as it hosts Florida.
The Gators are second in the conference in sacks (18), and possess one of the most athletic defenses in a conference full of athletic defenses. Simply put, the task of protecting true freshman signal-caller Drew Lock will be immense.
"Florida's defense is about as solid as I've seen in a long time. They've got good pass rushers. They've got great linebackers. They've got great secondary guys," said Mizzou quarterbacks coach Andy Hill. "It's a heck of a challenge. You turn the film on and you're hoping they're not as good as they were on TV Saturday night. And I was sadly mistaken."
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Offensive line coach A.J. Ricker has also been impressed with the demeanor of Florida's defensive efforts. This effort truly does lend itself to the terrific sack total thus far on the year.
"They've always had talent, but it seems like this year, and I'm not knocking on any coach, but these guys are swarming," said Ricker. "They're playing super hard. [Antonio Morrison] is going to try and knock your heard off, and [Jarrad Davis]. You've got to love it. It's a freaking challenge."
Look for Missouri to try and minimize Florida's pass rush with quick throws. The faster Lock can get the ball out of his hands on accurate looks, the less of a chance he takes a vicious shot. The screen game with Ish Witter and Russell Hansbrough could also be a shrewd mechanism in slowing down the likes of Florida defensive ends Alex McCalister, CeCe Jefferson, and Jonathan Bullard.