1. How does the return to Faurot Field affect Missouri?
There will have been 35 days in between home games for Missouri when it welcomes Florida on Saturday. That’s a long time without hearing T.I.’s “Bring ‘Em Out” as the Tigers jog out of the South End Zone and onto Faurot Field for a game. Missouri is 5-0 at home and 0-4 playing in any other venue. Is that the great equalizer as the Tigers’ good fortunes return for a victory over the No. 11 Gators? Or do Missouri’s last three games on the road more resemble the team that plays with an early kickoff against Florida? A strong effort could help change the narrative.
2. How close to 100% is Kelly Bryant?
It’s been one of the main storylines for the Tigers over the past several weeks: How is Kelly Bryant holding up? Ever since the lower-body hit Bryant took during the second quarter against Troy, there have been questions about the Clemson transfer’s health and how it could limit his ability. After missing the loss against Georgia, Missouri head coach Barry Odom has maintained that he expects Bryant to “play and play well” against Florida. He mentioned Wednesday that Bryant is as close to 100% as he’s been in recent weeks, but only his play will truly prove that.
3. Does Florida have revenge on its mind?
Over the past two seasons, Missouri has beaten the Gators twice by a combined 50 points, including a 21-point thrashing in The Swamp last season that started Missouri’s hot streak to end 2018. Just like the past two editions of this matchup, it’s well-placed to have key ramifications for both teams. A loss for Florida hands Georgia a place in the Southeastern Conference title game and ends the Gators' already-slim odds of a national title. A loss for Missouri brings it to an even record with two games left in the season without reaching the six-win threshold.
4. Has waiting for the NCAA’s decision taken a toll?
The NCAA formally heard Missouri’s appeal of sanctions, including a bowl ban, in mid-July. In the lead-up to the Florida game, four months later, Missouri still doesn’t know its fate beyond Nov. 29. It could play itself out of a bowl game regardless with three straight losses to end the regular season, but with Arkansas still on the schedule, that doesn’t appear likely. Nobody within the program expected to wait until November to hear the result of the appeal. The uncertainty inevitably looms somewhere in each MU player’s mind.
5. Does the Tigers’ defense continue to be consistent?
While the Missouri offense has scored 21 points in the past three games combined, the Tigers' defense limited Georgia to two touchdowns last week. Now Florida comes to town after putting up 56 points on Vanderbilt. Kyle Trask, Lamical Perine and Kyle Pitts present a daunting challenge for MU to deal with. Can Missouri limit a Florida team capable of scoring in bunches? Missouri has allowed just 12 points per home game this year. The Tigers look to pull off a similar mark against Florida to give themselves a chance.