October 6, 2015

Florida Gators

   Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |

  Florida has dealt with some ups and downs in its transition under first-year head coach Jim McElwain.

But following a stunning 38-10 upset win over No. 3 Ole Miss at The Swamp, the Gators (5-0. 3-0 SEC) will learn to deal with something new success.

No doubt, Florida will take some swagger into its game Saturday at Missouri. The Gators jumped 14 spots to No. 11 in this week's AP poll and are the only undefeated team left atop the SEC East division.

But there's a difference between confidence and overconfidence. McElwain even referenced the 1960s hit "Red Rubber Ball" by the band The Cyrkle to wonder whether his team will be a one-hit wonder or will maintain its edge.

"I don't think we are, but we'll find out this week," McElwain said.

Missouri, the two-time defending SEC East champs, improved to 4-1 (1-1 SEC) following a 24-10 win last week over South Carolina. The Tigers will start true freshman quarterback Drew Lock for the second straight week due to a suspension to starting QB Maty Mauk. Missouri has struggled offensively this season, but ranks first in the SEC in passing defense (154.2 yards allowed per game) and first in total defense (263.6 yards allowed per game).

"They're a little bit under the radar," McElwain said. "No one has knocked them off. It'll be really interesting to see how our guys approach this week, what they learned from the past, to see how we approach this opportunity on Saturday."

Florida has played four of its first five at home. In their lone road win, Florida's offense struggled, but came away with a 14-9 win at Kentucky. But senior tight end Jake McGee said Florida's confidence is growing on offense behind redshirt freshman QB Will Grier, who threw for four TDs in the Ole Miss win.

"We know what we've got in this locker room," McGee said. "And there's a lot of talent in this building. And it's one of those things where we keep it, build on it, hear the noise but (we're trying to) get this Florida brand where it's supposed to be.