Notebook: Dan Mullen previews Missouri

Injury Notes

Brad Stewart injured his left knee against Vanderbilt and never returned to the game. He did return to the sideline with a brace on the knee but Dan Mullen said the training staff gave him a good prognosis and that he is expecting him to play Saturday.

Jabari Zuniga (ankle) was held out against Vanderbilt with the hope that he would be able to play against Missouri.

Brett Heggie missed the game last week against Vanderbilt with a concussion. He is expected to be able to practice this week and play against Missouri.

Florida started freshman Ethan White in his place and Mullen spoke highly of the freshman making his first start.

“I just think a lot of it was, I mean he was able to stay relaxed and stay confident. He prepared the right way, played with confidence and I thought he played really well.”

Missouri at home
The Tigers come into this game 5-4 and 2-3 in the SEC. All of their losses have come on the road, while all five wins have come at home at Memorial Stadium. Missouri is a completely different team at home.

When playing at Memorial Stadium the Tigers are scoring 40.4 points per game as apposed to just 13 on the road. Their defense is giving up an average of just 11.6 points-per-game at home but more than four touchdowns a game on the road.

“They’re a team that plays with a lot of confidence at home and has played extremely well this season,” Mullen said. “Got some talented guys on defense, I think they have an excellent defense, can create a lot of problems for you, give you a lot of different looks in what they do defensively. Obviously, offensively, they have some good skill position, great tight end, great running back, good offensive line, they’re able to be balanced.”

Kadarius Toney
Since returning from a shoulder injury the Gators have tried to work Kadarius Toney back into the mix, however, he only has three touches in those two games. Mullen was asked about getting Toney more involved.

“We found a couple different ways the other day, you know. We have him in the pass game, getting it. The thing is we have a lot of depth at receiver. And as you guys have seen, it’s not always in the pass game. It’s like, ‘Ok, just get this guy the ball.’ We kind of take what the defense gives. It’s not like we have a lot of plays that are designed just to get a specific receiver the ball. We have ways to move people around to where we can expect to get them the ball, but still, if they give you a certain coverage — we call this play, the ball is going to go here, or if they run this defense, it will go here, of this defense, it will go there – so we try to do the different things I think we did the other day. Move him into the backfield, throw him a reverse pitch, try to get him a screen, those type of things. We saw the other day, when he gets the ball, exciting things happen.”

Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC