Last meeting: Mississippi 31, Florida 30 (2008)
All time series: Mississippi, 12-10
Time/TV: 7:00pm on ESPN (also streaming on WatchESPN app)
Pregame betting line: Mississippi, 6.5
Summer analysis and prediction: Mississippi 27, Florida 20
What to watch for: Several Florida players (21 is the rough count), including QB Will Grier, have battled the flu this week. Hopefully, this doesn’t have an impact on the game one way or another. But Jim McElwain may be shuttling players in and out as a result of their depleted energy levels, and that means we could see some of Treon Harris. Also, the matchup of stars- Ole Miss wide receiver LaQuon Treadwell vs. Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves- is a once in a lifetime, can’t miss thing.
Florida key to the game: The Gators have to get to Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly if they want to win the game. It’s that simple. I don’t think Florida wins without forcing some mistakes. The Rebels are down two starting offensive linemen as of right now (Justin Bell and Laremy Tunsil), and the Gators do have a nasty front seven, so this plays into one of Florida’s strengths. But the more uncomfortable they make Kelly, the better.
Mississippi key to the game: If Ole Miss is able to run the ball, they’ll be in good shape. Florida’s run defense has been really good so far this year, but they’ll face a tough test in Jaylen Walton. The Rebels need to get him going to take some pressure off of Kelly and keep the Gators on their toes defensively.
Prediction: I’m not so sure about this one. Ole Miss seems to be the better team, but the Gators appear to be on a roll following their fourth quarter comeback against Tennessee, while the Rebels struggled mightily against lowly Vanderbilt. But Florida, while much better as a football team than they were in each of the past two seasons, is 4-0 because they’ve survived three close calls. That won’t last forever. Florida loses, but not before sinking beneath the waves with a clenched fist to signify that the SEC hasn’t heard the last of them. Mississippi 34, Florida 24