Missouri offense tries to rebound, White expected to play, Steward still out, Defense prepares for two Florida quarterbacks
By Christian Clark, KBIA Sports
COLUMBIA — Maty Mauk and his receivers were awake into the wee hours of the morning Monday following a 34-0 drubbing against Georgia on Saturday.
Still smarting from what senior wideout Bud Sasser called a “pathetic” performance, the sophomore and his pass catchers discussed ways to right a Missouri offense that’s struggled mightily in its last two games.
Saturday was a historically bad day for Mauk and company. The Tigers were shut out for the first time for the first time since 2002 and committed the most turnovers (five) of coach Gary Pinkel’s 13-plus year tenure with the team.
“I’ve never been shut out in my whole life,” Mauk said. “That’s the frustrating part, but that’s going to drive everybody in that locker room to drive twice as hard as they did last week and really get better and focus on that part.”
Pinkel said at no point did he consider pulling Mauk — who completed 9 of 21 passes for 97 yards — from the game.
“The thing about Maty — we know he can play and we know he can play at a high level,” Pinkel said. “We’ve seen it before. It’s not like were hoping that this can happen. He’s just going through some tough times a little bit and he certainly takes responsibility, but he’s a good player and he has my 100 percent support.”
Georgia registered three sacks and nine quarterback hurries on the afternoon, while no Missouri receiver recorded more than two catches.
“Really, at the end of the day it boils down to guys getting open and us protecting,” offensive coordinator Josh Henson said. “It all kind of works hand in hand. It was kind of a bad cycle there.”
Pinkel hopeful White can play, Steward still out
Wide receiver Darius White was listed atop the Missouri depth chart Monday.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the senior is a lock to play Saturday against Florida. He was listed as a starting receiver last week, but a lingering groin injury sidelined White for the second straight game.
“I think he’ll be back,” Pinkel said. “He’s got a lot of experience and it would be nice to get him back.”
White has 230 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the four games he’s played.
Meanwhile, running back Morgan Steward is still out with a hip injury. The redshirt sophomore has yet to play a game this year.
“You can’t get this year back,” Pinkel said. “That’s basically it. With three games left if he’s 100 percent and can play then he’s going to play and he’ll help us.”
Defense prepares to see two QBs
Florida coach Will Muschamp announced Monday that both Jeff Driskel and Treon Harris will play against Missouri.
Driskel is expected to start, but the true freshman Harris figures to play a prominent role. Harris rallied Florida to a 10-9 win over Tennessee on Oct. 4, when Driskel was pulled after throwing his third interception of the day.
Harris was suspended by the university hours after the game for allegedly sexually assaulting a Florida student, but was reinstated when the female student dropped the charges. Harris sat out Florida’s loss to Louisiana State last weekend after missing the entire week of practice.
Junior linebacker Kentrell Brothers said he sees similarities between the Gators’ quarterbacks.
“From what I’ve seen on film they run Jeff Driskel a lot more than I expected them to and they also run No. 3 (Harris) a lot,” Brothers said. “It’s pretty much the same plays so I don’t think we’ll have to game plan too much for both of them being in the game.”