Florida and Missouri square off Saturday afternoon at Faurot Field (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network), with the winner becoming bowl-eligible. Despite the schools boasting identical 5-5 records, the game shapes up as very meaningful for each.

For Missouri, a trip to a bowl game would soften the perception that the program took a big step back in Year 2 under Eli Drinkwitz. The Tigers were 5-5 in Year 1, good enough for a Music City Bowl berth (the bowl was canceled due to COVID-19 issues in the Missouri program). No one in CoMo wanted to go 6-6 in 2021, and Drinkwitz’s bravado at SEC Media Days looks foolish now given how the season has played out. At least if Mizzou went bowling again, Drinkwtiz could point toward a bowl trip and an outstanding incoming recruiting class and say, “Hey, I’m building something.”

As for the Gators, Dan Mullen’s seat is on fire, and how Florida finishes the 2021 campaign may be the final factor in how the school administration responds to an extremely disappointing season. The Gators are 2-8 in their last 10 games against Power 5 opponents, and they need a win to avoid their first 2-6 finish in SEC play since the league expanded to a 2-division, 8-game format in 1992. What will be the mentality of a Florida team that has already seen 2 coaches dismissed midseason and will be playing a late November, cold-weather road game? Which Florida defense shows up? The one that frustrated Tennessee and Alabama for long stretches, or the one that surrendered 92 points to South Carolina and Samford?

We’ll find out Saturday.

Here are 5 bold predictions for the Florida-Missouri game.

250 total yards for Tyler Badie

Badie leads the SEC with 1,239 yards rushing and is the only player in Division I with 200 rushing attempts and 50 receptions. He has posted All-America-type numbers and is the biggest reason the season hasn’t gone off the rails for the Tigers.

Badie will square off against a Florida defense that has been woeful over the past month, especially against the run.

Florida ranks 78th nationally against the run, and the Gators have given up more than 200 yards rushing in their last 2 road games (at LSU, at South Carolina).

Worse? Missouri excels (6.2 yards per attempt) in runs off counter concepts, which constitute 40 percent of their run plays, per Stats Solutions. Florida can’t stop the counter. At all. The Gators surrender 7.1 yards per attempt on counter plays, per Stats Solutions, and were gouged by LSU’s Ty Davis-Price for 287 yards rushing primarily due to their inability to fit gaps on the counter.

That all spells trouble for Florida. Badie will collect 200 yards on the ground and add at least 50 as a receiver to get more than 250 yards in a game for the 2nd time this season.

A big play for Missouri on special teams

Badie against Florida’s front 7 is the game’s biggest mismatch, but the tale of the tape on special teams isn’t much better if you are a Gators fan.

Missouri ranks 4th nationally in S&P+ special teams efficiency, buoyed by terrific placekicker Harrison Mevis (14-of-15 on field goals) and a punter in Grant McKinniss who leads the SEC in punts inside the 20.

Kris Abrams-Draine has also taken a return to the house in 2021, and Florida, which ranks 118th in special teams efficiency (worst in the SEC), just gave up a 98-yard touchdown return to FCS Samford a week ago.

Expect a big play from Missouri on special teams.

100 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns for Dameon Pierce

If there is a silver lining for Florida, it’s that Missouri struggles mightily on defense.

The Tigers rank 96th nationally in S&P+ defensive efficiency, 129th nationally in rushing defense (worst in the Power 5), 117th in scoring defense (35.9), and 110th in opponent yards per play (6.2).

The Gators’ offense posted a season-high 717 yards against Samford and has been balanced all season, ranking 8th nationally in S&P+ offensive efficiency and 7th nationally in yards per play (2nd in the SEC).

Florida should be able to move the ball effectively against Missouri, and the biggest weapon it has against a terrible Missouri run defense is Pierce. The 4th-year running back grades out 1st in the country among running backs, per Pro Football Focus, and has 10 touchdowns despite only 68 carries.

Mullen will — finally — hand his senior the football, and the Gators will run effectively, with Pierce leading the way.

A 50-yard-plus touchdown pass from Emory Jones to Jacob Copeland

Copeland is another Gator whose low usage has been questioned over the course of the season.

Copeland has been hampered by key drops at times — including a momentum-changing drop in the South Carolina game — but he has also been extremely efficient at getting open. The 4th-year wideout has career highs with 28 receptions (on just 40 targets), 473 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Copeland is Florida’s best vertical passing game threat.

He’s also Florida’s most versatile playmaker.

He’ll have a nice game Saturday and haul in a long touchdown pass at some point.

Missouri covers, but take the over (69)

A Florida win wouldn’t surprise me. Neither would a Missouri rout.

What would surprise me is if the Gators won comfortably.

This just isn’t a Florida team that should be favored by more than a touchdown on the road right now. Florida is an 8.5-point favorite at the time of this writing, and that’s too many points. What isn’t too many points is the game’s 69-point over/under. That’s a nice number, but more points will be scored in what should be a track meet between 2 solid offenses facing 2 struggling defenses.