Mizzou Tigers helmet Sep 9, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Missouri Tigers helmet against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders during the second half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The eighth-ranked Missouri Tigers will look to close out their home slate this weekend. Mizzou will host the Florida Gators in a primetime game at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri. News emerged on Friday that could spell some trouble for the Tigers, though, as a key player is absent for the upcoming game against the Gators.

Linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper is expected to miss this week’s game. Hopper ranks as Mizzou’s leading tackler this season so his absence could loom large.

Pete Thamel of ESPN reported the news.

“Missouri leading tackler Ty’Ron Hopper will not play against Florida this week after injuring his ankle against Tennessee. The No. 9 Tigers have already lost starting linebacker Chad Bailey for the year in recent weeks,” Thamel said.

Mizzou has been one of the biggest success stories of the 2023 college football season. The Tigers weren’t highly thought of this season by the prognosticators and the fanbase. A series of disappointing years under Eli Drinkwitz made Tiger fans bristled. But the team’s success this season has turned frowns upside down in Columbia, however, and the future is looking brighter.

For Mizzou’s sake, they have to hope they aren’t hit too hard this weekend. Florida has looked feeble at times and the Tigers have already gone through the grind of their schedule. They have UF and then rival Arkansas, who just lost big at home to Auburn last week, so a successful finish to the season is in sight. Mizzou might just have to do it shorthanded.

[Pete Thamel]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022