Florida Gators Football: Missouri Loss Similar To 2012 Win

Some games a team can win without lighting up the stat column offensively. Sometimes everything just falls in to place and right into one team’s lap.

Saturday, the Florida Gators football team experienced just the opposite.

The Missouri Tigers (5-2, 2-1 SEC) routed the Gators (3-3, 2-3 SEC) 42-13 in a game that was ugly from the opening kickoff, which Missouri returned for a touchdown. The Tigers scored at will throughout the night, but especially had a high-octane third quarter, scoring 22 points. However, the scoreboard only tells half the story, much like how it did in Florida’s 44-11 drubbing of South Carolina in 2012.

In that game, Florida had fewer first downs (14 to South Carolina’s 17) and only 94 yards of passing, but would get four touchdowns from Jeff Driskel and a rushing touchdown from Matt Jones. Jones would finish the game with three carries for 11 yards.

Saturday’s game had a similar feel. Florida had 164 more yards of offense than Missouri (283 to 119), more first downs (17 to 7), and a greater time of possession (33:59 to 26:01). Tigers quarterback Maty Mauk numbers for the night? 6-18, 20 yards, and one interception.

He also led the team in rushing with 38 yards.

So where did the points come from? Seemingly everywhere but the offense. Of Missouri’s seven scores, only one came from the offense: Murphy’s five-yard touchdown run with 3:50 left in the first quarter. The Tigers had 19 points from special teams, including a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown and an 86-yard punt return touchdown by Marcus Murphy.

As in the 2012 win against South Carolina, turnovers would also be pivotal in Saturday’s loss against Missouri. Against the Gamecocks, Florida would force four turnovers, giving the Gators a short field to work with and allowing for many points without the yards to show for it.

Florida would turn the ball over six times against Missouri. Two of those- a fumble recovery by Markus Golden and an interception return by Darvin Ruise- would be returned for touchdowns. Other turnovers would give the Tigers great field position, much like two years ago for the Gators. A fumble by Treon Harris in the first quarter would be recovered by Missouri on the Florida 19-yard-line. An interception by Jeff Driskel in the second quarter would give Missouri field position in at the Florida five-yard-line. The Tigers would score 10 points off those turnovers.

To add insult to injury for Florida’s night against Missouri, the Tigers put up worse numbers tonight offensively than when they did in last week’s 34-0 loss to Georgia. In that game Missouri had more total yards of offense (147 to 119), more first downs (10 to 7), and a better completion percentage from Mauk (42.9 to 33.3).

Missouri’s large margin of victory in spite of the gaudy offensive numbers seen tonight were tough to stomach for Florida fans, much like Florida’s victory was hard for South Carolina supporters. The night was an unusual one for those in attendance at Ben Hill Griffin stadium and may be an ominous sign of things to come for the program.

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Ryan Randall
From Melbourne, Florida, Ryan has lived in Florida since he was three, becoming a sports fan around that age. His passion for journalism rivals his love of sports. Shortly out of high school he covered prep and community sports for his hometown paper in Brevard Country, before moving to Gainesville, where he covered the Gators in the pros as well as prep sports for a few publications. A Telecommunications major at UF, Ryan now interns at Gator Country and ecstatic to showcase his talents for the publication. When not working on stories, Ryan enjoys playing basketball, music, as well as art. Follow Ryan at @_RyanRandall_


  1. I made this exact same comparison to my wife [who is a Gamecock fan] last night as we watched the game. Good catch! The most disturbing thing was how our coaching staff completely ignored the fact that Driskel running and Powell catching seemed to work last week vs. LSU, seemingly deciding this week those aspects of the offense should not even be included in the game plan until the game was over [in the Powell’s case, at least]. I can’t believe this was a Roper decision. It seems the more we struggle the tighter Muschamp starts to grip and the worse we get. I feel bad saying this, because I have no real hate for Muschamp. I actually like him as a person and respect the way he has mostly cleaned up the program, but he is not HC material. That has become painfully apparent over the past two seasons. He will most certainly get a job, and quickly, as a DC somewhere high profile. Florida needs to cut this cord and get a leg up on the coaching search before Michigan gets involved [the way we beat Notre Dame to the punch for Urban Meyer previously]. I think it’s officially time to start the coaching speculation. I put myself in the Josh McDaniel camp, but am willing to have my opinion changed [as if what I think matters at all].

    • The Gators have demonstrated an ineptness that no longer generates anger or frustration but a much more fatal emotion; apathy. After almost 60 years of devotion to the Gators , I am becoming disinterested in watching a poorly coached team implode . Passing, catching , blocking and tackling appear to be an impenetrable secret to this team. A new coaching staff may or may not be the answer but they could not possible be worse than the present staff. Florida is not a school where a coach begins a head coaching career. Ron Zook and Will Muschamp have proven this. Let’s find a coach who after four years knows what his team does well, is not afraid change personnel, and realizes that 20 points will not win many games in the SEC.

  2. Thanks for checking out the story Tripp07. You make some good points about the offense, and I think it speaks to the inconsistencies that have plagued the offense for the past two years. We really don’t know what Florida offense is going to show up, and while that may be game film that’s difficult for an opposing defense to watch, it’s not good for Florida, as they’ve never really been able to get a flow going this season. It’s interesting that (for the most part) the offensive line, the biggest liability for the past couple of years, has been the most consistent part of the offense this season.

    Regarding Muschamp, I feel this loss is the officially beginning of the end. I just don’t see how he survives this season given how much the team has regressed. Interesting picking Josh McDaniels. Could be at a time in his career similar to Pete Carroll’s in the early 2000s- a mediocre pro coach who goes on to have great success in the college ranks.