For the second straight week the Florida Gators were treated to mock,“chomps” from Tiger faithful. Last week it LSU’s Tigers. This week it was the 14th-ranked Tigers from Missouri ( 7-0, 3-0 SEC East) who got to celebrate a win over the Gators, dismantling Florida (4-3, 3-2 SEC East), 36-17, before a sold-out crowd in Columbia.
Florida’s offense — namely the offensive line — put out a pitiful performance that left head coach Will Muschamp with a very clear resolution.
“Extremely disappointed, just didn’t play very well,” Muschamp said on his post-game radio interview. “Obviously we’re very inept on offense, can’t do anything; run or pass. Had a hard time protecting, had a hard time getting movement up front.”
The Gators get the week off before tackling Georgia in Jacksonville on November 2. Missouri, which completely controls the SEC East, plays host to South Carolina next week.
MISSOURI 7, FLORIDA 0: On the first two offensive plays of the game, Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk found L’Damian Washington for a 41-yard completion and Bud Sasser for a 20-yard touchdown to put Florida in a seven-point hole. To add insult to injury, Florida safety Cody Riggs was ejected thanks to a helmet-to-helmet hit on Washington that added another 15 yards to the big pass play. In 22 seconds Mauk drove the Tigers 76 yards, and made a statement with 14:23 remaining in the first quarter against a Florida defense notorious for starting slowly.
FLORIDA 3, MISSOURI 7: The Gators were stopped for a three-and-out, but Missouri punt returner Marcus Murphy muffed Johnny Townsend’s punt, giving the Gators new life at the Missouri 24-yard line. A 17 -yard Kelvin Taylor run gave the Gators a first and goal at the Mizzou seven, but the Gators stalled out, missing a chance to tie the game when Tyler Murphy overthrew a wide open Trey Burton at the two for what would have been a walk-in touchdown. The Gators had to settle for a 23-yard Frankie Velez field goal with 13:18 left in the first quarter to cap off a nine-play 21-yard drive.
MISSOURI 10, FLORIDA 3: The Tigers’ drive stalled as it neared the red zone even though it started with advantageous field position when Aarion Penton picked off Tyler Murphy. Andrew Baggett capped the six-play, 21-yard drive with a 43-yard field goal with 31 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
MISSOURI 13, FLORIDA 3: The longest series of the first half for either team came when the Tigers marched the ball down the field on a 12-play 68-yard drive to the doorstep of the end zone, but after three plays inside the Florida five, all Missouri had to show for its efforts was three points. The Baggett 19-yard field goal put the Tigers up 10 points with 7:55 left in the half.
HALFTIME SCORE: MISSOURI 13, FLORIDA 3
FIRST HALF SUPERLATIVES
Tyler Murphy: 7-12 passing, 52 yards, one interception.
Kelvin Taylor: 4 carries, 19 yards.
Solomon Patton: 2 receptions, 23 yards.
THE GOOD: There wasn’t a whole lot of good for the Gators in the first half but we found two plays, don’t ask us how. (1A) Loucheiz Purifoy’s fumble recovery on a muffed punt in the first quarter. Townsend took over for pre-season All-American punter Kyle Christy this week and booted his first punt high and deep. When Marcus Murphy couldn’t handle it, Purifoy picked the ball up and the Gators were able to get a field goal after alert special teams play. (1B) Brian Poole’s interception. With Riggs ejection for targeting, Poole was thrust into a more prominent role and he responded well with an interception on 2nd and 15 with 3:43 left until halftime.
THE BAD: Plenty of bad to go around here. (1) Demarcus Robinson’s hands. Robinson had a pass go right through his hands and into the waiting arms of Penton.
THE UGLY: Yeah, this was easy. (1) The offensive line, all five of them. Pick a play, any play, they were atrocious.
FLORIDA 10, MISSOURI 13: As quickly as Missouri scored to open the game, Florida opened the second half with a blitzkrieg touchdown of its own when Solomon Patton needed only 12 seconds to run a kickoff back 100 yards to the end zone, giving Florida the momentum-stealing touchdown it so desperately needed with 14:48 left in the third quarter.
MISSOURI 20, FLORIDA 10: The Tigers had an immediate answer for Patton’s touchdown and in the form of a five-play 75-yard drive that was aided by a 52-yard pass from Mauk to Jimmie Hunt, who burned Purifoy. Three plays later, running back Henry Josey plunged into the end zone for a six yard score with 13:24 remaining in the third quarter.
MISSOURI 23, FLORIDA 10: Again Mauk was able to find Washington for a big gain, this time for 37 yards. A drive that started on its own 20 was now at Florida’s 29, but the Tigers wouldn’t do much else on the series. A third down play was stopped just short of the first down line, and Baggett hit his third field goal of the day. The 39-yarder came with 6:40 left to cap a seven play 59-yard Tiger drive.
FLORIDA 17, MISSOURI 23: The Gators answered back with a strong rushing attack. On consecutive plays Florida ran for 18, 14 and 20 yards with Taylor going the final 20 for the first touchdown of his career out of the much-maligned wildcat formation. Taylor’s score capped a six-play, 70-yard Florida drive (its longest up to that point) with 46 seconds left in the third quarter.
MISSOURI 26, FLORIDA 17: The Tigers got the fourth quarter off to a good start with a six-play, 59-yard drive that ended with yet another Baggett field goal, this time from 33 yards out with 13:32 remaining in the game.
MISSOURI 29, FLORIDA 17: Another Missouri drive, another Baggett field goal from 28 yards out with 8:04 to go in the game. The key play was a Mauk to Dorial Green-Beckham pass for 27 yards. The Tigers drove the ball all the way to Florida’s 10 but had to settle for three points to finish off the 11-play, 54-yard drive.
MISSOURI 36, FLORIDA 17: The final nail in Florida’s coffin came after a Tyler Murphy fumble. After Missouri committed a holding penalty, Mauk ran 17 yards for the final score of the game on the only full play of the drive.
FINAL SCORE: MISSOURI 36. FLORIDA 17
Tyler Murphy: 15-29 passing, 92 yards, one interception.
Kelvin Taylor: 12 carries, 74 yards, one touchdown.
Solomon Patton: six receptions, 46 yards.
The Good: Kelvin Taylor. Behind an atrocious offensive line gave the other Gators -15 yards on 19 carries, Taylor finished with 12 carries for 74 yards and the Gators’ only touchdown. On the scoring drive, Taylor carries five times for 52 yards.
The Bad: Run defense. The Florida defense is missing Dominique Easley in a bad way. With Easley in the lineup, the Gators were giving up just over 55 rushing yards per game. Without Easley, Florida has given up three consecutive 100-yard plus games to opposing teams and allowed a back to rush for more than 100 yards in two consecutive games.
The Ugly: The offensive line. Tyler Moore isn’t a SEC offensive tackle. He was abused all afternoon by the Missouri defensive line and the rest of the line didn’t play any better. Will Muschamp signed just two offensive linemen his first two years at Florida and the lack of both depth and talent is alarming.