HIGHLIGHTS: Missouri Tigers Throttle Florida Gators 38-17 In the Swamp
By Chris Harry, Florida Gators // November 3, 2018
— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) November 4, 2018
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA (Florida Gators) – Quarterback Drew Lock passed for 250 yards and three touchdowns, part of a Tigers’ offensive onslaught that put up 473 total yards on a dumbfounded UF defense in a 38-17 homecoming loss Saturday at Spurrier/Florida Field.
Mizzou, hunting its first Southeastern Conference victory of the season, jumped to a 21-3 lead in the second quarter and led by as many as 25 in the third before Coach Dan Mullen pulled starting quarterback Feleipe Franks and gave third-year sophomore backup Kyle Trask the first Power Five action of his career.
After Franks completed just nine of 22 passes for 84 yards (with three-and-outs on six of his 10 possessions), Trask marched the Gators 75 yards in 13 plays on his first possession and threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Josh Hammond for UF’s second touchdown of the game.
Trask finished 10 of 18 for 126 yards and the one score. Lock, the senior projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick next spring, hit 24 of his 32 throws, with touchdowns of 22 yards to tight end Al Okwuegbunam, 41 to wide receiver Kam Scott and 4 to wideout Emanuel Hall.
The Tigers also had touchdowns runs of 27 from Larry Rountree and 4 by Damar Crockett, as Missouri’s running game gashed the Gators for 221 yards on 42 carries. The Tigers also converted 11 of 18 third downs.
WHAT IT MEANS: A second straight loss for the Gators, but also a major step backward for both the team and venue. There was certainly no shame in losing to No. 7 Georgia last weekend, but more was expected in this rebound week — Florida was home for only the second game in the last 49 days — against an opponent that came to town winless in four SEC games.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Trask, making his first career appearance in an SEC game, entered the game with five minutes to go in the third quarter and the Gators down 35-10. As expected, the crowd gave No. 11 a rousing reception as he took the field and loved every completion he threw as he drove UF to that first-drive touchdown. To be fair, the Missouri defense, with that 25-point lead, was playing soft and gave Trask some cushion on his receivers. He found them, though, and officially started a quarterback controversy … at least in the eyes of the Florida fans. The coach will be another matter.
STAGGERING STATISTIC: UF had six third-down situations needing nine or more yards to convert. The Gators went 0-for-6 on those downs and are now 1-for-31 when facing third-and-9 or longer for the season. That’s 3.2 percent. It speaks volumes to the offense’s inability to find explosive plays downfield in the passing game. The Tigers, conversely, made no such trouble finding them during the game. Five different Mizzou receivers had catches of at least 12 yards (and three backs had runs of at least 18). Florida managed just 323 yards of total offense and was 3-for-15 on third down.
UP NEXT: Florida (6-3, 4-3) will play the second of three straight home games next Saturday against Coach Will Muschamp and South Carolina (5-3, 4-3). The Gamecocks won earlier in the day 48-44 at Ole Miss, despite surrendering 616 total yards and 34 first downs in the process. They did it by rallying from 10 points down in the fourth quarter and holding the Rebels to just 16 yards in that final period.
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