Mizzou 38, Florida 17
Gainesville, FL- Homecoming games are supposed to be fun. They are a time for the alumni to congregate on their old stomping grounds, cheer on the home team, and relive fond memories. Yes, homecoming games are supposed to be fun only, someone forgot to tell the Gators.
On an afternoon that was meant for celebrating and revelry, the Gators didn’t have much to celebrate. It was noticeable at kickoff that the stands were not full and as the game went on, they became even more vacant.
The Gators have now lost in consecutive weeks by a combined margin of 40 points. A fact made worse by the fact that the combined betting lines for those two games equaled a push. This loss however, might be the hardest one yet.
For much of the game, it appeared that the Gators had regressed to their pre-Dan Mullen days. The defense was consistently gashed and burned while the offense was mired in ineptitude. Even special teams seemed to fall apart as Tommy Townsend was penalized for unnecessary roughness on two consecutive punts. Yes, that Tommy Townsend, the punter!
On the opposite side of the field, the fans could see a team that was celebrating. A team that was having fun and accomplishing everything it set out to do. Drew Lock was superb in his performance as he picked apart the Gators secondary on the way to his first career win over a top 25 opponent.
Meanwhile, Feleipe Franks appeared to be unable to throw a catchable ball. For all of the improvements that he has made, this showing was a massive step backwards. In fact, it is possible that he has played his way out of the starting job.
Kyle Trask entered the game midway through the third quarter and immediately led the Gators on a 13 play 75 yard touchdown drive, converting two 4th downs along the way. Trask showed confidence and the team showed some life with him at the helm. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.
It remains to be seen, whether the change will stick or if this was just an opportunity to get some experience while also giving a new look to the Tigers defense. The Gators are already bowl eligible but there is a chance at being invited to a good bowl game if they can win out.
After tonight’s performance, next week’s game against South Carolina doesn’t look like a guaranteed win. Dan Mullen and company are going to have to find a way to get the team refocused and motivated to finish the season on a high note.
Trask: 10/18 126 YDS 1 TD
Lock: 24/32 250 YDS 3 TD
Perine: 10 CAR, 42 YDS
Crockett: 21 CAR, 114 YDS 1 TD
Toney: 2 REC, 72 YDS
Hall: 4 REC, 77 YDS 1 TD
Time of Possession
SEC East Standings
Georgia 6-1 8-1
Kentucky 5-2 7-2
Florida 4-3 6-3
South Carolina 3-3 4-3
Tennessee 1-3 4-4
Vandy 1-4 4-5
Mizzou 1-4 5-4
*Some games may still be in progress
What’s next? Florida will host South Carolina for their final SEC game of the season. Broadcast info will be given later in the week.