The key: Missouri was outgained 128-30 in the first quarter and didn’t manage a single first down, while Florida had the ball for 10:02. But a missed field goal by the Gators left the game scoreless.
The key: Drew Lock finished the first half with a 9.2 quarterback rating after going 3 of 12 for 25 yards, including two second-quarter interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.
The key: Senior cornerback John Gibson snagged his second interception of the game on the third play of the quarter, setting up Missouri’s first touchdown.
The key: Florida averaged 15.3 yards in eight carries and racked up 122 yards rushing against a worn-down Missouri defense.
Missouri started the game with six straight three-and-outs and went more than 27 minutes without picking up its initial first down. Sophomore quarterback Drew Lock’s first of two second-quarter pick-sixes actually came before the Tigers managed a first down.
It wasn’t a great performance (523 yards allowed) and missed tackles remain an issue, but it’s pointless to single out Mizzou’s D any more unless the offense carries its weight (any weight?). The defense was on the field for 36:53 and even that was skewed by the fourth quarter.
There were no major mistakes other than the onside kick that was returned for a touchdown, but it was largely inconsequential. There also were no spectacular plays.
Missouri wasn’t scared to make major changes to a struggling defense during the bye week. That’s positive and shows the staff’s self-awareness, but the offensive game plan failed miserably again and it’s up to Barry Odom and company to put the players in better position for success.
Player of the game: Pick between Florida junior cornerbacks Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson, who had interception-return touchdowns 2:11 apart in the second quarter to break open the game.
Reason to hope: On paper, the schedule gets easier. After back-to-back trips to LSU and Florida sandwiched around an open date, Missouri plays three of the next four at home, including a homecoming game against Middle Tennessee next Saturday. The three SEC games that follow are against teams with a combined 4-9 SEC record.
Reason to mope: Missouri’s offense has come off the tracks. Lock completed only 4 of 18 passes for 39 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions and the run game did most of its damage against Florida’s second string in the fourth quarter.
Looking ahead: Missouri begins the most important stretch of its season, a four-game test that probably will determine if Barry Odom’s first season ends with a bowl appearance against Middle Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. It looks like a steep, steep climb right now.