Florida 40 Missouri 14, Instant Analysis: Gators use defense and special teams to destroy Tigers

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It was over when:  Luke Del Rio hit Tyrie Cleveland on a slant route for a 20 yard touchdown- the first of Cleveland’s career. That made the score 26-7 late in the third quarter, and Florida pulled away from there.

Game ball goes to: Cleveland. There wasn’t a whole lot of offense to celebrate, but the freshman wide receiver came through in a big way, hauling in a bomb from Del Rio early and finishing with a game-high 79 receiving yards on three catches.

Stat of the game: 4-15. That was Missouri’s final third down efficiency statistic, and it took them well into the second quarter to get their first. Part of this was due to an inability to win the early downs, which set up third and very difficult situations, but still. 4-15 is pretty bad any way you slice it.

What to like: Florida’s defense is as nasty as ever, generating two touchdowns on interception returns by Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson and holding Missouri to under 100 yards through the air. And the Gators’ running game appears to be an offensive line away from becoming one of the nation’s best.

What to work on: Florida’s pass offense struggled yet again, but this time with its starter under center. Sure, it was raining in Gainesville and the ball was wet, but Del Rio made some questionable decisions and could have thrown as many as six interceptions if Missouri DB’s had been able to hang onto the ball.

Offensive grade: C+. The running game was good, and the passing game did just enough. But there’s certainly cause for concern with the way Del Rio looked today. He gets a pass today because of the conditions and because it was his first game back, but he’ll have to play better than this if the Gators want to hold onto first place in the SEC East.

Defensive grade: B-. The defense was pretty good, as Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor each picked off a pass and took it to the house. But as dominant as all three levels of this squad looked today, it’s hard to go wild with the superlatives because of how awful Missouri’s offense is as a unit. The defense did its job. They were fine. Let’s leave it at that.

Special teams grade: B+. Eddy Pineiro blasted a 53 yard field goal in the rain that looked like it would have been good from 63, but he did miss a chip shot from the right hash. Oh, and Antonio Callaway also returned an onside kick for a touchdown to put the icing on the cake.

Bottom line: This game stacked up in nearly perfect congruence to the homecoming game against Missouri two years ago: Florida scored twice on defense and ran a kick back for seven more. All that was missing was a punt return touchdown. But now that that score has been settled, it’s time to get down to business. Florida once again controls its own destiny to Atlanta after Tennessee got curb stomped by Alabama, but they’ve got a lot of things to clean up first.

Scoring recap:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
MISSOURI 0 0 7 7 14
FLORIDA 0 20 6 14 40

Scoring plays:

Team Time Play MIZ FLA
FLORIDA 2nd 11:56 Eddy Pineiro 53 yd FG good 0 3
FLORIDA 2nd 5:45 Eddy Pineiro 24 yd FG good 0 6
FLORIDA 2nd 3:25 Teez Tabor 40 yd INT return (PAT good) 0 13
FLORIDA 2nd 1:14 Quincy Wilson 78 yd INT return (PAT good) 0 20
MIZZOU 3rd 12:32 Josh Augusta 1 yd run (PAT good) 7 20
FLORIDA 3rd 3:47 Tyrie Cleveland 20 yd pass from Luke Del Rio (2 pt conv failed) 7 26
FLORIDA 4th 11:43 Jordan Scarlett 33 yd run (PAT good) 7 33
MIZZOU 4th 1:23 Ish Witter 1 yd run (PAT good) 14 33
FLORIDA 4th 1:17 Antonio Callaway 45 yd kick return (PAT good) 14 40
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2 thoughts on “Florida 40 Missouri 14, Instant Analysis: Gators use defense and special teams to destroy Tigers

  1. Strangest 26-point win I’ve seen in a while. It was frustrating to watch at times.

    What concerns me is the lack of 2nd half adjustments by the Gators while the other sideline seems to figure things out during the intermission. To many times, the Gators O comes out flat. Go check out their scoring trends in the 3rd quarter. Not impressive at all.

    With the true meat of the schedule upon us, this squad has really got its work cut out for it. Maybe the bye will help shore up the offensive bumps.

    Go Gators

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