Winners and losers in Missouri’s loss to Florida

Missouri began the second half of the regular season with a weak performance in Gainesville, Florida.
Drew Lock looks onto the field during Missouri's loss to Florida in Gainesville.

Missouri struggled to move the ball against a stout Gators defense in a 40-14 loss to No. 18 Florida on Saturday in Gainesville. Here is a list of three winners and three losers for the Tigers:


1. John Gibson: Gibson picked off two Florida passes, the second of which gave Missouri a much-needed surge in the beginning of the third quarter. Solid in coverage for most of the game, Gibson shined opposite Aarion Penton. Gibson’s second interception impressed the most as he stole the ball away from a Gator receiver.

2. Rickey Hatley: The defensive tackle many Missouri players and coaches call “Big Rick” lived up to his nickname. He came up big for the Tigers on multiple occasions early in the game, disrupting the Florida running and passing games. Hatley didn’t dominate the stats sheet, but the Gators won’t forget the problems he gave them early on.

3. The running game: Although the passing game struggled mightily, the running game showed signs of life. Ish Witter and Damarea Crockett combined for 229 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries. Crockett accounted for 145 of those yards. Even defensive tackle Josh Augusta got in on the rushing success, diving over the pile for a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter.


1. Drew Lock: Quarterback Drew Lock picked the wrong game to become an erratic passer.

Facing the nation’s fifth-ranked passing defense, Lock struggled to provide his receivers with catchable passes. He often made throws similar to his freshman season. Lock also found out why Florida leads the Southeastern Conference in interceptions. Lock tossed two pick-sixes that put Missouri down 20-0, which proved to be too big of a deficit to overcome.

Lock finished with an 18.2 passer rating while completing just three of 16 passes.

2. Missouri wide receivers: The Tigers wide receivers’ disappearing act extended into the game against Florida. When Lock put the ball in a catchable spot for his receivers, they often failed to make the catch.

If this group wants others to see it as a strength, it can’t just show up against teams such as Delaware State and Eastern Michigan.

3. Fast-paced offense: Josh Heupel’s fast-paced offense is designed to tire opposing defenses. The only problem: It has tired out Missouri’s defense instead.

That type of offense works as long as the offense gets first downs. Missouri failed to get a first down until late in the second half, forcing the defense to play over 36 minutes. The Tigers’ offense stayed on the field for about 13 minutes less than the Gators’ offense.

Thus, it was no surprise that Missouri’s defense looked gassed late in the game, struggling to stop the Florida rushing attack.

Edited by Peter Baugh |

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