It was a bright and sunny day in Gainesville as the Florida Gators hosted the Missouri Tigers for Homecoming. It was not bright and sunny at the end of the day however. The Tigers would leave the day with a dramatic 38-17 statement win (alongside some dramatic helmet choices).
Florida started it off playing well, but soon it was all Missouri. After struggling to even move the ball against Kentucky a week prior, the Tigers led a balanced attack. Florida could not stop the ground game to the tune of 221 yards, and that gave Drew Lock time and windows to throw into. Lock got back on track with 250 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. He was able to reestablish a deep-ball connection to his many receivers. This was helped by the lack of pressure by the Florida defensive line, a unit that was heralded coming in. Ultimately, they were a non-factor.
Defensively, Missouri had a good day. Upon playing well, they were aided by a bounty of Florida mistakes. Feleipe Franks regressed heavily, only completing 9 passes on 22 attempts, all for a grand total of 84 yards. Florida also struggled to get the run game going, as Missouri’s defensive line held the point-of-attack all game long.
The offense was so unproductive that it finally happened: Franks was benched. Kyle Trask came into the game and immediately sparked the offense, leading them down the field for a touchdown. The next Missouri drive included a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Florida . . . . . . . until it was reviewed and overturned. Just like that, hope of a comeback vanished.
Missouri entered the game 0-4 in the SEC, but had played better than that. Unlucky breaks and a tough schedule had downed their season, but no longer. The Tigers released all of their pent-up aggression onto Florida and emerged victorious (by a wide margin). They may have even started a QB controversy. The Florida game was a turning point for the Tigers last season, and it could be for them once again.