The Florida defense sparked the Gators to the 40-14 win over Missouri on Saturday and to the top of the SEC East.
After UF's offense failed to put the ball in the end zone, two pick sixes, from Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson respectively, opened up the game in the second quarter. The 20 point lead was just too much for the Tigers to come back from, although the Gators offense did hand them some opportunities.
On his first day back under center for Florida, Luke Del Rio had to shake off some rust. Del Rio threw three interceptions, finishing 18-of-38 passing for 236 yards and a touchdown.
While the Gators offense stuttered early, the defense pounded Missouri and kept the Tigers at bay. Florida only yielded 363 yards of offense, 98 yards passing. The Tigers started the game with six consecutive three-and-outs and only possessed the ball for just over 23 minutes on Saturday, while the Gators possessed the ball for just under 40 minutes. This disparity allowed the Gators to wear the Tigers down and amass 523 yards of offense.
With Tennessee falling to Alabama on Saturday, the Gators now control their destiny in the SEC East. Florida only needs to win out its conference schedule in order to secure its spot in the SEC Championship game.
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Game Ball: Although the Florida defense had an outstanding performance, the game ball this week goes to Lamical Perine. The freshman running back had his second 100-yard rushing game as a Gators. Perine led the team with 106 yards on 11 carries. He averaged just under ten yards per carry.
They Said It: “In SEC conference games, or any game, winning field position is huge and we did that today. We took them out of some of the things they wanted to do. They got some cheap yards at the end but that’s alright," said Florida head coach Jim McElwain.
“We have some work to do," McElwain added. "I thought Luke (Del Rio) was a little off today, obviously he missed a couple reads and the turnovers are something we have to get corrected.”
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They Said It: “It’s my job to take care of the ball, and I didn’t do that. I need to get better," said Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio.
“It was kind of a mixture of not seeing guys and forcing it," added Del Rio about his interceptions. "I was just trying to make something happen when there was no need. It’s all correctable and I will do my best to correct it.”
Medical Report: Jarrad Davis left the game in the third quarter after suffering an injury to his left ankle. According to McElwain, he did not break a bone and had an MRI following the game. Davis led the team with eight tackles, 1.5 for a loss in the win.
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By the Numbers: 9- The Gators defense forced nine three-and-outs in the game. 8- the Florida offense made eight false starts in the win. 6- Missouri start the game with six straight three-and-outs. 2- The Gators defense had two pick sixes. 3- UF defense forced three turnovers 3- Del Rio had three interceptions. 2- Florida had two running backs go over 100 yards rushing on Saturday, Perine and Jordan Scarlett. 79- Freshman wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland had 79 yards receiving and a touchdown on three catches. 2- The Gators had two official visitors for the game.
Whats Next: The Gators have a bye this week. They will be back in action on Oct. 29, when Florida faces off against Georgia in Jacksonville, Fla.