Gator Bait: Missouri Blown Out at Florida

Missouri falls to 2-4 overall and 0-3 in Southeastern Conference play with blowout loss at Florida.

The Missouri Tigers were looking for a better performance on Saturday at Florida than their ugly blowout loss at LSU two weeks earlier.

What the Tigers produced instead looked moderately better but still unsightly. 

The end result was a 40-14 loss to Florida at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for their second straight Southeastern Conference blowout defeat.

Missouri, which fell to 2-4 overall and 0-3 in SEC games, rushed for 265 yards but gained just 363 total yards due to an ineffective passing game. 

Freshman running back Damarea Crockett, who made his first career start, rushed for 145 yards on 14 carries for his second 100-yard rushing game while Ish Witter ran for 82 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Sophomore quarterback Drew Lock had his worst game of the season, completing just four of 18 passes for 39 yards and two interceptions — both of which were returned for touchdowns. 

Florida (5-1 overall, 3-1 in SEC play) racked up 523 yards of total offense, including 287 yards on the ground. 

Quarterback Luke Del Rio threw for 236 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions, and running backs Lamical Perine (106 yards on 11 carries) and Jordan Scarlett (101 yards on 12 carries) both topped the 100-yard rushing mark. 

Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro missed a field goal attempt wide right with 10:05 remaining in first quarter.

Pineiro redeemed himself with two field goals in the second quarter — a 53-yarder with 11:56 remaining and then a 24-yard field goal with 5:45 left.

Then Florida’s defense took over. 

Florida made it 13-0 when Jalen Tabor jumped a running back screen pass, intercepted it and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown with 3:25 remaining in the first half. 

Missouri followed with its best offensive series to that point but it ended with Lock throwing another interception that was returned by Quincy Wilson 78 yards for a touchdown and a 20-0 lead.

Missouri had just 92 total yards (67 rushing, 25 passing) in the first half, compared to 253 total yards for Florida. Lock completed three of 12 passes for 25 yards, with two interceptions. Witter gained 53 yards rushing on 10 carries in the first half. 

The Tigers opened the second half strong, capitalizing on cornerback John Gibson's second interception of the day with their first scoring series.

Crockett had runs of 36 yards, nine yards and then one yard to get the Tigers down to the 1-yard line. Then 355-pound defensive tackle-fullback Josh Augusta scored on a 1-yard run with 12:32 left in the third quarter to make it 20-7.

Del Rio found Tyrie Cleveland for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 3:47 remaining in the third quarter. The Gators led 26-7 after the failed 2-point conversion pass.

Scarlett increased Florida’s lead to 33-7 with a 33-yard touchdown run with 11:43 left in the fourth quarter. 

Missouri back-up quarterback Marvin Zanders led a 99-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run from Witter with 1:23 remaining. 

Then Antonio Callaway returned an onside kick 44 yards for a touchdown just six seconds later to make it 40-14.


Missouri-Florida notebook: Crockett shines in second half


You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at

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