What we learned: Florida football hits new low in blowout loss at Missouri

By Adam Silverstein
November 4, 2017
What we learned: Florida football hits new low in blowout loss at Missouri

If you thought beat downs of Florida Gators football were over because former head coach Jim McElwain was jettisoned, boy were you wrong. The Missouri Tigers took it to the Gators on Saturday, blowing out Florida 42-16 in Columbia, Missouri. Not only was the defeat another pure embarrassment for the Gators, it was evidence the program has reached a new low.

OnlyGators.com breaks down UF’s fourth straight loss below.

It was over when: Missouri scored its fourth touchdown of the game with 4:29 to go in the first half. Florida’s defense was abhorrent on the afternoon, and though the Tigers’ first score of the day was on a short field after a special teams mistake, they proved they could move the ball at will against the Gators. This score occurred just two plays after an interception by graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire, who was making his first start of the season for Florida. It put Mizzou up 28-3, an impossible margin for UF to even hope to bounce back from.

Exceptional efforts: No one on the Gators deserves accolades from Saturday’s game, though sophomore running back Lamichal Perine did the best he could as the bell cow back. He only gained 66 yards on 19 carries but added a touchdown reception from redshirt freshman QB Feleipe Franks late in the fourth quarter. Aside from Perine, redshirt junior kicker Eddy Pineiro was perfect on two field goal attempts. Franks did go 7-for-10 passing with 98 yards and a touchdown in relief of Zaire.

Important injuries: Perine appeared to injure his right knee on his touchdown catch late in the game; his status is unknown at this time. Redshirt freshman Brett Heggie suffered a non-contact injury to his left knee early in the game and was stretchered off. Entering the game, Florida was down 13 players — most of whom were listed as out for the season — due to injury.

Odds and ends: Florida’s defense gave up 40+ points in consecutive games for the first time since 1971 and 42+ points in consecutive games for the first time since 1917 … the Gators gave up 455 yards to the Tigers, most this season … Florida is giving up more yards per game than any season since 1971 … Florida is giving up more points per game than it has in any season since 1946 … UF is 9-for-30 on third and fourth down combined over the last two games … the Gators are now 18-4 against unranked opponents and 13-10 in games decided by eight points or more … UF’s defense has not recovered a fumble this season; it’s the only unit in the nation not to do so … the Gators are in danger of not returning a kickoff or punt for a touchdown for the first time in 12 seasons

What it means: Welcome to rock bottom, Florida. The Gators may lose out, but no performance will likely be as uninspired and pathetic as the one they put forward on Saturday in Columbia. Florida had no care defensively and absolutely no answers on offense. The bottom has fallen out for this program, and it is now more obvious than ever before that the Gators need a complete refresh in their next coaching hire. Florida failed to recruit defensively in order to replace the studs brought in by Will Muschamp, and it showed more than ever on Saturday.


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