Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp was not shy when he expressed his disappointment with Saturday’s game against the Missouri Tigers (7-0, 3-0) in Columbia, MO. At the post-game news conference, the fiery coach stated that the Gators are inept offensively. “This is not a very good football team, and certainly not today,” he said. “I am pretty disappointed that we have not made more positive strides offensively at this point of the season.” The Gators (4-3, 3-2) had a total offense of only 151 yards against Missouri, according to GatorZone, being the least since the 1999 SEC Championship game against Alabama where the Gators only mustered up 114 yards in a 34-7 loss. The Missouri Tiger’s defense definitely played a huge part in the Gator’s shortcomings offensively with three takeaways and six sacks on Florida QB Tyler Murphy.
Mizzou’s defense never let up on the whimpering Gator offense. Murphy only completed 15 of 29 passes for 92 yards and had an interception as he tried to elude the Missouri defense. “They did a good job covering, but we’re got to find ways to make plays. I have to find ways to get guys the ball,” Murphy said. Injuries on the Gators offense could be a part of the reason why the team is failing. Offensive lineman Chaz Green, running back Matt Jones, and starting quarterback Jeff Driskel are considerable losses leaving them scrambling to execute offensively. “We try and spread it out, we try and throw it, we can’t protect the quarterback,” Will Muschamp stated. “We try to grind it out, we’re not creating enough explosive runs. We need to find some answers and right now we’re not finding any.” Florida has a bye week and will face Georgia Nov. 2nd.
On the other hand, Mizzou back-up quarterback Maty Mauk threw for 295 yards in his first career start. Starting quarterback James Franklin injured his shoulder in last week’s 41-26 win against Georgia. Florida’s defense was no problem for the back-up, turning some skeptics wondering if he was ready into believers. Mauk started the game with only having thrown six passes in his career, three of those coming in the final quarter against Georgia after Franklin was injured. “Backup quarterback?” Missouri center Evan Boehm playfully asked. “Maty would be starting anywhere else.” Mauk proved that to be true by completing 18 of 36 passes Saturday including three of them for 37 yards or more down the sideline. Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel said that Mauk was in the toughest situation he has ever had to put a quarterback in, especially against a Gators defense that had only allowed 235.3 yards a game but Mauk lessened the stress by completing a pass downfield on his opening play. “He looked like a seasoned veteran out there,” Pinkel said about his promising back-up. The Tigers put up 500 yards on the previously second ranked defense in the nation. After the notable wins over Georgia and Florida, the Missouri tigers are atop the SEC east and are seemingly headed to Atlanta in the SEC championship game in only their second season even being in the South Eastern Conference. Missouri’s next game is October 26th at home against South Carolina.
Information from MuTigers.com, GatorZone, and ESPN were used in this article.