The No. 22/22 Florida Gators (4-3, 3-2 SEC) were embarrassed by the explosive No. 14/14 Missouri Tigers (7-0, 3-0 SEC), falling 36-17 on the road at Farout Field in Columbia, MO. After the tough loss, Florida head coach Will Muschamp met with the media to provide some of his thoughts on his team and its defeat.
“We’re just not a very good football team. Certainly not today. It falls on my shoulders. We’re inept offensively. We have a hard time running it and certainly can’t protect very well. It obviously showed today against the front we played against. Just very disappointed that we haven’t made more positive strides offensively this season, just regressed again from last week. We’re going to go back and work extremely hard to get those things corrected. Defensively, [we allowed] too many big plays. …
“As a football team, we didn’t do enough good things out there, and that falls on my shoulders. We just need to get better and that’s what we’re going to do. Disappointed with the way we played. We need to improve and get better. We got an off week to get it turned around.”
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Missouri improved to 2-1 all-time against Florida, winning the first and only game the two teams have ever played in Columbia.
» The Gators are now 1-5 in their last six games against ranked opponents, beating Florida State in 2012 but falling to Georgia, Louisville, Miami, LSU and Mizzou all since Oct. 27, 2012.
» Florida fell to 7-11 under Muschamp when rushing for fewer than 150 yards and 4-10 when tied or trailing at the half.
» The Tigers posted 500 yards of offense against the Gators’ top-ranked defense, the most UF has allowed in a single game since the 2008 Capitol One Bowl against Michigan.
» Florida gained just 151 yards of offense, the fewest in a single game since the 1999 SEC Championship against Alabama.
» UF went 3-for-15 on first down, averaged 1.9 yards per rush and 6.1 yards per completion. Mizzou averaged 5.5 yards per carry and 16.4 yards per catch.
» The Gators’ defense had allowed just one play longer than 40 yards all season but coughed up three on Saturday.
» Florida failed to hold an SEC opponent under 20 points for the first time in 14 opportunities.
» UF forced at least one turnover in 17-straight games.
» The Gators went 109:01 of game time dating back to Oct. 5 without scoring an offensive touchdown until crossing the goal line in the fourth quarter.
» Florida lost the time of possession battle (29:18-30:42) for the first time this season.
» The Gators did not sack the opposing quarterback once for the second-straight week.
» Florida’s porous offensive line allowed six sacks on the afternoon.
» The Gators committed at least eight penalties in a game for the fifth time this season. Three of those five contests ended as losses.
» UF was held to 2.8 yards per carry and under 150 team rushing yards for the second-straight game and third time overall this season (two losses).
» Florida registered a season-high eight pass defenses.
» Freshman running back Kelvin Taylor registered career-highs of 12 carries and 74 yards – and scored his first career rushing touchdown – during Saturday’s game. He has combined for 22 carries and 126 yards over the last two weeks.
» Senior wide receiver Solomon Patton returned a kickoff for a touchdown on the first play of the second half, catching the ball five yards into the end zone and bringing it back the length of the field. It was his first career return touchdown.
» Sophomore defensive back Brian Poole registered an interception, two tackles for loss and a pass defense. He nearly had a second interception, too.
» Redshirt junior walk-on kicker Frankie Valez kicked a 23-yard field goal in the first quarter and is now 3-for-3 on his career.
» Freshman punter Johnny Townsend made his first start and booted the ball eight times for 365 yards, averaging 45.6 yards per punt with a long of 61 and two touchbacks.
Redshirt junior Sam linebacker Ronald Powell (ankle) and senior defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (undisclosed) were ruled out before the game; Powell made the trip but Jacobs stayed in Gainesville, FL. Muschamp explained after the game that Jacobs “has lingering effects from a late hit from last week when he didn’t have his helmet on.”
Though OnlyGators.com believed Jacobs did not return to last Saturday’s game at LSU – he was at one point ruled out for the remainder of the contest – Florida chose to correct a tweet and note that he did come back into the game. Muschamp did not disclose Jacobs’s injury further, but one has to seriously wonder what ailment the player is dealing with considering the circumstances and his inability to travel with the team.
Muschamp also announced that senior LB Darrin Kitchens has “some chronic shoulder problems” that caused him to miss practice Thursday and sit out the game despite practicing all week. Redshirt freshman LB Jeremi Powell (knee) and senior DB Jaylen Watkins (wrist) were hurt during the game but no further updates were provided.
Finally, Muschamp noted that redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy (shoulder) did not practice until Thursday after getting hurt against LSU as well.
NOT UP TO SNUFF
There is no denying that Saturday’s loss was one of the worst performances by a Florida team in years, an embarrassment to the program considering how significantly the team was exposed in every phase of the game. Muschamp felt the same way after the contest.
“We need to play better. We need to play better defensively. We need to play the run better, take more pride in our performance and how we’re playing on the field. And that falls on me. So we’re going to work; we’re going to get it done,” he said.
Muschamp was exceptionally disgusted by the offensive performance.
“Well, we’re going to find some because we need to. It’s not very good right now. We struggle to do anything we try to do,” he began.
“We try and spread it out, we try and throw it, we can’t protect the quarterback. 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.
“I want to spread it out like everybody else does. But you know what? We have a hard time protecting the quarterback, more than most teams do. You watch the games. So, you know, we need to get better.”
Asked how he could possibly get the Gators headed in a positive direction for the remainder of the season, Muschamp was short on specifics but heavy on trite sayings.
“Just circle the wagons, you know? Right now the arrows are flying. We got to pull together and find out who’s going to move forward and forge forward with us and understand we’re going to get this thing turned back the right way. It’s a down time – it’s a time we’re all hurting – but we’re going to be fine.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On the offensive line’s massive problems: “We’re struggling right now to get the right combination, to get guys blocked, the run and the pass game. We’re doing everything we can do. We shuffle guys around. We just got to get better.”
» On what bothered him most about the defensive effort: “I was most disappointed with the run game [defense], to give up some of the run seams we gave up, especially the 50-yarder, because that was a huge momentum swing right there.”
» On redshirt junior safety Cody Riggs being ejected for targeting on the first play of the game: “No, I didn’t see it. It’s a bang-bang play. Again, I think the rule is good. I don’t think the rule of an ejection is right. He went down to catch the ball. It was the correct call. I don’t disagree with the call. I disagree with kicking a kid out of a game in that situation. He wasn’t trying to maliciously hurt anybody. It was ridiculous. … It didn’t help, that’s for sure. … Does it hurt to lose your starting safety on the first play? Yeah, it’s not good.”
@ONLYGATORS TWEET OF THE GAME
It's not that Murphy has no time in the pocket, he has negative time in the pocket.
— OnlyGators.com (@onlygators) October 19, 2013