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A Halloween Massacre: Florida Gators Maul Missouri Tigers

A Halloween Massacre: Florida Gators Maul Missouri Tigers

The Florida Gators were back on the gridiron against the Missouri Tigers after being sidelined for two weeks due to a COVID-19 spike. The Gators came back with a vengeance as they slaughtered the Tigers 41-17 in a Halloween night massacre.

Kyle Trask set another SEC record with his performance on Saturday while senior wide receiver Kadarius Toney found the end zone multiple times. While the Florida defense played its best game to date without three starters in the secondary.

Florida Gators Maul Missouri Tigers

Tigers Offense

Unfortunately for the Missouri Tigers, it was a bad night as they took a beating against a shorthanded Florida Gators roster. The Tigers offense struggled to move the ball and convert on third downs which had not been a problem so far this season.

Redshirt-freshman quarterback Connor Bazelak completed 26 out of 40 passes for 208 yards with no touchdowns and one turnover. The Missouri rushing attack was non-existent against the Florida defense.

As a team, Missouri rushed for only 40 yards on 23 carries. Senior Larry Roundtree led the Tigers in rushing with 36 yards on 14 carries and scored a late touchdown in the fourth quarter. Roundtree also made a positive impact as a receiver as he had six receptions for 26 yards.

While Keke Chism led Missouri in receiving with five catches for 68 yards. Those five receptions were the first receptions in Chism’s collegiate career.

Tigers Defense

On defense, Missouri played great against the high-powered Gators offense for the first 25 minutes. The other 35 minutes wasn’t pretty, as Dan Mullen and the Florida offense got back in sync and continued to play like it has all season.

As a matter of fact, the Missouri defense had 514 yards of total offense including 345 passing yards. Linebacker Devin Nicholson led the Tigers in tackles. Nicholson had 13 tackles including seven solo tackles. Nick Bolton also had ten tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss.

The Tigers defense gave up 41 points to the Gators, but at least they managed to get in the end zone. Junior cornerback Jarvis Ware had a 59-yard pick-six, off a tipped pass to give Missouri an early 7-6 lead in the second quarter. It was the first interception and defensive touchdown for Missouri this season.

Gators Offense

Florida had a great night after turning in their best performance of the 2020 season. The Gators had their most complete game as their offense continued to put points on the board while the defense looked much improved from the first three games.

Furthermore, Trask had another record night as he completed 21 out of 36 passes for 345 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Trask became the first quarterback in UF history to throw four touchdowns or more in the first four games of a season. He broke an SEC record for most touchdown passes in the four games with 18. Trask also ran the ball well as he led the Gators in rushing with 47 yards on six carries.

The Florida rushing attack had a solid night as they ran for 169 yards on 35 carries and averaging almost five yards per carry. Junior Dameon Pierce had nine carries and rushed for 39 yards. Redshirt-freshman Nay’Quan Wright had seven carries for 29 yards. Meanwhile, Toney scored the only rushing touchdown on the night for 16 yards.

Toney had a huge night against Missouri with four receptions for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Kyle Pitts led the Gators in receiving with five catches for 81 yards.

Additionally, Trevon Grimes had three receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown.  Not to mention that former five-star wide receiver and Penn State transfer Justin Shorter scored his first collegiate touchdown on a two-yard drag route.

Gators Defense

Finally, the Florida defense played its best game of the 2020 season despite missing three starters. Defensive backs Marco Wilson, Shawn Davis, and Donovan Stiner were all out of the game. The Gators defense relied on a lot of underclassmen and they all played exceptionally well.

Senior Jeremiah Moon led the Gators defense in tackles with six total tackles, including four solo tackles, one-and-a-half tackles for loss, as well as a sack. Kyree Campbell’s season debut on Saturday night was a success. Campbell got pressure up the middle and even had a huge tackle for loss on third and one.

The Gators defense had two more sacks on the night from defensive tackles Tedarrell Slaton and Jalen Lee. Florida also recovered two fumbles one from Georgia transfer Brenton Cox and true freshman Kamar Wilcoxson.

What’s next?

The Florida Gators will travel to Jacksonville to take on their SEC East rivals, the Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs have won the last three matchups between Florida versus Georgia. The Dawgs are coming off their fourth win of the season as they beat the Kentucky Wildcats 14-7. You can watch this game on Saturday at 3:30 pm EST on CBS.

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