GAINESVILLE -- Florida’s offense had one of its worst games of the season in Saturday’s 14-7 win against Missouri.
The Gators tied their lowest point output in a win this season with just 14. They had just 11 first downs compared with the Tigers’ 23. They passed for just 106 yards and were held under 300 yards of total offense for the third consecutive game. For the second time in three games, Florida also had a passing play of more than 40 yards go for a touchdown only to have it called back because of a penalty.
Coach Will Muschamp said it would help the offense’s confidence if it could hit a play like that without it being negated by a mistake.
“It’d be nice,” he said. “I’m all for it.”
Missouri ran 29 more plays than Florida and held the ball nearly eight minutes longer, a template the Gators had used with success throughout the season.
On third down, UF was just 2 of 13, and it failed to score on both of its trips into the red zone on Saturday.
The lone bright spot was 173 yards rushing for a 5.4-yard-per-carry average.
Florida had several players sit out Saturday’s game with injuries, and several more went down during the game.
Starting safety Matt Elam (groin) left the game during the last series on defense, and running back Mack Brown (ankle/foot) went down during the offense’s last series. Muschamp did not have updates on their injuries after the game.
“I don’t know the extent of those injuries at this point,” he said.
Left guard James Wilson (knee) and right guard Jon Halapio (leg) also sustained injuries and had to leave the game without returning.
Wide receiver Andre Debose (ankle), left tackle Xavier Nixon (knee) and Buck linebacker Lerentee McCray all did not dress for Saturday’s game. Debose hurt his ankle in practice late in the week and could not go. Nixon and McCray were questionable coming in.
With the offense struggling and McCray out, freshman defensive linemen Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler Jr. stepped up.
Bullard finished with three tackles, three quarterback hurries and 1.5 sacks. His half-sack came with Missouri facing a third-and-21 situation inside Florida territory, forcing the Tigers to punt instead of attempt a long field goal.
“Jonathan’s a young man that’s going to be a heck of a football player here,” Muschamp said. “He’s just getting started, folks.”
Fowler was also a factor, finishing with five tackles to tie for the lead among defensive linemen and three tackles for loss.
This and that
With the win, Florida picked up its seventh conference victory for the 12th time since 1991. That’s the most of any SEC team during that span. … The Gators have three games this season with at least three interceptions and their turnover margin stands at plus-11 after posting a minus-12 mark last season. … Loucheiz Purifoy’s blocked field goal in the third quarter was the team’s ninth blocked kick since Muschamp took over as coach. … Florida is 4-1 when trailing at halftime this season.