Missouri quarterback Drew Lock’s struggles against ranked opponents has been well-documented.
He went into Saturday’s road tilt against Florida without a victory over ranked opponents in his career. He had certainly underwhelmed against those top-tier teams in his career, and that was none more apparent in the loss to then-No. 12 Kentucky two weeks ago.
Lock was the at the head of the eight-possession, eight-three-and-out second half performance that blew an 11-point halftime lead. It wasn’t the worst performance of his career — he threw 15-of-27 for 165 yards but didn’t record a touchdown — but he couldn’t lead his team to even one first down in the second half as the offense broke down against the Wildcats.
In what would most likely have been his final opportunity to get that ever-elusive win over a ranked team in the Gators, Lock answered the call.
He finished 24 of 32 for 250 yards and three touchdowns, putting up his best performance against any ranked opponent in his career. His play also put him ahead of some big names on Southeastern Conference leaderboards.
With his third quarter touchdown pass to receiver Emanuel Hall, Lock moved into third place in SEC history with 90 career passing touchdowns, passing former Heisman winner Tim Tebow and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning in the process. His 250 yards also put him in sixth place on the passing yards leaderboard with 11,089 in his four seasons.
In the passing touchdown category, Lock is pretty much set at No. 3. Unless he puts up some historic numbers over the final three games of the season, he will finish behind Aaron Murray (121, Georgia) and Danny Wuerffel (114, Florida). In terms of passing yards, Lock has a very good shot of finishing in the top-two.
He currently sits just 489 yards behind No. 3, David Greene (11,528, Georgia), which he could realistically end up passing before he even plays Arkansas on Nov. 23. Murray’s 13,166 yards is probably out of reach, but these last few games will go a long way toward sealing Lock’s spot in the history books.
Ground game compliments aerial attack
What’s a good offense without the ability to pound the ball on the ground?
The Tigers’ passing game was electric until they used the fourth quarter to milk the clock, but Missouri was only that successful in the air because they had a solid running game to keep Florida honest.
Running backs Damarea Crockett and Larry Rountree III led the charge, combining for 186 yards and two touchdowns while both averaged over five yards-per-carry. Freshman running back Tyler Badie was a non-factor after exiting the game in the first half, but he still managed 18 yards on his single carry and Lock put up 19 yards in his absence.
The running game has certainly been Missouri’s strength this season with the unit rarely having a bad performance, and the unit’s play on Saturday only boosted the Tigers’ offense in the win over the Gators.
Other notable Week 10 stats
- Ten, count em, ten different players had receptions Saturday to contribute to the 250 total receiving yards. Granted, Crockett’s -2 yards on his sole reception ultimately hurt the total, but how often can a team say they’ve had that many players catch a pass in a single game?
- Missouri had some penalty issues once again against the Gators, losing 84 yards on 11 penalties. The Tigers have been penalty prone throughout the season, and although it’s hurt them in the past, they might be pretty lucky Florida didn’t take advantage (and also gave them 66 penalty yards back).