Last night’s game was tough to stomach.
For nearly the entire first half, it looked like the Tigers had come to play. They led the Gators for a majority of the second quarter, and even had the chance to extend their lead. So what went wrong?
Well, it’s possible that Eli Drinkwitz was merely out coached. The decision to punt the ball on a fourth and one near midfield is really where Missouri lost any momentum they had gained.
Before that, the Tigers picked Kyle Trask off and retuned it for a touchdown and then forced a Gator three and out. They had a slim lead but were threatening to extend it just before the half.
So, on a play that should have been called an offsides against the Gators wasn’t, an irate Coach Drinkwitz elected to send out his special teams unit rather than go for it on fourth and one. This was somewhat of a curious decision given how many times the Tigers went for it on fourth down last week.
The Gators would respond right before the half with their first touchdown of the night, giving them the lead once again. That score hurt, but in no way were the Tigers out of the ballgame. A mishap fumble, however, resulted in another Gator touchdown before the half.
That’s when the floodgates opened.
Heading into the locker room down two scores certainly wasn’t where Missouri fans thought they’d be 5 minutes before the half ended. And then, there was the street fight.
It most likely originated following the late hit on Kyle Trask, but what it turned into was a full on disaster.
Players were throwing haymakers, coaches were rushing onto the field getting involved. Drinkwitz and Mullen had a heated exchange before heading off the field as well.
“It’s an ugly scene,” Drinkwitz explained. “It’s an ugly scene for college football and I’m not proud of it. I don’t know who started it but we’ve got to get it fixed.”
Drinkwitz also mentioned that he and Dan Mullens conversation at the half “wasn’t pleasant.”
The fight ultimately resulted in three ejections. Defensive lineman Zachary Carter and linebacker Antwuan Powell were ejected for Florida, and linebacker Tre Williams was ejected for Mizzou.
Quite frankly, there could have easily been a dozen more ejections.
Dan Mullen defended his players, saying, “Our guys are going to whatever it takes to defend their quarterback.”
Mullen added in that next week’s game against Georgia is one of their biggest matchups of the season and that it’s crucial his team remained on the sidelines to avoid getting any sort of suspension.
“It’s a really unfortunate situation. It’s not something we condone and it’s not something you want to see happen in the game at all.”
It’s possible that the halftime slugfest encouraged Florida to come out and play inspired football in the second half, because that’s exactly what happened.
Missouri’s defense seemingly couldn’t get off the field and Trask kept things rolling, throwing two more touchdowns, which served as the nail in the coffin for Missouri.
Thankfully, there were no violent altercations in the second half except on the score board.
Florida dominated Missouri in nearly every aspect of last nights matchup. As far as the fight goes, we’ll chalk it up as a tie.