No. 11 Florida jumped out in front of Missouri with two third-quarter touchdowns and rode a strong defensive performance from Todd Grantham's unit to a 23-6 win at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Gators quarterback Kyle Trask completed 23-of-35 passes for 282 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, serving as the the offensive spark after halftime following two quarters of defensive dominance by both teams.
The adjustments made by coach Dan Mullen and the offensive coaching staff opened up the passing game for Trask after a first half that mostly saw him scrambling to avoid Missouri's pass rush. Trask identified the matchups that he wanted on the outside before both of his touchdown passes. The first, a deep throw to Josh Hammond, was a statement score that broke open the 6-3 touchdown-less grinder in the first possession of the quarter.
The next touchdown toss required some extra reviews from the officials, but Lamical Perine did a great job of trapping Trask's pass against his chest and getting his feet down in bounds for the second touchdown of the quarter.
The game was dictated by field position from the start of the game, and Florida was happy to allow Missouri to have short passes on early downs as long as it stuffed the Tigers' rushing attack and stood strong on third down. Kelly Bryant did a good job of keeping plays alive in his first action since missing time with a hamstring injury, but he only hit two passes of 20+ yards during the game and Missouri finished 5-for-17 on third down.
We've come to expect Florida's defense to be aggressive and tenacious, and on Saturday, that group lived up to the billing. Even without Jabari Zuniga in the lineup, Jonathan Greenard (two sacks) helped maintain that high standard and the Gators totaled three sacks, three quarterback hurries and 10 tackles for loss. It's the second straight game that Florida's defense has not allowed a touchdown, completing what has been one of the most impressive defensive campaigns in the SEC this season.
Florida's SEC East hopes are not dead, but it's all out of the Gators' hands from here. The SEC schedule is done for UF, and it's in the books with a 6-2 record, good for solo second place at worst. Unfortunately, a head-to-head loss to Georgia makes it unlikely that Florida is going to Atlanta for the conference championship game as the SEC East representative.
But should the Bulldogs -- in action against Auburn later today in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week -- stumble twice, Mullen could win the first SEC division title of his career. The 2019 season didn't start with expectations of the Gators winning the SEC title, but their trajectory says it's time to raise expectations for Florida moving forward, at least in 2020.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way updating this story with the latest scores, highlights and analysis from the game.