Mizzou Romps in the Swamp

Marcus Murphy returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown in Missouri’s 42-13 thrashing of a once-proud Florida program that may be in search of a new head coach sooner than later.

Murphy would later add a rushing touchdown as well as an 82 punt return making him the first player in school history to score in those three ways.

“It set the stage,” Head coach Gary Pinkel said about Murphy’s kickoff return. “One of the great return people I’ve ever been around.”

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Luckily for Mizzou, a suffocating and opportunistic defense also made the trip to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday night as the offense remained inept once again. Quarterback Maty Mauk completed just 6 out of his 18 pass attempts for a grand total of 20 yards and an interception to boot. The offense managed only 119 yards of offense which is unbelievable considering the final score. The Tiger defense decided to take matters into its own hands, creating six turnovers and two scores. Missouri’s pass rush was fierce all night and SEC Defensive Player of the Year candidate Shane Ray made his mark on the game with a 3rd quarter sack and forced fumble that led to a Markus Golden touchdown.

“Shane’s a beast, he’s always playing hard, that’s my brother, I love him out there and he set me up to get a touchdown.” Golden would say after the game.

97d370321e7ae829620f6a7067002340The Tigers (now 5-2, 2-1 on the season) will now head back to Columbia for two straight home games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky respectively. Despite some of the negativity surrounding losses to Indiana and Georgia, Mizzou remains very much alive in the SEC East race but will have to find some positive momentum on offense if they have any hope of returning to Atlanta. Quarterback Maty Mauk has struggled mightily against SEC defenses this season, completing only 37% of his passes and atoning for a mere 249 yards combined in three contests. He has not thrown a touchdown pass since September 27th and has accounted for six turnovers. The Tiger offense should be able to get back on track against a struggling Vanderbilt squad next week, a team that has managed only two wins on the season against FCS teams.

will-muschamp-gators-georgia-mizzou-2012-570x379As for the Florida Gators, the question simply becomes: When will head coach Will Muschamp be fired? After a dismal 2013 season, the Gators continue to look completely lost on the offensive side of the ball and his game of “musical quarterbacks” is certainly not getting the job done in Gainesville. It would not surprise me if Muschamp were fired before I have the chance to click “publish on this article after Florida’s worst home defeat since 1982. Another crazy stat: in the last decade, teams that surrender 120 yards or fewer are 147-2. The Gators were the victims of BOTH losses as they gave up 119 yards to the Missouri Tigers Saturday night and lost by 29 points. It is clearly time for Florida to re-assess itself as a program and to head in a new direction at the coaching position. This a program that has won two BCS Championships in the past decade alone and should not be relegated to SEC cellar-dwelling status.

Avatar of Clint Switzer
Full-time sports fan, part-time contributor to society. GASN Sports co-founder, podcast host, filmmaker and writer.

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