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The Gators visited MIssouri for the first time in school history on Saturday.

Saturday October 19, 2013The Quick Slant: Instant Analysis from UF's 36-17 loss at Missouri

The Gators visited MIssouri for the first time in school history on Saturday.

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER Senior Writer

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Florida's first trip to Missouri was anything but postcard perfect on Saturday for the Gators.

Two plays into the game Florida trailed and was without starting safety Cody Riggs, who was ejected for drawing a targeting penalty on the first play of the game -- a 41-yard pass from Maty Mauk to L'Damian Washington.

After the Gators were penalized 15 yards, Mauk hit Bud Sasser for a 20-yard touchdown pass that came just 22 seconds into Florida's 36-17 loss here at Faurot Field.

The Tigers (7-0, 3-0 in SEC) never trailed to keep their grip on first in the SEC East. Meanwhile, the Gators (4-3, 3-2) lost back-to-back games for the first time since the 2011 season.

Here is our quick analysis from the game:


WHAT IT MEANS: If any team ever needed a bye week, this year's Gators are that team. Florida played Saturday without starting defensive players Ronald Powell and Damien Jacobs, the latest to a long list of recent injuries. Florida also lost special teamer Jeremi Powell during the game. With a week off until the annual showdown with Georgia against Jacksonville, the Gators will use the extra time to get healthy and work on their struggling offense.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Mauk was making his first career start in place of injured Missouri quarterback James Franklin. Mauk got the job done to keep the surprising Tigers in first place in the SEC East, completing 18 of 36 for 295 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

STAGGERING STATISTIC: The Gators' defense had allowed only one play of 40 yards or more through the season's first six games. Missouri had three plays that long in Saturday's win, starting with Mauk's completion to Washington on the first play of the game.

SUBPLOT: Florida quarterback Tyler Murphy never had a chance Saturday. Murphy was under constant pressure and was sacked six times, losing fumbles on two of the sacks. The Florida offensive line, under scrutiny after last week's 17-6 loss at LSU, had another forgettable outing against Missouri's physical defensive line.

UP NEXT: The Gators are off next week and return to action Nov. 2 against Georgia in Jacksonville. Like the Gators, the Bulldogs have lost two in  a row after losing at Vanderbilt on Saturday. With Georgia and Florida's recent struggles, both teams must win to keep whatever hopes of an SEC title they have alive by kickoff.


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