Tigers head to Florida, will try to bounce back from tough loss

The coaches and players on the Missouri Tigers said all of the right things this week about moving on and forgetting about the heartbreaking, final play loss last week to Kentucky.

All that is left on Saturday is for them to go and prove they can do that.

It’s another chance for quarterback Drew Lock and the Tigers to defeat a ranked team, but once again it won’t be easy. Missouri will be in Gainesville, Fla., to play the 13th-ranked Florida Gators, who are coming off a disappointing loss of their own against Georgia.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. St. Louis time and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Missouri had a 14-3 lead over Kentucky, ranked 12th in the country, with less than six minutes to play last Saturday but could not close out the victory. A 67-yard punt return cut the Tigers’ lead to 14-9 and a pass interference penalty in the end zone as time expired gave Kentucky one last untimed play. A 2-yard pass for a touchdown resulted in Kentucky’s 15-14 win.

The loss dropped the Tigers to 4-4 overall and 0-4 in the SEC. Another of those losses, at South Carolina, also came in the final seconds of the game.

Perhaps more concerning than the loss, however, was the fact that Missouri’s offense could not generate a first down in the second half. They had eight possessions and each time it ended with a punt.

“That’s one of the great things about football. It’s like life,” said offensive coordinator Derek Dooley. “You get knocked on your tail, you’ve got to get up, dust off your britches and go back to work.”

The three losses to Georgia, South Carolina and Kentucky were by a combined total of 17 points. Last year, Missouri lost to the same three teams by a combined margin of 49 points.

“Usually when you are that way and come up short, it’s going to hurt,” said head coach Barry Odom. “Quite frankly, it’s supposed to. You’re not supposed to get by and just move on with the next one all of a sudden. That would be letting go of the rope.”

Florida also lost to Kentucky and Georgia, and has SEC wins over LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

About stlsportspage 2420 Articles
For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.

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