Missouri defeats Florida in overtime
Connor Bazelak, under a heavy rush, floated a desperation two-point conversion pass to tight end Daniel Parker Jr. as the host Missouri Tigers upset the Florida Gators 24-23 in SEC play on Saturday in Columbia, Mo.
On the previous play, Tyler Badie ran for a 13-yard touchdown to cut Missouri’s deficit to 23-22. Missouri (6-5, 3-4 SEC) then opted to go for a two-point conversion, and the connection made the Tigers bowl eligible.
Florida (5-6, 2-6) entered the game as an eight-point favorite.
The Gators had the ball first in overtime, and wide receiver Trent Whittemore tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Emory Jones.
Gators wide receiver Jacob Copeland was one of the stars of the game with eight catches for 102 yards. Jones completed 20 of 32 passes for 261 yards.
Badie ran for 146 yards and one TD on 27 carries. He was held to just 19 yards on eight first-half carries.
Bazelak, who heard some boos earlier in the game, completed 15 of 26 passes for 165 yards and one TD.
Missouri had just 118 yards of total offense in the first half, going 1-for-7 on third-down conversions. Yet, the Tigers led 9-6 as Harrison Mevis went 3-for-3 on field goals, converting from 39, 46 and 31 yards.
Florida, held to 188 yards of offense, converted on just 3-of-9 third-down chances. Chris Howard went 2-for-2 on field goals, scoring from 42 and 26 yards for the Gators.
The longest drive of the first half was Missouri’s nine-play, 74-yard march that gave the Tigers their first lead of the game, 9-6, with 94 seconds left in the second quarter.
That drive was kept alive when Florida’s Mohamoud Diabate jumped offside on fourth-and-1 from Missouri’s 21-yard line. In addition, Missouri’s Tauskie Dove caught a 50-yard “jump ball” reception.
However, Florida went back on top, 13-9, on Dameon Pierce’s 2-yard run with 12:52 left in the third. The TD was set up by Whittemore’s 45-yard catch and run.
Missouri regained the lead, 16-13, on Bazelak’s 41-yard pass to tight end Niko Hea, who got behind the defense and ran the final 26 yards with the reception. Earlier in the drive, Florida’s Kaiir Elam intercepted a pass, but that was negated due to a holding penalty on him.
Florida tied the score 16-16 on Howard’s 33-yard field goal with 8:30 left. The drive was set up by a fourth-and-2 conversion from the Missouri 41 as Jones tossed a short pass to running back Malik Davis for 17 yards.
With 64 seconds left, Missouri had a chance to take the lead, but Mevis — after a high snap — missed wide right on a 46-yarder.
It was only his second miss in 19 tries this season.
–Field Level Media