It certainly hasn’t been pretty, but Florida football has held off a stingy Missouri defense and Florida’s defense hasn’t been hurt too bad in the first half.
A couple of Evan McPherson field goals has Florida football in control — and we use that term loosely in this game — on the road at Missouri.
It was a first half mired with offensive issues for both teams.
For the Gators, quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 147 yards on 11-for-20 passing, but the Florida football offensive line allowed Trask to be sacked four times in the first half.
The Florida defense, on the other hand, contained graduate transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant to just 105 yards passing.
The Missouri running game was unable to get off the ground either as Larry Rountree III managed just 24 yards on 4 carries.
Here are three first-half observations:
The Florida football offensive line is getting worked
There’s really no way to sugarcoat it but the Gators’ offensive line is getting manhandled by Missouri.
Give credit to the Tigers, they have a very good defensive unit, but there were plays where it looked like the Florida football offensive line wasn’t even trying.
We knew Missouri would pass rush most of the game, but it looks like the offensive line wasn’t prepared for that — as if they were the only ones in the stadium who didn’t think the Tigers would rush the passer.
To that end, the Florida running game hasn’t been able to manage much either.
Interestingly enough, backup quarterback Emory Jones in the leading rusher for Florida, getting 24 yards on two carries.
Another defensive showdown for the Gators
Since the offense has been somewhat anemic in the first half, it’s a good thing the Florida football defense has shown up.
They have done a very good job containing Bryant — who is coming off an injury — to the tune of 10 yards on six carries.
Bryant has been decent in the passing game — going 10-for-14 for 105 yards, but because Florida is showing various blitz and pass rush schemes, its to be expected.
The Florida secondary has also been effective at closing down All-SEC tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, who has just 24 yards on three catches.
With neither offense producing much in the first half, the defense is likely going to be called upon to keep up the pressure in the second half.
Where is Pitts?
One thing I have been surprised about is the fact that Florida football tight end Kyle Pitts has been nearly inactive in the first half.
He has just one catch for five yards.
Considering he brings a big mismatch against the Missouri secondary, I am wondering why he hasn’t been more in the game plan.
That said, I think it would be good to see more of Pitts in the passing game in the second half.