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GAMEDAY College Football

Florida 24, Missouri 17

By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Jaydon Hill intercepted two passes, including one he returned 49 yards for a touchdown, and Florida held on to beat Missouri 24-17 to end a six-game skid in Southeastern Conference play.

Hill's pick-6 was among a bevy of big plays that gave the Gators (4-2, 1-2 SEC) their first league victory in a year. His second interception ended a third-quarter drive that had reached Florida's 16-yard line.

It was a breakout performance for Hill, a third-year sophomore who was playing his second game since returning from a knee injury that wiped out his 2021 season. Hill had been a projected starter this past spring but needed arthroscopic surgery in the summer after tweaking the same knee again.

Hill's play against the Tigers (2-4, 0-3) also backed up his comments earlier this week when he said Missouri is "just not supposed to" beat Florida.

Of course, it happened five times in the previous 10 meetings. The Gators, who entered the game as 10 1/2-point favorites according to FanDuel Sportsbook, looked like they might be in trouble again after gaining just 65 yards in the first half.

But coach Billy Napier turned to the ground game in the second half, getting long runs from Montrell Johnson (36, 41), Trevor Etienne (39) and Anthony Richardson (32) to find the end zone.

The Gators finished with 231 yards rushing, including 212 in the second half. Johnson led the way with 86 yards and a touchdown.

Still, it was Florida's defense that clinched the game. The Gators stopped a fourth-and-2 play with 1:17 remaining to put the Tigers away.

Richardson completed 8 of 14 passes for 66 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. It was his fifth straight game with at least one turnover. He also ran for 45 yards.

Brady Cook was 22-of-30 passing for 220 yards for Missouri. Nathaniel Peat ran for 117 yards and a score.

THE TAKEAWAY

Missouri: After oh-so-close losses to Auburn and Georgia, Missouri had another team on the ropes. The Tigers held Florida to 65 yards of offense in the first half and probably would have had a first-half shutout if not for a 48-yard punt return and a 49-yard run.

Florida: The Gators don't have an identity six games into the Napier era. Many thought it would be the Richardson Show, but Richardson has at least one turnover in five consecutive games. Florida can't stop the run and has little passing prowess.

KEY INJURIES

Missouri receiver/punt returner Luther Burden appeared to injure his left ankle in the third quarter. He was helped off the field and examined on the sideline. Burden is one of the team's few offensive playmakers. He had five receptions for 20 yards before the injury.

NEW HALL OF FAMERS

Former and longtime Florida administrator Jeremy Foley, credited with making the Gators one of the top athletic programs in the country, was one of nine inducted into the school's Hall of Fame this weekend. Foley got in as an honorary letterwinner.

Joining him in the 2022 class: running back and U.S. Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps, swimmer Conor Dwyer, cornerback Joe Haden, softball player Michelle Moultrie, basketball forward Chandler Parsons, triple jumper Christian Taylor, catcher Mike Zunino and tennis coach Steve Beeland.

"If you want to talk about the best athletic programs in America, whether Florida is at the top or not, that's up to people to decide. But it's one of the best," Foley said. "We elevated it to that level, where it will continue to stay. That's the thing I'm proudest of."


Scoring Summary
First Quarter MissouFla
Fla FG 2:58 Adam Mihalek 37 yard field goal 0 3
Fla TD 1:01 Jaydon Hill 49 yard interception return for TD (Adam Mihalek Extra Point) 0 10
Second Quarter MissouFla
Missou TD 3:55 Cody Schrader 5 yard TD run (Harrison Mevis Extra Point) 7 10
Missou FG 0:20 Harrison Mevis 28 yard field goal 10 10
Third Quarter MissouFla
Fla TD 6:55 Montrell Johnson Jr. 3 yard TD run (Adam Mihalek Extra Point) 10 17
Fourth Quarter MissouFla
Fla TD 11:10 Ricky Pearsall 9 yard TD pass from Anthony Richardson (Adam Mihalek Extra Point) 10 24
Missou TD 5:58 Nathaniel Peat 18 yard TD run (Harrison Mevis Extra Point) 17 24
Team Stats
  Missouri Florida
First downs 21 12
  Rushing 8 8
  Passing 13 3
  Penalty 0 1
3rd Down Efficiency 9-17, 53% 3-11, 27%
4th down efficiency 0-1, 0% 1-1, 100%
Rushes-Yards 42-151 33-231
Passing Yards 220 61
Return Yards 21 102
Completions-Attempts-Int 22-30-2 7-13-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 4-16 1-3
Punts 4 1
Fumbles Lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties - Yards 6-55 1-5
Missouri Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
B. Cook 22 30 220 0 2
Florida Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
A. Richardson 7 13 61 1 1
Missouri Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
N. Peat 22 137 6.2 1
C. Schrader 7 11 1.6 1
B. Cook 13 3 0.2 0
Florida Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
M. Johnson Jr. 9 91 10.1 1
T. Etienne 10 83 8.3 0
A. Richardson 5 40 8.0 0
N. Wright 5 22 4.4 0
Missouri Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Cooper 4 58 14.5 0
D. Lovett 4 39 9.8 0
M. Miller 2 38 19.0 0
C. Schrader 3 31 10.3 0
T. Dove 2 21 10.5 0
L. Burden III 5 20 4.0 0
N. Peat 1 8 8.0 0
T. Stephens 1 5 5.0 0
Florida Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Shorter 1 20 20.0 0
D. Zanders 1 12 12.0 0
R. Pearsall 1 9 9.0 1
X. Henderson 2 8 4.0 0
M. Burke 1 7 7.0 0
K. Zipperer 1 5 5.0 0
Missouri Interceptions
Player Int Yards
D. Carnell 1 0
Florida Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Hill 2 54
Missouri Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Stonehouse 4 159 39.8
Florida Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Crawshaw 1 42 42.0
Missouri Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Florida Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
X. Henderson 2 48 24.0
Missouri Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
T. Jones 1 21 21.0
Florida Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Missouri Missed FG
Player Length
Florida Missed FG
Player Length
A. Mihalek 50
A. Mihalek 47




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