It wasn’t a long streak, but it was a bit confounding.

Each of the past 2 seasons, Missouri whipped Florida by larger margins than the Tigers handled Vanderbilt.

Odd … but over.

CFP No. 11 Florida ended the trend Saturday with a 23-6 victory at Missouri. The loss was the Tigers’ 4th consecutive and dropped them to 5-5.

The victory kept the Gators in the hunt for a New Year’s 6 bowl game and kept them on pace for their first 10-win regular season since 2015.

Maybe it was the early start. Maybe it was the defenses. Whatever the cause(s), neither offense asserted itself, particularly early.

During the opening half, only the kickers had produced points, resulting in a 6-3 Gators lead.

Both quarterbacks were just OK. Both coaches seemed to ignore the running game. Lamical Perine had 2 carries for 3 yards in the 1st half. Counterpart Larry Rountree III had 5 carries for 19 yards.

The 1st-half drive chart looked about as exciting a bowl of oatmeal, which might have been the pregame meal for the 11 a.m. local kickoff.

  • Florida FG (3-0)
  • Missouri punt (3 plays, -3 yards)
  • Florida punt (4 plays, 27 yards)
  • Missouri punt (8 plays, 30 yards)
  • Florida punt (4 plays, 16 yards)
  • Missouri punt (7 plays, 39 yards)
  • Florida punt (7 plays, 28 yards)
  • Missouri FG (3-3)
  • Florida FG (6-3)
  • Missouri punt (3 plays, 5 yards)
  • Florida punt (3 plays, 7 yards)
  • Missouri punt (3 plays, 5 yards)
  • Florida punt (5 plays, -5 yards)

Whatever Dan Mullen said at halftime must have woken up the Gators. Trask hit Josh Hammond for a 34-yard TD on their opening drive to make it 13-3.

Mizzou had a chance to answer — with its defense, of course — but dropped a sure pick-6 deep inside Florida territory. The Tigers forced the Gators to punt, but their drive eventually stalled and resulted in Tucker McCann’s 2nd field goal to make it 13-6.

The Tigers appeared to pick off Trask on the Gators’ next possession, too, but officials ruled Kyle Pitts had possession long enough. The booth seemed to think it was a Missouri interception, but replay confirmed the catch, and the Gators eventually cashed in when Trask hit Perine for a twisting 15-yard TD to make it 20-6.

The Tigers had another shot at an interception, and possibly much more, but DeMarkus Acy couldn’t hold on after jumping a sideline route at the Mizzou 2. Florida settled for a field goal to extend its lead to 23-6.

Settled. That terms has somewhat defined Florida’s offense this season.

No matter. Florida’s defense did more than enough. The Gators ended one slide Saturday and continued on its path toward another major bowl bid.