GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Mike Gillislee took a screen pass and went 45 yards for a touchdown, and the No. 7 Gators used stifling defense to stave off Southeastern Conference newcomer Missouri, 14-7, yesterday.
The Gators hardly seemed to care.
"I took this job understanding fully the expectation is to go to Atlanta and win a championship," coach Will Muschamp said. "I've made my comment about how I feel about your season if that's not accomplished. We've made strides, but we're not where we want to be." Florida could still get there.
At times, Florida looked less than interested in staying in the SEC hunt. The Gators were shut out in the first half, managing just 111 yards and failing to contain Missouri quarterback James Franklin.
But like it has in so many other games this season, Florida played considerably better in the second half.
The Gators turned two short fields into touchdowns, with Omarius Hines scoring on a 36-yard jet sweep to tie the game in the third before Gillislee put Florida ahead for good in the fourth.
"We gave up too many big plays," Missouri linebacker Will Ebner said. "We put this loss on our back because we allowed them to score more points than our offense scored. We're never going to blame someone else. You've got to have each other's back. We shut them out the first half, why couldn't we do it in the second half?"
Jeff Driskel lofted a pass to Gillislee in the right flat, and with two blockers out front, Gillislee made one cut and went untouched for his eighth score of the season.
The defense did the rest, stopping Missouri on six consecutive drives that ended in Florida territory.