COLUMBIA - The 5-5 Mizzou Tigers headed into Saturday's matchup against Florida, looking to become bowl eligible and send the seniors home happy with a win on Senior Day. Before kickoff, all the senior players came out early on the field with their loved ones to soak in the sights and sounds before their last game at Faurot Field.
Florida received the ball first and drove 50 yards steadily down the field, but the Tigers tightened up their defense and forced them to end their 10 play drive with a 42 yard field goal. Mizzou converted just one first down on their opening drive and was forced to punt it back the Gators, but the Tigers quickly got the ball back in great field position after a bad punt by Florida.
The Tigers couldn't get their offense going yet, however, and failed to take advantage of the good opportunity as they gained negative yards after a blown up play to Tyler Badie that Florida's defense was all over. Harrison Mevis ended the short drive with a 39 yard field goal.
After a punt by each team to start the 2nd quarter, the Gators drove to the 4 yard line of Mizzou but a false start penalty pushed them back which led to Florida being held to a chip-shot field goal to regain the lead. The Tigers responded with a 46 yard field goal on the following drive to tie it back up 6-6.
The Gators would go three and out on their next possession, and they punted the ball back to Mizzou where the Tigers took over at their own 12 yard line. Connor Bazelak found Tauskie Dove down the middle of the field for a 50 yard pass which put the offense in good position to score, but the Tigers had to settle again for a 31 yard field goal.
Going into halftime, both teams couldn't put the ball in the end zone and Mizzou led 9-6 as they would get the ball first to start the 3rd quarter. After a three and out drive of 0 yards, the Tigers were forced to punt and Florida gained possession at midfield.
On the first play of the drive, Gators' quarterback Emory Jones hit receiver Trent Whittemore for 45 yards which set up a Dameon Pierce rushing touchdown two plays later as Florida scored the first touchdown of the game and took the lead 13-9.
Six possessions of punts later into the 4th quarter, Mizzou began to march down the field led by a couple Tyler Badie big runs. From the Florida 41 yard line, Connor Bazelak hit Niko Hea running in stride down the right sideline and he outran the Gators defender for the touchdown. The Tigers finally got in the end zone, and they regained the lead 16-13 after the 7 play drive.
Next possession, Florida drove down to Mizzou's 15 yard line but was stopped on 3rd & 1 after a big tackle for loss by Blaze Alldredge. The Gators decided to kick the 33 yard field goal and knot it up at 16, which was the last score in regulation as Harrison Mevis missed his only field goal of the day from 46 yards with 1:04 remaining.
As 47,818 fans awaited overtime, the Tigers won the coin toss and elected to defend first. On another 3rd & 1, Florida brought out a trick play which led to Emory Jones wide open for the 6 yard touchdown pass from Trent Whittemore as the Gators struck first in OT.
Down 23-16, Mizzou was able to score a touchdown with just two rushes by Tyler Badie and Eli Drinkwitz was given the big decision of kicking the extra point to tie it or go for the two point conversion and game it right then and there. Coach Drink decided to go for 2, and Connor Bazelak found Daniel Parker Jr. wide open in the end zone for the win.
Coach Drinkwitz stated that his decision to go for 2 at the end game was a predetermined decision, and mentioned that he didn’t see the point in kicking the PAT if they would have to go for 2 in the second OT either way. @KOMUsports pic.twitter.com/YwMop1L0l4— Colby Zak (@ColbyZak_News) November 21, 2021
Mizzou got the job done, as they beat the Gators 24-23 in an electric overtime thriller. The Tigers clinched a bowl berth and sent the seniors home happy with the victory.
WATCH: The #Mizzou Tigers beat the #FloridaGators 24-23. @KOMUnews caught some fan reactions and the sheer excitement outside Faurot. (@KOMUsports, @ReynaKatko, @JulieKoharikTV) pic.twitter.com/o3Hcqqnk2M— Chase (@ChaseMatteson) November 21, 2021
Next week, Mizzou travels to Arkansas as the Tigers will face the #21 ranked Razorbacks.