COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri's second-half surge continued. So did Florida's second-half slide.
The Tigers beat the Gators 45-16 on Saturday for their third straight victory after a 1-5 start. Florida has lost four straight and has been outscored 87-23 in the last two weeks.
"I'm proud of our guys," Missouri coach Barry Odom said. "I'm proud of the resolve they've shown. We're making progress in a lot of different areas, and it's started to show."
Missouri (4-5, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) took control of the game with a 14-play, 98-yard touchdown drive that spanned the first and second quarters. The key play was a 36-yard Drew Lock pass to Emanuel Hall on first-and-25. Larry Rountree III capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, giving the Tigers a 14-0 lead.
The Tigers, known for Lock's prolific passing, leaned heavily on the running game early. Rountree carried 15 times for 83 yards and three touchdowns, and Ish Witter added 83 yards on 17 rushes. The Tigers finished with 227 rushing yards.
Lock and his receivers also exploited Florida's tight man-to-man coverage over the top. Lock completed 15 of 20 passes for 228 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Hall had five catches for 113 yards. J'Mon Moore had six catches for 64 yards and one touchdown.
"We knew they were going to bring a safety into the box to help against the run and that would give us an opportunity to attack the outside on whatever side I thought was best," Lock said.
In his first start at quarterback for the Gators (3-5, 3-4), graduate transfer Malik Zaire completed 13 of 19 passes for 158 yards and one interception. Florida settled for three Eddie Pineiro field goals until backup quarterback Feleipe Franks connected with Lamical Perine on a 16-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
"I don't think anybody coming to this university is going to accept losing," Florida interim coach Randy Shannon said. "I don't think anyone going to compete is going to accept losing. It's our job that those guys don't accept it and play hard. Our mind-set is that we're going to go in next week, go up to Columbia and beat South Carolina."
MISSOURI: Lock, a junior, moved past Brad Smith into second place on Missouri's career touchdown passes list. Lock has 58 TD passes, which is 43 behind record-holder Chase Daniel. Lock has 31 touchdown passes this season.
FLORIDA: When asked if the quarterback job would be up for grabs after Franks guided the Gators to their only touchdown and completed 7 of 10 passes for 98 yards in the fourth quarter, Shannon said he would look at the film before making a decision. "When we put Feleipe in, it was a little bit smoother," Shannon said.
MISSOURI: The Tigers will try for their fourth straight victory with a home game against Tennessee.
FLORIDA: The Gators will try to break their four-game slump at South Carolina.