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Florida 21, Missouri 3: Gators grind out a win on the road, take control of SEC East

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Florida's win over Missouri was anything but spectacular. Didn't matter.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Florida came out of the gates against Missouri with all guns blazing, driving 75 yards for its first touchdown on an opening drive in nearly two years. Missouri responded with cannon fire of its own, driving into the red zone before settling for a field goal.

From there, both teams bogged down — and thanks to Florida's resilient defense and just enough additional production from its offense, the Gators came away with a 21-3 victory that felt more perfunctory than perfect.

Against Missouri, perfunctory is plenty: The Gators got blown out by the Tigers at home in 2014, and had a deceptively lopsided game get ugly late on this same field in 2013. A defense that kept Missouri at bay for most of the night, pressuring freshman Drew Lock into misfiring on more than half of his throws and handing over two interceptions, with one of them turning into a Jalen Tabor pick-six.

And with Florida's defense holding Missouri without a third-down conversion until the final minute of the game, it didn't matter that Will Grier (20-for-33 for 208 yards) was skittish again, or that Kelvin Taylor (28 carries, 99 yards, two touchdowns) lost effectiveness as the night wore on.

This was a brutal, brutish win by a very good team, and it came over one that is probably decent and maybe good. Florida won because it controlled the clock and avoided mistakes and did nothing to lose and enough to win.

And now Florida has its first 6-0 start under a first-year head coach since 1928, and a stranglehold on the SEC East.

Boring can be beautiful.