Three players were ejected as a brawl broke out between Florida and Missouri at the end of the first half of the Gators’ 41-17 win in Gainesville on Saturday night.
Florida apparently took exception to a hit quarterback Kyle Trask sustained from Missouri’s Trajan Jeffcoat on the final play of the half, touching off a wild scuffle that saw multiple punches thrown by players.
Zachary Carter and Antwaun Powell were tossed from the game for Florida, while Missouri saw Tre Williams ejected from the contest. Every player on both teams was also assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, per the broadcast.
Even the coaches got into it, with Florida’s Dan Mullen and Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz appearing to exchange words before engaging in a slightly calmer conversation involving the referees.
Walking off the field with his team up 20-7 after the madness subsided, Mullen briefly came back out to pump up the crowd.
In an almost more-ridiculous scene postgame, Mullen showed up to his press conference dressed as villainous Star Wars character Darth Vader (though he said the Halloween costume just happened to be the only one lying around Florida’s facility).
“Everyone’s running to the locker room and it keeps spilling down that way,” the Vader-suited Mullen said of how the confrontation between his team and the Tigers escalated. “Really unfortunate situation. It’s not something we condone, obviously. It’s not something that you really want to see in the game at all.”
“I don’t know why they were running over to our hash,” Missouri’s Drinkwitz said. “I have no idea what they were yelling about. We’ll take a look at the film and I’m sure we’ll find out more tomorrow when we watch the tape. Film doesn’t lie.”
Supplemental discipline is almost surely coming from the SEC after this brawl.
Florida, playing its first game since Oct. 10 following a COVID-19 outbreak within the team that included Mullen contracting the virus, plays rival Georgia next week. Missouri is off, but plays the No. 5 Bulldogs in two weeks.
“It’s an ugly scene,” Drinkwitz said of the brawl. “It’s an ugly scene for football, an ugly scene for college football. I’m not proud of it. I don’t know who started it. We’ve got to figure it out and we’ve got to get it fixed. It’s disappointing.”
Contributing: Associated Press