Florida quarterback Kyle Trask was hit on the last play of the first half by a Missouri defender on Saturday night, sparking an all-out brawl at midfield during which several punches were thrown.
As a result, Missouri linebacker Tre Williams and Florida defensive linemen Zach Carter and Antwuan Powell were ejected, and every player on both teams was assessed an unsportsmanlike penalty.
Florida went on to beat Missouri 41-17.
Florida coach Dan Mullen had to be held back by staff at one point during the scuffle and the chaos of both teams trying to leave the field. He later said he was trying to get his players off the field.
Mullen waved his arms toward the crowd as he headed toward the locker room in Gainesville, and then he turned around and returned to the field to further incite the fans.
Mullen said his players believed they were acting in defense of Trask, thinking the hit he sustained on the final play of the first half was unfair.
“They’re going to protect him,” Mullen said. “That’s their guy.”
He added: “Everybody was a little edgy and probably went a little too far with it.”
On Saturday, the schools issued a joint statement saying the incident does not reflect the values of either university.
“We are committed to healthy competition and good sportsmanship,” the joint statement said. “The clean play without incident in the second half is how we expect to represent both institutions and the SEC. We believe both programs will use this moment to learn from so that future incidents like this do not happen.”
Mullen, who said he did not condone the violence, credited Missouri’s coaching staff, as well as his own, for calming players down at halftime and preventing any further altercations.
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