Published October 10, 2010 - 10:45am
NEW: Discuss this topic in the Google+ community for SEC fans.
The LSU Tigers came into the Swamp undefeated, and for now, that is the way they will stay. Both teams played their hearts out, albeit ugly at times, and drama unfolded in the end. Florida didn’t deserve to even be in the ball game, but they really didn’t deserve to lose it either. It was just a total team loss on both sides of the ball. Literally, the ball just bounced the wrong way for the Gators.
The Gators seemed to be unable to get much going on offense all night, and the boos at the Swamp proved that. Florida fans booed the offense and the offensive play calling late in the game. The Gators only had 243 total yards, compared to LSU’s 385. Running back Jeff Demps was banged up and unable to go at all. Backup running back Mike Gillislee also got banged up in the game.
In the first half, the Florida offensive line was getting gashed up front. That led to the Tigers being in the backfield for most of the first half, and starting quarterback John Brantley struggled to have time to look downfield. Again, due to injuries and lack of playmakers, Florida lacks a traditional running game from under center. They once again retreated to the wildcat with backup quarterbacks Trey Burton and Jordan Reed. Reed had one rushing score early in the second quarter, and Burton also added one in the second quarter.
The one time when Florida had to have a game-winning drive and had to put something together, they did in the 4th quarter. The Gators, with their backs against the wall, went 80 yards in 10 plays to go ahead of the Tigers. A huge third down pass to wide receiver Carl Moore for 51 yards gave the Gators a first down and new life. Florida punched it in on a Mike Gillislee 1-yard touchdown run. They also completed the two-point conversion to give them a 29-26 lead with a little over three minutes left to play in the game.
John Brantley finished 16/24 with 154 yards passing.
Going into the game, Gator fans had to feel good about their chances in stopping the running game with quarterback play being dismal for LSU this year. However, quarterbacks Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee combined for 16/24 with 224 yards and two touchdowns. Their usual Achilles heel turned out a positive on the night for the Tigers. Jefferson and Lee completed numerous third and long plays on the defense – against what is usually a strength for the Gator defense in the secondary. Wide receiver Terrance Toliver caught six passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
Florida had to have a stop on defense to end the game. They had LSU 2nd and 11, and Terrance Toliver bailed them out with an 18-yard pass reception. After a fake field goal, the Gators could not stop Toliver again as he caught a quick slant over the middle that took it to the Gators’ 3 yard line. Two plays later, Lee hit Toliver on a 3-yard fade route in the end zone to break the hearts’ of the Gators.
Florida played okay on special teams. Red shirt freshman Andre Debose ignited the Swamp with his 88-yard kick off return to cut the lead to 26-21 at a crucial time in the 4th quarter. Everyone has been waiting on Debose to make a play, and he provided that spark for the Gators. Back up kicker and starting punter Chas Henry missed a field goal. The Gators also could not stop kicker Josh Jasper’s fake field goal run for five yards as it went for a first down. Patrick Peterson did not do much in the return game for the Tigers – which is something the Gators had to stop to be in this game.
Obviously the turning point in the game was the controversial fake field goal for LSU. The holder flipped the ball behind him, no-look, and Jasper picked it up off a bounce that came directly up to him and ran for the first down. LSU later scored on the Toliver fade to make the Swamp really quiet and hand the Gators their second loss of the season in SEC play and second loss in a row.
Florida also committed costly penalties throughout the game. Altogether, they had 11 penalties for 69 yards. Florida is always a heavy-penalized team, and you can’t commit costly penalties if you expect to win big, close games.
The Gators look to rebound next week against a tough Mississippi State team in the Swamp.