The last handful of minutes in the Florida – LSU game provided Florida fans with a fluctuating emotional roller coaster. There were times when the Gators were destined to win – like on Demarcus Robinson’s huge 72-yard reception – and other times where it looked bleak for the Orange and Blue.

In the end, Florida fell short, losing 30-27, but not without its share of spectacular, game-changing plays in the fourth quarter. For purposes of this article, we’ll take a look at the play that sealed the Gators’ fate Saturday night at a time when everything seemed to be going their way.

What happened before

Before lambasting Driskel on this play, let me say that there were several mistakes in the last few minutes by other players and coaches that contributed to the losing result. But on this play, it was simply just another poor decision by Driskel. And unfortunately for the Gators, this time it ultimately cost them a chance at an important victory.

Prior to this play, Florida was rolling. The defense had forced a quick three-and-out for LSU and thanks to some questionable play calling by the Tigers, the Gators were presented with a real opportunity to get the game-winning score in the final minute or so.  Driskel was 2-for-2 on the drive after completing two passes to freshman running back Brandon Powell for a total of 13 yards.

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At the LSU 45 on 1st down with roughly 35 seconds and no time outs left, the Gators hustle to the line to get a play off.

With Hardin’s leg, he has the ability to hit anything from 50 yards out or farther, so the Gators don’t have to get too much farther downfield to get within his range. Whether he’s accurate enough from that distance is a whole different question, but he unquestionably has the leg power.

Breaking down the play

On the play, Florida lines up four wide receivers on the outside with a back next to Driskel for pass protection. LSU brings five guys, so not a huge blitz. And that’s one of the reasons why Driskel’s decision on the quick pass is so perplexing.

Not only is it incredibly tough to fit a quick slant pass in between double coverage, but there was really no immediate pressure from LSU to force a quick throw from Driskel. He starts off in the Gators’ usual shotgun formation, giving him at least five or six yards of space between him and the line of scrimmage. If you pause it as he begins his throwing motion, there is no LSU defender within four or five yards of the football. And from the looks of it, Florida’s offensive line did a great job of establishing a well-defined pocket for Driskel to throw in.

RELATED: Report Card: Florida falters in final minutes

Aside from the lack of pressure, the decision to even throw it to Latroy Pittman direction is another head scratcher on Driskel’s part.

Considering the situation, the quarterback needs to either throw it for a first down, near the sideline to get out of bounds or somehow gain big yardage. Driskel’s throw to Pittman would have accomplished none of those things. Even if Pittman hauls that ball in between those two defenders, he’s not getting much farther. So now you’re looking at virtually a wasted play. The Gators gain maybe three or four yards and lose at least 10 seconds on the clock once they finally get back to the line. It was a throw that contained all the risk, but hardly any reward.

Missed open receiver

If you look at the other receivers on the play, there wasn’t too much developing right away. Clay Burton on the far side of the field runs a short out route, but is covered pretty tightly. Quinton Dunbar on the far sideline appears to be running a streak with some soft coverage by the LSU defender, but his route is taking longer to develop.

Pause the video at 0:02. You’ll see the receiver Driskel should have thrown the ball to.

Demarcus Robinson – Driskel’s favorite receiver – runs a similar route to Pittman, but the slant is about five yards farther downfield. The LSU DB’s coverage is also a good five yards off of Robinson, giving him plenty of room to make a catch slanting towards the middle of the field and pick up a crucial first down.

Instead, Driskel misses the wide open receiver and simply panics, thows a bullet into double coverage, which not surprisingly gets picked off.

Unfortunately for the Gators, the return on the interception sets up LSU for the game-winning field goal attempt and the Tigers walk out of The Swamp with a victory. And it’s plays like this one that have plagued Driskel all throughout the season and they are the kind of mistakes that eventually will cost him his starting job.