Rapid Reaction: Jayden Daniels outduels Anthony Richardson, helps LSU outlast Florida
LSU found its offense.
Jayden Daniels was sharp, decisive and accurate. He threw for 3 touchdowns and that was just half of his touchdown total.
Kayshon Boutte had his 2022 coming-out party as the receivers got open, caught the ball and made plays.
Daniels and Josh Williams contributed to a productive running game.
And the defense and special teams overcame bad starts as the Tigers defeated Florida 45-35 in The Swamp on Saturday night.
LSU (5-2, 3-1) bounced back from a 40-13 thrashing at the hands of Tennessee a week earlier by scoring 28 consecutive points during the 2nd and 3rd quarters to take control. Florida rallied, pulling with 7 midway through the 4th quarter and seemingly giving itself a chance when it intercepted Daniels near midfield. But Florida was called for roughing the passer on the play, wiping out the turnover and allowing LSU to continue to churn time. The Tigers converted a 4th-and-1 at Florida’s 35 to extend the drive and eventually set up a 47-yard field goal from Damian Ramos to seal the victory.
The Tigers had their highest-scoring game against an SEC opponent this season, easily surpassing the previous high in a 31-16 victory against Mississippi State in the conference opener.
Boutte, who struggled during the first half of the season while working his way back from multiple ankle surgeries to fix an injury suffered in the middle of last season, had his first 100-yard receiving game of the season.
Louisiana sports betting is officially live in much of the state. Whether it is betting on SEC football or LSU football games or the Heisman race each year, if you live in Louisiana, you can now do it from your mobile phone.
After scoring the final 14 points of the first half, LSU struck quickly at the start of the 2nd half.
On the 1st play, Josh Williams broke multiple tackles on his way to a 50-yard run. Two plays later Daniels ran 9 yards for a touchdown to increase the Tigers lead to 35-21.
Richardson drove the Gators to the LSU 12 on the ensuing possession, but he threw an incomplete pass on 4th and 4.
LSU responded with a 13-play, 88-yard drive that ended with Daniels’ 9-yard touchdown run that produced a 42-21 lead at the end of the third quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter Richardson electrified the crowd and woke up his team with an 81-yard run for a touchdown that cut the lead to 14.
On the ensuing possession LSU punted for the first time and Richardson and the Gators took over at their 20.
Eleven plays later Trevor Etienne ran 1 yard for a touchdown that pulled the Gators with 42-35 with 7:39 remaining.
Florida started fast as all of LSU’s SEC opponents have.
Etienne returned the opening kickoff 47 yards and 2 plays later Anthony Richardson threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Justin Shorter.
But the Tigers, who trailed Mississippi State 13-0, Auburn 17-0 and Tennessee 20-0, managed to score before facing a double-digit deficit this time.
On the ensuing possession Daniels threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to John Emery Jr. to tie the score.
The tie didn’t last long as Montrell Johnson ran 39 yards for a touchdown that gave Florida a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The string of possessions that produced touchdowns reached 4 when Daniels ran 1 yard for a tying score early in the 2nd quarter.
Finally, a possession failed to produce points when the Gators punted on the ensuing possession, but Jack Bech muffed the punt and Rocco Underwood recovered for the Gators at the LSU 13.
Five plays later, Johnson ran 3 yards for a touchdown on a 3rd and goal to give Florida a 21-14 lead.
The Tigers answered with Daniels’ 24-yard touchdown pass to Brian Thomas Jr. that tied the score again.
Moments later Daniels threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Jaray Jenkins to give LSU the lead, 28-21.