LSU 35, Florida 28, Instant Analysis: Gators fight, but can’t stop Fournette, LSU

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A hard fought game late at night under the lights in Death Valley saw Jim McElwain lose for the first time as the Gators’ head coach. Here’s a look at how it unfolded:

It was over when… Treon Harris’s last second desperation heave fell incomplete. You could also say the sack he took on the first play of that last drive was the play that really did Florida in.

Play of the game… Locked in a 28-28 tie in the fourth quarter, Les Miles dug into his bag of tricks and pulled out the same play he used five years ago to beat Florida- the fake field goal toss to the kicker. Once again, it worked to perfection, as Trent Domingue took the toss from his holder and ran it in for the game winning touchdown.

Game ball goes to… Leonard Fournette, who ran for 180 yards on 31 carries. You could also make a case for Malachi Dupree, who hauled in a Hail Mary throw from Brandon Harris at the end of the first half and navigated his way an additional seven yards into the end zone for a devastating end of half touchdown.

Stat of the game… 1-1. LSU only attempted one fourth down conversion, but they converted it and it was a killer- the fake field goal touchdown to Domingue.

What to be proud of… Florida was left for dead following the Hail Mary to Dupree to make it 28-14 at the end of the first half, which came right after a “response” drive that ended in a touchdown from Treon Harris to Jake McGee. But instead of folding, Florida fought back to tie it with a touchdown drive and then a punt return TD from Antonio Callaway. On the road at night in Death Valley. Against the 6th ranked team in the country. That’s certainly… different than how a Will Muschamp team would have responded.

What to work on… Florida’s defense was great for three quarters, but absolutely horrid in the second quarter- so horrid, in fact, that it directly cost them the game. The Gators surrendered 28 points in that second quarter, and looked just as bad as that stat makes them seem, giving up the aforementioned bomb to Dupree with 15 seconds left in the half. And while Treon Harris did some good things, he’s got a lot of work to do. He held the ball too long at times. He took a sack in a two minute drill. He ran away instead of stepping up into the pocket, which resulted in more sacks. And he short armed throws to receivers that ranged from semi-open to wide open. The good news is that now he’s got two weeks to regroup and learn from his mistakes.

Bottom line: Florida didn’t play well by any means, had some blown calls go against them and was faced with utter disaster- yet the Gators were very much in this game the entire way. And the Gators still control their own destiny to win the SEC East. But now there’s no two ways about it. Florida must beat Georgia two weeks from now. And if they do, then this was nothing more than a learning experience, one which will make Florida a better team in the long run now that they see for themselves that merely playing “OK” won’t cut it in the big games.

Scoring recap:

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
FLORIDA 7 7 14 0 28
LSU 0 28 0 7 35

Scoring plays:

Team Time Play FLA LSU
FLORIDA 1st 10:13 J. McGee 4 yd pass from T. Harris (PAT good) 7 0
LSU 2nd 12:23 L. Fournette 2 yd run (PAT good) 7 7
LSU 2nd 5:00 M. Dupree 9 yd pass from B. Harris (PAT good) 7 14
LSU 2nd 2:25 L. Fournette 6 yd run (PAT good) 7 21
FLORIDA 2nd 1:35 J. McGee 19 yd pass from T. Harris (PAT good) 14 21
LSU 2nd :15 M. Dupree 50 yd pass from B. Harris (PAT good) 14 28
FLORIDA 3rd 8:01 K. Taylor 2 yd run (PAT good) 21 28
FLORIDA 3rd 1:04 A. Callaway 72 yd punt return (PAT good) 28 28
LSU 4th 10:40 T. Domingue 16 yd run (PAT good) 28 35

8 thoughts on “LSU 35, Florida 28, Instant Analysis: Gators fight, but can’t stop Fournette, LSU

  1. To be honest I am more optimistic after this loss than I was after any win.

    Ole Miss is an illusion.

    LSU is a known commodity. A 7 point loss on the road in one of the most hostile environments on a trick play and all because of one ghastly quarter having switched qbs during the week ?

    Pretty damn good if you ask me.

      1. True but this is LSU under Les Miles, not Gerry Dinardo. A talented well coached team that is more often than not a powerhouse

  2. Something to keep in mind – if both teams win out and Florida beats them in the SECCG Florida goes to the playoffs.

  3. May not been able to completely stop him, but we contained him under his average 200 rushing yards. And they won the game because of Les’ good play calling. I am proud of our Gators and look forward to a rematch game in December.. GO GATORS!!

  4. I may have a slightly different take on the game. I think because of this loss we could win out the rest of our games. It shows our defense what happens when they lose focus as they did in the second quarter. Treon can get us just enough to win but our D is the real key to victory,

  5. That second quarter was difficult to watch, and our offensive line run-blocking was so bad that even Fournette would have had difficulty.

    But we are a year ahead of schedule, so I can’t complain. Gotta fix those mental breakdowns though.

  6. A lot of “Negative Nancy’ in there…This was a damn fine football team Florida just played and certainly the better one of the two on the field…Yet, the Gators hung in there to fight and claw there way into having an opportunity to tie at the end….Of note, the fake FG was not the same from five years ago nor did the one five years ago win the game…Miles stated after the game that it was something they put in specifically for the UF game…Also, in the 2010 game it was to the opposite side with the blind overhead toss from the holder and only went for a first down conversion…UF still had two opportunities to stop the game winning touchdown pass that was the same play ran twice in a row…

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