Notebook: Mistakes 'killing' UF
Published: Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.
BATON ROUGE, La. — The Florida Gators are a young team that can't afford to make mistakes, but they continue to make them.
Two turnovers and 12 penalties prevented the Gators from even putting the slightest scare in the nation's No. 1 team.
“Penalties just have been killing us,” senior tailback Chris Rainey said.
Turnovers have been taking perhaps an even bigger toll.
For the second game in a row, the Gators lost the turnover margin, throwing two interceptions and producing no turnovers on defense, just like a week ago against Alabama.
“Penalties killed us in the game,” UF coach Will Muschamp said. “And no turnovers were forced by us.”
Return of the jump pass
One of the most memorable offensive plays during the Urban Meyer era was the jump pass. Tim Tebow threw to tight end Tate Casey for a touchdown in a victory over LSU in 2006 at Florida Field.
The Tigers gained a measure of payback in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game.
Facing a third-and-goal from the 2, quarterback Jordan Jefferson took a shotgun snap and started to run to the right. Just before he reached the line, he jumped up and threw a pass to a wide open Mitch Joseph in the end zone to give the Tigers a 34-11 lead.
“It was a great call on their part,” Muschamp said.
LSU coach Les Miles thought so, too.
“It was wonderful,” Miles said. “Any time we score, I enjoy those things. Coach (Greg) Studrawa, our offensive coordinator, has some experience with that play. It was not necessarily the first time it was run in football.”
UF sticks around this time
Many UF fans expressed their displeasure that the Gators did not stick around for the alma mater after last week's home loss to Alabama.
After Saturday's game, some of the UF coaches and staff directed the players to the pep band while it was playing the alma mater in the south end zone.
Taunting by the punter?
When the NCAA came up with its new taunting rule, it seems doubtful it had a punter in mind.
But on Saturday, we saw taunting called on LSU punter Brad Wing that took a touchdown off the scoreboard for the Tigers in the first half.
On a fake punt call that completely caught the Gators off guard, Wing took the snap and ran to a wide-open left side of the field. Easy 52-yard touchdown. But at the 8-yard line, the officials ruled Wing turned and looked at two defenders and gave them a taunting motion. He was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Under the new rule, the penalty is marked off from the spot of the taunt.
It didn't look like much of a taunt, but to help clarify things, a copy of the new rule was handed out in the press box a few minutes later.
Early in the fourth quarter, the SEC released a comment by Steve Shaw, the league's supervisor of officials.
“Based on what was seen on the television replays, the LSU player turned toward two Florida players and made a taunting gesture,” Shaw said. “The rule as state in the rule book was accurately applied.”
The fans didn't think so. They booed the call heartily after watching replays on the big TV screen in the stadium.
The Hat strikes again
Even though the fake punt led to just a field goal instead of a touchdown, Miles, who has a penchant for gambling against the Gators, gigged them again with his unexpected call.
Miles burned the Gators last year with his late fake field-goal call that led to the Tigers' winning touchdown.
In the 2007 game at LSU, the Tigers were five-for-five going for fourth down against Florida in a 28-24 Tiger victory. LSU also scored a TD on a fake field goal in that game.
The Hat has a penchant for knowing when to strike, that's for sure.
A change in the OL lineup
Coming off the 38-10 loss to Alabama last Saturday, the Gators made one key change in their offensive line, starting Matt Patchan at left tackle in place of Xavier Nixon, who had problems handling the Tide's quick and powerful outside pass rush.
Patchan played the whole game at left tackle, while Chaz Green remained the starter at right tackle.
The Gators did a solid job in pass protection, but, like a week ago, the front had problems punching holes in the defensive front to create opportunities for the running game.
UF goes back to its 2010 look
Unable to move the ball through most of the first half, the Gators finally generated a pretty impressive scoring drive late in the second quarter reverting to their 2010 offense, with Trey Burton lining up at quarterback running the dive-option play.
Before that field-goal drive, the Gators had basically done nothing on offense. The move seemed to knock the aggressive Tigers a little bit back on their heels for the first time in the game.
When the LSU lead grew in the second half, the Gators went back to their pro-style look with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback.
THIS AND THAT: The Gators looked a little bit like the home team Saturday, wearing their blue jerseys. The Tigers like to wear their white tops at all times, so Florida came out in blue. … The Tigers have now won 15 consecutive games at Tiger Stadium. … In 24 quarters this season, the LSU defense had now held its opponents without a touchdown in 17 quarters. … LSU has now won 15 consecutive games when winning the turnover battle. … LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee has taken a lot of heat over the course of his career, but he's now 11-4 as a starter. … The Tigers are now 24-2 under Miles when they have a back rush for 100 yards or more. … LSU is bowl eligible for the 12th consecutive season. … UF quarterback Jacoby Brissett wasn't the only true freshman making his first start Saturday. So did tight end A.C. Leonard.
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