Sideline report: Muschamp deceptive
Published: Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.
BEST AND WORST
Best kept secret
Florida was hardly forthcoming on the severity of quarterback Jeff Driskel's injured ankle and it wasn't until Friday night that word began to leak out that freshman Jacoby Brissett would get the start. It certainly didn't affect LSU's defense, which swarmed Gator running backs and pressured Brissett throughout.
Worst use of a penalty
LSU downed a Brad Wing punt at the Florida 8-yard line but the Gators caught a break when LSU was flagged for having five men in the backfield. Backed up five yards, LSU prepared to punt again. LSU coaches could see what everyone could see from the press box on the previous punt — that Florida's entire team was bailing out as soon as the ball was snapped to block for the return. Wing took the snap and ran 52 yards for a touchdown, although he drew an unsportsmanlike penalty for holding the ball out at the 8-yard line. LSU ended up with a field goal on the drive.
QB Jordan Jefferson, slated to be the starter before legal problems put him on the bench, entered the game midway through the second quarter after Jarrett Lee had a bad series. Jefferson's only pass of the first half was a shortie to Russell Shepard, who scampered for 37 yards to the Florida 8-yard line. On the next play, Spencer Ware ran in for a score.
Any hopes the Gators had of shocking the world ended quickly. On Florida's first series, the Gators lost eight yards. LSU needed two plays to score on Lee's pass to Rueben Randle. On Florida's next possession, the Gators gained four yards, mysteriously running the ball on third-and-10. LSU took eight plays to score this time. Just like that, it was 14-0.
STAT OF THE GAME
Florida managed just nine first downs in the game with one of them coming via penalty. The Gators didn't pick up a first down until their third possession and then it required a Trey Burton sneak on fourth-and-1. Florida also went three-and-out on its first two possessions of the second half.
Running back Jeff Demps, who suffered a sprained ankle against Alabama, tried to go in the first quarter. But after two carries for three yards, he left the game and did not return. Buck linebacker Ronald Powell (neck) and safety Josh Evans (left arm) both left the game in the second half and did not return. Will Muschamp did not identify their injuries. … Muschamp said quarterback Jeff Driskel will be re-evaluated this week. He said John Brantley is likely out again this week.
PLAY OF THE GAME
After Florida scored and converted a two-point conversion, the Gators were a turnover away from making it a ball game. But with the Gators in press coverage, wide receiver Rueben Randle ran past freshman cornerback Marcus Roberson and took in Jarrett Lee's perfect strike. Randle was pushed out of bounds by Matt Elam at the 3-yard line, but LSU scored when Jordan Jefferson hit tight end Mitch Joseph with a jump pass after feigning a run into the line a la Tim Tebow first did vs. LSU in 2006.
WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?
Florida finally had a drive at the end of the first half but at the end of the drive you couldn't help but wonder if the coaches were aware that time was running out. It wasn't until 12 seconds were remaining that Will Muschamp called timeout. The Gators could have run a couple of more plays with better clock management. Florida ended up trying to draw LSU offsides on fourth-and-1, but the Tigers didn't bite and Caleb Sturgis came in to kick a 34-yard field goal.
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