FINAL: No. 22 Florida 27, No. 5 LSU 19

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Florida defensive lineman Jachai Polite makes LSU quarterback Joe Burrow fumble with a sack at Florida Field on Saturday. [Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

Live blog of today’s SEC football game between No. 5 LSU and No. 22 Florida from Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the UF campus in Gainesville:

First quarter

UF won the coin toss and deferred to receive the second-half kickoff.

LSU drove quickly after the first-half kickoff, scoring on a four-yard run by running back Nick Brossette at the 11:43 mark. The 75-yard, 10-play drive was highlighted by a 38-yard completion from QB Joe Burrow to receiver Justin Jefferson on the first play of the march to the Florida 37.

UF stopped a promising LSU drive when end Jachai Polite stripped sacked Burrow at the UF 40 and defensive tackle Kyree Campbell recovered at the 33.

What went right: After giving up the early touchdown, the Florida defense turned things around in a big way. Jachai Polite had a sack/fumble that killed an LSU scoring drive inside the UF 25 on LSU’s second possession. From that point on in the quarter, the Tigers did nothing against the UF defense, forced into consecutive three-and-outs. Another big thing for the Gators was how they won the battle of field position.

What went wrong: The defense had some real problems early, including giving up a 38-yard pass play on the first play of the game. That sparked a lightning-fast LSU drive that culminated in a 6-yard touchdown run by Nick Brossette.

Play of the quarter: The sack/fumble by Polite that was recovered by defensive tackle Kyree Campbell. It was a huge play because the Tigers were able to take total control of the game. It switched the momentum for the rest of the quarter.

Trending: After winning the field-position battle, the Gators started to move the ball some on offense, finishing the quarter on the LSU 27. The Tigers won both lines of scrimmage early, but the Gators rebounded nicely and held their own over the second half of the quarter.

Robbie Andreu

LSU         7

Florida     0


Second quarter

Lamical Perine scored on a one-yard run at the 12:30 mark to even the game at 7-all after Evan McPherson’s kick, which capped a nine-play, 43-yard drive.

Cole Tracy kicked a 33-yard field goal at the 3:10 mark to give LSU a 10-7 lead. It capped a 10-play, 63-yard drive that included a 21-yard run by Burrow to the UF 24.

Feleipe Franks connected with tight end Moral Stephens for a 3-yard TD with 1:09 left to cap a seven-play, 75-yard drive. Perine had a 23-yard run in the drive and Franks connected with receiver Josh Hammond with a 35-yard pass to the LSU 3.

What went right: A short field and a nice drive late in the first quarter, put the Gators on the LSU 23 to start the quarter. It took only five plays for UF to reach the end zone on a 1-yard TD run by Lamical Perine that tied the game 7-7. Later in the quarter, after struggling to sustain drives, Franks and the offense caught fire on a 75-yard touchdown drive that gave the Gators a 14-10 halftime lead. On the drive, Perine had a 23-yard run and caught an 11-yard pass. Franks then threw a perfect pass in the deep left flat that Josh Hammond caught for a 35-yard gain that put the Gators on the LSU 3. From there, Franks threw a 3-yard TD pass to tight end Moral Stephens. Before that drive, the Gators came up with a third-down stop that forced the Tigers to settle for a 33-yard field goal.

What went wrong: The Florida defense was fooled badly on a quarterback keeper by Joe Burrow on third-and-one that went for 21 yards and led to LSU’s chip-shot field goal.

Play of the quarter: The 35-yard strike from Franks to Hammond that set up the go-ahead touchdown.

Trending: The Gators, who struggled on the ground for much of the first half, finally started generating some push and yards late in the quarter. And Franks really seemed to settle down and start playing with a lot of confidence. UF clearly enters the third quarter with momentum — and the ball.

– Robbie Andreu

LSU         7     3

Florida    0   14


Third quarter

Tracy helps LSU cut the deficit to 14-13 with a 42-yard field goal at the 4:16 mark.

What went right: On the first play of the half, Franks threw a perfect deep strike to Hammond for a 49-yard gain. A 15-yard penalty was added on, giving the Gators a first down on the LSU 13. That was the only thing that went right for the offense. The defense continued to play well, getting some big third-down stops to get the ball back for the offense.

 What went wrong: The play after launching the perfect pass to Hammond, Franks lobbed the ball into a crowded end zone and it was intercepted by strong safety Grant Delpit for a touchback. It was a huge momentum killer, and the offense did almost nothing the rest of the quarter.

Play of the quarter: Franks’ 48-yard pass to Hammond.

Trending: The LSU defensive line started to take over late in the third quarter, disrupting Franks and the offense with heavy pressure. It looked like it is going to be difficult to sustain drives in the fourth quarter.

Robbie Andreu

LSU          7       3   3

Florida     0    14    0


Fourth quarter

Brossette, who had runs of 39 and 47 yards in the drive, scored from a yard out for the TD and a 19-14 LSU lead with 11:14 left when the try for the 2-point conversion fell in complete on a Burrow pass.

Perine gave UF the lead back at 20-19 with a 2-yard scoring run with 8:48 left. The Gators went for the 2-point conversion and failed. The drive went 75 yards and took nine plays. The highlights were a 26-yard pass from Franks to Van Jefferson, a 17-yard run by Perine, Franks ran for 11 and then a hand off to tight end Lucas Krull, who threw back to Franks for a 15-yard gain to the LSU 2.

The announced attendance is 90,283.

Brad Stewart intercepted Burrow and returned it 25 yards for a TD with 1:45 left for a 27-19 UF lead after McPherson’s kick. After the score an unsportsmanlike penalty on UF.

Safety Donovan Stiner sealed the win with an interception of Burrow at the UF 34.

UF improved to 5-1 overall, 4-1 in the SEC. LSU falls to 5-1, 2-1.

What went right: After LSU took a 19-14 lead early in the quarter, the Florida offense, which had been struggling, answered with a near-flawless 75-yard touchdown to regain the lead. The score came on a 2-yard run by Lamical Perine, who also had runs of 17 and 13 on the drive. Then of course, there was the pick-six by New Orleans native Brad Steward with 1:45 left to play to pretty much seal the deal, even though it remained a one-score game. On LSU’s final possession, the Gators came up with two sacks, some hurries and the interception by safety Donovan Stiner to seal the deal.

What went wrong: For the first time since LSU’s first possession of the game, the defense was vulnerable, getting gashed in a big way on the ground on LSU’s scoring drive. The Gators gave up runs of 31 and 47 yards.

Play of the quarter: Stewart’s pick-six, which ignited The Swamp.

— Robbie Andreu

LSU         7     3   3    6 —  19

Florida     0   14   0  13 — 27

89 COMMENTS

  1. If I’m grading CBS they get a D- so far. Replays while LSU is running hurry up. News break for Kavanaugh confirmation… I have plenty of other ways to find that out if I want to, no need to break into the game. Didn’t think It could worse than Vern, but here we are.

    • 27-19 now, we won, make no mistake about it 65, while we played like last year’s mullets at times, we won this game because of our C-H-A-R-A-C-T-E-R, which Dan Mullen has been building since Day 1. This is the second major corner we’ve turned in two weeks, and they both had to do with the character of a team that has learned how to win, and more importantly, wants to win. GO GATORS!

  2. For referencd, I was a Marrine and now build bridges for a living.

    I can see dudes that are hard (Vosean) and dudes that aren’t. I don’t name the guys that aren’t because they are young and may later become tough if we let coaches teach.

    Regardless of result, Mullen is teaching toughness. Play calling – Mullen/Grantham over anyone rights now.

    Go Gators.

    • Couldn’t disagree more. That was an absolute dog fight. Not pretty on offense, but a dog fight every step of the way. All players aren’t created equal, but you don’t win games like that unless you are playing tough as a unit. Go Gators

    • Isn’t that the big thing Prairie – fun to watch again! Andreu tweeted something similar – that this was a highly entertaining game. Both comments are spot on. At the end of the day being a fan is about having an emotional reaction. Fun is a damn good one!

    • That Mullen has outcoached these last three opponents is what gives us and the Gator team the confidence to win. When u see that coaching ability, u know u have a chance to win any game. Plus, despite some buzz to the contrary, Florida isn’t talentless, maybe a little off historically. But CDM, who has been the MSU coach, knows how to get the best out of the talent he has.

      It is fun to watch Gator football again, and that is not to say that we will win all or any of the rest of our games, but with CDM, u know there is a chance to win.

  3. This teams offense has taken another step to score on this defense! I said the defense would need to score for us to win, weve made them play desperate. I also said ST would need to score or put us in great field position and thats what they did. I said mullen would need to let Franks throw deep and he did for us to pull of the miracle upset and i cant believe it all came together. This wasnt the same team that played MSU! We are back. This team CAN beat Ga if they play like this! They beat the over which was 44 points. At halftime I bet on Florida! There is not another game on our schedule we cannot beat. No more will vegas set us as the underdog, we cant hide anymore. After Mo and SC today I just added Mo to the guarantee win column!

    • Great win! But let’s not get carried away Daz Wazile. LOL We will lose one or more games the rest of the season but us fans will need to handle those in a mature way and not jump on the coach and players after every loss.

      We need to make sure Mullen never gets tired of Gator nation and continue to coach here for a lifetime if that’s ever possible. Like coach said it’s going to take entire Gator Nation to take back the swamp and get that championship feeling back.

      I thought the Swamp was close to being back but let’s wait and see how loud it gets next time we play a team that we’re supposed to beat. Back in my days, the Swamp was alive for every single TD even if we were playing cup cakes. Anyway, I think the Swamp got a few decibels to go before challenging the Swamp of the Wuerffel, Grossman, Leak and Tebow years but it’s a start. 😉

      I’ll believe we’re completely back when this team continue to show improvement week in and week out from the beginning of the season until the bowl game. Also, our players will have to show maturity on and off the field. You can’t be making bad decisions off the field and suddenly expect to make the right one during a game. That’s not to say that this team is not on its way because it’s certainly improved to this day. I am just saying that we got 6 more games + the bowl game to go!!! Then, we’ve got next season to also go.. and they’ll have to deal with the blown up expectations because everyone will expecting us to be in the CFP next year.

      That said, let’s keep playing to win! Go Gators!!

  4. What a difference a coach makes. I thought that Coach Mullen was the right man for the job but I never thought he could turn the program around so quickly. There’s going to be setbacks and rough spots but I think we’ve seen the future.

      • Sure the offensive line and QB play are still the weak link, coach even pointed that out in the presser while he heaped praise on the D. But they did take another step, good enough to win against a really good team! Mullens play calling also really helped, the difference in the game. He called just enough special calls right when we needed it!

    • Tough… tough… tough… These guys just keep fighting. So impressed with everyone and I want to especially praise the offensive line. They are believing and we rushed for over 200 yards against a very good defense!

  5. What a game. The Gators are fun to watch again. What a big difference coaching makes. That’s back to back upset wins. The whole team played their hearts out. Punter should get a game ball. Yes the future is looking bright…………..

  6. Well done Florida Gators! Well done! What an amazing day, all the way around! Tim Tebow getting in ‘”The Ring of Honor,” celebrating the ’08 N.C. team, to this incredible upset of L.S.U. by U.F.!
    I am at a loss for words. Just an amazing effort by the entire team.
    And D.C. Grantham and the defensive staff should get a game ball.
    How do you like us now, media, SEC, etc..!?!?! CHOMP-CHOMP!
    Got some other teams’ attention now!
    I’m so proud to be a FLORIDA GATOR, AGAIN!
    Thank you Gators, Dan Mullen and staff, thank you!

    • Double that for me, GI — I still remember the angst over Dan Mullen, as if he was the only option left or something. He’s too much a gentleman to do it, but I wish he’d say at the first post-game presser, “HOW YA LIKE ME NOW, BOYS!!!”.

      • An amazing win Gator-6!
        And the ”nay-sayers” are eating CROW!
        Like those who say ”don’t get carried away”, like the guy beneath, I say this:
        Dude, FLORIDA JUST BEAT THE 5th RANKED TEAM IN THE LAND!
        Get carried away, Gator fans! ENJOY THE JOURNEY! And that includes WINNING!
        Then Monday, it’s an all new week.
        But right now, I will get carried away! Because it’s truly ”GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR”, again!
        CHOMP-CHOMP!

  7. Great win! But let’s not get carried away Daz Wazile. LOL We will lose one or more games the rest of the season but us fans will need to handle those in a mature way and not jump on the coach and players after every loss.

    We need to make sure Mullen never gets tired of Gator nation and continue to coach here for a lifetime if that’s ever possible. Like coach said it’s going to take entire Gator Nation to take back the swamp and get that championship feeling back.

    I thought the Swamp was close to being back but let’s wait and see how loud it gets next time we play a team that we’re supposed to beat. Back in my days, the Swamp was alive for every single TD even if we were playing cup cakes. Anyway, I think the Swamp got a few decibels to go before challenging the Swamp of the Wuerffel, Grossman, Leak and Tebow years but it’s a start. 😉

    I’ll believe we’re completely back when this team continue to show improvement week in and week out from the beginning of the season until the bowl game. Also, our players will have to show maturity on and off the field. You can’t be making bad decisions off the field and suddenly expect to make the right one during a game. That’s not to say that this team is not on its way because it’s certainly improved to this day. I am just saying that we got 6 more games + the bowl game to go!!! Then, we’ve got next season to also go.. and they’ll have to deal with the blown up expectations because everyone will expecting us to be in the CFP next year.

    That said, let’s keep playing to win! Go Gators!!

    • There might be a trap ahead Larry, and a loss or two probably, but if we keep doing what you’re calling for this year and next, I swear to God, we’ll be knocking on the door by year three and probably see a championship brought back to the Swamp within five. Good comments, stay focused, be real.

  8. great win and a serious recruiting win from this type of excitement! Lets not pencil us in as favorites against everybody else just yet though, much more to earn. Great foundation is being built! for the near future

  9. What a game for Joseph! 14 tackles and 2 sacks, wow! So much for being weak at LB. Reese was playing great too. Exciting future that’s for sure. What a game to watch for all the recruits in attendance. The cherry on top would be to see someone pull the trigger soon.

  10. That’s a football team. These guys fought hard and won the game in the 4th Quarter leaving all their blood and sweat on the field. Guess what? They still have a long way to go, and that’s the good news. A still growing team that keeps getting better every week just beat #5 in the country!!!!! It’s great to be a Florida Gator!!!!

  11. The only game left on the schedule that we wont be playing a lesser opponent is Ga.. There in no reason beyond a screwup for us to lose to anyone except Ga.! Just analyse their wins and loses. Mo losing to Sc put them on that list. Ga will now be a competition that is winnable. This team has improved with each game. They took a step today with a win in all 3 phases and beat a team that, up until today, they should have lost to.

  12. I’m not blind. I can see where Frank’s missed a wide open receiver when we really needed a play. I saw a defensive collapse and a shaky start. I saw a couple of penalties you would expect from a Georgia team. Plus a couple less drops on LSU and it would have been closer.
    But the other guys are good players. Well coached. Everyone struggles. These guys believe. They fight. They don’t quit. They don’t get tired. The Vive is there. Recruits will come. I think the NFL will want Mullen and Grantham and more…but we will keep this rolling. And yes I know if Georgia beats us they are going to be tested to the max. LSU isn’t done either. The fights are just beginning in the sec this year imo

    • The no-quit part is the most important thing u can teach 19-20 YO kids. U can see the difference in Franks himself. In prior years, the INT in the endzone would have been it for him; last year he would have phoned in the rest of the game. But in the mid-4th qtr, he led a 75-yard drive to take back the lead for good. And when is the last time in any Gator game have we had two 75-yard sustained drives for touchdowns!!

  13. Last year McEloser would have said we need to coach Stewart to stop short of scoring a td so we can run out the clock. Just a different philosophy. One coach was scared of losing and the other coach wants to win.

  14. I will freely admit that I was wrong about this team. They do have heart and grit and determination and can play some dam good football. Since the Kentucky loss, the team has shown improvement every week. The defense is very, very good. On the Defensive side the DE and LB play is outstanding. The DB play is a little inconsistent but good and getting better. On the Offensive side the RB play is very good. The WE and TE are doing good. The OL still has a way to go but is getting better. And the QB is getting better as well. He seems to make 1 or 2 bad throws a game and this game it hurt with the interception on what would have been a scoring drive. He does throw a nice deep ball. Mullen should let him throw deep more. Mullen needs to find a set of pass plays that they can run over and over and connect on. Special teams has been good. Overall this team is getting better every week and if they continue to improve, by the end of the season they could be a very good team.

  15. Franks picked up on Mullens mantra: “Be tougher tthan the competition.” The kid leads the team by example. On that sandwhich hit he got slammed from three different directions and stood up tall. When the other players see that they respect him more as a leader. This was a team victory but Franks was there hanging tough all the way. He deserves a lot of credit. The bottom line is the Gators are 5-1 with him as qb.

  16. Some gator coach got to Franks after the int and said “stop dropping the ball to your hip before throwing.” I noticed the change and on the drive for the go-ahead score, he was holding the ball cocked by his ear. And, yes, the Gator defense is for real. Bannon suffers first 2 picks of his career. Don’t take time off against Vandy guys. You then got 2 weeks before the cocktail party.

  17. I loved Coach’s comments earlier in the day on SEC Nation. He said that after the Kentucky game, the team started learning the relationship between “practice” and “game results’. He noted that after each subsequent game, the practices the following week got better and better as the players started seeing the results. He said the team was already buying in to his philosophy but they weren’t giving relentless effort, 100% of the time. Apparently they are starting to get there.

    These guys are showing lots of guts and character. Today was fun. This season has been fun. Thanks Coach Mullen!!!

  18. Dan Mullen has these players believing in themselves. Nick Savage has these players playing strong in the 4th quarter. Grantham has this defense playing at an elite level. The CBs have been amazing considering the loss of Marco Wilson. The Gators are improving each week and learning to play with relentless effort. Great win in front of the recruits! The Gators are grabbing momentum. Their progress is ahead of schedule. If the Gators take care of business against Vandy, the next measuring stick is Georgia. I didn’t think a win against Georgia would be possible before the season started. If they catch a few breaks and the defense continues to play at an elite level, the Gators can play with Georgia.

  19. Hey Gators… that is one kick a– win against a top-tier team. We’re coming back quicker than expected. D awesome. O needs work but doing what’s necessary to win with clever play-calling.
    Very satisfying win. Not yet on National Stage but heading in right direction… Go Gators.

  20. Whether the Gators are “back” or not, is certainly undetermined at this point. What I will say is this Gator team played an incredibly tough game against a very good LSU team. Both teams are solid in all phases of the game, and both teams are very well coached. I will say this was one of the most physical, hard hitting, tough, and thoroughly entertaining Gator football games that I have seen in years. And the Swamp was electric today. Let’s keep it that way. Go Gators!!!!

  21. I think AD Stricklin is going to have to build the stadium to seat 100,000 as everyone likes the new product on the field and everyone starts jumping on the bandwagon. I cannot believe how Mullen took MacElwein’s players and turned them into exciting winners

    • I would say the Gator players are at least as good as the players CDM was able to recruit at MSU. What we r seeing is what a good, perhaps elite coach is able to do with developing players in skill, physical and mental toughness.