Florida’s 10 best wins of past 10 seasons: No. 1, Gators party in Baton Rouge

In this Nov. 19, 2016, file photo,Florida stops LSU at the goal line on the final play of the game as time expires in Baton Rouge, La. Florida won 16-10. [The Associated Press]

The decade was a wild one, interesting to be sure with so many ups and downs and four different head coaches for the Florida football team. We end the countdown of the 10 best wins of the decade from 2010-19:

No. 1

2016: Florida 16, LSU 10.

Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.

Rankings: Florida was ranked 21st. LSU was 16th.

The set-up: The drama that led up to this game was almost as thick as the drama that ended it. The game was moved to Death Valley and scheduled for later in the season because of Hurricane Matthew. LSU players (and media) accused the Gators of being afraid to play the game. It was about as contentious as it could get and didn’t get any better with a pregame scuffle on the field. Leonard Fournette, LSU’s star player, was out with an injury but changed his mind after the fisticuffs. 

What happened: All day, Florida found a way to stay in the game. LSU botched a short field goal and had a huge fumble near the goal line. Florida, on the other hand, scored on a 98-yard pass from Austin Appleby — who only completed seven passes on the game — to Tyrie Cleveland and got three field goals from Eddy Piniero. It all came down to the final play of the game from the Florida 1-yard line. LSU chose to run it up the middle on a pitch play, but tailback Derrius Guice ran the wrong way. When he got near the goal line, he was stuffed like a crepe and fumbled. The ball never got close to the goal line and the Florida players celebrated wildly, waving the Gator flags in the UF end zone where fans were losing their minds. Florida won the SEC East and a second straight trip to Atlanta.

Telling stat: LSU lost despite outgaining Florida. Not by a little, by a ton. The Tigers finished the game with 423 yards (Fournette had only 40 yards on 12 carries), Florida with 270. Take away the 98-yarder and UF averaged 3.4 yards a play. And still won.

Quote sheet

“I’m happy for our Gator fans who don’t think we’re very good, but all we do is end up back in Atlanta.” — Jim McElwain.

“We just shot ourselves in the foot. We had a lot of opportunities.” LSU coach Ed Orgeron.

“DBU doesn’t give up 98-yard touchdown passes. — Florida defensive back Teez Tabor.