Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley takes a look at the first half of the Florida-LSU game:
- LSU hit eight plays of longer than 10 yards in the first half, but after their opening drive that went 75 yards in 10 plays the Tigers couldn’t finish drives. The Tigers looked like they had Florida perfectly scouted on that first drive, Florida’s defense buckled down, as LSU had only 128 the remainder of the half. LSU did have a good mix of runs and passes, but an offensive line that changes every week seemed to struggle at times with Florida quickness.
- Florida only managed one first down the first three times it had the ball, but good field position led to a tying touchdown drive that finished up early in the second quarter. The second drive for a score was one of the best of the year, going 75 yards despite a block in the back penalty that threatened to derail it. The key play was a sweet throw from Feleipe Franks to Josh Hammond for 35 yards to the LSU 3. That was one of only eight first downs Florida had in the half with six of them coming on the Gators’ two scoring drives.
- We harp on special teams and turnovers and knew both would be a big deal in this game, especially turnovers because these are two of the top teams in the nation in turnover margin. Florida got the only turnover of the first half and it was big as LSU’s second drive had already reached the UF 28 when Jachai Polite forced a fumble by LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Kyree Campbell recovered. Special teams were pretty much a wash.