Dooley At The Half: Where’s the elite UF defense?

LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) pulls in a touchdown reception against Florida defensive back CJ Henderson (1) in the first half Saturday in Baton Rouge, La., (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. — Gainesville Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley looks at the first half of the Florida-LSU game.

  • Joe Burrow hurt Florida almost as much with his legs as with his arm, scrambling for some big gains (22 yards total but it seemed like more) and throwing a touchdown pass on a scramble play. That Burrow can run is hardly a surprise, but Florida might want to consider a spy in the second half.
  • It was a first half to forget for the Florida defense. Not only did Burrow light them up but Clyde Edwards-Helaire had the two long runs and went over 100 yards (121) for the half. UF looked elite last week, but this week, not so much. There were some really bad angles on the two runs by Edwards-Helaire (57 yards and 39 yards with the second going for a score).
  • Kyle Pitts is a monster. Florida lined him up in different places to get different match-ups and he caught four passes for 85 yards and also drew a pass interference penalty. It feels like it’s a matter of time before teams start double-covering him but that feeds into Florida’s wealth of wide receivers.
  • Maybe we can retire the whole DBU argument for this year because neither team did a very good job of covering anybody. The two teams combined for 512 yards in the first half. LSU gave up 142 yards passing and three passing scores and Burrow had a quarterback rating of 243.3 in the first half.


  1. Game over and looks like the odds makers were right. I believed that the Gator D would be the difference in the game. It was; but not the way I expected. I guess so many injuries finally caught up with them, especially losing both Def ends, but I never expected LSU to be able to run all over the Gators for over 200 yards on the ground. The Gators had more passing yards than the Tigers, but the D couldn’t stop their running game. Who’d have thunk it? Good thing is, as far as the SEC, with the Dawgs loss the Gators still hold their destiny in their hands.