No. 17 Florida Gators fall at LSU Tigers
No. 17 Florida was in a must-win game Saturday at undermanned LSU, but couldn't overcome four interceptions and the record-breaking running of Tyrion Davis-Price in a 49-42 loss to the Tigers in Baton Rouge.
Florida was driving late in an attempt to tie the game, but Anthony Richardson was intercepted for the second time to all but seal the win for the Tigers.
Davis-Price then rushed several more times to total a school-record 287 yards on 36 carries. He also scored three times.
LSU (4-3, 2-2) playing without 10 starters, six on defense, has now defeated Florida (4-3, 2-3 SEC) for the third consecutive year and nine times in the past 12 meetings.
The Gators, who have lost three of their past five games and six of their last eight against Power 5 opponents, next play Oct. 30 against Georgia at TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, at 3:30 p.m. (CBS).
Davis-Price broke the LSU single-game mark of 285 yards set by Derius Guice in 2016, as well as the 238 yards against the Gators by Herschel Walker in 1980.
Max Johnson passed for 133 yards and three touchdowns — all to Jaray Jenkins. The last one came on fourth and goal with 3:30 left.
The highlight-filled game, replete with big plays, wild momentum swings and even a converted Hail Mary pass by Florida at the end of the first half, was just the latest chapter in a rivalry that has produced high drama and unpredictable outcomes.
Last season, LSU pulled out a late and unlikely victory on Cade York's 57-yard field goal through fog at the Swamp after a Florida defender helped extend the winning drive with a penalty for throwing an LSU player's shoe. The Gators spent the past week talking about how they were focused on not beating themselves again this time, but they hurt their own cause again with turnovers.
Emory Jones threw two interceptions, including one returned by Dwight McGlothern 37 yards for a touchdown on the Gators' first series of the second half. Earlier, Jones' deflected pass was intercepted by linebacker Micah Baskerville and returned 54 yards to the Florida 28, setting up Johnson's first scoring pass to Jenkins.
Richardson was intercepted by Ward on the first play of Florida's next series, leading to Johnson's 5-yard TD pass to Jenkins to make it 21-6.
Florida, favored by 11 1/2 points, appeared to be regaining momentum on the final play of the first half, when Jones heaved a Hail Mary pass from 42 yards out that was caught by Justin Shorter between three Tigers defensive backs to cut LSU's lead to 21-13.
But McGlothern provided a measure of redemption with his pick-six on the opening series of the third quarter. That was the first of four TDs scored in a span of 6:13, including Richardson's 5-yard run, followed by his run for a 2-point conversion, David-Price's 40-yard run and Richardson's 5-yard pass to Shorter.
Florida then tied it at 35 on Richardson's 11-yard pass to Dameon Pierce with 3:45 left in the third.
After Davis-Price's 25-yard scoring run and Richardson's pinpoint, 33-yard scoring pass to Jacob Copeland, the score was tied again at 42 with most of the fourth quarter still remaining.
LSU 49, No. 20 Florida 42
Florida 6 7 22 7—42
LSU 0 21 14 14—49
FLA_Pierce 7 run (kick failed), 7:55.
LSU_Davis-Price 18 run (York kick), 14:29.
LSU_Jenkins 28 pass from M.Johnson (York kick), 8:31.
LSU_Jenkins 5 pass from M.Johnson (York kick), 6:51.
FLA_Shorter 42 pass from E.Jones (Christmann kick), :00.
LSU_McGlothern 37 interception return (York kick), 14:12.
FLA_Richardson 5 run (Richardson run), 11:01.
LSU_Davis-Price 40 run (York kick), 10:08.
FLA_Shorter 5 pass from Richardson (Christmann kick), 7:59.
FLA_Pierce 11 pass from Richardson (Christmann kick), 3:45.
LSU_Davis-Price 25 run (York kick), 14:27.
FLA_Copeland 33 pass from Richardson (Christmann kick), 9:14.
LSU_Jenkins 1 pass from M.Johnson (York kick), 3:30.
First downs 26 22
Total Net Yards 488 454
Rushes-yards 35-138 45-321
Passing 350 133
Punt Returns 3-18 0-0
Kickoff Returns 0-0 2-47
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 4-115
Comp-Att-Int 23-40-4 14-24-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 2-11 1-5
Punts 4-43.5 6-38.7
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 0-0 5-45
Time of Possession 30:04 29:56
RUSHING_Florida, Richardson 7-37, Wright 8-34, Pierce 5-24, Copeland 1-19, Jones 10-16, Davis 4-8. LSU, Davis-Price 36-287, Williams 2-28, Johnson 5-8, (Team) 2-(minus 2).
PASSING_Florida, Richardson 10-19-2-167, Jones 12-19-2-161, Whittemore 1-1-0-22, (Team) 0-1-0-0. LSU, Johnson 14-24-0-133.
RECEIVING_Florida, Shorter 6-113, Gamble 4-64, Pierce 4-55, Wells 3-32, Copeland 2-53, Davis 2-9, Jones 1-22, Fraziars 1-2. LSU, Jenkins 4-50, Nabers 3-36, B.Thomas 2-24, Bech 2-20, Mashburn 1-7, Palmer 1-1, Williams 1-(minus 5).
MISSED FIELD GOALS_None.
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12:26 p.m. | Gators score first
Running back Dameon Pierce scored from seven yards out at the 7:55 p.m. mark But Jace Christmann has the point-after kick blocked to leave it at 6-0 Gators. It's Pierce's eighth TD of the season.
12:59 p.m. |Gators' first-quarter analysis
What went right: Florida’s second offensive possession. After going three-and-out on their opening series, the Gators put together a six-play, 59-yard touchdown drive to take the lead. Quarterback Emory Jones completed a pair of 13-yard passes and running back Dameon Pierce scored from seven yards out, marking his eighth rushing touchdown of the season. Florida’s defense also forced back-to-back three-and-outs.
What went wrong: After the touchdown drive and another three-and-out by LSU, Florida’s third series went to backup quarterback Anthony Richardson. He handed off twice to Nay’Quan Wright and was then stuffed for a two-yard loss on third down. The Gators lost all their momentum after the three-and-out.
Play of the quarter: The Gators dialed up a trick play on their touchdown drive and wide receiver Trent Whittemore hit quarterback Emory Jones on a 22-yard throwback pass.
Trending: Florida defensive end Zach Carter, who was credited with a half sack to add to his SEC lead (5.5).
— Zach Abolverdi
12:51 p.m. | LSU takes lead
18-yard touchdown run by Tyrion Davis-Price and the kick give LSU a 7-6 lead with 14:29 remaining in first half. Davis-Price had 52 yards in the drive.
1:22 p.m. | LSU building a lead
Tigers quarterback Max Johnson's 28-yard pass to Jaray Jenkins on first play after interception and Johnson throws a five-yard score to Jenkins after another interception, this one thrown by Anthony Richardson.
1:47 p.m. | Gators score on last play of half
Emory Jones pass complete to Justin Shorter for a 42 yard score that capped a 77-yard drive in 29 seconds.
2:07 p.m. | Gators' 2nd-quarter analysis
What went right: Until the last play of the quarter, nothing. But with 29 seconds left in the half, the Gators gained 35 yards in three plays. After a 24-yard completion to Justin Shorter, quarterback Emory Jones found him again for a 42-yard touchdown on a hail mary.
What went wrong: Pretty much everything prior to the final minute. Jones and backup quarterback Anthony Richardson threw interceptions on back-to-back plays, and the Tigers scored off both turnovers. LSU quarterback Max Johnson threw a 28-yard touchdown to Jaray Jenkins and found him again for a five-yard score. The Gators also lost starting wide receiver Trent Whittemore to an injury.
Play of the quarter: The Hail Mary, which cut the deficit to one score and gave the Gators momentum going into the locker room.
Trending: Jones, who rebounded from the tipped interception and had more passing yards on the final drive (77) than he did in the entire first half (66).
— Zach Abolverdi
2:12 p.m. | LSU gets Pick-6
Dwight McGlothern 37-yard interception return off a Jones' pass.
2:28 p.m. | LSU scores again
Following Anthony Richardson's 5-yard scoring run and run for two-point conversion, LSU went back up two scores on Tyrion Davis-Price's 40-yard run.
Justin Shorter's 5-yard TD pass from Richardson at the 7:59 mark brings UF to within 35-28.
2:45 p.m. | Gators tie game
Richardson throws 11-yard TD pass to Pierce and Christmann's kick tie it at 35-all with 3:45 left in the quarter.
3 p.m. | Gators' 3rd-quarter analysis
What went right: Anthony Richardson led the Gators down the field for an eight-play, 75-yard drive after Emory Jones’ interception put the Tigers up 28-13, then Richardson ran in the two-point attempt, making it a one-score game. He would stay in on UF’s next drive and orchestrate another touchdown drive – and then another to tie the game. It may be too soon to say the Gators have a decision to make at quarterback heading into the bye game, but the third quarter made clear a Richardson-led offense gives Florida a shot at rallying.
What went wrong: The Gators gained momentum heading into the locker room at halftime, only for the Tigers to swiftly regain it when Emory Jones was intercepted on the UF offense’s third play from scrimmage by Dwight McGlothern, who proceeded to take the pick 37 yards to the house and restore LSU’s two-touchdown lead. Then, after Richardson’s impressive drive, the Tigers answered quickly on a three-play, 75-yard drive that took just 53 seconds off the clock.
Play of the quarter: You could make the case for several plays among the three drives Anthony Richardson led for touchdowns, but the nod rightfully goes to the pick-six by McGlothern; it may not be decisive when it comes to the outcome, but as the quarter ends it currently looks as if it’s the keystone in the transition under center from Jones to Richardson.
Trending: Despite its flaws, Florida has rallied consistently, but the Tigers are once again driving into UF territory as the fourth quarter arrives.
— Graham Hall
2:58 p.m. | LSU retakes lead
Tyrion Davis-Price scores on 25-yard run.
3:12 p.m. | Gators tie it again
Richardson connects with Jacob Copeland for a 33-yard TD to make it 42-all with 9:14 to go.
3:28 p.m. | LSU regains lead
Johnson and Jenkins team up for another TD that puts LSU up 49--42 with 3:30 left.
Gators' 4th-quarter analysis
What went right: Answering LSU’s score, Richardson led the Gators to another game-tying touchdown drive when he found Jacob Copeland on the right sideline from 33 yards out.
What went wrong: UF’s defense couldn’t get a stop on the next drive, and LSU went up 49-42 on the next series. UF’s Richardson-led offense couldn’t answer this time as the quarterback from Gainesville was intercepted by Damone Clark at the LSU 30-yard line with just under two minutes remaining, and the Tigers proceeded to run the clock out for the 49-42 victory.
Play of the quarter: It should be Richardson’s beautiful throw to Copeland, but that pass won’t be as memorable as the outcome. Give it to Max Johnson’s 4th-and-1 pass to Jaray Jenkins, the game-winning touchdown when the dust had settled.
— Graham Hall