Game recap: Florida Gators fall to SEC rival LSU Tigers, 45-35, in The Swamp

Alan Festo
Gator Sports

The Florida Gators (4-2, 1-2 SEC) look to build on last weekend’s 24-17 win over SEC East rival Missouri as they host head coach Brian Kelly and the LSU Tigers (4-2, 2-1) at 7 p.m. tonight at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

The Gators’ win over Missouri snapped a six-game SEC skid. It also was the first conference victory for first-year head coach Billy Napier.

If Florida is able to beat LSU and end a three-game losing streak to the Tigers, it will likely come down to the Gators’ ability to get it done on the ground.

The Gators rank fourth in the SEC in rushing yards per game at just over 213 yards. Running backs Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne rushed for a combined 178 yards and a touchdown last week against Missouri as Florida amassed almost 250 yards on the ground in the game.

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LSU’s defensive, led by lineman B.J. Ojulari, will surely try to make the Gators one-dimensional and force Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson to beat them with his arm. Florida’s signal caller has had an incredibly up-and-down season. After throwing for 453 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee a few a weeks ago, he was held to just 66 yards on 14 attempts against Missouri.

The Gators’ four captains for the contest are linebacker Ventrell Miller, defensive back Jaydon Hill, center Kingsley Eguakun and linebacker Chief Borders.

Hill had two interceptions last week, including a pick-six, while Miller dominated in the box, racking up 11 tackles, two for loss, in the game.

10:23 p.m. | LSU extends lead to 10 over Florida

LSU kicker Damian Ramos connected on a season-long 47-yard field goal to give LSU a 45-35 lead with less than 2 minutes left in the game.

10:02 p.m. | Gators cut deficit to 7 points against LSU

Florida running back Trevor Etienne scores with 7:39 left in the game to give the Gators life against the LSU Tigers. Florida trails LSU, 42-35.

9:40: Richardson, Gators still showing fight

After Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" rang through the stadium, Florida's Anthony Richardson showed he won't back down. The Florida quarterback broke several tackles on the way to an 81-yard touchdown run to pull the Gators back to within 14 points, 42-28, with 14:46 left in the game. 

9:35 p.m. | Daniels, LSU extend lead over Gators

Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels ran for his third score of the night with 1:07 left in the third quarter to give LSU a commanding 42-21 over Florida. Daniels has thrown for 313 yards and three scores while also running 43 yards and three touchdowns.

LSU's scoring drive followed a failed fourth down conversion by the Gators in the red zone.

9:01 p.m. | LSU's Jayden Daniels strikes again

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels runs it in from 9 yards out to give the Tigers a 35-21 lead early in the second half. Daniels has had a hand in all five of LSU's touchdowns. The score was setup by a 51-yard run by Josh Williams. 

8:38 p.m. | LSU leads Florida 28-21 at the half

LSU's Jayden Daniels has shredded the Gators' secondary through two quarters of play. The Tigers quarterback has thrown 252 yards and three touchdowns, while also running for another score, to give LSU a 28-21 halftime lead. 

Florida's Anthony Richardson hasn't been able to keep pace, throwing for just 28 yards since his opening 51-yard touchdown pass.

8:31 p.m. | LSU takes lead on Daniels touchdown pass

The LSU Tigers took advantage of a free play on offense thanks to Florida jumping early. Jayden Daniels threw his third touchdown pass of the night, a 54-yard strike to Jaray Jenkins with 2:24 left in the half. LSU leads 28-21.

8:19 p.m. | LSU battles back to tie game at 21

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels continues his stellar play midway through the second quarter. Daniels connects with Brian Thomas Jr. for a 24-yard touchdown with 5:55 left to play in the half.

Daniels has now passed for 181 yards and two touchdowns, while also running for another score.

8:08 p.m. | Gators capitalize after LSU miscue

Florida's Rocco Underwood recovered a muffed punt by LSU's Jack Bech to put the Gators in business at the LSU 13-yard line. A few plays later, Montrell Johnson Jr. scored from 3 yards out for his second touchdown of the game. The Gators now lead 21-14 with 8:13 left in the second quarter.

7:56 p.m. | Florida and LSU tied early in the second quarter

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels finishes off a 12-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to the right side to knot the game at 14 with 11:55 left to the play in the second quarter. 

Daniels is now 9-of-11 passing for 123 yards and two total touchdowns.

7:44 p.m.| Gators lead LSU after first quarter

The Florida Gators lead LSU 14-7 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a 39-yard touchdown run by Montrell Johnson Jr. The Gators have rushed 11 times for 76 yards. Anthony Richardson is still 1-for-1 passing for 51 yards and a touchdown.

7:28 p.m. | LSU answers with touchdown drive

Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels hits John Emery Jr. for a 7-yard touchdown with 7:46 left in the first quarter. Daniels was a perfect 4 for 4 for 64 yards and the score. 

Emery also picked up a key fourth-and-one from the 13-yard line on the drive to help set up the score.

7:13 p.m. | Gators strike first

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson opens the game with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Justin Shorter with 14:01 left in the first quarter. The play was set up by a 47-yard kick return by Trevor Etienne to open the game.

7:05 p.m. | Florida inactives

The following players are out for the Florida Gators tonight against LSU: Marco Ortiz LS, Diwun Black LB, Devin Moore CB, Nick Elksnis TE

6:39 p.m. | Torrence appears ready to play

Florida offensive lineman O'Cyrus Torrence, who was listed as questionable earlier in the week, is dressed and taking part in pregame warmups.

4:55 p.m. | Perfect night for SEC football

The temperature will be around 77 degrees when the Florida Gators and the LSU Tigers kick things off at 7 p.m. in The Swamp. The forecast calls for an east wind of up to 8 mph, however, no rain is expected.