Saturday October 9, 2010Gator Comeback Falls Short, 33-29
The No. 14/12 Florida Gators (4-2, 2-2 SEC) fell to No. 12/9 Louisiana State University Tigers (6-0, 2-1 SEC), 33-29 in a down-to-the-wire finish. The loss was coach Urban Meyer's first home loss since Ole Miss in 2008 and was in front of a crowd of 90,721, the fourth-best attendance in school history.
LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee connected with Terrence Toliver on a 3-yard touchdown pass with :06 left to negate a furious fourth quarter comeback by the Gators in which they rallied from 26-14 down.
Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley (Ocala, Fla.) threw for 154 yards and went 16-for-24 with one interception. Brantley connected with six different receivers.
Leading Florida's receiving corps was redshirt senior wide receiver Carl Moore (Rancho Cordova, Calif.), who caught four receptions for 95 yards.
It was redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose (Sanford, Fla.) who stepped up for Florida with five returns for 154 yards. Debose returned one 88-yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to start the Gator comeback.
On their first possession of the game the Tigers drove it 40 yards down the field and put the first points on the board with a 45-yard field goal by senior kicker Josh Jasper, to put LSU up 3-0.
Redshirt freshman Jelani Jenkins (Olney, Md.) halted an LSU drive when he intercepted Tigers' quarterback Jordan Jefferson and returned it 47 yards to LSU territory on the 17-yard line. The interception set up a Gator touchdown when redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed (New London, Conn.) pounded it in the end zone for seven on a one-yard run as the Gators took the lead 7-3.
The Tigers answered the Gators touchdown with a touchdown of their own after a 77-yard drive down the field. Tiger quarterback Jefferson ran into the end zone for one yard putting the Tigers in the lead 10-7.
After a Gator three-an-out Tiger cornerback Patrick Peterson fumbled on the punt return which was recovered by senior strong safety Ahmad Black (Lakeland, Fla.), his first career fumble recovery. The Gators would capitalize on the fumble when freshman quarterback Trey Burton (Venice, Fla.) faked a handoff and walked in the end zone on a one-yard run, his eighth career rushing touchdown. The touchdown put the Gators back in the lead making it 14-10.
Lee threw a 38-yard pass to Toliver for a touchdown putting the Tigers up 17-14, their first of two touchdown connections on the night.
A fumble by redshirt senior running back Emmanuel Moody (Coppell, Texas) would give the Tigers another shot to lengthen their lead before half time. Tigers' kicker Jasper kicked a 39-yard field goal to extend the Tigers lead to 20-14.
To start off the third quarter the Gators marched down the field on a 70 yard drive that ate up 6:35 seconds off the clock, senior punter Chas Henry (Dallas, Ga.) missed a 25-yard field goal, kicking it wide left, and keeping the score at 20-14 LSU.
The Gators second drive of the third quarter was halted when Brantley's pass was tipped by the Tigers and intercepted by sophomore cornerback Morris Claiborne, who returned it for 15 yards. The interception set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Jefferson. The Gator defense denied a two-point conversion attempt by the Tigers, keeping the score at 26-14 LSU.
The Gators came up big on special teams when Debose took it home for Florida with an 88-yard kick return for a touchdown, the second freshman ever in Florida history to return a kick for a touchdown. The touchdown reduced the Tigers lead to five points, 26-21.
A 51-yard throw from Brantley to Moore, Brantley's longest career pass, jump-started the offense and gave the go-ahead for a 5-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Mike Gillislee (DeLand, Fla.) putting the Gators in the lead 27-26. In an effort to lengthen their lead to three point the Gators successfully completed a two-point conversion when Brantley connected with redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond (Hollywood, Fla.) for a 29-26 lead.
After stopping the Tiger offense at the 36- yard line on a 3rd-and-1 the Tiger faked a 53-yard field goal with 0:35 second left in the fourth quarter for a first down. After a length review to determine whether or not the play was a forward pass or a rush, the play stood. The conversion set up the 3 -yard touchdown pass from quarterback Lee to Toliver, putting the Tigers up 33-29 and closing out the game.
The Gators continue SEC action at home against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on October 16. The kickoff time and station still has yet to be announced.