The people who clamor about the exceptionalism of SEC defenses had three hours of bliss on Saturday afternoon in Baton Rouge.
LSU defeated Florida 17-6 on a muggy day in Louisiana, the lowest scoring game in the conference this season.
The low score wasn't attributable to turnovers either. The game's only turnover was a Zach Mettenberger fumble when the LSU quarterback simply saw the football slip out of his hand as he was winding up to pass. It was just simply controlled by each team's defense, as evidenced by the innumerable times a player's helmet came flying off.
Florida needed its defense to stifle Mettenberger and the LSU offense, which it did. LSU's only touchdowns came in the second quarter, and it didn't get inside the Florida 40 after that until Colby Delahoussaye added a field goal with eight minutes to go.
The LSU defense was just better. Florida Tyler Murphy wasn't comfortable all game and finished just 15-27 for 115 yards and was sacked four times. The Gators only got a whiff of the end zone three times, and its offensive performance was perhaps summed up best when Murphy was sacked and lost the ball on 4th and 17 with four minutes to go.
The Tiger stretch continues next week for the Gators, who travel to undefeated Mizzou. The Florida formula for success, with both Murphy and quarterback Jeff Driskel before he was injured, was to play competent enough offense to let the defense control the game. With Mizzou QB James Franklin out next week due to a shoulder separation, that may become a lot easier. Florida's SEC East hopes depend on it.
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