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Russell Gage ran for a touchdown, Danny Etling threw a touchdown pass to Tory Carter and Eddy Pineiro missed a game-tying extra point as LSU held off Florida 17-16 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville on Saturday afternoon.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU 7, Florida 0
Score: Gage 30-yard run. Connor Culp kick. Time Remaining: 1:22. Drive: 86 yards in 11 plays. Time of Possession: 5:18. Key Play: On third-and-eight, Duke Dawson was penalized ten yards for holding Drake Davis to give LSU a first down at Florida’s 30.
LSU 7, Florida 3
Score: Pineiro 25-yard field goal. Time Remaining: 4:01. Drive: 70 yards in 11 plays. Time of Possession: 5:07. Key Play: On second-and-one, Malik Davis runs 25 yards for a first down at LSU’s 7.
LSU 10, Florida 3
Score: Culp 38-yard field goal. Time Remaining: :25. Drive: 54 yards in 9 plays. Time of Possession: 3:36. Key Play: On first-and-ten, CJ Henderson was penalized 15 yards for pass interference against DJ Chark to give LSU a first down at Florida’s 24.
LSU 17, Florida 3
Score: Carter 2-yard pass from Etling. Culp kick. Time Remaining: 10:56. Drive: 75 yards in 9 plays. Time of Possession: 4:04. Key Play: On first-and-ten, Etling completed a 47-yard pass to Chark for a first down at Florida’s 17.
LSU 17, Florida 10
Score: Lamical Perine 2-yard run. Pineiro kick. Time Remaining: 7:39. Drive: 75 yards in 7 plays. Time of Possession: 3:17. Key Play: On second-and-four, Perine ran 23 yards and Arden Key was penalized 15 yards for a personal foul to give Florida a first down at LSU’s 16.
LSU 17, Florida 16
Score: Perine 1-yard run. Kick failed. Time Remaining: 1:45. Drive: 76 yards in 9 plays. Time of Possession: 3:59. Key Play: On second-and-two, Davis runs 21 yards for a first down at LSU’s 5.
It is quite obvious that the difference in the game was the missed extra point by Pineiro late in the third quarter which would have tied the score. But, the defense had to make that one-point lead stand up throughout the fourth quarter. Florida had three possessions. However, the Gators had good starting field position only on the middle series. On third-and-nine from Florida’s 39, Christian LaCouture and Greg Gilmore combined to sack Feleipe Franks. That defensive play was quite important in LSU holding on for the victory.
LSU OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
His numbers were not great, but Etling did just what was needed for the Tigers to come out with the victory. Etling completed nine of 16 passes for 125 yards and the one touchdown pass to Carter. Etling’s 47-yard completion to Chark set up the second touchdown. Etling was also used as a runner on a few plays. Disregarding the two sacks, Etling had 37 yards on seven carries. More importantly, Etling guided an offense which did not commit a turnover.
LSU DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME
Inside linebacker Devin White ended Florida’s chances of winning by deflecting a fourth-down pass by Franks late in the fourth quarter. White had another double-digit tackle game with 13 stops. The 13 tackles matched White’s career-high which he set against Syracuse. White also was credited with a sack.
KEY TEAM STATISTICS
Yards per completion – LSU 13.9, Florida 10.8
Time of Possession – LSU 33:50, Florida 26:10
Third-down conversions – LSU 6-of-14, Florida 2-of-9
Sacks – LSU 5, Florida 2
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS
Russell Gage: 6 carries, 52 yards, 1 touchdown
Danny Etling: 16 attempts, 9 completions, 125 yards, 1 touchdown
Darrel Williams: 3 catches, 29 yards
Devin White: 13 tackles
Christian LaCouture: 1½ sacks
Malik Davis: 14 carries, 90 yards
Feleipe Franks: 16 attempts, 10 completions, 108 yards
Josh Hammond: 3 catches, 29 yards
Freddie Swain: 3 catches, 22 yards
Chauncey Gardner: 12 tackles
David Reese: 12 tackles
Jabari Zuniga: 2 tackles-for-loss
Rashard Lawrence was back in the starting lineup at defensive end. Kevin Toliver made his first start of the season – ahead of Donte Jackson at cornerback. Jackson lined up at nickel back on the second defensive series. Corey Thompson was in the game on the first series at outside linebacker. . .Toby Weathersby started at right tackle, but he left the game in the second quarter because of heat problems. Austin Deculus replaced Weathersby at right tackle. Deculus was forced into action because left tackle KJ Malone suffered a knee injury. Saahdiq Charles had to play left tackle. Center Will Clapp sat out a play and was replaced by Lloyd Cushenberry. Malone briefly returned in the second half. . .LSU’s leading rusher was a wide receiver – Gage – and its leading receiver was a running back – Williams. . .Tigers wide receivers rushed for 105 yards and made one reception. LSU backs rushed for 85 yards and made five catches. . .The Tigers had a slight advantage in total offense – 341 yards to 302. . .LSU allowed fewer than 24 points for the first time since the Chattanooga game four weeks ago. . .LSU’s last three victories against Florida have been by fewer than eight points. . .The Tigers won back-to-back games in Gainesville for the first time since 2002 and 2004 when Nick Saban was coach. . .The loss was only the second one-possession defeat for the Gators with Jim McElwain as coach. Florida had won nine one-possession games in McElwain’s two-plus seasons. . .LSU is 4-2 overall, 1-1 in the SEC. The Gators are 3-2 overall, 3-1 in the SEC. . .The paid attendance was 88,247.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Coach Ed Orgeron’s comments: “This team showed me grit, competitiveness and the will to win today. There were going to be no excuses. We came here to get a win. The last week has been tough on everybody. I think we got closer as a football team. We stayed focused on the task at hand. We showed the kind of football team we can be. We have to pay attention to detail. We weren’t going to be denied today. I was really proud of the offensive line. Whatever happened, this football team was not going to blink.”
LSU will play host to Auburn at Tiger Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff time is undecided. Auburn (5-1, 3-0) defeated Ole Miss 44-23 at home Saturday afternoon. The network televising the game has not yet been determined.