No. 12 LSU Stays Undefeated at No. 14 Florida, 33-29
LSU Sports Interactive
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With less than a minute to play, No. 12 LSU faked a 53-yard field goal before Jarrett Lee tossed a 3-yard touchdown to Terrence Toliver with six seconds left, as the Tigers completed a comeback victory over No. 14 Florida in The Swamp on Saturday, 33-29.
Both plays withstood official review and were upheld, as a wild 10-play, 62-yard drive culminated with consecutive tosses in the direction of LSU's No. 1 receiver. Toliver grabbed the second, planted a foot in the left corner of the endzone and tucked the ball away for a touchdown.
Moment prior, on fourth-and-3 from the 36, LSU used its last timeout to setup a would-be game-tying field goal by Jasper. Not-so-deep in the bag of tricks, LSU head coach Les Miles went back to a fake he ran against South Carolina in LSU's 2007 National Championship season.
LSU holder Derek Helton took the snap from center and tossed the ball over his head as Florida's defenders put on the breaks. Unlike the fake four seasons ago (Matt Flynn to Colt David), the ball bounced off the turf and into Jasper's hands. The 5-11, 171-pound, senior placekicker tip-toed between defenders for a 5-yard gain and a first down. At the Florida 31, Lee and Toliver hooked up for a 28-yard catch and run to the Florida 3. Toliver's sixth grab of the game gave the Tigers another victory.
Lee and starter Jordan Jefferson again shared snaps, as Lee finished 9-of-11 for 124 yards and two touchdowns to Toliver. Jefferson was 7-for-12 for 100 yards passing, while adding 42 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
LSU running back Stevan Ridley had 83 yards on a career-high 27 carries. Toliver had 111 yards receiving.
LSU outgained Florida, 385-243, and had three sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception.
Florida starting quarterback John Brantley was 16-of-24 passing for 154 yards and one touchdown. His backups, Trey Burton and Jordan Reed, each scored a rushing touchdown. Burton was Florida's leading rusher with 35 net yards. Emmanuel Moody added 34 and Mike Gillislee had 20 yards and a touchdown.
LSU (6-0, 4-0 SEC) dominated the first half but turnovers and penalties allowed Florida to stay close. The Gators rallied behind a kickoff return for a touchdown and took the lead late in fourth quarter, before the final 10-play, 62-yard wild drive by the Tigers kept the Tigers undefeated.
For LSU head coach Les Miles, it was his first win in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. It snapped Florida's 12-game winning streak at home. Miles became the first LSU coach since Charles McClendon to beat Florida three times (2005, 2007, 2010).
Florida fell to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the SEC. After losing to No. 1 Alabama last week, Florida suffered consecutive losses for the first time since 2007 when Auburn and LSU beat the Gators in week's 5 and 6.
Florida won the coin toss and deferred until the second half, electing to defend the south endzone.
LSU's Patrick Peterson took the opening kickoff and returned 28 yards to the 33, where Jefferson went under center for the first series.
Tight end Deangelo Peterson stayed focused on a tipped ball and caught a 26-yard pass from Jefferson to convert a third-and-9 into Gators territory. A negative run by Russell Shepard on first down put the Tigers behind the chains, and LSU settled for a 45-yard field goal by Josh Jasper.
The Tigers led 3-0 with 10:54 remaining in the first quarter.
After Florida fielded the ensuing kickoff at its 2-yard line, LSU's special teams unit stuffed the return at the 6. The Tigers looked to add to the lead when defensive tackle Drake Nevis sacked Brantley in the endzone and the ball came loose. However, Nevis was flagged for fasemask and the Gators escaped when the Florida quarterback connected with wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. for a 24-yard gain to the 44-yard line. Later in the drive, freshman cornerback Tyrann Mathieu came on a third-down blitz, leaped and batted down a Brantley pass.
Jefferson connected with tight end Chase Clement for 21 yards to the LSU 45, and the Tigers looked to be on the roll again. However, a false start put the Tigers in third-and-13, when Jefferson was intercepted by Florida safety Ahmed Black.
Jefferson chased down Black at the LSU 17, but the 47-yard return led the Florida's first score. On third-and-goal from the 1, Florida tight end Jordan Reed lined up behind center and dragged LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard over the goalline for a touchdown. Six seconds into the second quarter, Florida led 7-3.
With Lee entering for the first time, LSU answered back. He connected with Shepard for 11 yards and Spencer Ware for six before redshirt freshman running back Michael Ford broke off a 23-yard run to the Florida 35. Ridley moved the Tigers to the Florida 3-yard line, where Jefferson re-entered and scored on a broke play from the 1.
The 13-play, 77-yard drive gave LSU a 10-7 lead with 8:40 remaining in the half.
Nevis' sack of Brantley gave the LSU defense another stop, however, Patrick Peterson muffed the 57-yard punt at the LSU 16 to bring the Gators back to the field.
LSU was flagged for pass interference on an uncatchable pass in the endzone, and Florida backup quarterback Trey Burton scored on second-and-goal from the 1. Florida took a 14-10 lead with 5:04 left in the half.
After the Tigers went three-and-out, Florida received two penalties and started at its 5-yard line. LSU used two timeouts to get the ball back quickly. Florida's short punt was downed at the Florida 39, and two plays later Lee connected with Toliver for a 38-yard touchdown. Toliver dragged a defender for the final five yards to give LSU a 17-14 lead with 1:22 left in the half.
On the ensuing drive, Mathieu tacked Moody from behind, forced a fumble and came away with the ball to give the Tigers another scoring chance before the half.
After LSU took its final timeout with two seconds remaining, Jasper drilled a 39-yard field goal as time expired and LSU led 20-14 at the half.
Florida put together its longest drive of the game and had second-and-goal from the LSU 1, but came away with nothing to show for it. Two penalties pushed the Gators off the LSU goalline and the Gators missed a 35-yard field goal to the right. An LSU holding penalty allowed for an attempt from 25 yards that was missed wide to the left by punter Chas Henry.
The Tigers took over at the Florida 20 but managed only one first down before punting. Once again, the Tigers defense came up big, as defensive end Kendric Adams tipped a pass at the line and cornerback Morris Claibourne intercepted the pass.
Leading by six, the Tigers were able to convert the turnover into a touchdown. Lee started the drive at the Florida 38 and completed a 12-yard pass to Deangelo Peterson on third-and-6. Ridley ran twice to give the Tigers first-and-goal from the 10, where Jefferson entered. Jefferson scored on third down from the 3, putting the Tigers ahead 26-14 with 14:17 left in the game. LSU's two-point conversion came up a yard short.
Florida took only nine seconds to answer the score, as Andre Dubose returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. The extra point by Henry cut the Tigers advantage to 26-21 with 14:06 left to play.
The teams traded three punts before Brantley made a big play on third-and-8, connecting with Carl Moore for 51 yards to the LSU 27. Florida picked up two first downs before Gillislee scored a 5-yard touchdown. The 10-play, 80-yard drive ended with a two-point conversion pass from Brantley to Hammond.
Florida led 29-26 with 3:21 to play in the game.
The attendance of 90,721 was the fourth-largest in stadium history.