(*6*)No. 6 Florida fell 37-34 to unranked LSU on Saturday evening in foggy Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Gators kicker Evan McPherson missed a 51-yard discipline aim as time expired to ship his staff to their second lack of the season, knocking them out of competition for the School Soccer Playoff. McPherson’s miss got here shortly after Tigers kicker Cade York hit a 57-yard discipline aim with 23 seconds left in the sport to offer LSU a late lead and its greatest victory of the season.
(*6*)Florida has no one accountable however itself. The Gators appeared to have stopped LSU with simply over 2 minutes to go, however fourth-12 months cornerback Marco Wilson was popped for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for throwing LSU tight finish Kole Taylor’s shoe 20 yards downfield after a 3rd-and-10 cease that might have gotten Florida the ball again. That allowed freshman quarterback Max Johnson to steer his staff on a 9-play, 36-yard drive that put York in discipline aim vary.
(*6*)LSU was up 24-17 at halftime, however Florida got here out of the locker room on a mission. Heisman Trophy hopeful Kyle Trask led his offense down the sector on a 4-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with Trask going excessive for his second landing run of the day. The Gators got here proper again and put collectively a 5-play, 81-yard drive ended with a 9-yard landing on a large receiver display from Trask to Kadarius Toney to offer the Gators the 31-27 lead.
(*6*)The third quarter surge got here after a lackluster half for Florida. Trask threw a choose six to Eli Ricks, a pink zone interception to Jay Ward and fumbled late in the primary half (which resulted in a discipline aim) to thwart what ought to have been a 2-minute drive. Johnson, making his first profession begin, accomplished 21 of his 36 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns in the most effective exhibiting of his younger profession.
(*6*)LSU began the sport with simply 54 scholarship gamers. It performed with out star cornerback Derek Stingley and misplaced a number of gamers to accidents all through the sport. That lack of depth confirmed at instances. Florida did play with out star tight finish Kyle Pitts, however he was not the lone purpose it misplaced on Saturday evening.
(*6*)Listed here are 4 key takeaways from the stunner in The Swamp.
1. It was greater than the fog
(*6*)The thick fog that rolled into The Swamp in the second half had a large influence on the sport. The Gators excessive-flying aerial assault was neutralized because of the poor visibility and incapacity to stretch the sector. Florida’s drawback was greater than Mom Nature, although. The Gators entered the sport eleventh in the SEC in speeding (126.22) and eighth in speeding yards per play (4.12). The finest technique to navigate via the fog is by maintaining the ball on the bottom, and Florida merely could not try this. LSU’s defensive backfield was particularly onerous hit by accidents and lack of participant availability, however the lack of a passing menace allowed defensive coordinator Bo Pelini to promote out towards the run in the fourth quarter. The Gators have been one-dimensional all season, and it got here again to chew them in a giant means on Saturday evening in a recreation that may go down as one of many greatest upsets of the season.
2. Dan Mullen’s vanity was expensive
(*6*)Florida’s third-12 months coach advised the ESPN manufacturing crew in their Friday assembly that he felt the Gators would get into the School Soccer Playoff even when it misplaced to LSU so long as it beats No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship Recreation. I am not so certain about that. The CFP Choice Committee shouldn’t be going to view a loss to a sub-.500 LSU staff fondly in any respect.
(*6*)There are such a lot of situations that might stop this from occurring. If Clemson beats Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Recreation, each might be in. An undefeated Ohio State staff would even be in. Would a two-loss Florida SEC champion get in over a one-loss Texas A&M staff that not solely beat Florida straight up however missed out on the SEC Championship Recreation due to its place in the SEC West?
(*6*)My greatest situation with Mullen is that he had this mindset in any respect. Even when he actually feels this fashion, he has to know that the margin for error is razor skinny. If he did not notice this, he is extremely naive. What’s extra, that perspective will (and did) permeate via the soccer program whether or not the coaches act that means publicly or not. It is vanity, plain and easy.
3. Trask did NOT price himself the Heisman
(*6*)The narrative after this recreation is not going to solely be the Florida is out of the CFP chase, however that Trask’s possibilities of profitable the Heisman Trophy disappeared in the Saturday evening fog. That is not the case. Properly, not but anyway. He accomplished 29 of 47 passes for 474 yards and two touchdowns. The two interceptions harm, however he is the first purpose why his staff had an opportunity, a lot much less stayed in the sport for a full 4 quarters. He has his likelihood for a Heisman second in the SEC Championship Recreation towards No. 1 Alabama. That is simpler mentioned than accomplished, in fact. However an upset over Alabama might be a fantastic last act in his file-setting story.
(*6*)That would not pack the identical punch as it will have if the convention title recreation served as a play-in recreation for the CFP. Loads of voters are prisoners of the second, although. Ballots are due Dec. 21 — two days after the season ends. Will an upset have an effect — particularly if Trask has one other 400-yard efficiency? In fact. Trask nonetheless has an opportunity to placed on that cup slipper.
4. The QB battle is on in Baton Rouge
(*6*)It has been a misplaced season for LSU, however coach Ed Orgeron discovered a budding famous person underneath heart. Johnson stabilized an offense that fell off of a cliff after Myles Brennan went down with a season-ending harm in early October. Orgeron bounced between Johnson and fellow true freshman TJ Finley for the final 5 video games, however Johnson was in full management in the upset win over the Gators. He was 12 of 19 for 122 yards and two touchdowns in the primary half, surprising a Gators staff that was as flat as a 3-week-previous soda in the new Florida solar.
(*6*)Now, what? Brennan is not going to get “Wally Pipp’d” and lose his job on account of harm. In spite of everything, he threw for 1,112 yards, 11 touchdowns and solely three interceptions in three video games this season. This can be a ray of sunshine in an in any other case darkish season.
(*6*)There’s an excessive amount of expertise on LSU’s roster to be mediocre for 2 straight years. Orgeron now has the muse to construct again the tradition of competitors that he must get this program again to a championship degree. National titles are received in the offseason simply as a lot as they’re throughout the common season. A battle on the quarterback place between two potential stars tends to filter via the locker room and make all the program higher.
(*6*)LSU needs that. LSU wants that. Johnson and Brennan have created that.