Murphy faced heavy pressure

BATON ROUGE, La. -- There wasn't much quarterback Tyler Murphy could've done at times on Saturday. The LSU defense sacked him four times, but the redshirt junior was running for his life much more than that. Playing the defenses Murphy saw against Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas helped him improve, but he struggled to show that against a stout pass rush on Saturday in Tiger Stadium.

Florida right guard Jon Halapio, the only offensive lineman to speak with the media after the game, took the blame on the shoulders of the offensive line. Communication issues caused problems when the Tigers wanted to get to Murphy, sending the redshirt junior scrambling out of the pocket.

As he has done since gaining playing time this year, Murphy gained 27 yards on the ground and hit passes on the run. He just didn't have enough time in the pocket, but instead of blaming teammates, Murphy took the blame on his shoulders.

"They did a good job applying pressure," Tyler Murphy said of LSU. "I didn't do a good job of getting rid of the ball quick enough. That's something I'm just going to really evaluate and get better at. Teams are going to do that all season.

"I want to be successful. If we want to be successful as an offense, that's something I'm going to have to overcome."

It was the first true challenge for Murphy. He played well at home against Tennessee and Arkansas and in his only previous road start at Kentucky. But what he saw in Baton Rouge on Saturday was a different level. The statistics for the LSU defense weren't pretty before Saturday, but the talent level was the difference.

They were faster and stronger than anything the Murphy -- and the Florida offensive line -- had seen this year.

"LSU did a good job of keeping us from big plays," Murphy said. "They did a good job tackling downfield and getting pressure. They came up with a good game plan. We were a few plays away from a different outcome."

Those few plays were the ones that frustrated Murphy the most on Saturday. He pointed to the team's play in LSU territory as an issue. The Gators finally got into the red zone early in the fourth quarter, and even with the help of a roughing the passer penalty, they were held to a field goal.

On third and goal from the LSU 10 with the Gators trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter, Murphy rolled out had tight end Tevin Westbrook open running toward the end zone. LSU defensive end Jermauria Rasco flew off the edge to create pressure and an errant throw from Murphy.

With his strong play for the last three games, Murphy heard the talk about him being the one to save the Florida offense. He never agreed with that and still doesn't.

"I never thought of myself as a miracle guy," Murphy said. "I was just a backup that had to step up and do what the back is supposed to do, and that's to give the offense a chance. We fell short today."

After throwing for 240 yards and three touchdowns against Arkansas last week, the offense looked much different on Saturday. Murphy was forced to throw to receivers closer to the line of scrimmage because of the pressure that was in his face.

"They were kind of forcing us to go (with shorter throws) a little bit because they were pressuring," Murphy said. "When they get pressure, they try to keep everything in front of them. We tried to nickel and dime them, and we had a few plays where we could've broke, but we just didn't execute."


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