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Florida knocks off No. 6 LSU to bring back team's confidence in much-needed win for program....

BATON ROUGE, La. -- For the first time in a long while, the Gators did it all. They passed. They ran. They defended. They kicked. They punted.

And, yes, they even won. In a face-saving, job-securing 19-7 win against No.6 LSU on Saturday, Florida found its way to rebound from last week's loss to Mississippi.

So just how weird has the Gators' program twisted and turned? Consider this. On the same night Florida coach Ron Zook was doused by the contents of a Gatorade cooler, a Florida fan held up a sign that read, "Fire Foley."

The fan, of course, was referring to heavy doses of criticism placed on athletics director Jeremy Foley for hiring Zook.

Needless to say, this was one of the most-needed wins in Florida's history.

"I have been saying all along, we are a good football team," Florida coach Ron Zook said. "We made some mistakes today, but I think we will continue to improve and continue to believe. We just happened to beat a good football team today."

Coming off of his second defeat in three games, true freshman Chris Leak fought through six sacks to produce 229 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Leak looked sensational at times, heaving deep balls perfectly into the arms of his receivers. At other times, his freshman inexperience caused him to hold onto the ball too long - causing several of his six sacks.

"I doubt if he'll even be able to walk tomorrow," linebacker Channing Crowder said. "It seemed like he got sacked about 30 times."

So in a game expected to be ruled by LSU's offense, which was ranked No.1 in the SEC, it was Florida's defense that walked away with the spotlight. The Tigers' 12 possessions resulted in eight punts, a fumble and two interceptions.

Not to mention, LSU handed the Gators 99 yards in penalties, including a drive-saving late hit on Leak in the third quarter.

The Gators also ruled the ground attack, feasting on a 62-yard run by sophomore tailback Ciatrick Fason. Florida defense limited the Tigers to 56 yards on the ground.

Fason was called on after injuries plagued Ran Carthon (hamstring) and DeShawn Wynn (shoulder).

"You never know when your opportunity is going to be there, when you are going to have the opportunity to be the guy," Zook said. "When it does happen, you have to be prepared."

LSU's sole touchdown came early in the game, as Skyler Green set a false first impression of the game's momentum. Green returned the first punt of the game 80 yards.

Matt Mauck, the conference's leader in passing efficiency heading into the game, went 19 of 33 passes for 231 yards.

Florida defensive end Bobby McCray sacked Mauck three times, keeping the Tigers' leader from throwing a single touchdown pass.

"We put ourselves behind the eight ball every time," Mauck said. "It's hard to convert first-and-20, second-and-30, and things like that. Really, it was just penalties. For some reason we just could not execute at all."

The Gators, on the other hand, executed cleanly throughout four quarters of football, causing a sense of relief for at least this week.

"Everybody counted us out," Ratliff said. "Everybody. It feels like we just won the Super Bowl or something."

Florida has a difficult schedule ahead, including games against Arkansas and Georgia.

"It's like a cake," Crowder said. "Look at the eggs. It's not real pretty. Look at the milk. It's not real pretty. Look at the flour. You know? Get everything together. Mix everything and cook it into a cake. The end result is beautiful.

"The cake's out. It's time to ice it up."

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