Clock management advantage goes to Tigers

1:39 and counting… Clock management advantage goes to the Tigers <p> If Ron Zook were to manage the game clock as well as the recruiting clock, the embattled Florida head coach would be off the hot seat and in the cat bird seat.

Florida squandered a terrific field position performance by punter Eric Wilbur and most importantly the lead as the Tigers rolled to a 12:14 time of possession advantage in "The Swamp" of all places. The Tigers began a pair of drives for touchdowns at the 1:39 mark of each half, which proved catastrophic.

The defense, yet again, failed to drive a nail in the opposition when they knocked on the door. We should also be asking UPD to put out a BOLO for a high powered offense that successfully began a drive which resulted in touchdown just once. And let's not talk about the final 27 seconds, where we (supposedly) methodically work toward getting Matt Leach in field goal range. This was a total team disaster.

The LSU offense plugged in its' alarm clock after the Gators had taken a 21-7 lead late in the second quarter. The Tigers seemingly gained confidence and momentum that lasted throughout the remainder of the game. The second half featured a Florida defense, hands on hips and gasping for fresh air, and desperately hoping that the hometown team could muster up a time of possession drive themselves.

It began early. The Gators had taken each of Tigers punches during a first quarter where the defending National Champions had gobbled up a 11:17 slice of possession. Time that resulted in a pair of interceptions by Florida's Dee Webb and Jarvis Herring, as well as, a missed field goal. The Gators turned those opportunities into a 14-0 lead.

The Tigers began a drive late in the first that resulted in a second quarter Alley Broussard blast over center. Florida then scored on their only drive of the day to take a commanding 21-7 lead. The Gators defense allowed LSU to march 80 yards with just 1:39 left in the first half. No sense of urgency in trying to take a 14 point halftime lead I suppose.

The second half was an altogether different story. As the Florida defense wore, the Bayou Bengals took command. LSU accumulated only 42 yards on the ground in the first half, but ran roughshod for an additional 168 yards in the second half. The Tigers finished with 464 yards of total offense. Florida's nightmare came to an abrupt end when yet again the clock struck 1:39. The Tigers completed a six play, 50 yard drive with Joseph Addai hauling in Marcus Randall's pass as time has ticked down to 27 seconds. LSU had taken 10:51 of fourth quarter possession and finally, a 24-21 lead.

Florida quarterback Chris Leak then ran around looking for an open receiver as time expired on the Gators, completing the final example of poor clock management. The loss probably ends any thoughts of an SEC Eastern Division title and an Orange & Blue weekend in Atlanta. And as the rumbles from disgruntled Gators fans suggested as we left "The Swamp", less time left on Ron Zook's watch...


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