LSU: Odds and Ends

Both of Florida's trips to Baton Rouge under Urban Meyer have ended in the same result: four point losses. That's where the similarity ends, as the mood after the games couldn't have been more different.

Meyer teared up after Florida's loss in 2005, leading to sneering remarks from rival fans about being "Urban Cryer". After this defeat, Meyer's tone was defiant.

"I don't guarantee much, I don't know if you've ever heard me... I guaruntee the Gators will be back," said the Gator head man.

One enormous difference between the two losses was turnovers. In 2005 Florida forced five turnovers while having none of their own and still lost. This time Florida had two critical turnovers in the final 15:10 of play and got just one from LSU.

While Kestahn Moore's midfield fumble with ten seconds left in the third quarter did not lead directly to LSU points, it was still a killer. The Gators were moving the ball and would have begun the fourth quarter with a two score lead, a comfortable second down situation and the ball in LSU territory.

The fumble gave the Tigers and their crowd new energy that had clearly drained when Cornelius Ingram had scored a touchdown to answer LSU's earlier score in the quarter. After LSU missed a field goal attempt with 12:52 on the resulting drive, Florida held the ball less than a minute before Tim Tebow's pass to Cornelius Ingram ricocheted off his helmet and was intercepted at the Gator 27.

This time Florida paid for their error as LSU converted the first of what would prove to be many fourth down tries in the quarter on a Demetrius Byrd four yard touchdown reception from Matt Flynn.


LSU went for it on fourth down five times and converted all five. None was more stunning than his decision to go for it on fourth-and-one at the UF seven on the Tigers final drive.

An extremely short field goal would have tied the game, giving LSU a great chance at overtime with a fired up home crowd behind them. Instead, Miles bet all his team's chances on a Jacob Hester run that many in the press box did not think had actually gotten the first down while watching it live.

Meyer acknowledged after the game that he had considered challenging the spot, with offensive coordinator Dan Mullen telling him from the press box it had been favorable. In the end, he opted not to do so because of the risk of losing a timeout if the challenge wasn't sustained.


Defensive end Jermaine Cunningham had his most productive game as a Gator. He was credited with seventeen tackles, ten of which were solo as well as two pass breakups. Cornerback Joe Haden wasn't surprised.

"He had a good week of practice," Haden said. "He just knew what was going to happen. Cunningham was in the right spot at the right time and did his thing."


Several freshmen had important roles in the game. Maurkice Pouncey played extremely well at right guard, often winning the match-up with LSU's touted defensive front. Urban Meyer reserved final judgement until after he had seen the game tape, but still commented on his efforts.

"For a true freshman to come down here and play, I don't think we had one mechanical issue with the crowd noise - that's a positive," he said.

Freshman defensive end Duke Lemmens got a great deal of action early, and Justin Trattou also saw meaningful time. Moses Jenkins made his season debut at cornerback on LSU's second posession and was welcomed to the SEC by being blasted on a crackback block by LSU's Jared Mitchell as part of a screen play. Jenkins was credited with a tackle for the game.


After racking up plenty of penalties earlier in the season, Florida made progress in reducing the mental errors Saturday. The Gators were flagged for just two penalties for eight yards, one of which was a one yard intentional grounding on Tim Tebow during Florida's last chance drive.


The LSU press box meal attempted to set the tone for LSU's evening. The rather unusual menu featured alligator chunks in a red sauce served over rice.

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