Incomparable Beginning

If Florida coach Urban Meyer had dreamed Friday night that his team would score on each of its three possessions, deny LSU a single first down and force a turnover --- all in the first quarter --- he would have woken up, smacked himself in the forehead and been reminded that nothing ever starts out THAT well. Especially not against a top five team.

The start to the showdown with LSU was as good a first 15 minutes I can remember any team having in The Swamp. The only thing similar was the 1996 game at Tennessee when the Gators scored 35 unanswered points in the first 20 minutes and coasted to a 35-29 win.

Percy Harvin's 70-yard TD on the opening possession set the tone and the Gators who played flawlessly for the entire first half. Well, make that the first 29:11 of the first half. Florida's complete domination was spoiled by a late LSU drive helped by a screwed up ruling on the kickoff, a bad decision to rush three on first down and sharp LSU execution on a hook-and-ladder play setting up and LSU touchdown.

Anyone would have taken a 13-point lead at halftime when the game began, but the LSU score left an uneasy feeling as both teams headed to the locker room at intermission. That uneasiness was reinforced when the Tigers went the length of the field over more than seven minutes to close to within six points and all but obliterate the Gators' lead.

Florida faced a must possession and came through with their biggest drive of the season, culminating in a Tim Tebow two-yard run. When Jeff Demps scored from 42 yards out minutes later the only remaining question was what would the final score be?

The final score really is insignificant though. This game was won in the first 15 minutes when Urban Meyer's unrealistic dream just may have come true.

And by the way, it was 51-21.


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