The setback by No. 3 ranked LSU was the worst by a Miles’ coached team in his four-year career in Tiger Town. The 51 points scored by the 11th ranked Gators is the most in the series between the two teams since Florida claimed a 56-13 triumph in 1966.
The game which matched the defending National Champion Tigers and the ’07 National Champion Gators proved to be less competitive than expected by the 90,000-plus Florida Field crowd and national televised audience.
Losing has become a rare experience for the Tigers under Miles, especially in a one-sided manner.
“I want it to be very rare,” Miles said. “We didn’t do what we came to do and play like we expected. Our plan went awry. We spotted a team 20 points to start the game and never really got back on track.”
The Tiger offense never really got going while the defense was forced to stay on the field throughout the contest. That combination proved especially troublesome for LSU when Florida (5-1, 4-1) was building up a 20-0 advantage in the second quarter of play.
“They (Florida) had taken the first half and really kept the defense on the field the entire half,” said Miles. “So offensively we never got into rhythm. We tired our defense out.”
LSU’s defense finally made a stop and its offense got going to bring the Tigers within 20-7 at halftime. LSU would close to within 20-14 early in the third quarter only to see Florida reel off a 31-7 scoring barrage to pull away to victory.
“If you don’t play well against your best opponents you’re going to end up on the lopsided end of the score. Certainly we didn’t play well in this one,” Miles said.
The loss didn’t bode well for the Tigers (4-1, 2-1) and they hope to rebound when they visit Columbia next Saturday for a matchup with South Carolina.
LSU finds themselves in a similar position to last season when they rebounded from two overtime losses to win the SEC title and National Championship title. But to travel that same road there must be corrections made on both sides of the ball.
“The issue at this point is next week,” Miles said. “Talk about a lot to play for at this point and time, I just want to prepare, I just want to make sure that our team is ready to play, and play damn well at South Carolina.
“We’ll do this together, all of us, our coaches and players,” Miles added. “Offense, defense and special teams. It’s not like one piece won and the other two didn’t. We lost this one as a team. We’ll regroup, we’ll fight like hell. This team will prepare hard for the next opponent.”
Tight end Richard Dickson had six pass receptions, including a 6-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Jarrett Lee. Like his coach and teammate, Dickson was disappointed with losing, but hopeful of helping the Tigers return to their winning ways.
“You’ve got to give it to them (Florida), they played a great game,” Dickson said. “To be honest with you they’re the best team I’ve played against in my college career, including the bowl games.”