Jacksonville Sports Day

Death Valley Comes Alive, as No. 5 LSU Tops No. 7 Florida

Photo by Chris Parent/LSU

BATON ROUGE — LSU quarterback Joe Burrow tossed three touchdowns and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for two more, as the fifth-ranked LSU Football team shutout No. 7 Florida in the final 25 minutes of a 42-28 victory.

For the first time this season, LSU (6-0, 2-0 SEC) found itself behind in the second half, 28-21, when Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson caught his second touchdown pass of the game with 10:54 remaining in the third quarter.

The Tigers defense stepped up its game for the duration, while its offense continued to operate like a surgeon – slicing Florida to the tune of 10.6 yards per play, third-most in school history and most against an SEC opponent.

LSU ran only 48 plays against the Gators and scored 42 points while facing third down only four times, the fewest on record by a Tigers team (records since 1978).

Edwards-Helaire and freshman running back Tyrion Davis-Price added third-quarter touchdowns of 5 and 33 yards to give LSU a lead it wouldn’t relinquish with 3:15 remaining in the third quarter. Leading by a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, Burrow connected on a 54-yard touchdown pass to Ja’Marr Chase that gave LSU an insurmountable two-score advantage.

Burrow and the Tigers offense were a model of efficiency against the Gators. The LSU signal caller completed 21-of-24 passes for 293 yards with two touchdown passes to Chase and another to Justin Jefferson, who led LSU with 10 catches for 123 yards. Chase had a team-high 127 yards on seven receptions.

Edwards-Helaire had 134 net rushing yards, while Burrow added 43 on six carries without being sacked. Davis-Price made the most of his three carries, totaling 40 yards.

The Tigers defense overcame a frustrating first half – which included a dropped interception in the end zone which resulted in a Florida touchdown – to shutout the Gators with the game in the balance.

After allowing four 75-yard, time-consuming touchdowns drives, LSU’s defense came up with consecutive three-and-out, third-quarter stop that swung the momentum of the game in LSU’s favor and brought the Death Valley capacity crowd of 102,321 to life.

An 8-yard sack by freshman safety Marcel Brooks forced a punt on fourth-and-31. Later, tackles of Florida backup QB Emory Jones by freshman tackle Siaki Ika and junior safety Grant Delpit setup a third-and-7. LSU’s Justin Thomas and Michael Divinity Jr. pressured Jones into an off-balance throw that sailed incomplete and the Gators punted again.

LSU’s defense came up with two more stops in the fourth quarter. Florida marched from its 8-yard line to the LSU 16 when freshman cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. intercepted Kyle Trask in the end zone on third-and-1. With the Tigers holding a two-touchdown advantage with less than a minute to play, Florida went on a 15-play drive that ended at the LSU 4 with a fourth-down tackle for loss of Trask by linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson.

Florida (6-1, 3-1), which ran 84 plays for 457 yards, was led by quarterback Kyle Trask who finished 23-of-39 passing for 310 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. The Gators ran for 146 net yards including 65 by Lamical Perine.

The Gators held a 38:19 to 21:41 advantage in time of possession.

(Todd Politz is LSU’s Director of Digital Media)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *