Jacksonville Sports Day

Looking Back: Happy Homecoming after LSU Stuns No. 17 Florida in 49-42 Upset

BATON ROUGE — All the ingredients were in place for another letdown.

Middling attendance. Ranked opponent. Early kickoff. Injury attrition. Embattled coaching staff. This was not the homecoming atmosphere anyone envisioned at the start of the season.

LSU football rose to the occasion despite the circumstances. It was a happy homecoming after all, as the Tigers stunned No. 17 Florida in a 49-42 upset on Saturday.

Wide receiver Jaray Jenkins scored the go-ahead touchdown with 3:30 to play on a 1-yard reception from quarterback Max Johnson. Linebacker Damone Clark clinched the win with an interception on Florida’s next possession.

An inspired effort from LSU’s injury-depleted defense held Florida to 138 yards rushing.

The Gators came in averaging 273.3 yards per game. QB Anthony Richardson led three straight touchdown drives that tied the game in the third quarter. Richardson, Florida’s backup quarterback, replaced Emory Jones with the Gators trailing by two scores.

Richardson went 10-of-19 for 167 yards. He threw three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Cornerback Dwight McGlothern intercepted Jones for a 37-yard interception returned for a touchdown on the first possession of the second half. Nickel back Cordale Flott started opposite McGlothern at cornerback. Cameron Lewis, an all-purpose defensive back, startedat strong safety.

Davis-Price rushed for a school-record 287 yards and three touchdowns on 36 carries. Leonard Fournette had held the mark of 284 set on Oct. 22, 2016, against Ole Miss. Davis-Price is the only LSU player to top 100 yards rushing this season.

LSU leaned on Davis-Price late to milk the clock late in the game. His 25-yard touchdown run put the Tigers ahead 42-35 early in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 21-6, Jones passed Florida from its 23 into LSU territory at the 42. Jones threw again on the final play of the first half, finding an open Justin Shorter in the end zone. Shorter was able to get behind two LSU defenders to make the catch.

The play was a needed boost for Florida. LSU dominated the first half but the Gators went to the locker room trailing 21-13.

The outlook was bleak for an LSU offense missing wide receiver Kayshon Boutte. It only got worse when Deion Smith was ruled out before kickoff. Boutte, who will miss the rest of the season, injured his ankle in the loss to Kentucky last week.

Jaray Jenkins filled the void, catching multiple touchdown passes for the first time in his career. Jenkins made four receptions for 50 yards and three scores. Johnson, benefitting from a balanced approach, was an efficient 14-of-24 for 133 yards and three touchdowns.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron improved to 4-2 against the Gators as LSU’s coach. Last season, LSU (4-3, 2-2 SEC) parlayed a 15-yard penalty on Florida’s Marco Wilson for throwing a shoe into an upset victory in the fog at The Swamp.

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