This game was not supposed to be played in Baton Rouge.
But because the LSU game in The Swamp didn’t happen because of Hurricane Matthew and the LSU administration would not budge from playing a home game on this date in Baton Rouge, a game that could decide if Florida would return to the SEC Championship Game had to be played there today. And Florida will return to Atlanta after a heart stopping 16-10 win on Saturday.
Fight breaks out between #LSU-Florida players.
Leonard Fournette and a Florida assistant coach shove each other. pic.twitter.com/wFZwyW1nU7
— Joshua Thornton (@JoshuaThornton_) November 19, 2016
If there wasn’t enough tension going into this game between the Tigers and Gators, the teams got into a scuffle on the field at warm up before the game.
Things started well for the Tigers as they took an early 7-0 lead. A Gator field goal made it 7-3 but the Tigers drove down the field and looked to be ready to score again when they fumbled inside the Florida 10 yard line and the Gators recovered. That was the half time score as well.
Florida would score on a 98 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin Appleby to wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland and the Gators took a 10-7 lead. LSU had another chance to score but botched a field goal attempt but they later tied the game at 10-10.
Florida got two more field goals to take a 16-10 lead before LSU mounted a last drive that came down to a fourth and goal from the Florida one yard line with three seconds left in the game. LSU running back Derrius Guice was stopped short of the goal line and the Gators got out of Baton Rouge with a huge upset win. LSU coach Ed Orgeron later said Guice ran the wrong way on the play.
The Tigers controlled most of the game and out gained Florida 423 yards to 270 while holding possession for 34:01 of the game. But LSU’s missed opportunities in the red zone ultimately cost them this game.
LSU’s star running back Leonard Fournette had an ankle injury, and was not supposed to play; but after a shoving incident where he pushed a Gator assistant coach, he asked to play but he only gained 40 yards on 12 carries.
For the Gators, running back Jordan Scarlett stood out, rushing 22 times for 108 yards. Several times in the game Scarlett ran for yards after contact in an impressive performance.
Scarlett knew that the Tigers were tough but believes this game helped proved to everyone that the Gators aren’t an easy team to beat either. “It does a lot for us, it shows what we’re capable of,” Scarlett said.
Florida quarterback Austin Appleby completed only 7 of 17 passing attempts in the game as he was often pressured by a talented LSU defense that has not give up more than 21 points to any opponent this season.
Yea we was running
— Teez Tabor (@_31Flavorz) November 19, 2016
Appleby was extremely proud of the team effort and credits his coaches for getting them ready. “We didn’t flinch, just continued to battle punch after punch after punch,” Appleby said.
What this means for the Gators is a trip to Atlanta to face the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama is still ranked number one in the College Football Playoff poll and a win there and one against FSU next week could possibly give them a chance to play in the playoff.
With the Gators struggling on the road this season with losses to Arkansas and Tennessee, as well as the Gators having crucial players out due to injuries, some did not think the Gators would have a chance against LSU. Gator coach Jim McElwain credits his team for fighting saying “this was supposed to be a home game so we’re gonna go ahead and put that we’re 6-0 at home.
Florida will face Florida State in Tallahassee next Saturday.