LSU clamped down on Florida Saturday, winning in such a way that lives up to par with how teams in the SEC have won traditionally.
The Tigers (6-1, 3-1 SEC) held the Gators (4-2, 3-1 SEC) to a single field goal en route to a 17-6 victory in Baton Rouge, La.
LSU and Florida playing defense in an SEC game, this is new and exciting.— The SEC Logo (@SEC_Logo) October 12, 2013
Tasked with facing arguably the toughest defense in the country, LSU, led by a resurgent defense of its own, held Florida to 240 net yards of offense despite losing the time of possession battle by nearly 10 minutes.
LSU's Jeremy Hill rushed for a season-high 121 yards, including a game-high 26-yard run that set up Colby Delahoussaye's 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, while quarterback Zach Mettenberger had a subpar performance of his own, throwing for a season-low 152 yards.
But offense was not hard to come by for LSU in the first half of play.
The Tigers rallied in the second quarter after trailing 0-3 early to close out the half with 200 total yards and 14 points. The Gators, however, failed to answer.
Bottom line: Tyler Murphy completed 15 passes. Only three of them were for 10 yards or more. Zero time to throw tonight. #Florida— Bryan Holt (@Bryan_Holt) October 12, 2013
Tyler Murphy did a fair job of protecting the ball but was unable to escape LSU's relentless pressure. Murphy was sacked four times by an LSU defense that finished with eight tackles for losses. The redshirt junior finished the game with 115 passing yards.
If the O-line doesn't get a whole lot better in pass protection, it's going to be a long season for Murphy and the Gators.— Robbie Andreu (@RobbieAndreu) October 12, 2013
Florida's offense rushed for 111 yards despite losing Matt Jones to an injury in the first half.
Despite converting a fake punt on 4th-and-5 from their own 30-yard line, the Gators were unable to capitalize on the extra set of downs to bring the game within one possession with the time dwindling in the fourth quarter.
Humphries with his second false start of the drive. Killer penalties for an offense that has to trudge to score points.— Phillip Heilman (@phillip_heilman) October 12, 2013
Following a false start penalty on 3rd-and-10 from LSU's 20-yard line, Murphy was sacked on two ensuing plays, ultimately sealing Florida's fate.
Florida's schedule doesn't get any easier, however.
#Florida right guard Jon Halapio on the offensive line: "We just got outworked, outplayed." Said OL and DL lost the game.— Bryan Holt (@Bryan_Holt) October 12, 2013
The Gators are on the road next weekend versus No. 25 Missouri and follow up with a yearly meeting in Jacksonville, Fla. versus No. 7 Georgia. With quarterback protection a concern following Saturday's loss and the extent of Matt Jones' injury unclear, Florida could be facing an uphill battle these next few weeks.