Florida Football: Winners and Losers from Gators' Loss vs. LSU Tigers
While it was difficult to imagine the Florida Gators leaving Baton Rouge with a victory over the top-ranked LSU Tigers, the magnitude of the beatdown Florida received must sting for any Florida fan.
The Gators were dominated in all facets of the game, losing to the Tigers by a score of 41-11. Obviously, it is much easier to find losers in this debacle. However, all hope is not lost for the UF football season.
Losers: Jacoby Brissett and Trey Burton
The inexperienced QBs did not step up in John Brantley's absence. No fewer than 65 of Brissett's 94 passing yards came on a single play—the rest of his performance was abysmal, with two interceptions to boot.
Brissett may deserve more blame, but Trey Burton was similarly stifled. Burton, a dual-threat QB, was not able to get loose against the LSU D, only gaining seven yards on five carries.
Winner: John Brantley
The injured QB doesn't seem to be in danger of getting the Wally Pipp treatment. It's unknown when he will be back, but he should be the starter again the instant is ready. Highly touted Jeff Driskel may have had the best chance of usurping him, but he was also out today with an ankle injury.
Loser: Florida Defense
Offense should not be LSU's strong suit, but they completely shredded Florida's D. Jarrett Lee and newly eligible Jordan Jefferson carved up Florida's secondary for a combined 215 yards and two TD's. Worse, the Gators gave up over 200 rushing yards for the second straight week. Today, the main culprit was Spencer Ware, who ran for 109 yards and a pair of scores. All in all, Florida surrendered 453 total yards.
Winner: Andre Debose
Debose has been the Florida Gators' bright spot two weeks running. Against both Alabama and LSU, the Gators only had one touchdown. And remarkably, both of these touchdowns were 65 yard bombs to the explosive sophomore.
Loser: Will Muschamp's Clock Management
Down 24-0 in the waning minutes of the first half, Florida needed a touchdown to entertain any hope of coming back. Instead, Muschamp engaged in a mystifying misuse of the clock. Wit the team enjoying one of their only good drives of the day, he waited until there were only seconds remaining on the clock to use his timeouts. By then, the Gators could only muster a field goal before the break.
Winner: New Unsportmanlike Penalty Rule
The refs were Florida's best defense. A new NCAA rule turned a would be Brad Wing fake punt touchdown into a 1st and 10 on the 23. A rare stop from the Gators' D kept LSU to only a field goal. Yes, Florida is actually lucky the score wasn't worse than 41-11.
Loser: Jeff Demps
Demps has seemingly been written out of Charlie Weis' plans. After running for 320 yards and four touchdowns during the Gators' 4-0 start, he has been a total non-factor in the back-to-back losses. After only rushing for 4 yards against the Crimson Tide, he had exactly zero yards against the Tigers on two measly carries.
Winner: Florida Gators' SEC East Title Hopes
Amazingly, Florida still controls their own fate in the SEC East race. If they can win their remaining games, they will be playing in the SEC Championship game in the Georgia Dome. That's not to say that this will be an easy task; tough road tests against the Auburn Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks await. However, with the most difficult part of their schedule out of the way, the Gators' can salvage the 2011 season yet.