Tigers outwork Gators 17-6 in Baton Rouge

By Adam Silverstein
October 12, 2013

The No. 17/17 Florida Gators (4-2, 3-1 SEC) got a taste of their own medicine at the hands of the No. 10/10 LSU Tigers (6-1, 3-1 SEC), which dominated both lines of scrimmage and thoroughly outworked the visitors on the way to a 17-6 victory at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA, on Saturday.

LSU outgained Florida 327-239 on offense, racking up more yards on the Gators in a single game than any other team this season. The Tigers also converted 5-of-9 third down attempts and held UF to a paltry 109 rushing yards on 40 carries.

While Florida redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy was pressured all day long and even sacked four times, LSU signal caller Zach Mettenberger was not taken down once on the afternoon. He gained chunk yardage on UF’s cornerbacks by completing a number of nice passes and racked up more yards on nine completions (152) than Murphy registered on 15 connections (116).

Florida deferred the opening kickoff but still struck first, putting three points on the board at the conclusion of a 14-play, 60-yard drive that started at UF’s 13-yard line, ended at LSU’s 27 and lasted 7:27. Redshirt junior walk-on kicker Frankie Velez connected on a 44-yard field goal, the first of his career and longest for the Gators this season.

LSU did not take long to answer back as Mettenberger completed passes of 17 and 26 yards – and benefited from a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on UF junior defensive tackle Darious Cummings – to move the ball to the visitors’ 12-yard line.

A pass interference call on redshirt junior safety Cody Riggs gave the Tigers a second chance to punch it in the end zone, and they responded with a short touchdown to go up 7-3 just four ticks into the second quarter.


LSU threatened to score again on its next possession as Mettenberger completed a 29-yard pass to wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Down on Florida’s 25-yard line after the completion, Mettenberger negated the play by dropping the ball when going back for a pass. Redshirt junior nose tackle Leon Orr recovered the fumble for the Gators.

Punting the ball away after going three-and-out, Florida committed two more penalties on defense that helped LSU complete a scoring drive. Tigers back-up QB Anthony Jennings rushed in from a yard out to conclude a seven-play, 62-yard drive with a touchdown that put the home team ahead 14-3 with 5:14 left in the first half.

The Gators had one last chance before the half but squandered it after moving down to LSU’s 37-yard line. Unable to get anything going, Florida gave up possession by having Murphy pooch punt on 4th-and-5.

Unable to find success throughout most of the third quarter, the Gators took over at their own 49 with 2:14 left in the period as Tigers punter Jamie Keehn shanked an attempt just 33 yards. Florida moved the ball well at the start of the drive, gaining 47 yards on seven plays (including a holding penalty) but struggled mightily in the red zone.

On 1st-and-Goal at the LSU 7, UF lost three yards on two plays and then saw Murphy throw incomplete on 3rd-and-Goal at the 10. The Gators settled for a 27-yard field goal by Velez to drop their deficit to 14-6.

The Tigers wasted little time getting back on the board, using a 26-yard carry by running back Jeremy Hill to get into UF territory. LSU then kicked a 31-yard field goal that put them it up 11 points.

Florida got the ball back and gave itself a shot to score but ultimately failed. After failing to move the ball on three plays, the Gators attempted and completed a fake punt as junior punter Kyle Christy hit redshirt junior linebacker Neiron Ball for a 14-yard gain on 4th-and-5.

A handful of completed passes moved the ball down to LSU’s 20, but Florida would get no closer. Murphy threw two incomplete passes, the second of which was an overthrow on a would-be touchdown, and was sacked both on 3rd-and-15 and 4th-and-27 due to blown assignments. The second of the two sacks was at the hands of sophomore left tackle D.J. Humphries, who also committed two costly false starts on the drive.

In the end, the Gators dropped their first league game of the season and second-straight against a top-10 opponent.

Florida will look to regroup next week when it travels to face Missouri at Faurot Field in Columbia, MO. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:21 p.m. in a game that will air in syndication on the SEC Network.

39 Comments

  1. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Wow! Thought we were further along than this. Loooong season still ahead.

  2. Michael Jones says:

    We scored 6 points–and not that it was all Murphy’s fault–but I want to hear from all you Driskel bashers now. Kind of hard to throw when your O-line won’t give you any time, isn’t it? And speaking of pressure, where the heck was ours? And who in the heck is teaching technique to our alleged NFL first round corners, Purifoy and Roberson?

    The one bright spot was Taylor. Actually, two bright spots, counting holding LSU to 17 points.

    Our offensive play calling is a joke. Willy nilly, no continuity, nothing sets up anything else, run the same plays out of the same formation so that their defense knows them as well as our offense does.

    Trey Burton would be a star anywhere else. Dunbar too. But Muschamp wants to be Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler.

    Note to Muschamp: If you REALLY want to shove the ball down the throats of SEC defenses by running it, then you better start recruiting 5 star O-linemen. We got manhandled up front today. AGAIN.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      It didn’t help that we lost the game at the lines of scrimmage. But what absolutely continues to kill this team is the play calling. For whatever reason Pease and Muschamp continue to call plays _not_ to lose. If we don’t play lights out defense then there is always a chance for us to hand the game away.

      I knew we threw in the white flag when Pease drew up the fumblerooskie play in the 2nd half. Absolute joke. I think it’s safe to say Pease was not the master mind behind the Boise St. offense.

      Tyler is better than this, and deserves a better opportunity than 40 rushing attempts. Oh, and surprise surprise our rushing yards per play was 2.8 yards for the second game in a row. The only time we showed signs of life was with Taylor, and that was too little too late.

      I still think we bounce back vs. a Franklin-less Mizzou and Georiga though. It will come down to us and South Carolina just like in 2010.

      • Michael Jones says:

        You make a good point about Boise State, because our offense bears no resemblance to what Pease once coached. But I’ve got to believe that Muschamp’s behind that. I’ve often said that hiring Pease to run Muschamp’s offense is like hiring Mario Andretti to drive your riding lawn mower. Muschamp is always talking into his headset when we have the ball and I’m guessing he keeps Pease on a short leash.

        And you guys who say the we call plays “not to lose” are absolutely right. It’s not conservative football. It’s scared football. No way you can ever win a championship playing scared football.

        Heck, our receivers don’t even recognize a hot route adjustment when there’s a cornerback blitzing. That’s how unsophisticated we are. Twice Murphy made the right adjustment for a blitzing corner and twice our receivers didn’t get it (one of those passes hit Burton in the back. . . Murphy graciously accepted responsibility but I’m not buying it).

  3. joe says:

    UGA hung 44 on these guys and we can only manage 6. Becoming bowl eligible is going to be the high point of this season

  4. benjamins says:

    Game is in Missouri next week*

  5. Alex says:

    We have a good defense, good but not dominant. Our offense is beyond bad.

    We lost to Miami…let that sink in

    Not sure why so many people are surprised. If we give up more than 14 points we are screwed, that is the reality.

  6. Ken (CA) says:

    I have to concur. Just as I have been saying recently, ball control to not lose, not to put the teams away. We controlled the ball for much more time and more plays, but did very little with it. The offensive line was completely exposed as a fraud. LSU has given up a bazillion points this year and we couldn’t even get it near the end zone. Tyler can’t do any better than Driskel when given no time. This team just isn’t built to pound the ball, so quit trying and come up with a different plan. Success against UK and UT and UA are hardly indicators of doing any thing right, they are teams we not only should have beaten, but should have blown all out badly.

  7. Alex says:

    Scary part is: our 2 best OL, whom are average at best, will be gone after this season.

    Furthermore, LSU doesn’t have a dominate defense we just have one of the worst offenses in college football.

    I can accept losing but how is it possible we couldn’t score a TD???

  8. Michael Jones says:

    And the fact that we don’t throw the ball downfield isn’t because of our lack of receiving talent. I’m tired of hearing that BS. We have stud receivers on our roster (although I’m guessing that it’s going to start becoming very hard to recruit any more of them). Muschamp calls a scared, conservative game, and that’s why we don’t throw the ball downfield against a defense that Aaron Murray absolutely lit up. Even MSU scored 26 on the Tigers for goodness sake.

    Unbelievable.

    And don’t take too much comfort in holding LSU to 17 points, because Miles went conservative too once he realized that there was no way we would ever score a touchdown. Without Easley collapsing the middle, Powell, Fowler and Bullard were completely ineffective, to my great dismay.

  9. aziatic41 says:

    Our offense is awful. I mean very awful. In 20+ years as a Gator fan I’ve never seen a Gator team as bad offensively as it has been under the Muschamp era. I’m starting to think Pease is a bust. He is definitely not the offensive guru we all thought he would be. I don’t know if Muschamp is telling him to call conservative plays but our offense is CRAP. You cannot when big games in the SEC playing conservative and scared offensively. The Arkansas team we beat last week was terrible. South Carolina scored 52 on them today at their place. And we barely scored 30 on them at our place. You do the math.

    I saw this loss coming all along. We will lose to UGA, SC, and FSU. And if Mizzou get up on us by 10+ early we could lose to them also. This will be a 7-5 Florida team. We just don’t have thhe offense to beat our remaining tough teams. Also our defense is a bit overrated. Our defense is solid but definitely not dominant.

    I’m starting to think Muschamp may not be the right guy for Florida. We have always been known for having a fun exciting high power offense. Even when we win now our games are boring. We need a spread team football coach. I always thought Muschamp was the wrong guy for Florida. He has know offensive knowledge. Valdez Showers is not a rb. Burton is not a wr. And Westbrook is not a te.

    I really wish Muschamp will take the Texas job if it comes open and we can get either Chad Morris from Clemson or Kinsbury from Texas Tech. But this is all wishful thinking.

    7-5 season underway..

    • SJ210 says:

      I think you are right on with Kingsbury. He will be a hot commodity this offseason. A very innovative offensive mind with a track record of developing young QBs. I think he’d be a perfect fit at UF. Not that I would want him, but Addazio is off to a great start in his first year at BC. Gave the Noles and Climpson all they could handle. He wasn’t too popular at UF, but people around him always talked about how he would be a great HBC one day. Guess he just needed to get out from under fake heart attack guy.

  10. Michael Jones says:

    I’m far from ready to call for Muschamp’s job. I think he deserves a couple more years to work this out. But I can’t help but wonder what Dan Mullen would do with all this talent. Trying to hiring him away from MSU was always my first choice. I think the dude’s brilliant and we lost a lot and probably another SEC championship when we lost him.

    Okay. Enough of that. Come on, Muschamp! Get your head out of your butt and turn your offensive coordinator loose, man!!

  11. Sroode21 says:

    We can wish in one hand and s&@t in the other and see what fills up first. We r what we r. The d gets no help and can’t win every game. The o needs to help, and that is all play calling.

  12. Frank says:

    What nobody will say when it comes to the offensive playcalling, is it’s often predicated on what the defense throws at you. Yeah, it’d be great to chuck it 40 yards downfield every play. But you have to have an offensive line and running backs who’ll block. We REALLY miss Xavier Nixon badly. I still think we run the table and win the East. Go Gators!

    • Ken (CA) says:

      xavier isn’t what we need, he had a great freshman season then was backup or benched most of the last 2 yrs, evidenced by his cut from the NFL, a little shocked he even got a shot there. We definitely need something much better though.

      The problem with this, though is even if we win all of our games, they are tedious and painful to watch. This is not a style that fans not in the Big 10 have much interest in seeing. even teams that do rely on D like Bama still have a fun offense to watch running the same power style we are trying. They are the only team that holds the ball longer per game than we do, but they are not boring to watch.

      It is almost to the point that, being on the west coast and games are usually really early anyway, I just DVR and fast forward until something interesting happens…as far as LSU, that meant i was able to watch the whole game in 30-45 minutes tops

  13. Rob says:

    Really. Does anyone remember run E Smith right, run him left. Coach is rebuilding the empty team he inherited. We also lost 4 starters for the season. Yes, O-Line recruiting is a priority. AL doesn’t run the crazy spread offense.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Hey, I agree that the spread is not the answer. And I see natural instincts in Taylor that remind me of Smith as a freshman–he reads his blocks, sees the hole developing before its there, and accelerates through it with toughness, burst, and determination. But Muschamp seems to recruit 4 and 5 stars everywhere but on the O-line, where he’s content with developing 3 stars. Stud O-line recruiting has got to become a priority.

      As for the play calling, there’s an art to that. A rhythm. A flow. A continuity. A plan for Pete’s sake! Plays are supposed to set up other plays. You run various plays out of the same formation. Not the same play out of the same formation every time (e.g. that ridiculous counter that we run EVERY TIME from the unbalanced line). That’s the problem. We’re calling plays willy nilly. No art, no strategy, no rhythm, and certainly no surprises except for the occasional ridiculously ill-fated flag football play (see the goofy fumblerooskie from yesterday) that our offense never looks comfortable running.

      Take that stupid wildcat for example (a formation that I am not a fan of). Burton can throw the football just about as well as any of our QB’s. He played QB for us for awhile. Why hasn’t he EVER (1) given the ball to someone else out of the wildcat or (2) thrown the ball out of the wildcat?

      It’s like both Muschamp and Pease become deer in headlights when it comes to play calling. I think our fundamentals are good and our weekly preparation is good. Our conditioning is good. We have great student athletes. But our playcalling is painful to watch. Let Spurrier or Mullen call plays with the exact same personnel and playbook and see what happens.

      Oh, and our play calling makes it hard on ANY QB, so that debate needs to stop as long as we’re calling plays the way we do. Peyton Manning would look like crap back there the way we called plays yesterday.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      When people talk about how this is the most boring offense they have ever seen I as well wonder how many remember the Galen Hall era. At least there, though, even though they knew and we knew what was coming, it was more successful than what they are putting out today!

  14. SJ210 says:

    I’m afraid this program is stuck in the Muschamp doldrums – adrift at sea with no wind – not bad enough to warrant firing him, but never good enough to win championships. This is our 4th consecutive year of complete ineptness on offense. I thought OL would be a strength of the team this year with the addition of the two transfers, Garcia and Moore, but instead it is probably the biggest weakness. Neither one of the transfers are any good. Halapio is supposedly highly regarded by NFL scouts, but I just don’t see it. DJ Humphries was the #1 OT recruit in the country two years ago, but looked like he couldn’t start for FIU yesterday. We’ve whiffed recruiting-wise on the top OLmen in the state the last 2 years, who also happened to be right in our backyard, and our OL class for 2014 is populated with a bunch of 3-star guys. I think we definitely need a change in OL coach after this season.

  15. clin says:

    stinging loss, but LSU is hard to beat at home. lots of whining on here. Go Gators!

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Not by us. We are usually quite successful and have a winning record against them in their place. Much of the griping here isn’t just one game, it is a lot of pent up frustration that has lots of legitimate concerns. In 4 yrs, there has been absolutely no improvent in offense even with the addition of joker and Pease. Muschamp has proven to be the great defensive coach that he always has been but that is 1/3 of the game. Our offense and special teams are atrocious

  16. joe says:

    and to think we were thrilled when Pease came here instead of Bama

  17. mag says:

    We still control our own destiny in the east but it all comes down to coaching. How they respond after this loss is key. Go GATORS!

  18. aziatic41 says:

    You can’t win games playing scared. I feel bad for our kids because Muschamp isn’t giving them the best chance to win on Saturdays by calling a conservative offense game plan. And yes, Alabama doesn’t run a spread offense either but they are not conservative. They throw the ball down the field and mix things up nicely. And not to mention they have a mammoth offensive line and big bruising 1st round NFL caliber rbs. Their roster is built for that. Ours is definitely not.

    Mediocre teams are not accepted at Florida just like at USC, Texas, and places like that. If we continue to lose ugly like yesterday then I think Foley should pull the trigger early and let Muschamp go. It is not fair to the fans to pay their money and come watch a scared team offensively. And it is definitely not fair to the players.

    I know we were 11-2 last year but even then we lost to a Louisville team in the bowl game who we were much better than because of conservative play-calling. Another ugly loss.

    I know its a bit early but Muschamp should be on the hotseat. I don’t like the direction that this program is going. Keep-away-football is scared football! His philosphy is clearly not the right fit here.

    • SWFL Joe says:

      Foley is not going to fire Muschamp for the simple reason no coach worth his whistle would want this job. Zook was canned in 2.5 years, The stress was so bad Meyer had to quit to save his health and now Muschamp wouldn’t have been given 3 years to fix a broken program. This is exactly what you get when you hire somebody with NO head coaching experience. It is a very steep learning curve and Muschamp hasn’t done himself any favors by hiring poor offensive assistants. So far Joker has been his best get and can see being OC is in his future. This off season we desperately need to upgrade the coaching on the offensive side of the ball, at a minimum O line and TE.

  19. Gatorgrad09 says:

    It humors me that people get on here and talk about how much better Dan Mullen would do. I remember when people were whining about the play calling when Dan was calling the shots under Urban. Things never change. Our coaches want to win more than we do. We lost to a good team in a tough environment. Take it week to week, and stop whining. Beat Mizzou and our year is back on track. Our two losses are to two currently ranked top 10 teams.

    • Michael Jones says:

      “It humors me?” lol. Hard to take anything seriously that comes after that, but I’ll play along.

      I never complained about Mullen and never heard anyone else do it either. I’m about as true blue of a Gator fan as there is. We don’t have to go 12-0 or win a championship every year to make me happy. I know how unrealistic that is. It’s not the losing to LSU at LSU that’s the problem. It’s how we lost. We have too good of a program and draw too good of an athlete to our school to not even be competitive. And, offensively, we were not even competitive yesterday at Baton Rouge.

      We take’em one game at a time, I understand that. So, although beating 14th ranked Mizzou away would be great, it doesn’t put “our year back on track.” It would make us 5-2 with UGA, South Carolina, and FSU still to play.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      People didn’t complain about Mullen’s playl calling and were sad to see him go. It is Adazio’s play calling you are thinking about.

  20. Gatorgrad09 says:

    Quite frankly, no one takes these comments seriously because they simply don’t matter when it comes down to the results on Saturday. This site is here for people to state their opinions, and keep up with our school. It’s just amusing to see people comment like they know more than our coaches. Not trying to hurt any feelings. Obviously, the loss to UM and LSU puts us out of NC contention, but we are still in position to control our road to Atlanta. It’s a long shot, but that’s all I was trying to say.

    • Michael Jones says:

      I understand and you’re correct, mathematically speaking, that we are still in contention to get to Atlanta. I respectfully disagree with the implication that knowing more than a football coach is such an unattainable standard. We’re talking about football here, not heart transplants, and many of us have been playing/watching/studying football for a long long time. Plus, some things, like what we all saw yesterday, are painfully obvious and don’t require a heck of a lot of expertise to dissect.

      But, I’m a Gator, first and foremost. I’ve always been supportive of Muschamp and continue to be. However, I admit that I thought that Mullen was an obvious choice when the job opened up and maybe I was a little too quick to make that reference in the aftermath of the LSU loss.

      GO GATORS!!!

      • ziggy says:

        Michael – I agree that it doesn’t take a rocket science to understand football and be an armchair quarterback. But it’s not fair to pretend to know all of the things that the coaches are having to deal with inside the locker room or what they’re seeing from a player in practice. There is a huge dynamic off of the field that, we as fans, are just not aware of and shouldn’t ignore just so we can bash the coaches and try to make ourselves look better. What I saw was the inability of an offensive line to keep the defense out of the back field. According to a later article, that analysis isn’t totally correct since it was reported that Kelvin Taylor missed a key block that likely cost us a touchdown. For all you clamering for Kelvin Taylor to play, I won’t go there right now except to say that the coaches have been saying all along that he is a great runner but needed to work on other elements of being a great running back. To everyone on here complaining about the play calling, please tell me what play you can draw up that doesn’t require an offensive line to open a hole for a running back or to protect a quarterback long enough to get a pass off.

        Ok. That’s my rant for the day. GO GATORS!!!

        • Michael Jones says:

          Not sure why you would think that I want to make myself look better or how I could do that on this website. You don’t even know who I am and I don’t know who you are and none of us are getting paid for this. We’re just having some good, fun, gratuitous robust debate. At least that’s what I thought.

          And I’m not interested at all in bashing Muschamp. I actually really like him. But you have to know your personnel. He wants to be smash-mouth and he clearly does not have smash mouth personnel on the O-line and even Matt Jones has not been as advertised (although, in fairness, the viral infection may have devastated him physically).

          As for the rest of what you call your “rant,” I agree with some points, not with others, but I think it’s time to move on. We’ve beaten this horse pretty good and now I have to get myself prepared for the Mizzou game. . . ha ha.

          GO GATORS!!!

        • gatorboi352 says:

          I think what thus may all boil down to is some lingering Spurrier-itis among Gator fans. We were spoiled by his intolerance of the offense. QB makes a few errors? Let’s pull him and see what the back up can do. Muschamp clearly does not operate this way on offense. Rather, he takes to the offense like anything is better than nothing. Meanwhile, he publicly rips into our special teams and defense. It’s a kind of coaching philosophy that Gator fans aren’t much accustom to. We want offense. We are tolerant of defense.

          I know one thing, if Muschamp loses to GA again this year and we skip out on Atlanta again, you can almost bet Foley will be having some behind closed door conversations with Will.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          The article here said it was KT who missed the block, but during the game saturday, they were saying it was Humphries who had just had 2 false starts that the next time around just let him come in from the corner untouched

  21. gatorboi352 says:

    “For all you clamering for Kelvin Taylor to play, I won’t go there right now except to say that the coaches have been saying all along that he is a great runner but needed to work on other elements of being a great running back.”

    From Twitter:
    @gatorhoops
    Muschamp said Kelvin Taylor has gotten better assignment wise blocking and with ball security in practice.

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