Tigers maul Gators 41-11 in Death Valley

By Adam Silverstein
October 8, 2011

It is called Death Valley for a reason.

The No. 17/18 Florida Gators (4-2, 2-2 SEC) learned Saturday exactly why their opponent’s home field earned that nickname while being routed 41-11 by the No. 1/2 LSU Tigers (6-0, 3-0 SEC) at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA.

The Tigers jumped ahead 24-0 early on the back of a pair of touchdowns from running back Spencer Ware before the Gators got their first points on the board. Florida added a touchdown in the second half, but LSU ensured there would be no comeback.

The Gators entered the game without the first two quarterbacks on their depth chart after redshirt senior John Brantley (lower leg) and freshman Jeff Driskel (ankle) were both injured last Saturday against Alabama.

Florida went three-and-out on Brissett’s first series, and LSU quickly took advantage of the short field with QB Jarrett Lee throwing a 46-yard strike to wide receiver Rueben Randle for the first touchdown of the game. The Tigers scored again on their next drive, rushing the ball six times for 52 yards before Ware bounced into the end zone.

The offense opened up a bit for the Gators after that. Brissett completed four passes on Florida’s next possession and earned a first down, but a fake punt run by sophomore RB Trey Burton failed, handing the ball back to LSU on UF’s 49.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of the Florida-LSU game story.]Stopped on the ensuing possession, the Tigers decided to punt the ball before it was called back due to an illegal formation penalty. LSU’s next attempt was a fake with punter Brad Wing taking it all the way down the left sideline into the end zone.

However, Wing celebrated before reaching pay dirt and the officials tacked on a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting at the spot of the foul, negating the score but allowing the Tigers to maintain possession. They wound up kicking a 35-yard field goal three plays later to take a 17-0 lead with 13:22 remaining in the first half.

Penalties suffocated the Gators’ next drive before it really got underway, and a deep interception thrown by Brissett turned the ball over once again. Two possessions later, the Tigers completed a two-play, 45-yard drive with an eight yard rush from Ware for his second touchdown of the day.

With time running out in the first half, Florida engineered its first scoring drive of the game with Burton and Brissett both playing quarterback. Brissett completed a pair of passes for third-down conversions and junior RB Mike Gillislee carried the ball six times for 35 yards on the drive before redshirt junior kicker Caleb Sturgis hit a 23-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining.

Each team failed in their first respective possession of the second half, but LSU added its second field goal of the afternoon to cap a 10-play, 51-yard drive that was helped along by three Gators penalties including a personal foul and two offside calls.

Florida responded quickly as Brissett connected with redshirt sophomore WR Andre Debose for a 65-yard touchdown on the very next possession. The Gators also succeeded on a two-point conversion when a fake high snap to Brissett was taken direct by redshirt senior RB Chris Rainey into the end zone, cutting their deficit to 16 points.

Taking a cue from their opponent, the Tigers answered right away as Lee hit Randle for 57 yards down the left sideline. Three players later, QB Jordan Jefferson threw a jump pass to tight end Mitch Joseph for LSU’s fourth touchdown of the game.

Starting from midfield, Florida hoped to replicate their downfield success. Brissett tried to find Debose in the end zone, but cornerback Tyrann Mathieu caught up just in time and intercepted the ball. Sophomore WR Solomon Patton got a hand on the Tigers’ next punt, but the Gators again failed to capitalize on good field position.

LSU RB Alfred Blue ran for a short touchdown with 1:27 remaining in the game, finalizing his team’s 30-point margin of victory.

Ware led the Tigers with 24 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Lee and Jefferson each threw a touchdown, and Randle caught four balls for 127 yards and a score.

Gillislee led the Gators on the ground with nine carries for 56 yards, and Debose’s 65-yard score was one of two balls caught by UF receivers on the afternoon. Brissett finished 8/14 for 94 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

LSU outgained Florida 454-213 offensively and held the Gators to 2-for-11 on third down conversions. UF committed 12 penalties for 89 yards in the contest and also lost time of possession to the Tigers 35:40-24:20.

Florida hopes to bounce back from consecutive losses (including their worst defeat since losing to Nebraska 62-24 in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl) as they take on Auburn on the road next Saturday. The game will air live at 7 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3.com.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press[/EXPAND]


  1. Eli says:

    Hope is not lost. Beat Auburn and beat Georgia and the season is off life support.

  2. g8ter27 says:

    Wow. Ok, I will have to give Brissett a little slack bc he started his first game and looks like he MIGHT have potential. BUT, if we are going to start him and take away his redshirt why the hell are we using Burton when we know he is not going to be the qb? Our defense cannot tackle, our punter is terrible and at the end of the game it looked like our D quit on that last drive. I get that the game was over and they were disappointed but how about a little pride? Ok, I am done for now.

  3. gator says:

    That is over,Beat Auburn and Let’s go WIN the EAST.

  4. Andy says:

    Deppresed gator. We looked like Kentucky today. How could we get so bad so fast. Both lines are weak 5 stars included. We dont have one great player. Urbans last three classes turned out to be awful.

  5. aziatic41 says:

    As I’ve stated in my earlier replies are defensive line is overrated! They are very soft and not physical at all. The supposedly 5-star guys Urban brought in from the north have just not panned out. Easley, Floyd, and Jenkins are not physical at all. We need big strong southern players like Alabama and LSU to compete with them. We have no Barrons, Hightowers, Upshaws, or Mathieus on our roster.

    Our defensive line has been shredded by running backs the last two weeks. And I hate to say it but Dwyer from Auburn is a helluva running back. And he may eclipse 200 yards against us next week. Our line is horrible right now!

    I’m looking at our schedule right now and its looking very likely that we will finish 6-6 this year. We will prolly beat Vandy and Furman but thats about it..

    • scooterp says:

      ……As I have stated in response to your whining in previous posts – back to back losses to the two best teams in all of college football and you want to charactorize our soph D-linemen as busts – is total nonsense. If these were just two above average teams we lined up against, then maybe you might have a point. But, at this point there is no question in my mind that the winner on Nov 5th will be the National Champion. I didn’t hear you bitch and complain about our defense the first 4 games. In the history of this program we have never had a back to back matchup against teams of this good. Definitely not with a brand new coaching staff and a roster where under classman outnumber upper classman 2 to 1.

      • scooterp says:

        …….. dope

        • Gator John says:

          oh, wait….I thought this guy was a professional recruiter since he seems to know more about the talent level of players than coaches who brought these kids in….

          I agree with you scooter. We are young and need to build a little depth, but this schedule is brutal. We will be fine. No need to panic.

    • g8ter27 says:

      Hell I am very worried about Vandy!

  6. Basshole says:

    That game was atrocious, but we got our two toughest games out of the way. Next week will be tough with Dyer against our suspect run defense, but I don’t think there is a game left we can’t win. If the D that played the second half shows up, we should be in most games.

    To be honest, we needed to have a stellar game by every facet of the game outside of our offense this game, so I’m not terribly upset we lost. I wish is would have been closer, but whatev.

  7. BobG says:

    Very disappointing. As Champ’s mantra goes, this is a line of scrimmage league, and the UF lines (both) seem to be playing 3-5 yards back. The litany of futility could be very long; but, sadly this looks like a very poorly coached & disciplined team. The penalty situation is putrid. I tried to blame the Refs, but they kept showing replays that spoiled that fun.

    There was no hitting on the defensive side. Tackling=grabbing. But, then again there was little or no blocking on the offensive side. Symmetry is a beautiful concept, but not symmetrical ineptitude.

    Don’t know why Nixon was out. CBS didn’t tell us, or I missed it. They were probably busy enthusing about the Honey Badger or something. Anyway, I thought Patchen stabilized that side of the line pretty well. I presume that Wenger is playing because Harrison cannot make the calls, so he has to. It certainly isn’t because he can block. So, why not put him at center and get a guard in there who can block?

    Champ has his work cut out. This year has the makings of getting ugly. Gator fans are not tolerant of ugly.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      The defense hit le pretty well, there was just no wrapping up, just like last week. We caught them behind the line a number of times, they just bounced off the hit then gouged us for 5-10 yds. In the first 4 games we saw signs of this, but we outclassed all 4 of those teams so much it seemed correctable before we got to the heart of the schedule.

      The complete lack of discipline as i mentioned previously is inexcusable. Most of our penalties aren’t effort penalties, they are mental.

      It isn’t that we lost that has everyone here so frustrated, it is the way we lost. both of the last 2 games.

      On the bright side, midnight madness is next friday, I think!

  8. BobG says:

    PS Gillislee was a bright point. I like the way he runs. He apparently sees the hole well, and hits it quick.

    So, I presume he will go back to token touches.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Every time he comes in, Gillislee seems to do well. I am not sure why they don’t use him that much, even with the speed of demps and rainey, put one of them back there with gillislee and they dont know whether it will be pounded up the middle or flashed on the edge.

      Whatever happened to Mack Brown? He was supposed to be our savior in hard straight between the tackle running, and he seems 5th or 6th on the depth chart at best, last year, too

  9. Mr2Bits says:

    Well those two games went as expected so I’m not going to act like a whining b*&ch. Sucks we had to go 6 quarters with all the injuries but no big surprise on the end result as we are rebuilding. You have no working brain if you expected anything different and saw hopes of a national championship. We are young and energetic and will rebound. If we go 7-5 with freshmen and sophomores we will be better for it.

    • Mr2Bits says:

      On a positive note, at least we are not FSU who bought into the NC hype and now sit 2-3 after a loss to Wake freaking Forest!

      • g8ter27 says:

        I dont think anyone expected a NC with this bunch this year,especially without Jb. But our defense needs to (in the words of Urban Meyer) “nut up” and tackle because that looked horrible on D today.

  10. Andrew says:

    Gillislee needs to start seeing more carries. Rainey and Demps are great when they have a hole, but on days when there aren’t many holes, they’re not of much use. We need to use Rainey/Demps as change of pace backs, not as feature backs trying to run between the tackles.

    But we have to let Brissett throw. 14 passes in a game is unacceptable. We’re not Nebraska. And the Burton running the option crap has to go. His arm scares no one (except fans afraid he’s going to throw it to a defender). If we’re going to go back to the option, fine. But let Brissett run it. It keeps the D from keying on the run if you have the pass threat. That’s why it worked with Tebow. Run only options only work on undisciplined defenses. Bama and LSU will stuff it every time.

  11. Andy says:

    D-line hasn’t performed all year. We get no pass rush with 4 and out lb’s can’t shed blocks. It’ll be a good 3 or 4 years until we can compete with bama and lsu. Very deppressing.

  12. Gator John says:

    Glad to see there are not as many posters on here this week as compared to last week who know how to coach football better than Boom and Weiss. I’m sure they are doing what they can with what they have, but perhaps some of you who have all the answers should call up Foley and ask for a job. We are young on defense and thin on offense. Sure the penalties suck, but we still would have had to play perfect in both games to have a chance. As Mr2Bits posted earlier, realistic fans knew these two games could end up like this.

    On another note, I can;t be the only one who is tired of CBS having Danielson and Lunquist call UF games, am I? They aren’t even covering up their bias against UF anymore. Or maybe it is just me…but I will be turning down the sound and listening to Mick on the radio from now on,

    • gatorNsc says:

      Im tired of vern and gary…they suck…..we will be able 2 hang with vandy, auburn, sc….bama or lsu will give the sec 7 in a row…..count on it..they r that good…i hope it comes to the expense of okla again..SEC!!!! best conf in tha land….GO GATORS!!!!!!!!

    • Eli says:

      Totally agree that Vern and Gary show some colors during the broadcast, and they sure aren’t orange and blue. Gary’s mancrush on Tyrann Mathieu was quite evident. I agree also with gatorNsc that one of these two teams that we’ve just lost to will go on to win the NC. Just incredible, well-rounded teams. There’s no shame in losing to Alabama or LSU, although we all would have liked to see it be a little closer on both account.

    • GG says:

      The problem with that is the delay…out of sync?

  13. scooterp says:

    I don’t get all the whining. I was screaming at my TV too, through out the game. But after 6 games I see like this – we beat the 4 teams we were suppose to beat and lost to the 2 teams we were’nt. Bama & LSU are just in a different class right now……. And the 6-6 comment is rediculous. There may be another loss or two this season, but the rest of the schedule is certainly winnable.

  14. Jesse C says:

    The punt debacle and the jump pass really pissed me off but I surely didn’t expect to win, There weren’t many bright spots but Gillislee definitely needs more carries especially when the holes are hard to come by. Fortunately Auburn’s run defense isn’t stellar like the last two teams but we are going to need to pass the ball and limit the mental mistakes in order to win. I am looking forward to seeing the Nov 5 game between LSU and the two best teams in the land. There is still hope for us…. we will either get better or learn a lot for next year. GO GATORS!

  15. John S says:

    Well I like that a lot of people are staying positive on here, hopefully you are right. I didn’t expect a championship, but I expected to compete and be in the game in the third quarter, go 8-5. Defensively we have a lot of problems at every position…we don’t have a strength right now. I understand that Alabama and LSU are #1 and 2 but that’s because of their defenses not their offenses. When both built big leads they tried to run out the clock, and even then we couldn’t stop them. The statistics for the last 2 games are the worst I have ever seen by a gator team in 25 years. Dyer and Lattimore are licking their chops.

    Hopefully we can improve, keep your expectations low for the rest of the season if you want to keep your sanity.

  16. HardToKillGator says:

    I believe our new coaches came in and immediately knew what they had to work with player wise. Our Gators play the way they practice. If it quacks like a duck and so on. I hope these guys didn’t leave all their 4 star talent in high school.

    • Aligator says:

      It will take a year or two to get this in a groove!! Everyone relax and watch the Gators play. Remember how much we all stressed out last year? We just played the top two teams in the country with a young team!

  17. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    It would be nice to take the losses with a bit more class….two dominant teams in Bama and LSU…we are not there yet but you can see potential in some of these kids….our D-Line is not soft and you can’t expect a defense to be continually put back on the field in bad field position from a lack of any offense and expect them to not get worn out and dejected….and of course the announcers are going to praise Bama and LSU cause that is the bread and butter for the SEC this year…we got plenty of love during our two national championship runs and if we get back to the top they will be praising us just the same

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