(Saturday, October 8th)
Final Score: (1) LSU 41, (17) Florida 11
Baton Rouge, LA (Sports Network) - No. 1 LSU had little trouble Saturday against No. 17 Florida and its rookie quarterback, coasting to a 41-11 victory in a game that might be remembered best for a touchdown that was taken off the board.
Jarrett Lee hit Rueben Randle for a 46-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter and the Tigers (6-0, 3-0 SEC) built a 21-point lead at halftime on the way to winning their sixth straight game by double digits to start the season.
But they also had a touchdown called back on a fake punt when the punter, Australian redshirt freshman Brad Wing, was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for briefly flapping his arms around the eight-yard line.
Wing had scrambled untouched around the left side for a long touchdown run that would have made it 21-0. Although he held his arms out only for a moment, he was flagged 15 yards under a new rule governing live ball fouls, moving the ball out to the Florida 23-yard line.
Florida (4-2, 2-2) was forced to start true freshman Jacoby Brissett at quarterback because of injuries to John Brantley and Jeff Driskel, marking the first time in school history that a true freshman quarterback took his first career snap as the starter.
Brissett threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Andre Debose late in the third quarter for Florida's only touchdown. He was 8-of-14 for 94 yards.
The Gators, coming off a 38-10 defeat to Alabama last week, have now dropped two games in a row with a visit to Auburn on tap next week.
"We wore out as the game wore on, but we didn't force turnovers. We committed two, and we've just got to play better on the line of scrimmage," said Florida head coach and former LSU defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
"We gave up some big plays. We were trying to load the blocks in the run game, and we gave up some big plays. I'm disappointed in the game. We've got to get better, and I look forward to getting back to work and getting ready to go to Auburn."
The SEC issued a statement on Wing's penalty, saying the rule was correctly applied because Wing "turned towards two Florida defenders and made a taunting gesture."
The Tigers kicked a field goal instead, and the penalty served as little more than an embarrassing -- albeit unique -- sidenote to LSU's 14th straight win at Tiger Stadium.
"The crowd was spectacular," said LSU head coach Les Miles. "I felt there was a real energy and electricity in the air. Our guys felt it and enjoyed playing to it."
Spencer Ware rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns for LSU, while Lee threw for 154 yards and a touchdown on 7-of-10 passing. Jordan Jefferson was 3-of-4 passing for 61 yards and a score.
Randle caught four passes for 127 yards and the Tigers outgained Florida in offensive yards by a 453-213 margin.
Ranked No. 1 for the second week in a row, LSU has beaten Oregon, Northwestern State, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Kentucky and Florida by a combined score of 231-75.
Randle beat his defender badly on LSU's second play from scrimmage and Lee hit him with a perfect pass near the front of the end zone for an early 7-0 lead.
"They played man defense, and we decided to take a shot on that play. I was able to get leverage on the guy and beat him deep," said Randle. "Jarrett threw the ball on the money, and I didn't have to break stride."
Ware scored on a two-yard run on the next Tigers drive to make it 14-0 and Wing's penalty came late in the first, setting up Drew Alleman's 35-yard field goal early in the second.
A 37-yard catch by Russell Shepard set up Ware's eight-yard touchdown run for a 24-0 LSU lead, and Florida got its only points in the first half on Caleb Sturgis' 34-yard field goal in the waning seconds.
Indeed, while the Tigers offense sparked, the defense also shined. LSU limited Florida to one red zone chance and has held opponents without a touchdown in 18-of-24 quarters this season.
Alleman kicked a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter before Brissett and Debose hooked up for the only Florida touchdown. LSU scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter on Jefferson's two-yard TD pass to Mitch Joseph and Alfred Blue's two-yard TD run.
LSU has won two straight in the series, but Florida holds a 30-25-3 lead all- time...The teams have combined to win three of the last five BCS National Championships...LSU hasn't lost in Tiger Stadium since a setback to then-No. 1 Florida on October 10, 2009. The winning streak includes eight SEC games...LSU is 16-3 all-time as the No. 1-ranked team...The Gators fell to 3-9 all-time against the country's No. 1 team.
10/08 21:03:53 ET