No. 6 Gators Top No. 11 LSU


Tired of watching his team grind, Steve Spurrier went to his bag of tricks.

Reciever Travis McGriff took a lateral from Doug Johnson and threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Travis Taylor for the clinching score Saturday in No. 6 Florida's 22-10 victory over No. 11 LSU.

The victory avenged LSU's 28-21 upset in this series last year and kept Florida (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) one game behind Tennessee in the SEC East.

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Game summary

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  • Mistake-prone LSU (3-2, 1-2) suffered its second straight loss and sank into a deep hole in the SEC West.

    The trick play was one of the few highlights for the Gators in a season that has become almost uncomfortable to watch with all its fumbles, penalties - and now injuries - piling up almost by the minute.

    Jesse Palmer, who won the battle for the starting quarterback position last week, gave way to Johnson in the second quarter after suffering a broken right clavicle that could end his season.

    The Gators also lost leading rusher Terry Jackson to an ankle injury and one of their best defensive linemen, Ed Chester, to a dislocated knee.

    Then there were the mistakes.

    The Gators endured 130 yards in penalties, four fumbles - only one lost - and a handful of near disasters from Johnson, but ran into a team that seemed determined to match them error for error.

    No sequence told it better than in the third quarter, after Johnson had driven the Gators to the LSU 28.

    LSU cornerback Larry Booker had a 90-yard interception return called back due to a silly offsides penalty by lineman Anthony Mitchell.

    In the ensuing seven plays, Florida recovered its own fumble, got lucky when Booker dropped another pass that Johnson threw right to him and got nailed for a delay-of-game penalty.

    After burning a timeout, the Gators finally slinked off the field with a 30-yard field goal for a 16-10 lead. The best chance came after the trick play, when a good kickoff return and penalty gave LSU the ball at the Florida 38. The Tigers had second-and-1 at the 12, but couldn't get the first down on three straight handoffs to Kevin Faulk.

    Faulk finished with 76 yards rushing and never really hurt the Gators defense.

    The Florida defense recorded four sacks on Herb Tyler, offsetting his 234-yard passing day.

    Florida took a 6-3 lead when Palmer hit McGriff for a 68-yard touchdown.

    The next time Florida got the ball, Mitchell came in untouched on Palmer and slammed him to the turf, breaking his clavicle and singlehandedly ending Florida's quarterback controversy.

    Johnson's first drive resulted in a missed field goal. Two minutes later, LSU's Larry Foster beat safety Teako Brown for a 50-yard pass reception and a 10-6 lead.

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