With negative headlines, injuries and the weight of colossal expectations shaking the foundation of the program, LSU football coach Ed Orgeron had just one challenge for his team this week against Florida: to fight.

That they did – so hard that when the brawl was over, they were the surprising underdog left standing as the winner.

The Tigers beat Florida 49-42 on Saturday in Death Valley – a somewhat shocking upset victory for a struggling, injury-depleted LSU team that was a 12-point underdog at home.

Orgeron said he was proud of his team, saying they blocked out the noise all week. After a good week of practice, he said he knew his team could and would win the game over their heated rivals.

"They came to fight today – that's our motto," Orgeron said. "We're going to fight. We're going to fight the rest of the season – one day at a time, one game at a time."

LSU dominated at the line of scrimmage against Florida.

Halfback Ty Davis-Price broke LSU's single-game rushing record in the win, powering for 287 yards and 3 touchdowns on 36 carries.

The Tigers utilized a new blocking scheme in the win, routinely gashing the Gators' front.

"To see us rush for 321 yards – just wow," Orgeron said. "Physicality and running the football and staying committed to it. ... It was just great."

The Tigers led 21-13 at halftime and it likely should have been worse. LSU had a score negated from penalty and Florida completed a Hail Mary pass just before halftime to trim a 21-6 deficit down to 21-13 at half.

Price scored one touchdown in the 1st half, but most of the damage was done with the connection from quarterback Max Johnson to Jaray Jenkins – a duo which hooked up for a pair of 1st-half scores.

The 2nd half was a slugfest with both defenses struggling to contain the opposing offense.

Florida benched Emory Jones after he threw an interception that got returned for a touchdown early in the third quarter.

His replacement, Anthony Richardson, caught fire, muscling Florida back into the game. The Gators tied the game 35-all going to the 4th quarter with Richardson's arm making plays against a depleted and confused LSU defense that missed assignments throughout the game.

In the fourth quarter, the teams traded scores.

The Tigers went up 42-35 on another touchdown from Davis-Price. The Gators quickly answered with a score of their with a pass from Richardson to Jacob Copeland to tie it at 42.

But LSU finished the fight. The Tigers drove 68 yards on 10 plays – a scoring drive capped with another pass from Johnson to Jenkins on a 4th and goal play from the 1-yard-line to go up 49-42. That drive was set up with several gashing runs from Davis-Price.

Florida had one more chance, but LSU's defense stiffened. Richardson got pressured and threw off his back foot to Damone Clark – the fourth turnover forced by LSU in the win.

The Tigers then powered forward another couple times with Davis-Price to secure the win.

The Tigers are now 4-3 on the season and 2-2 in SEC play.

The SEC grind doesn't get easier. The Tigers will face Ole Miss next week.

Recommended for you

Load comments