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Florida wins SEC East with goal-line stand at LSU

Gators headed back to Atlanta for second straight season

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Florida's defense stuffed LSU's Derrius Guice on a do-or-die run from the 1-yard line in the final seconds and the No. 21 Gators held on for a tension-filled 16-10 victory that clinched the Southeastern Conference East Division.

The stop capped a defensive struggle in which No. 16 LSU converted a fourth-and-10 play on its final drive, only to get stopped on back-to-back runs from the 1 to end the game. Fullback J.D. Moore came up short on third down.

"Holding them to just a field goal with all the trips they had in the red zone, that speaks volumes," said Gators head coach Jim McElwain. "Our guys just said win this play. Just go win this play and don't worry about anything and the did."

Florida quarterback Austin Apppleby completed only seven passes on 17 attempts, but one of his connections went for a pivotal 98-yard touchdown to Tyrie Cleveland. Eddy Piniero scored the rest of Florida's points on field goals of 36, 24 and 34 yards.

LSU (6-4, 4-3 SEC, No. 16 CFP) controlled most of the game and held considerable statistical advantages, outgaining Florida (8-2, 6-2, No. 23 CFP) 423 yards to 270 and holding possession for 34:02. But on three occasions, the Tigers failed to score after driving inside Florida's 10 - the first time because of Guice's fumble in the first half and the second time because of a botched field goal in the third quarter.

Florida will meet top-ranked Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game in a couple weeks.

"We came in with a purpose and we played like we needed to play," said McElwain. "It wasn't pretty but the future is bright for the Gators. It's no small feat to go to that Championship back-to-back."