This story first appeared in Chomp, our Gators football newsletter. Subscribe here.
Raise your hand if you’re tired of losing to LSU. 🙋♀️
😒 LSU’s Daniels lights it up in Swamp
LSU came into The Swamp at night... under the lights... in front of a crowd of 90,585... on Tom Petty Day.
None of that mattered.
The Tigers’ offense shredded Florida’s defense on Saturday evening, and the Bayou Bengals got out of The Swamp alive with a 45-35 win.
It was the Tigers’ fourth straight win over the Gators — the longest winning streaking against Florida since 1977-80. The series is now tied 33-33-3.
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, who transferred from Arizona State, had six touchdowns — three passing and three rushing. He finished with 349 yards passing and 44 yards rushing, and in total, first-year coach Brian Kelly’s LSU team racked up 528 yards of offense.
“I don’t know that we tackled,” said coach Billy Napier. “I don’t know that that’s one of our better days from a tackling perspective. Individual matchups, they won their fair share tonight. We got the guy. We are all over the guy a lot of times, and the guy out runs us or breaks the pocket. I think that, when we look at it, we’ll see a combination of things. We’re going to see a lot of things that we can do better schematically. I think we are going to see things that we can do fundamentally better. I think there are going to be opportunities for guys to make plays. It’s going to be a combination of all those things. I do not think it’s one thing or another.”
Despite the electric start for the Gators with Anthony Richardson’s 51-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Justin Shorter, the matchup between these two rival programs came down to the final minutes just like it has in recent years. Trailing by a touchdown, Florida (4-3, 1-3) got a third-down stop with a little less than two minutes remaining, but LSU kicked a 47-yard field goal to play to essentially seal the victory. Richardson tried to rally Florida (4-3, 1-3 Southeastern Conference), but his fourth-down pass fell incomplete, and LSU (5-2, 3-1) ran out the clock.
In the latest episode of Gators Breakdown, host David Waters reacts to Florida’s third loss of the season.
The Gators now get a bye week before the annual Florida-Georgia rivalry game in Jacksonville. The top-ranked ‘Dawgs (7-0, 4-0 SEC) also have a bye week after their 55-0 victory over Vanderbilt (3-4, 0-3) on Saturday at home.
😃 Good & 😔 bad news on recruiting trail
To make matters worse, the Gators had many recruits in Gainesville this weekend to witness their loss.
But there is some good news: Before that, defensive backs Dijon Johnson and Bryce Thornton pledged to Florida.
It started Thursday when Thornton, the three-star (according to both the 247 Sports Composite and the On3 Consensus) safety from Milton in the area of Alpharetta, Georgia committed to the Gators. And later in the day, Johnson, the four-star cornerback from Wharton in Tampa, announced he was staying in state by choosing Florida. He had previously been committed to Ohio State.
In another Gators Breakdown episode, David reviews each player.
But we have some more bad news to talk about: wide receiver Creed Whittemore, the three-star athlete who currently plays quarterback at Buchholz in Gainesville and the younger brother of Gators wide receiver Trent Whittemore, decommitted from Florida and then committed to Mississippi State on Sunday. He was recruited by Steve Spurrier Jr. there.
✉️ Send us your Gators thoughts & questions
David and I want to hear from you. Do you have any thoughts or questions about the Gators football program? Agree or disagree with something we’ve said? Let us know here, and we’ll share our responses to your questions.