- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Here’s an analysis of three key plays in Florida’s 14-6 victory Saturday over LSU.
Failed jump pass
The score: LSU leading 3-0 late in the first half.
The situation: Third-and-goal from the UF 4-yard line.
The breakdown: LSU lined up in a two-tight-end formation with WR Jarvis Landry split wide right. FB J.C Copeland and RB Terrence Magee were in an offset I-formation behind QB Zach Mettenberger, who was under center.
Florida had three down linemen with Kitchens and LB Lerentee McCray lining up just off the outside shoulder of each tight end. CB Loucheiz Purifoy and S Josh Evans were lined up off Kitchen’s right hip. CB Marcus Roberson was lined up in one-on-one coverage with Landry. Taylor was standing on the goal line with LB Jon Bostic and S Matt Elam to his left.
At the snap, Kitchens locked up with Jacobs and prevented Jacobs from releasing cleanly, while Mettenberger turned and pitched the ball to Magee, who caught it at about the 11-yard line. Magee got to about the 9-yard line and hesitated, looking for Jacobs, who had gotten past Kitchens. However, Taylor had come up and he hit Jacobs at the 1-yard line and prevented Jacobs from getting into the end zone.
At that point, Magee decided to keep the ball and headed into the middle of the line of scrimmage. NT Omar Hunter, who had been locked up with C P.J. Lonergan, made the tackle along with DE Dominique Easley for no gain.
The stand forced LSU to kick a field goal with 24 seconds to play in the first half for a 6-0 lead.
Jumbo TD run
The score: LSU leading 6-0 with little more than five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The situation: First-and-10 at the LSU 12-yard line.
Why it worked: The Gators overloaded the left side of the formation, but ran to the right side. RG Jon Halapio, LG James Wilson and LT Xavier Nixon made key blocks to spring RB Mike Gillislee for a touchdown.
The breakdown: The Gators lined up in a two-tight end formation, with OT D.J. Humphries as the tight end on the left side and G Ian Silberman as the tight end on the right side. FB Hunter Joyer was lined up 3 yards behind Humphries with Gillislee 4 yards behind Nixon. WR Frankie Hammond was lined up in the slot on the right side.
Before the snap, Hammond went in motion to the left side of the formation. QB Jeff Driskel took the snap under center and faked to Hammond on the end around. Silberman went one-on-one with DE Barkevious Mingo while RT Chaz Green and Halapio blew down on DT Bennie Logan.
Nixon and Wilson pulled from the left side and into the hole between Silberman and Green and Halapio. Halapio released from the double-team and got a piece of LB Lamar Louis. Wilson took LB Kwon Alexander out of the play and sealed the lane alongside Silberman. Nixon finished Halapio’s block on Louis and Gillislee slid through the hole to go untouched for the TD.
The player who could have blown up the play was backside DE Jermauria Rasco, but he bit on the fake to Hammond and hesitated enough to take himself out of the play.
The score: Florida leading 7-6 with 4:27 remaining in the third quarter.
The situation: Third-and-8 at the LSU 21-yard line.
Why it worked: Elam recovered from a bad angle and stripped the ball from WR Odell Beckham.
The breakdown: LSU was lined up with three receivers to the right side and one receiver to the left. Mettenberger was in the shotgun with RB Spencer Ware to his left. Florida was lined up with two deep safeties (Elam and Evans) and Roberson on the left side and CB Loucheiz Purifoy on the right side.
At the snap, Purifoy blitzed and Evans covered the lone receiver on the left side of the formation. Beckham, who was lined up near the numbers, ran a quick post while Landry and WR Russell Shepard ran crossing routes.
Mettenberger looked at Beckham, but hesitates, and that allowed Beckham to run past Roberson, who was caught looking into the backfield. Mettenberger took a short step to his right, then unloaded a deep pass while McCray hit him around the legs.
Beckham caught the ball at the UF 45-yard line. Elam, who had taken a bad angle, finally caught Beckham at the 37-yard line. Beckham tried to fend Elam off with his left hand, but Elam grabbed Beckham’s jersey with his left hand and pulled Beckham toward him.
As Elam was doing that, he swung his right arm around Beckham and grabbed him under his right arm. That allowed Elam to get his left hand on the football, and he pulled it free at the 24-yard line. Both fell to the ground and the ball bounced away from Beckham as he tried to gather it in. Saunders eventually picked up the ball on the 18.
Officials initially ruled the play dead at the 23 for a 56-yard gain. UF coach Will Muschamp, however, challenged the play and after a review the Gators were given the ball on the UF 23.
18hSam Khan Jr.