LSU Tigers: Al Richardson

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- When Kevin Minter left LSU's 14-6 loss to Florida with cramps in the third quarter, LSU was leading 6-0 and had stymied Florida's offense all day.

When he came trotting out of the locker room and into the game some 20 minutes later, the Tigers were behind 7-6 and Florida was driving again.

That's the kind of impact LSU's junior middle linebacker had on the game.
[+] EnlargeKevin Minter
Kim Klement/US PresswireLinebacker Kevin Minter led the Tigers with 20 tackles against Florida.

His 20-tackle day was the second best effort in LSU history, one tackle short of Al Richardson's school record set in 1982. What further illustrates Minter's contribution, though, is what happened when he left the game. Seams that Florida started to find with a misdirection running game -- Minter would often close the gaps in a heartbeat and turned promising plays into minimal gains -- turned into gaping holes. A Gators running game that had struggled to find ways to piece together a couple of good plays was, all of a sudden, gashing the LSU defensive front.

"He showed up with a tremendous game to help us try to take a win," defensive end Barkevious Mingo said. "But it takes a team effort. The team should've rallied around that and got him off the field."

He did get off the field, but not in the way he wanted. With LSU's offense going three-and-out on six straight possessions, Minter, like many of his defensive teammates, wore down and Florida's running game was ready to take advantage. It forced Minter to the locker room for intravenous fluids to solve a cramping issue in both legs on a hot, muggy day.

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Monster day for Minter

October, 6, 2012
10/06/12
9:16
PM ET
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Had LSU linebacker Kevin Minter not started cramping in the second half of LSU's 14-6 loss to Florida Saturday, he probably would have broken a school record for tackles.

Minter finished with 20 tackles, one short of the school record set 30 years ago by Al Richardson against South Carolina.

[+] EnlargeKevin Minter
Kim Klement/US PresswireLinebacker Kevin Minter led the Tigers with 20 tackles against Florida.
Asked if he realized how many tackles he was getting, Minter said, "Not really. I was just doing what I could to help my teammates."

He did plenty. Among his tackles were three for loss, including back-to-back sacks of Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel in the second quarter. He also forced a fumble from UF's Frankie Hammond that killed a Gators first-half drive.

"He played his butt off," LSU coach Les Miles said.

When he was out, it hurt the Tigers. Both Florida drives came after Minter went to the locker room because of cramping issues. One touchdown was scored without Minter on the field. On the second, the drive started without him, then he returned and UF finished the drive.

It's rare for a Tiger to have a singularly dominant game like Minter had. The Tigers usually use a lot of players, and Minter had just 34 tackles entering the night, a number still good enough to lead the team.

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