The No. 22 Florida Gators came up with their biggest win of the season so far Saturday, knocking off the No. 5 LSU Tigers 27-19 at home, and they did so thanks to two late interceptions. With Florida leading 20-19, LSU was driving inside the final two minutes, but faced third and four. That led to quarterback QB Joe Burrow throwing his first interception of the year, and to Gators’ safety Brad Stewart Jr. (the only player from Louisiana on this Florida team) returning it for a touchdown:
Of course, it might have been even better for Stewart to go down at the one. LSU had only one timeout left at this point, so the Gators could have ran out the clock. Instead, the touchdown and the convert meant that LSU got one more chance, down eight points. But two sacks from the Florida defense on first and second down put the Tigers in third and 19, and that pass went awry. However, the Tigers did convert on fourth and long, giving them one more chance.
After that, though, LSU’s receivers were covered on first down, leading to Burrow throwing a pass away. On second down, Burrow found Jordan Jefferson, but Jefferson couldn’t haul the pass in. On third down, Stephen Sullivan dropped a pass, putting LSU in another fourth-and-10 situation. And the Tigers had a chance there, but Dee Anderson couldn’t haul a contested catch in, leading to a pick by Donovan Stiner:
The Gators have bounced back nicely after a Sept. 8 loss to Kentucky, winning big against Colorado State and Tennessee and then edging Mississippi State 13-6 last week. But this is definitely their best win so far. And while they’re still facing questions, especially on offense (quarterback Felipe Franks completed just 12 of 27 passes for 161 yards with a touchdown and an interception), they certainly have an impressive defense. Meanwhile, this was a tough loss for LSU (albeit on the road, in a tough environment), and their offense still clearly has some struggles at times. We’ll see what’s next for both sides in all the big SEC contests ahead.