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What Happened To Florida Gators

WHAT HAPPENED: Tailback Tyrion Davis-Price rushed 36 times for 287 yards, setting a single-game record by both a LSU runner and UF opponent, as the unranked Tigers spoiled a stirring comeback fueled by Florida backup quarterback Anthony Richardson with 49-42 upset in a Saturday shootout at Tiger Stadium. Davis-Price did the dirty work for the Tigers on a 10-play, 68-yard drive that ended with Max Johnson throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jaray Jenkins with 3:30 remaining to give LSU, a 10-point underdog, its seven-point lead. Richardson, who replaced UF starter Emory Jones and led four second-half touchdown drives (either throwing or rushing for all of them), managed one first down, but then tried to force a deep ball to wideout Rick Wells up the left sideline. Linebacker David Clark was running stride for stride with Wells and easily intercepted the pass with 1:59 remaining. The Tigers (i.e. Davis-Price) ran out the clock from there. Richardson finished 10 of 19 passing for 167 yards, three touchdowns and two interception, compared to Jones’ afternoon of going 12-for-19 for 161 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Johnson passed for 133 yards and three scores for LSU, but spent most of the day handing off to Davis-Price, who scored touchdowns of 18, 25 and 40 yards, repeatedly gashing the Gators between the tackles. When he was done, Davis-Price had broken the LSU single-game mark of 285 yards set by Derius Guice in 2016, as well as the 238 yards against the Gators by Herschel Walker in 1980. The Gators trailed 28-13 early in the third quarter after Dwight McGlothern returned a Jones interception 37 yards for a touchdown on just the third play of the period. In came Richardson, who in two first-half possessions, produced just one first down and threw a pick. This time was different. Richardson led his offense to third-quarter touchdown drives of 75, 75 and 65 yards, with his 11-yard strike to tailback Dameon Pierce tying the score at 35 with 2:48 to go in the quarter. LSU went back ahead on Davis-Price’s 25-yard touchdown run two plays into the final period. Richardson was shaken after being sacked and had to leave the game for a few plays, but returned to convert a fourth-and-4 completion, then on third-and-10 from the LSU 33 fired a frozen rope touchdown to Jacob Copeland in the back-right corner of the end zone to tie the game with 9:14 left. Johnson, Davis-Price and the LSU offense took it home from there. The Gators finished with 488 yards of total offenses and did not commit a penalty the entire game, but killed themselves with the four interceptions. The Tigers, who came in ranked 81st in the nation (11th in the Southeastern Conference) and 62nd in scoring, had 454 yards of offense and zero turnovers. There’s the game, right there. 

UF quarterback Anthony Richardson shushes the crowd after one of his four scoring drives in the second half. Richardson passed for 161 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in relief of starter Emory Jones

WHAT IT MEANS: Make that three straight losses to the Tigers. And speaking of three losses, it’s the most for the Gators through seven games since the 2017 season, which was the last of the less-than-three-season Jim McElwain era. That ’17 team, like this one, started 3-1, but was 3-4 through seven games. 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Take a wild guess. 

STAGGERING STATISTIC: And this one truly is staggering. LSU came into the game with a rushing attack that ranked next-to-last in the league and 127th nationally (out of 130 teams) at just 83.3 yards per game. They worked the Gators for 341 yards. Just as wild? Davis-Price came into the game 67 carries for 288 yards and two touchdowns on the season. 

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