Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Colleges

Missed extra point, and more, dooms Gators, 17-16, against LSU

RECOMMENDED READING


GAINESVILLE — So this is how you honor beloved native son Tom Petty.

With a heartbreaker.

Fourth-year Florida junior Eddy Pineiro shanked a would-be game-tying extra point to the left late in the third quarter after Lamical Perine's 1-yard touchdown run, helping preserve beleaguered LSU's 17-16 victory Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

It was the first missed PAT in 47 career tries for Pineiro.

"You don't think that's gonna happen," said Gators coach Jim McElwain, who added that the miss might have resulted from a bad snap.

"Everybody can say it cost us the game," safety Chauncey Gardner said. "But it didn't cost us the game."

To be sure, plenty of culprits — including third-down defense and no sense of urgency in the waning moments — surfaced before an announced homecoming crowd of 88,247.

But the miss thwarted a surge of second-half momentum the No. 21 Gators (3-2, 3-1 SEC) had gained behind the tailback tandem of Lamical Perine (12 carries, 70 yards) and Jesuit High alumnus Malik Davis (14 carries, 90 yards) after trailing 17-3 in the second half.

It also gave at least a one-week reprieve to Tigers coach Ed Orgeron.

Maligned throughout the bayou for limiting new coordinator Matt Canada's presnap movement in last week's humiliating homecoming loss to Troy, Orgeron held nothing back Saturday, despite losing three offensive linemen to injury in the first half.

"This team made the decision on Monday that they were going to win this football game under any circumstances," Orgeron said, "and we did that."

With Orgeron giving carte blanche to Canada, the Tigers (4-2, 1-1) shifted and motioned at will. So, too, did all the heat Orgeron's been feeling. It shifted and motioned right over to McElwain, whose team now is staring potentially at 3-4 with Texas A&M and Georgia looming.

"That's life in the SEC," McElwain said. "For our guys, for this Gator team, it hurts. And it should hurt. … We'll find out about leadership as to where we go."

The Tigers ran jet sweeps on at least three plays in their initial scoring drive, the last of which was a 30-yarder by senior wideout Russell Gage, who appeared untouched on his dash. The previous play, Gators cornerback Duke Dawson had been whistled for holding on a third-and-8 incompletion.

LSU finished with 216 rushing yards and went 6-of-14 on third down against the SEC's top third-down defense. LSU's second touchdown, a 2-yard throw from quarterback Danny Etling to fullback Tory Carter, came on third and goal and gave LSU a 17-3 lead early in the third period.

To that point, LSU had controlled the ball for 21 minutes, 41 seconds to the Gators' 12:23.

"(Third down) was a big issue," UF defensive tackle Khairi Clark said. "We weren't stopping them on third down, and that's on us as a defense."

Meantime, the Gators didn't cross midfield on their first three possessions. They fed their tailbacks on the fourth, with Perine and Davis combining for 64 yards, but the drive stalled when Franks was flushed from the pocket and forced out of bounds just inside the 10 on third-and-goal.

The Perine-Davis tandem really got churning in the third, sparking touchdown drives of 75 and 76 yards, with Davis and Perine inflicting most of the damage as Florida eclipsed 150 rushing yards for the fourth consecutive game.

But after Pineiro's miss, when there appeared to an issue with the hold, Florida managed 24 yards on its final three drives. The game essentially ended at the Gators' 25, when Franks' fourth and 3 crossing pass intended for Brandon Powell sailed incomplete with 1:39 to play.

The drive had begun nearly 2 1/2 minutes before at the 4.

"I just feel like we didn't get out and get the play call real fast," Perine said of the final drive. "Looking forward, we got to get better at that."

Because this very season's now on the clock.

Contact Joey Knight at [email protected] Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

     
Comments
Jones: Maybe the Florida job isnít as good as we thought

Jones: Maybe the Florida job isnít as good as we thought

These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.The Gators need themselves a football coach.They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.Right?Uh, right? (nervous laugh)Well, weíll soon find out. Maybe this i...
Updated: 1 hour ago
UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

GAINESVILLE ó At last, thereís some actual smoke to the Chip Kelly-Florida rumors.The Gators sent a group ó including president Kent Fuchs and athletic director Scott Stricklin ó to New Hampshire on Sunday to talk with the former Oregon coach about U...
Published: 11/20/17
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI ó After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Published: 11/18/17
Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

TALLAHASSEE ó Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher longed for his team to play in this type of game throughout its disappointing season.After Hurricane Irma caused a three-week layoff between FSUís first two games, forcing it to play 11 in a row to finis...
Published: 11/18/17
A welcome return to dominance for the Florida defense

A welcome return to dominance for the Florida defense

GAINESVILLE ó Chauncey Gardner wasnít fooled. He saw UAB snap the ball. He saw the quarterback throw a screen. He saw the receiver fire a second pass downfield. Then a crowd of 84,649 saw the sophomore safety high-point the trick-play pass to earn hi...
Published: 11/18/17
Florida back on track with non-conference blowout of UAB

Florida back on track with non-conference blowout of UAB

GAINESVILLE ó Floridaís next head coach ó whether itís odds-on favorite Chip Kelly or someone else ó should be encouraged by Saturdayís 36-7 win over UAB.Not because the Gators (4-6) snapped a five-game losing streak by beating up on a 7-4 Blazers te...
Published: 11/18/17
Matt Bakerís takeaways from Florida-UAB

Matt Bakerís takeaways from Florida-UAB

1. A milestone Florida probably doesnít want to celebrate: Johnny Townsend became the schoolís all-time leading punter with his 232rd career punt. But Townsend has legitimately been one of the teamís MVPs.2. It took far too long, but UFís tight ends ...
Published: 11/18/17
Basketball: Gators romp; key player hurt for Hurricanes

Basketball: Gators romp; key player hurt for Hurricanes

GAINESVILLE ó Behind a balanced effort and six double-figure scorers, No. 8 Florida dominated North Florida 108-68 Thursday. Junior KeVaughn Allen led the Gators with 18 points. The balanced scoring helped Florida (2-0) dismantle the Ospreys (0-4) fr...
Published: 11/16/17
College football week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

College football week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

The Timesí college football coverage team makes its picks for week 12 games:gametimeMartin Fennelly, @mjfennellyMatt Baker, @MBakerTBTimesTraci Johnson, @TBHomeTeamMike Sherman, @mikeshermanTom Jones, @tomwjonesJoey Knight, @TBTimes_BullsAgainst the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Will Chip Kelly be the Gatorsí next head coach?

Rick and Tom podcast: Will Chip Kelly be the Gatorsí next head coach?

The Florida Gators are vetting Chip Kelly to potentially be their next head coach, but is he their first choice? In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss what the future holds for the Gators and whether the coach will be Chip Kelly,...
Published: 11/15/17