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No. 1 LSU Tigers rout No. 17 Florida Gators 41-11

BATON ROUGE, La. — With 1:27 remaining at Tiger Stadium, LSU running back Alfred Blue rammed his way into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown, prompting LSU fans to chant, "It's Great to Beat the Florida Gators," while performing the Gator Chomp.

It was that kind of day — for the second week in a row — for Florida.

No. 1 LSU defeated No. 17 Florida 41-11 in front of 93,022 on Saturday afternoon. It was Florida's worst defeat since 62-24 to Nebraska in the January 1996 Fiesta Bowl and worst loss to an SEC opponent since 36-7 to LSU in 2002.

It also was a second straight loss by 20-plus points to an SEC opponent (Alabama 38-10 last week), putting Florida (4-2, 2-2) on a similar path as the one it traveled last season, when it lost three consecutive SEC games after opening 4-0.

Coach Will Muschamp said the severity of the losses doesn't make them any harder to accept.

"A loss is a loss, regardless of how it looks," Muschamp said. "We've just got to look at the film, evaluate where we are as a football team … and move forward with the guys that are willing to do the things that we need to do to be successful.

"We've got a bunch of guys in that locker room that are hurting right now. We've just got to get better."

Things were bad for the Gators entering the game then got worse.

With starting quarterback John Brantley and backup Jeff Driskel out with ankle injuries, the Gators started freshman Jacoby Brissett, who had never played in a collegiate game. Florida also used running back Trey Burton, who took snaps last season, at times to take the pressure off.

Brissett was 8-of-14 for 94 yards and two interceptions but managed a 65-yard touchdown pass to Andre Debose.

"I thought he was solid, under the circumstances, against a good football team defensively," Muschamp said.

But for the most part, Florida struggled on offense, making it into LSU's territory just three times and rushing for 100 yards. The defense gave up 453 total yards to LSU (6-0, 3-0 SEC), including 238 on the ground.

Last week, Alabama rushed for 226 yards.

"We saw what Alabama was able to do to those guys," LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee said. "That is something we definitely wanted to do to them."

Said Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard: "It's just places where we miss one or two tackles and they break for 60 yards just like that. So it's the small things we have to clean up. We've got a lot of mistakes we've got to fix. We've got to pick it up."

Then there were the penalties.

Florida entered the game 117th in Division I-A in penalties, better than only Louisiana-Lafayette (44), Western Michigan (45) and Colorado (48). Saturday, it committed 12 for 90 yards.

"They kept us from having good field position all the time and gave them good field position," Burton said. "It's something we've got to work on and get fixed."

Muschamp said fixing those problems begins immediately.

"I thought we would play better than we did in the last two ball games," said Muschamp, including a 48-10 win over Kentucky. "But again, we've got to come up with some ways to stop the run game better than we're doing at this point. And that's been disappointing because I did think that we would play the fronts better.

"We haven't tackled well when we've gotten the ball on the perimeter. We'll watch the tape. We had some changes from last week. We'll continue to evaluate the tape and move forward with guys we feel like can adapt within the game and play with the type of toughness we need to play with."

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

No. 1 LSU Tigers rout No. 17 Florida Gators 41-11 10/08/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 9, 2011 12:21am]
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