Gators Comeback Falls a PAT short

The Gators had their three-game SEC winning streak snapped by the Tigers. True freshman Kadarius Toney runs through the LSU defense early in Saturday’s game. Box Score GAINESVILLE, Fla. — LSU and No. 21 Florida swapped touchdowns on three straight second-half possessions. They did not, however, swap extra points.

And that proved the difference.

UF sophomore tailback Lamical Perine scored on a 1-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, but Eddy Pineiro yanked the point-after wide left and the Tigers held on to defeat the No. 21 Gators 17-16 in their Southeastern Conference showdown Saturday at Spurrier/Florida Field.

For Florida (3-2, 2-2), the loss snapped a three-game winning streak and dropped the Gators from the top of the SEC East Division standings. It was also the first conference defeat in the “Swamp” for UF coach Jim McElwain , now in his third season, and it came against an LSU (4-2, 1-1) team that came in reeling and wounded after losing at home last weekend to Troy, out of the Sun Belt Conference.

Wounded Tigers can be dangerous.

“For this Gator team, it hurts,” McElwain said. “They should hurt.”

And probably will for a couple days.

The Gators, down by that one point, had three fourth-quarter possessions to take the lead. They managed just 37 yards on 13 plays. The first two possessions were three and outs. The third, which started with 4:01 to play, started after a punt pinned UF at its 4. Quarterback Feleipe Franks managed to get out to the 25, but threw incomplete on third- and fourth-and-3, as the Tigers commenced celebrating on the Florida home field.

“I’m so proud of our team. No one blinked,” said LSU coach Ed Orgeron, whose team loss to Troy last weekend marked the program’s first defeat against a non-conference foe at “Death Valley” since the 2000 season. “We made the decision on MOnday that we were going to win this football under any conditions, and we did that.”

The Tigers rushed for 216 yards for the game, which allowed them to control the ball for nearly 34 minutes. Quarterback Danny Etling completed nine of 16 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Wideout Russell Gage had a 30-yard scoring run off a “jet” sweep in the first quarter to set an early tone for the Tigers and their ground game.

For the Gators, Franks was 10-for-16 for just 108 yards passing. What damage UF did do it did on the ground, rushing for 194 yards, including 90 from true freshman Malik Davis and 70 yards and two touchdowns from sophomore Lamical Perine . Florida, though, netted just 302 yards, its fewest since gaining only 192 in the season-opening loss to Michigan. The Gators were just 2-for-9 on third down.

Trailing 17-10 midway through the third quarter, the Gators went 76 yards in nine plays to put themselves in position to tie the game. Along the way, Davis had an 11-yard run, Kadarius Toney dashed 22 yards out of the “wildcat” formation, then Davis took off for a 21-yard run […]