LSU Got Out Alive: Instant Analysis

    LSU needed everything in the bag of tricks to beat Florida and stay unbeaten. Les Miles was Les Miles, Leonard Fournette had a huge game, and the Tigers got the win they had to have.

    October 18, 2015


    LSU 35, Florida 28 Instant Analysis

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    1. LSU got out alive

    The win mattered for LSU. Florida has a relatively light schedule the rest of the way – especially considering how mediocre Georgia has looked – and will probably roll on its way to the East title, but LSU has a killer slate remaining with a road trip to Alabama still to deal with along with dates against Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.

    Leonard Fournette had a workmanlike day, Brandon Harris threw well enough, and the defense was fantastic against the Gator ground game, but it was still a fight and it was still a lot of work to be able to breathe free. The Tigers did almost everything right, outplayed the Gators in most phases, and it did what it needed to do at home, but they still needed …

    2. Les Miles being Les Miles.

    The Tigers might have the best running back at on the planet – yes, the NFL, too – and they might have a slew of pro caliber receivers, but it needed the kicker to be the key weapon at the critical time. It’s as if Les Miles was welcoming in Jim McElwain to the SEC head coaching life by showing him that the trick play is always coming – at least you have to always expect it.

    With the score tied at 28 early in the fourth, LSU kicker Trent Domingue took the pitch on the fake field goal, bobbled it, and got into the end zone for the game-winning points. It’s easy to do that play when the defense is playing well, but more than anything else, it stopped the momentum after the Gators took it over with a brilliant punt return for a score from Antonio Callaway. The fake woke the team up, bailed out the sputtering offense, and got LSU the win.

    3. Treon Harris was just fine.

    Treon Harris was able to use his legs to get him out of a few jams, and he did his best to try moving the offense on key downs, but he trusted his quickness a little too much to try buying himself some time and wasn’t quite as smooth a passer as he needed to be. 17-of-31 for 271 yards and two touchdowns, and 13 carries for 20 yards was good enough, though, and no one would’ve been all that smooth in an impossible situation at the end trying to march the team 93 yards with no timeouts. There wasn’t a running game to help the cause, and the defense didn’t do its part, but the Gators were still in the game at the very end. It was about as acceptable a loss as it gets, and now Harris got his feet wet this year. The offense can rely on him.

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