Florida miscues lead to upset loss to LSU

by Gary Shelton on December 13, 2020

in general

Mullen's team suffered crippling loss./STEVEN MUNCIE

Sunday, 4 a.m.

As Florida's final kick bent to the left in the final seconds, the Gators could see their possibilities dwindling toward their biggest goals.

The college football playoffs? Suddenly, those are in doubt, even if the Gators could somehow upset Alabama in next week's SEC title game.

The Heisman Trophy? Kyle Trask's chances took a whack with two interceptions and a fumble.

A top five ranking? That seems almost certainly gone after a 37-34 loss to LSU. The Tigers won on a 57-yard field goal by Cade York. The Gators came back downfield, but missed a 51-yard field goal by Evan McPherson.

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Before York's kick, Florida coach Dan Mullen called a time out, which meant the Tigers were no longer in hurry-up mode.

Freshman Max Johnson -- son of former Bucs' quarterback Brad Johnson -- hit 21 of 36 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns in his first start.

The Gators came back in the second half to take a 31-17 lead, but LSU wouldn't go away. On the Tigers' final possession, the drive was kept alive when defensive back Marco Wilson flung a LSU player's shoe downfield to draw a penalty. Otherwise, LSU would have had to punt.

"I didn't see that," Mullen said. "I guess that's a penalty. I have no idea what happened. I didn't see it. Did you guys see it. I don't know...they called a penalty on it."

It was the second loss of the year for Florida, which puts the post-season in jeopardy even if the Gators can upset Alabama next week. The Gators, sixth in the nation coming in, would have to leapfrog Texas A&M, a one-loss team that beat the Gators head-to-head.

FSU 56, Duke 35: The Seminoles ended a three-game losing streak, finding a little respite from a bad season.

Jashaun Corbin ran for three touchdowns and Jordan Travis ran for two as FSU, now 3-6, won easily. The Seminoles scored 28 first-period points and cruised.

Duke has allowed 56, 56, 48 and 56 points in its last four games, all losses.

FSU plays at wake Forest on Saturday.

“(I'm) really really proud of this football team," said FSU coach Mike Norvell. "It has been a long time since we have gotten to compete in a game...Had some adversity there in the second quarter, was so pleased with how we finished there in the second half.

"I thought the guys did a good job throughout the course of the week. I thought the backs ran extremely hard but the o-line, you see the growth those guys are making. The confidence that is being developed through the work that has been put in, that is showing up.

“He had some explosive plays with his legs, but I thought he really managed the game. He was really efficient in the passing game. I thought he had a good balance...Did a good job of taking what the defense was giving us.”

North Carolina 62, Miami 26: So much for the University of Miami being close to contention.

The Hurricanes, 8-1 coming in and the third highest ranked team (behind Clemson and Notre Dame) in the ACC, were shelled by North Carolina Saturday.

The Tar Heels piled up 778 yards, including 554 yards rushing, to steamroll Miami. The Hurricanes took a 3-0 lead, but North Carolina then scored 34 straight points to blow open the game.

Michael Carter rushed for 308 yards and Javonte Williams rushed for 236. It was the most ever yards by teammates in a game. The duo combined for five touchdowns.

“The opening statement is we got our ass kicked,’’ said UM coach Manny Diaz. “A humiliating performance. Thank goodness we have a chance to play another game.’’

Added UM defensive end Jaelan Phillips: “It’s simple. They came to play and we didn’t. Those are the two best running backs I’ve ever seen other than Travis Etienne [of Clemson]. “You can never allow 60 points. That’s completely unacceptable.

The Hurricanes had been scheduled to close out their season against Georgia Tech, but that games has been conceded because of the Covid virus.

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