No. 10 LSU's defense holds Florida out of end zone
BATON ROUGE - On Saturday afternoon at Tiger Stadium, the 10th-ranked LSU football team re-found its defense that was mostly lost to the NFL. Despite the obituary written about the 2013 defenders at halftime a week ago, the Tigers held No. 17 Florida to 240 yards of total offense and led LSU to a 17-6 victory.
LSU (6-1, 3-1 SEC) became bowl eligible for the 14th-straight season by building a 14-3 halftime lead and then stopping Florida (4-2, 3-1 SEC) nearly every time it entered LSU territory. For the first time since 1979, LSU held Florida out of the endzone.
The Tigers return to action Saturday, Oct. 19, traveling to Oxford to face Ole Miss at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN or ESPN2.
"They challenged us," LSU coach Les Miles said in at least his third press conference laced with profanities. "Certainly, we answered that challenge. A night that defense won, offense won, special teams won. At the end, if that recipe continues to hold up, we'll be awfully good.
"Two very quality teams take the field and compete like a son-of-a-bitch for victory. And you know what? It's not a hammer and a nail relationship. It's an opportunity for an opponent to be equal, and to raise the level of play in such a fashion that they win."
Led by linebacker Lamin Barrow's career-best 13 tackles and safety Craig Loston's nine, the Tigers held an opponent without a touchdown for the first time in 18 games.
The Gators had 11-, 12-, 13- and 14-play drives but managed only two field goals against a defense that lost eight players to the pros from its 2012 squad. The Tigers' had a season-high four sacks and eight tackles for loss.
LSU running back Jeremy Hill ran for a game-high 121 yards on 19 carries, while Kenny Hilliard added 28 yards and fullback J.C. Copeland had 20 with a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Backup quarterback Anthony Jennings scored his first touchdown as a Tiger with a 1-yard run that gave LSU its 11-point halftime advantage.
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger overcame a fumble at the Florida 25 by completing 9-of-17 passes for 152 yards. Jarvis Landry had 58 receiving yards on four catches, while Odell Beckham Jr. had 47 yards on two grabs.