Learning from failure: LSU regroups after loss to Florida

Updated: October 14, 2003, 5:19 PM ET

BATON ROUGE, La. -- It was a lesson LSU would like to have avoided.

But sometimes, coach Nick Saban said, the only way to learn to deal with success is through failure.

A 19-7 loss to Florida, which dropped LSU (5-1, 2-1) from undefeated status, to No. 10 in the rankings, and out of the top spot in the Southeastern Conference Western Division, should provide a lesson the Tigers won't forget soon.

"I think people are more willing to accept responsibility when they lose," Saban said.

One thing LSU needs to learn before visiting South Carolina Saturday night is patience. The lack of that virtue contributed to the offensive trouble LSU had against Florida, Saban said.

"When we didn't have immediate success we seemed to get a little bit frustrated, and when we got frustrated it seemed like we lost our poise," Saban said. "When we lost our poise we lost our discipline, commitment, and belief in playing with good fundamentals, and started making a lot of mistakes."

Mistakes like 13 penalties for 99 yards, missed coverages and broken plays.

"That wasn't even like our team in that game," said wide receiver Michael Clayton. "We beat ourselves with all the mistakes. It was no where near our team or what we're capable of doing."

LSU was off the week before the Florida game. Saban had warned of trouble all week, saying the team didn't seem focused and might be taking Florida, which was struggling, too lightly.

"I don't know what caused it," said offensive lineman Rodney Reed. "It's not like players want to have bad practices or games. We just never got to where we need to be. I don't think it'll happen again.

Although the mistakes and miscues still rankled as the team began preparing for South Carolina, Saban wanted a very businesslike approach to practice and Saturday's game.

"I think the message to the players is very clear that this is not the time for everyone to get emotional and start yelling and screaming about what happened or didn't happen," Saban said. "I think it is time to get technical in terms of everybody believing in certain fundamental disciplines that have to occur for us to have success."

By refocusing and attending to details, the Tigers can still win their division, Reed said. That will mean winning the next five games, beginning Saturday at South Carolina.

"It's just one loss," Reed said. "It's up to us not to let it become more than that."

LSU will probably be without running back Joseph Addai on Saturday. He suffered a second-degree sprain of his medial collateral ligament in his left knee against Florida.

Running back Shyrone Carey, who is healing from the same injury, is questionable for the weekend.

That will leave LSU with a trio of young backs --Justin Vincent, Alley Broussard and Barrington Edwards -- all freshmen.

Strong safety Jack Hunt is practicing this week, testing his injured knee. Hunt's participation against South Carolina will depends on his performance this week in practice.

Defensive tackle Melvin Oliver will miss a few days of practice after sustaining a hyper-extended knee against Florida.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index