Scores

Final

(4) LSU 21

(4-1, 2-1 SEC)

(11) Florida 51

(5-1, 3-1 SEC)

Coverage: CBS

8:00 PM ET, October 11, 2008

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL

1 2 3 4 T
#4LSU 0 7 7 721
#11FLA 17 3 14 1751

Top Performers

Passing: T. Tebow (FLA) - 210 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: J. Demps (FLA) - 10 CAR, 129 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: P. Harvin (FLA) - 6 REC, 112 YDS, 2 TD

No. 11 Gators' offense revs up in rout of No. 4 LSU

Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Tim Tebow jumped around and waved his arms high above his head as he jogged off the field late in the fourth quarter.

Florida fans responded with chants of "Tebow, Tebow, Tebow."

Low: Spikes Sparks Gators

Brandon Spikes, Florida's All-SEC linebacker and emotional leader, intercepted a Jarrett Lee pass and returned it for a 52-yard touchdown, giving the Gators a 41-14 lead and turning the Swamp into one deafening party, writes Chris Low. Blog

Tebow vowed to play harder following his last home game, a humbling home loss to Mississippi two weeks ago. The Heisman Trophy winner backed up that promise with his best game of the season Saturday night.

Tebow threw two touchdown passes to Percy Harvin and ran for a score, and No. 11 Florida thumped defending national champion LSU 51-21 at Florida Field.

"I think we had a little chip on our shoulder going into the game," Tebow said.

The fourth-ranked Tigers (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) had won six consecutive games, 19 in a row at night and 23 straight in regulation. Florida (5-1, 3-1) ended all those streaks with a fast start and some huge plays from Tebow, Harvin, Jeff Demps and Brandon Spikes.

Gator Bait

LSU has allowed 50 or more points just five times in its long history of SEC play. Saturday night's debacle in Gainesville, however, marked the third time Florida has been the culprit. Here's a look at the figures:


LSU Allowing 50+ Points
Since Formation of SEC (1933)
Year Opponent Score
1996 Florida 56-13
1980 Miss. St. 55-31
1993 Florida 53-3
2008 Florida 51-21
2007 Arkansas 50-48

The Gators also may have put to rest all those uneasy feelings about an inconsistent offense and a suspect defense. They enjoyed their best game of the season -- maybe their best game since beating Ohio State 41-14 in Arizona for the 2006 national title.

LSU, meanwhile, lost for the first time in regulation since falling 23-10 two years ago in Gainesville -- taking the worst beating of coach Les Miles' four-year career with the Tigers. They had three turnovers, a near interception that went for a touchdown and a costly face-mask penalty.

It was the most-lopsided loss for LSU since a 31-0 beating at home by Alabama in 2002, when Nick Saban was leading the Tigers. The last time LSU gave up more points, Steve Spurrier's Gators beat the Tigers 56-13 in 1996.

LSU trailed 20-0 late in the first half Saturday, but scored touchdowns going into the locker room and coming out to make it a game and put all the pressure on Florida.

The Gators folded in a similar position in Baton Rouge last year and lost 28-24.

Tebow hardly flinched this time around, responding with a 67-yard TD drive that included a perfect pass to Louis Murphy down the sideline and a few nifty runs.

"That was a huge drive," Tebow said. "That's the big difference between this year and last year. We knew we had to put a drive together. I think that's where you see a difference now -- a more mature team, a more poised team. We drove down the field. That was a huge touchdown for us. It gave us the momentum back."

The Gators pulled away from there, getting a 42-yard TD run from Demps, a 52-yard interception return for a score from Spikes and a short TD run from Kestahn Moore.

"We spotted them 20 points in the first half," LSU coach Les Miles said. "We never got out of that hole."

Tebow finished 14-of-21 passing for 210 yards. He also ran 12 times for 22 yards. Harvin had six catches for 112 yards.

Maybe the biggest difference between this game and others for Florida this season was Tebow got plenty of help.

Demps ran 10 times for 129 yards, and Chris Rainey added 66 yards on the ground. The Gators finished with 265 yards rushing and outgained LSU 475-321.

Jarrett Lee, a freshman making his first SEC road start for LSU, was 23-of-38 passing for 209 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Charles Scott, who had run for 100 yards in each of his first four games, finished with 35 yards on 12 carries for the Tigers.

"That might be one of our best defenses performances in recent history," Gators coach Urban Meyer said. "Our defense really answered the bell against the run."

After having just about everything that could go wrong go wrong early, LSU caught a break in the final minute before halftime.

Trailing 20-0, Trindon Holliday fielded a kickoff near the sideline and stepped out of bounds at the 13. But officials said by rule, the kick was out of bounds, which gave the Tigers the ball at the 40.

Lee directed a six-play touchdown drive in 44 seconds. He rolled right, and with Spikes bearing down on him, floated a pass to Chris Mitchell in the corner of the end zone.

LSU had 65 yards in its first five possessions, but doubled that with the late TD drive.

The Tigers started the second half in similar fashion, driving 80 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 20-14 and make just about all the 90,684 at Florida Field a little nervous.

Not Tebow.

He brought the Gators right back and gave the first matchup since 1990 between the previous two national champions a familiar feel. The home team had won the previous five meetings. Make it six in a row.

Tebow was just as good to start the game. The Gators scored on their first three possessions and jumped out to a 17-0 lead. Although they outgained LSU 186 yards to 4 in the first quarter, they got all sorts of help from the Tigers in building a big lead.

"I thought we fought back well, but they were just too much in the end," Lee said.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
LSU
FLA
1st Downs1922
Total Yards321475
Passing241210
Rushing80265
Penalties6-406-53
3rd Down Conversions4-115-10
4th Down Conversions0-20-0
Turnovers31
Possession27:4032:20

Passing Leaders

LSUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Lee23/382095.522
FloridaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Tebow14/2121010.020

Rushing Leaders

LSUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Scott12352.9018
Holliday22613.0020
FloridaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Demps1012912.9142
Rainey11666.0021

Receiving Leaders

LSURECYDSAVGTDLG
Byrd67312.2029
LaFell7598.4016
FloridaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Harvin611218.7270
Murphy13737.0037

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERLSUFLA
TD13:22Percy Harvin 70 Yd Pass From Tim Tebow (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 07
FG07:00Jonathan Phillips 20 Yd 010
TD01:09Percy Harvin 7 Yd Pass From Tim Tebow (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 017
SECOND QUARTERLSUFLA
FG00:49Jonathan Phillips 34 Yd 020
TD00:05Chris Mitchell 6 Yd Pass From Jarrett Lee (Colt David Kick) 720
THIRD QUARTERLSUFLA
TD08:41Andrew Hatch 3 Yd Run (Colt David Kick) 1420
TD04:16Tim Tebow 2 Yd Run (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 1427
TD01:02Jeffrey Demps 42 Yd Run (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 1434
FOURTH QUARTERLSUFLA
TD14:48Brandon Spikes 52 Yd Interception Return (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 1441
TD11:10Richard Dickson 6 Yd Pass From Jarrett Lee (Colt David Kick) 2141
FG06:47Jonathan Phillips 25 Yd 2144
TD02:03Kestahn Moore 2 Yd Run (Jonathan Phillips Kick) 2151