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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Gainesville, FL

LSU escapes Florida with 30-27 victory

3267 days ago
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Colby Delahoussaye hit a 50-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining, making up for a missed extra point, and LSU edged Florida 30-27 on Saturday night.

Delahoussaye helped the Tigers avoid their first 0-3 start in Southeastern Conference play since 1999 and win in Gainesville for the second time in their last five tries.

His game-winner was set up by Rickey Jefferson's interception in the final minute.

Jeff Driskel tried to hit Latroy Pittman on a slant pass on third down, but the ball was tipped and caught by Jefferson.

Pittman was crunched on the play. He rolled over before trainers got to his side, and he was eventually strapped to a backboard and carted off the field. He was moving his arms and hands, and gave a thumbs-up to fans as he left Florida Field.

Coach Will Muschamp said afterward that "we think Latroy's going to be fine."

Still, it was a frightening moment that marred a dramatic finish.

LSU (5-2, 1-2 SEC) scored with 2:40 remaining, when Anthony Jennings connected with Travin Dural on consecutive plays, including an 11-yarder for a touchdown.

Florida (3-2, 2-2) responded and had a chance to go back in front. But Tevin Westbrook dropped a third-down pass in the end zone, forcing the Gators to settle for a field goal and a tie.

Florida forced a punt and got the ball back, but Driskel's interception -- his third turnover of the game -- ended the team's chance of winning or getting to overtime.

"Had our opportunities -- countless," Muschamp said.

Leonard Fournette, a highly touted freshman from New Orleans, ran for a career-high 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Jennings completed 10 of 21 passes for 110 yards. He was sacked four times, but made plays when he needed to.

Driskel completed 14 of 25 passes for 183 yards for Florida, with a touchdown and two interceptions. He threw a perfect pass to Demarcus Robinson for a 73-yard gain that gave Florida a chance with a little more than a minute to play. But the Gators couldn't punch it in from there.

Driskel also fumbled, which set up LSU's first touchdown.

Fournette scored on a 12-yard run in the first quarter, running over safety Marcus Maye near the goal line, and then leaped over the line of scrimmage for a 2-yard plunge in the third. His second score put LSU in front 20-17.

Florida ended a tumultuous week with another dreadful performance on offense, surely fueling more speculation about Muschamp's future.

Muschamp has lost 11 of his last 18 games, including three in a row against teams from the Western Division. This one was supposed to be different. The Tigers were blown out 41-7 at Auburn two weeks ago and had been suspect against the run.

But Florida mounted little offense for the third consecutive games.

It surely didn't help that Florida played without leading rusher Matt Jones in the second half. Jones missed practice all week with a swollen left knee. He carried four times in the first half, but came out of the locker room in street clothes.

Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III joined him there after taking a knee to the head.

Florida quarterback Treon Harris wasn't on the sideline. He watched the game from the coaches' booth.

The Gators wanted to shield the freshman from television cameras a day after a fellow Florida student withdrew a sexual battery complaint against him. The university and Muschamp fully reinstated Harris on Friday after the woman chose not to pursue criminal charges at this time. She maintains the right to do so in the future.

Harris had been accused of sexually assaulting the woman at an on-campus residence hall around 3 a.m. Sunday -- hours after he helped Florida rally to beat Tennessee 10-9 in Knoxville.

Harris was not arrested or charged with a crime.