LSU run over by Gators in second half

Staff report
LSU's Ronald Martin, a White Castle product, returns an interception for a touchdown against Idaho earlier in the season. Martin had one tackle in the Tigers' 14-6 loss to Florida on Saturday. No. 9 ranked LSU hosts third-ranked South Carolina on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida running back Mike Gillislee led an inspired second-half effort by the 10th-ranked Gators, as No. 4 LSU suffered its first defeat of the season, 14-6, on Saturday at "The Swamp."

LSU (5-1, 1-1 SEC) took a 6-0 lead in the first half. However, the Tigers offense was unable to turn a pair of Florida fumbles into touchdowns. The missed opportunities cost LSU its 17-game regular-season winning streak.

Florida (5-0, 4-0 SEC) put together consecutive touchdown-scoring drives in the back half of the game, as Gillislee accounted for both scores and 146 of the Gators' 237 yards of total offense. He had 34 rushing attempts, nearly half of the Gators' 70 plays.

Meanwhile, the Tigers struggled to gain any traction against Florida's swarming defense. LSU rushed 25 times for 42 yards, while starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger turned the ball over for the sixth time in the last three games with an interception and was 11-of-25 passing for 158 yards. Odell Beckham Jr. led the Tigers with four catches for 78 yards, but his fumble after a 56-yard catch with LSU down by one point was a key miscue.

Florida starting quarterback Jeff Driskel threw only 12 passes, completing eight for 61 yards. His favorite target was tight end Jordan Reed who had three grabs for 30 yards. Driskel was sacked five times and fumbled one at the Florida 6.

Gators' punter Kyle Christy, who averaged 49.1 yards on seven punts, played a key role in keeping LSU pinned back it its own territory.

LSU managed only 1-of-13 third-down conversions, while Florida was 7-of-14 and had a 37:24 to 22:36 advantage in time of possession.

LSU linebacker Kevin Minter had 20 tackles - 17 of which were solo - including two sacks and a forced fumble. The effort was one short of the school record.