Anthony Richardson’s heroism foiled by LSU’s hasty attack
After starting the game as a substitute and wiping out a 14-point deficit, quarterback Anthony Richardson had the opportunity to complete a storybook and finish his shot for the starting position in style.
However, LSU’s rejuvenated rushed offense showed little respect for Richardson’s end in Hollywood, as Tigers running back Tyrion Davis-Price ran for 280 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday.
Davis-Price’s final scoreline forced the Gators to a 49-42 deficit with three minutes left, and a blast Richardson’s pitch was then struck out for Florida’s fourth turnout, concluding a victory for LSU.
LSU ran out of time and Florida suffered a crushing road loss to drop to 4-3 this season.
The Florida defense appeared to have carried its form of shutout in Death Valley through the first two possessions. The Gators excelled in free field tackles and forced quarterback Max Johnson to work against a strong wind.
LSU was forced to two quick punts, and after making three and going out on their first possession, the Gators scored on a workout defined by cunning and a surprising pool of receivers.
Jones only found Kemore Gamble for his sixth catch outside of the Alabama game this season. Jones then used the “Philly Special” and caught Trent Wittemore’s pass for a big win. Once inside the red zone, UF found the end zone on a six-yard run and took a 6-0 lead after a blocked PAT.
But UF’s first seven soon proved unable to stop LSU’s revitalized rushing offense, as the ground match carried LSU to its first scoring practice.
But especially in the first half, LSU’s most effective offense came from the Florida quarterbacks. Jones and Richardson both threw an interception in the first half that gave the Tigers a good position on the field and ultimately short touchdowns.
Facing a 21-6 deficit with a searing offense and porous defense, Mullen needed a prayer, or more specifically a Hail Mary, to stay in the game, as Jones connected with Justin Shorter in the end zone for a 42-yard touchdown as a half-expired.
Florida’s surprising momentum quickly stopped, as Jones threw a 34-yard pick-six on the first possession of the second half to reduce LSU’s advantage to 15.
After months of speculation and frustration over Jones’ performance, Mullen finally made the decision to put him on the bench and insert freshman phenomenon Anthony Richardson.
Richardson rebounded wonderfully from a first-half interception, stringing four straight touchdowns through a number of impressive passes and outstanding performances. Florida scored 14 unanswered points after the interception to tie at 35 to complete the third quarter, but LSU’s running game regained control of the game.
Davis-Pierce’s dominance bleed the clock, keeping the exceptional Richardson off the field and exploiting a tiring and ineffective Florida seven front.
The teams continued to trade touchdowns, and Richardson’s underlying interception ended the Tigers with a 49-42 victory.
Stay tuned Alligator territory.