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LSU Tigers Outplaying Florida Gators at Halftime, Lead 21-13

The No. 20 Florida Gators take on the LSU Tigers today in their fifth SEC matchup of the season.

The No. 20 Florida Gators are taking on the LSU Tigers today in a matchup that Florida desperately needs to win in order to remain competitive in the SEC, along with making their way through the ranks for a better bowl-game matchup at the end of the season.

The Gators trail LSU 21-6 at halftime, with Florida being completely outplayed by the Tigers during the first 30 minutes of action.

Florida needed to rebound from its loss against Kentucky a couple of weeks ago, and they did so against Vanderbilt last week, winning 42-0, but a victory over a better squad in the Tigers would do wonders for their confidence and the season as they move forward toward their bye week.

Early on in today's contest, the Gators were able to record a key special teams victory, blocking the Tigers' first punt of the game. The team's defense held firm on its first drive, able to force a three-and-out.

Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam had missed the team's last two games due to an injury but would return today against LSU, giving Florida one of their best players on defense back for this week. It will be important for Elam to stay healthy, especially as the team gets set to play the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs in a couple of weeks.

Offensively, Florida's first scoring drive would come with some added excitement with receiver Trent Whittemore completing a 22-yard pass to starting QB Emory Jones.

Jones would then drive the team down, far enough for running back Dameon Pierce to secure his eighth touchdown of the season, a seven-yard TD.

Pierce has had an explosive season thus far in scores. Over the past two seasons, Pierce accounted for eight rushing touchdowns, the same number of scores he has this season alone.

The Gators wouldn't be the only team that was doing well on the ground today, however, as the Tigers would pound the rock on their first scoring drive, netting a rushing touchdown to cap off their best drive of the first half.

Entering the game, LSU averaged just 88 yards per game on the ground. Today, they had 66 yards on the ground through just one quarter and change as the second quarter got rolling.

LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price would be the lead back, netting 67 yards on his own, including the 18-yard touchdown.

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The Gators couldn't get out of their own way during the first half. On the team's fourth drive of the game, Jones would be picked off on a pass intended for Whittemore. The ball was placed slightly behind the receiver but tipped up in the air, and ultimately intercepted by LSU's Micah Baskerville.

That wouldn't be the worst part of the drive for Florida, however. Entering today, Florida was the No. 1 rushing team in the SEC, but instead of handing the football off to its running backs, the team decided to use Jones' legs on two attempts, gaining just three yards.

The interception would lead to an easy 28-yard touchdown strike from LSU QB Max Johnson to receiver Jaray Jenkins, putting LSU up 14-6 with 8:31 remaining in the game. The team's backup QB Anthony Richardson would enter the game, tossing an interception immediately.

With 7:38 remaining in the first half, Florida had thrown the football 11 times, running it 11 times. At this point, Florida's backs had just five out of the total 11 carries during the first half. The second turnover would lead to LSU's third touchdown of the game, leading the Gators 21-6 with 6:51 remaining. 

Unable to get anything going, Florida would be forced to punt the ball back to LSU with just 2:45 remaining in the half.

Incredibly, Florida would toss a final prayer from 42 yards out with five seconds remaining in the half, connecting with receiver Justin Shorter on a toss from Jones. Exactly what Florida needed to get the momentum flowing their way.  

Jones would finish the first half completing 11 out of 15 of his throws for 143 yards, one touchdown and an interception. The Gators would run the ball for their worst output of the season, 16 times for 35 yards.

LSU's Johnson would finish by completing 10 out of 18 of his passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers would run the ball 20 times for 101 yards on the ground during the first half. With the final play of the first half, Florida does have more yards total than LSU at 200 to 191.

The Gators were completely outplayed, but get the perfect setup entering the second half now.  

The Gators get the ball to start the second half, one they'd hope will fare better than their disastrous first-half outing, aside from the final play of the half, of course.

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