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Game 5: The Hat kills, but nothing changes

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Just when you think you've figured it out, you will be wrong. Teams who can't score get 62 points. It is possible for UF to have a long touchdown scoring drive. Perfectly sideways laterals are possible. And Les Miles still can pull more magic out of his hat. 

But despite that, and South Carolina beating Alabama today, nothing in the long term has changed. 

Florida lost 33-29 to LSU for several reasons, all of them things we have discussed here previously. There were times when the defense looked good, then looked bad on the next play. On offense, Andre Debose only got one touch after his 88-yard kickoff return touchdown. The fans also let the Gators know that they did no appreciate the play calling.

The final touchdown was scored by LSU's Terrence Tolliver, who beat Jeremy Brown in coverage. Brown is an example of the defense; either young or a new starter, who takes two steps forward and one step back. Jelani Jenkins, who had an interception that set up Florida's first score, could have stopped the fake field goal that set up the winning touchdown. Janoris Jenkins, who had blown tackles all night including the fake, finished a punt return with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty which forced UF to start at their own five. Allowing 33 points and 357 total yards to a team that has played terribly on offense is not acceptable. Especially when UF blew so many tackles and dove for pass breakups and not tackles. The continuing defensive problem is Florida's inability to get to the quarterback. We did not see much of Ronald Powell or Sharrif Floyd, and I would like to think that they are needed for UF to advance their front seven play.

On special teams, the Debose return and shutting down Patrick Peterson (whose fumble set up the second UF score) should have been enough. But Chas Henry missed two field goals, one of which actually mattered due to a penalty erasing the first miss. Then there was the field goal, when clearly everyone was waiting for Jarvis Moss to show up, but instead got something closer to the Music City Miracle. The odds of throwing a bounce, behind the back sideways lateral are almost impossible to comprehend. But it would not have happened had the Gators been disciplined and gotten to the LSU kicker before he reached the first down markers. 

As for the offense, I don't think this provides much confidence for the Gators cause. John Brantley has, at the minimum, bruised ribs and a sprained right thumb. Jeff Demps was unavailable and Mike Gillislee was in pain. Emmanuel Moody can not be an every down back. It took until Steve Addazio had a gun to his head in the 4th quarter that Debose and Omarius Hines got touches. If Florida is in a position where the standard bearers are hurt, play calling needs to be creative. That means Debose and Hines.

Florida scored their first 14 points on drives of 17 and 16 yards. They did drive the ball in the second half (two drives of 70 plus yards) but only scored on Debose's return and the 80 yard drive for the leading touchdown late. But they are riding Trey Burton and Jordan Reed, especially inside the five yard line. It is as if UF is throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. As a fan, that has to be concerning in that they don't know how to be successful. 

In addition, on both sides of the ball, UF was manhandled on the lines. That is the reason for LSU's 385-243 edge in total yards. At no point did Florida deserve to win the game. The Tigers were the better team.

All of that said, UF still controls their own destiny. If both the Gators and Gamecocks win out, the Gators would be 5-2 in the SEC and the Cocks would be 6-1. If UF wins, they would be 6-2 with the tiebreaker over South Carolina. This season is far from over. There are plenty of things to be upset about, but we can still accomplish a significant goal.