Even when he has big play offensive talent like Leonard Fournette and Malachi Dupre in his employ, you just know, in a big night game on his personal buffet line known as Tiger Stadium, Les Miles was going to pull it out with a trick play. With the game knotted at 28-28 and 10:40 showing on the clock, LSU lined up for what appeared to be a 30-yard field goal on a 4th-and-13. But instead of placing the pigskin on its end, holder Brad Kragthorpe cocked and fired to kicker Trent Domingue, who bobbled and eventually caught the ball, then outran the Florida defense for what proved to be a game-winning 16-yard touchdown run, pushing No. 6 LSU past No. 8 Florida, 35-28 Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
The win pushed LSU to 7-0 (4-0 SEC) on the season, and, coupled with Texas A&M’s loss to Alabama earlier in the day, left the Bayou Bengals standing as the SEC’s final undefeated team.
Domingue’s touchdown was LSU’s only points of the second half, fending off a rally that saw Florida fight back from a 28-14 halftime deficit and nearly tie the game again at 35-35.
LSU earned that halftime edge through big plays on the ground from Fournette and multiple connections from Brandon Harris to Dupree. Fournette carried 15 times for 100 yards and touchdowns from six and two yards out, and Harris found Dupree four times for 115 yards and two scores, including a 50-yarder with just 15 seconds left before the half.
Florida battled back with a two-yard Kelvin Taylor plunge, capping a 10-play, 66-yard drive that consumed more than five minutes, and a 72-yard punt return by Antonio Calloway with 1:04 remaining in the third quarter.
Florida opened the scoring on a four-yard pass from Treon Harris, earning his first of many starts in place of suspended signal caller Will Grier, to tight end Jake McGee on fourth-and-goal from the four at the 10:13 mark of the third quarter. Harris also hit McGee for a 19-yard score to pull the Gators within 21-14 with 1:35 left in the first half.
Florida had an opportunity to tie the game with seven minutes remaining as Harris initially nailed Calloway with what appeared to be a 35-yard touchdown pass, but Calloway was unable to hang on after a hit from an LSU defender. That dropped proved to be Florida’s final chance.
For the game, Harris completed 17-of-32 throws for 271 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions while also adding 20 rushing yards.
Fournette continued his Heisman campaign by piling up 180 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries to go with one reception for 15 yards. Brandon Harris played perhaps his best game of the year in completing 13-of-19 passes for 202 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions
LSU out-rushed Florida 221-55 on the night, pushing Miles’s mark to 61-0 at LSU while rushing for at least 100 yards while holding his opponent below the century mark.
LSU hosts Western Kentucky next week and then takes the following weekend off before an all-important trip to Alabama on Nov. 7. Florida, meanwhile, still controls its own destiny in the SEC East, and will take next week off before a trip to Jacksonville to face Georgia on Oct. 31. A win there all but wraps up a trip to Atlanta for Jim McElwain‘s Gators where, perhaps, they’ll get another shot at these Tigers.