Van Jefferson

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No. 5 LSU’s offense too much for No. 7 Florida

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No. 7 Florida’s defense figured to present perhaps the biggest challenge Joe Burrow and company would face all season long, fresh off their impressive 24-13 win over previously unbeaten Auburn last week in the Swamp. And if that’s indeed the case, look out.

Burrow completed 21-of-24 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns, LSU ran for 216 yards on 22 carries and the fifth-ranked Tigers rolled through the vaunted Gators defense like they have everyone else this season, scoring a 42-28 win on Saturday night. For those doing the math: that’s 509 yards of total offense — on 48 snaps — against the No. 1 scoring defense in the SEC.

Through the first half, though, the story was Florida’s offense, not LSU’s.

As the Tigers (6-0, 2-0 SEC) rolled up more than 12 yards a snap through the first two quarters, Florida put up methodical drive after methodical drive. In fact, Florida answered all three of LSU’s touchdowns with long touchdown drives of their own: 12 plays, 75 yards; 13 plays, 75 yards; and 11 plays, 75 yards.

The second touchdown drive was the craziest of them all, as Emory Jones found running back Lamical Perine on a deflected fourth-and-goal pass.

The third touchdown drive was punctuated by a 6-yard Kyle Trask pass to Van Jefferson with four seconds left in the second quarter, evening the game at 21-21. While LSU gained 12 yards per play to Florida’s 5.72, the Gators remained in the game because they snapped the ball 43 times to LSU’s 22.

The Gators (6-1, 3-1 SEC) accepted the ball to open the second half and again marched down the field, going 76 yards in eight plays this time and taking their first lead on a 2-yard toss from Trask to Jefferson.

This time, though, LSU answered, going 75 yards in eight plays and knotting the score at 28-28 on Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s second touchdown run of the night. He rushed for 134 yards and two scores on 13 carries.

After the Tigers’ defense forced a three-and-out — their first since Florida’s opening possession — LSU re-gained the lead on a 33-yard scoring dash by Tyrion Davis-Price.

Trailing 35-28, Florida appeared primed to notch its fourth game-tying touchdown drive of the night, moving from its own 8-yard line to the LSU 16 when, on a 3rd-and-1, Trask threw into the end zone and was intercepted by Derek Stingley, Jr. LSU’s defense finally held serve, and the offense took advantage, breaking open the game with a devastating 4-play, 80-yard drive that cashed in on a 54-yard toss from Burrow to J’Marr Chase, putting LSU up two touchdowns with 5:43 left in the game.

Florida — again — went 75 yards in an attempt to get back in the game, but LSU again turned the Gators away scoreless, as K’Lavon Chaisson slammed Trask to the turf on a fourth-and-goal option keeper from the LSU 2 with 49 seconds left to shut the door on a last-gasp comeback attempt.

Trask finished the game 23-of-39 for 310 yards with three touchdowns and an interception

No. 7 Florida hanging tough with No. 5 LSU through one half

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LSU’s offense has averaged more than 12 yards a snap, but Florida is hanging tough in Death Valley. At the half in Baton Rouge, the game is tied 21-21.

Joe Burrow has completed 10-of-11 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire has five carries for 121 yards and a touchdown

LSU opened the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to J’Marr Chase, but Florida answered with a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by a 5-yard toss from Kyle Trask to Trevon Grimes.

Burrow then put LSU back ahead with a 7-yard strike to Justin Jefferson, but Florida again answered with a 13-play touchdown drive, punctuated by this ridiculous fourth-down grab by Lamical Perine.

LSU knifed down the field in four plays, nudging back ahead on a 39-yard Edwards-Helaire rush, but again Florida answered with a methodical touchdown drive. Trask’s 6-yard toss to Van Jefferson, the 11th play of the drive, tied the game with four seconds left in the first half.

While LSU picked up 266 yards on its 21 snaps, Florida gained 246 yards on 43 clock-eating plays.

Florida will receive to open the second half.

Transfer WRs from Ohio State, Ole Miss granted immediate eligibility at Florida

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Thursday was a very big day for Florida’s receiving corps.

This morning, UF announced that a pair of transfer wide receivers, Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson, have been granted waivers from the NCAA that gives them immediate eligibility for the upcoming season.  Grimes comes to Gainesville from Ohio State, Jefferson from Ole Miss.

Jefferson still has one hurdle to clear before taking the field in 2018 as the SEC must issue a waiver as well, although, with the conference’s new intra-conference transfer rule enacted this offseason, that approval is a mere formality.

“I’m excited for Trevon and Van,” first-year head coach Dan Mullen said in a statement. “We appreciate the NCAA’s understanding in both situations, and are thankful to the UAA’s administration and compliance staff for their role in helping guide Trevon, Van, their families and our coaching staff through this over the past six-plus months.”

This past season, Jefferson was third on the Rebels in receptions with 42 and fourth with 456 receiving yards.  For his career, the Tennessee native has totaled 91 catches for 999 yards and four touchdowns.

A four-star member of Ole Miss’ 2015 recruiting class, Jefferson was the No. 11 receiver in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in his home state; and the No. 106 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.

Jefferson announced his move to the Gators in December.

In October, Grimes took a leave of absence from the Buckeyes due to a family member dealing with a significant health issue.  The speculation at the time was that Grimes would likely transfer in order to be closer to his family in Miami; while initially denying it, the receiver moved on to the Gators in December of last year.

Grimes, a four-star 2017 signee, caught three passes for 20 yards during his brief time in Columbus.

SEC passes changes to intra-conference transfer rules, players no longer must sit out a year

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It’s been a rather sleepy set of league-wide meetings for the SEC in their annual retreat in Destin, Florida but the conference did release some rather notable changes to their rules on Friday that will be a net positive for several players. Most notably, that includes transfers who will no longer have to sit out a season when moving from one conference school to another.

At the heart of the matter is Alabama offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy, who announced his transfer out of Tuscaloosa last month but has been seemingly in limbo awaiting a change to the SEC’s rules so that he could play immediately at either Tennessee or Auburn. Naturally, Nick Saban is not super happy at that possibility and has been upholding the league rules to block Kennedy from doing just that but Friday’s decision means it’s now out of the coach’s hands.

Also affected by the change should be former Ole Miss wideout Van Jefferson. He made the move to Florida following NCAA sanctions being announced on the Rebels but was similarly stuck in a bit of limbo trying to be eligible right away for the Gators.

The rules changes announced by the SEC are really just getting ahead of broader changes coming to the NCAA level in the coming months. Many coaches have been pushing back against a number of these ideas but it’s pretty clear by the vote coming out Destin that they’re going to be on the losing end of this battle.

That’s good news for players everywhere as they get a bit more freedom to pick where they want to play in the future.

WR Van Jefferson transferring from Ole Miss to Florida

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Earlier this month, thanks to NCAA sanctions, Ole Miss lost a quarterback to a Big Ten team.  Just a couple of days until the early signing period kicks off, they’ve now lost one of his targets to another SEC program.

Redshirt sophomore Van Jefferson was an official visitor to Florida this past weekend.  Monday night on his Twitter account, the wide receiver indicated that he would be transferring to UF and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Gators.

Normally, Jefferson would be forced to sit out the 2018 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules; however, the sanctions levied on the Rebels football program could clear the way for a waiver that would allow him to play this coming season.

This past season, Jefferson was third on the Rebels in receptions with 42 and fourth with 456 receiving yards.  For his career, the Tennessee native has totaled 91 catches for 999 yards and four touchdowns.

A four-star member of Ole Miss’ 2015 recruiting class, Jefferson was the No. 11 receiver in the country; the No. 3 player at any position in his home state; and the No. 106 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.