The Tigers were out for blood in their matchup against the No. 6 Florida Gators. Sophomore kicker Cade York put the dagger in the Gator’s hopes of an appearance in the College Football Playoff with a 57-yard field goal that secured a 37-34 victory for LSU.
York stared with composure into the abyss at the uprights that seemed to be invisible through the thick fog covering the grounds of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Despite the noise and pressure, York dialed in from 57 yards to give the Tigers their first win against a top-25 opponent this season.
This game will forever be remembered as the “cleat game.” The Gators defensive back Marco Wilson made a fourth down tackle on the Tigers tight end Kole Taylor in the fourth quarter to essentially seal the game for the Gators. During the play Taylor’s cleat came off and Wilson tossed it down the field, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which set the Tigers up for a second chance to take the lead. The tossing of the cleat is symbolic of the Gators throwing their playoff hopes away.
True freshman Max Johnson made his debut at quarterback for the Tigers in memorable fashion. The young stud tossed three touchdowns for 239 yards, marking the first time an LSU quarterback has ever thrown three scores in the Gators' stadium.
Johnson drove the Tigers down the field on the final drive of the game as if he has done it countless times before. With his performance, he could have potentially locked himself up as the Tigers play caller for years to come.
LSU’s defense may have not been perfect in this contest, but the turnovers rattled Heisman candidate Kyle Trask enough for a purple and gold victory. An early second quarter pick six by Eli Ricks set the tone for the rest of the game and calmed the nerves of the young LSU offense.
This victory may not mean anything for the outcome of the season for the Tigers, but this will be a moral booster going into the offseason. The Tigers came into this matchup with all odds stacked against them and still did not cave in. Three of LSU’s top defensive backs were out, and a freshman making his debut as leader and play caller was not enough to stifle the Tiger’s hunger for victory.