WATCH: LSU shocks Florida 37-34, capitalizes on bizarre thrown shoe miscue
THE KICKER WITH THE WINNING SHOE pic.twitter.com/riJPrN3Qco
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) December 13, 2020
Dense fog set in at The Swamp on Saturday night, creating a most appropriate setting for what could only be LSU football Voodoo.
A depleted Tigers’ team that limped into Gainesville with only 54 scholarship players, missing several stars, left with heads held high and an improbable 37-34 victory over Florida.
One of those scholarship players was quarterback Max Johnson, a first-time starter from Oconee County High School just outside of Athens.
Max Johnson, the son of former NFL QB Brad Johnson and nephew of former Georgia coach Mark Richt, was 21-of-36 for 239 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Johnson also had 52 yards on 18 carries.
LSU kicker Cade York hit a 57-yard field goal with 23 seconds left for the Tigers’ (4-5) game-winning points. Moments later, the Gators (8-2) failed to tie when kicker Evan McPherson hooked a 52-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Beyond the last-minute LSU kicking heroics — and Florida agony — was a personal foul that will live in infamy.
Florida was flagged with unsportsmanlike conduct after this play: pic.twitter.com/BBsmOu64j9
— ESPN (@espn) December 13, 2020
Florida redshirt junior defensive back Marco Wilson extended LSU’s game-winning drive by throwing the shoe of tight end Kole Taylor after a third-and-10 play came up 6 yards short at the LSU 29 with less than three minutes left.
“I guess that’s a penalty,” Florida coach Dan Mullen quipped.
“There’s no reason to do it,” ESPN sideline reporter Todd McShay said. “I saw a cleat going through the fog.”
The No. 6-ranked Gators clinched the SEC East Division last week by virtue of their 31-19 win and will play No. 1-ranked Alabama in the league title game next Saturday.
The No. 9-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (7-2) defeated Missouri 49-14 earlier on Saturday and could tie the Gators’ record with a win over Vanderbilt next aturday.
Florida has the tiebreaker, however, by virtue of its 44-28 win over UGA earlier this season.
But the Gators’ hopes for what would be a first-ever College Football Playoff appearance were dashed by the defeat to LSU, and quarterback Kyle Trask’s Heisman Trophy hopes took a hit.
Trask was 29-of-47 passing for 474 yards with two touchdowns passing, two interceptions, two touchdowns rushing and a lost fumble.
Florida made eight trips into the Red Zone but came away with only 34 points, despite out-gaining LSU 609-418.
Trask threw his third Pick-6 of the season and drew half-time criticism from head coach Dan Mullen.
“We’ve got to make better reads at the quarterback position,” Mullen said during his halftime interview, with the Gators trailing LSU 24-17. “We’re missing read after read after read after read making those mistakes, so we’ve got to get that cleaned up.”
— one vibin bro (@tschlep2) December 13, 2020
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts did not play in the game on account of injury, Mullen said.
“He was injured in practice all week, he didn’t practice one day this week,” Mullen said. “But not practicing and not being 100 percent, we just didn’t think it was the right thing to put him on the field.”
How improbable was LSU’s win over Florida?
23 point dog. Should have been more.
Down top 3 WRs
TE opts out
3rd string QB
Top CB can’t play
Lose top 2 RB’s during game
Lose other CB targeting in first quarter, ejected
46 scholarship players at end take out Heisman fav at home
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 13, 2020