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Rapid Recap- LSU regroups-hands Florida first SEC loss

Florida Football Insiders

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Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

Give LSU and coach Ed Orgeron credit, a week after being humbled at home, they came into Gainesville, out fought Florida and escaped with a huge SEC victory over the Gators 17-16.

Early on, it was obvious the Tigers were on their game as they drove into position to score and used their speed to break out on top:

Russell Gage’s 30 yard scamper on the “jet sweep” caught Florida flatfooted and put LSU up 7-0.

The Tigers, off a humiliating loss to Troy at home last Saturday night, then put together two good drives. The first resulted in a late first half field goal and a 10-3 lead.

Then, the second saw the Bayou Bengals come out of the halftime break and promptly drove 75 yards in 9 plays and took a 14 point lead here:

Florida would respond with two scoring drives of their own. Lamical Perine scored and short runs both times. The second of which pulled Florida to within one:

But the Gators Eddy Pineiro missed the critical extra point to keep the game at 17-16. It would prove costly.

Florida had two chances to try to get into a position to kick a game winning field goal, but LSU’s defense stiffen both times.

After a great Tigers punt pinned the Gators inside their five yard line with under three minutes to play, LSU stopped QB Feleipe Franks, who threw incomplete on third down and on fourth down to turn the ball over to LSU. The Tigers proceeded to run out the clock for a stunning win.

LSU ran for an impressive 216 yards on Florida’s defense and played turnover free to secure the win.

The loss snaps the Gators three game win streak and avenges last November’s loss by LSU at home, when Florida stopped the Tigers on fourth and goal in the final minute of the game.

Florida must regroup to host Texas A & M next Saturday at the swamp.

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Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday

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Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators continued their philosophy of striking “home-and-home” deals with Power 5 opposition, when they announced on Friday that they will be doing so with the Cal-Berkley Bears out of the Pac-12 coming later in this decade.

The Gators made the announcement through their website and social media mid-day Friday that they will play Cal at home first and then travel to Berkeley the following year:

A.D. Scott Stricklin has broken up the long tradition that Florida would only play two home out of conference games in September and usually, against much lesser competition before entering SEC play. Stricklin has been very outspoken that in the age of the College Football Playoff, strength of schedule is emphasized and the selection committee holds schools responsible for not playing top-notch out of conference opponents, at least some of the time.

With that in mind, the Gators opened the 2019 season in Orlando against the Miami Hurricanes and won a sloppy game. And, they already have other Power 5 schools laid out to play home and away.

As we previously wrote, Florida will be playing the Texas Longhorns first in Gainesville in 2030 and then. return the game the following year in Austin.

Florida had previously announced last year that they will also play the Colorado Buffaloes out of the Pac-12, again with the first game in Gainesville in 2028 and then, returning it to Boulder the following season.

It’s interesting with Friday’s announcement that Stricklin and the football program are working backwards with the schedule. And, they will now play Cal before Colorado in September of 2026, and then will be opening on the Berkeley campus the following season.

Florida and Cal have only met two times, having played first in Gainesville in 1974 as the Gators wo 21 – 17 and then, they also met in Tampa to open the 1980 season with a Florida 41-13 blowout victory.

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Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools

Jamil King

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day 2020 has come and gone, and several in state schools were able to improve their classes heading into spring ball. The University of Florida watched rival Georgia secure the number one overall class, but the Gators were still able to land the best class in the state with the number eight class overall.

The Gators officially signed former five-star receiver Justin Shorter from Penn State, and Florida stayed in the family today as well, Xzavier Henderson officially joined the Gators. He’s the ounger brother of  former DB C.J. Henderson.

Dan Mullen also able to dip into the state of Texas inking four-star DE Princely Umanmielen. It wasn’t all great news for the Gators, as they missed out on a few key guys, including losing out on arguably top state safety Avantae Williams to in state rival Miami. Overall it was a good cycle for the Gators both recruiting and in the transfer portal.

The Miami Hurricanes continued an impressive offseason on National Signing Day. The Canes made arguably the biggest move in the state by landing Williams and keeping him Florida. Williams became the highest rated Hurricane in the class and propelled the U to the number 13 spot.

Miami has the second-best class in the ACC behind Clemson. With an impressive offseason in the books, once again excitement will be in the air in Coral Gables. The question is: will they live up to it in year two for Manny Diaz?

Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell have been working hard to get this class rolling last minute. After a good early National Signing Day Norvell looked to keep the momentum going. The Noles took a big hit Wednesday though, with the loss of Venice four star WR, Malachi Wideman, who flipped to Tennessee.

The Noles came back from that by landing a handful of other recruits. They got the number six Juco running back La’Damian Webb, ass well as, Robert Scott, an offensive lineman and Corey Wren, an athlete/running back.

Replacing Cam Akers will be tough for Norvell and building the offensive line is a top priority. The former Memphis coach came in late like he did, yet he finishes with a decent class sitting at 22 on 24/7.

Now the work begins turning around the former powerhouse.

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