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10/06/2012 9:14 PM EDT
Florida uses stifling defense to upend LSU 14-6
FLORIDA 14, LSU 6

By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- This was old-school football at its
best, the kind of performance only Southeastern Conference
loyalists could love.



And Florida - yes Florida - was the team putting on a show.



Mike Gillislee ran for a career-high 146 yards and two
touchdowns, bringing the 10th-ranked Gators to life in the
second half as they upended No. 4 LSU 14-6 Saturday.



Led by Gillislee and a dominant defense, Florida's grind-it-out
victory avenged a 41-11 loss in Baton Rouge last season, handed
the Tigers their first regular-season loss in 19 games and gave
coach Will Muschamp a signature win in his second season.



Muschamp's transformation of the Gators from spread-offense
speed-merchants to hard-running street fighters seems to be
complete. It was the program's first victory against a ranked
team since beating rival Georgia in 2010.



"We wanted to hurt them," Florida defensive end Dominique Easley
said. "We wanted them to feel the pain that we felt last year.
We had hurt in our heart, so we wanted them to feel that same
thing."



Linebacker Jon Bostic and safety Matt Elam provided big plays on
defense. Gillislee once again carried the load on offense,
carrying 34 times.



Together, they wore down the Tigers (5-1, 1-1 SEC) in the second
half - no surprise since the Gators (5-0, 4-0) have been doing
that all season. Florida, which trailed 6-0 at halftime, also
came from behind to beat Texas A&M and Tennessee on the road
last month.



This one was even more impressive.



"They beat us down last year," Elam said. "We had to come back.
We had something to prove. We had a plan to hit them in their
mouth, and we executed."



The Gators harassed quarterback Zach Mettenberger, pretty much
shut down running backs Spencer Ware, Kenny Hilliard and Michael
Ford, and completely wore down LSU's vaunted defense.



Mettenberger completed 11 of 25 passes for 161 yards, with an
interception. LSU finished with 42 yards rushing, three more
than what Alabama held the Tigers to in last season's Bowl
Championship Series title game. The Tigers were 1 of 13 on third
down and finished with just eight first downs - three on
penalties.



"I think our football team is sick, sick with knowledge that
they could have played better," LSU coach Les Miles said.



Florida credited new strength coach Jeff Dillman and the team's
continually improving offensive line - the same one Muschamp
called soft late last season - for the victory. Gillislee got
props, too.



"I'll take Gilly over anybody," Muschamp said. "I tell him that
all the time and I mean that. I felt that way in spring and
going into fall camp. ... He's a Will Muschamp guy. He don't
ever say anything, he just does his job, lines up, runs the
ball. If you ask him to block, he's going to block. If you ask
him to catch the ball, he's going to catch the ball. He just is
a really, really, really good football player."



It was Gillislee's third 100-yard game of the season, and it
came against one of the league's most feared fronts. Highly
touted defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery were
neutralized much of the day. Linebacker Kevin Minter had a
career day, finishing with 20 tackles despite missing a few
plays while dealing with leg cramps.



Minter had two of LSU's five sacks in the first half, helping
the Tigers hold Florida to 47 yards at the break.



But the Gators looked completely different after intermission.
They went to a heavy package featuring two extra offensive
linemen to run the ball - they call it "God's play" - and it
worked to perfection.



Florida scored on consecutive drives by running on 17 of 18
plays. Gillislee ended both of them with 12-yard touchdown runs,
one in the third quarter and another early in the fourth.



"They were definitely more physical than last year," Mingo said.



The Gators ran the ball on their final 25 snaps, gashing the
Tigers between the tackles.



"Them boys was huffing and puffing," Easley said. "I was looking
in people's eyes and they were scared. That's what we wanted. We
wanted to take somebody's will. We like to take people's will,
not just win the game. Make them remember this night."



Maybe the play of the game came between those game-changing,
run-oriented drives. Elam stripped Odell Beckham Jr. following a
56-yard reception on third down.



Initially, the officials ruled Beckham was down when the ball
came out. Replays, though, clearly showed the ball coming out
before his knee hit the ground. The play was reversed, and
Florida seized the momentum.



"It was a hustle play," Elam said. "It was all instinct. It was
great effort that paid off."



Florida was so dominant that it could have posted a second
consecutive shutout at home. But two seemingly silly plays
helped LSU get points.



Bostic, who was a key cog in stuffing LSU's run, was flagged for
unsportsmanlike conduct on the game's opening drive. Instead of
facing third-and-17, LSU got 15 yards and an automatic first
down. It set up Drew Alleman's 31-yard field goal.



Alleman added a 21-yarder just before halftime as LSU
capitalized on Jeff Driskel's fumble. Driskel, who completed 8
of 12 passes for 61 yards, held the ball too long and then
fumbled while trying to scramble away from Bennie Logan. Guard
James Wilson had a shot at the loose ball but whiffed.



Mingo eventually came up with it, setting LSU's offense up at
the 7-yard line.



Florida's defense made a stand, though, and forced the chip
shot.



"That was typical 1980 SEC right there today," Muschamp said.
"It was a physical, physical match. ... That's the difference
between playing in this league and these other leagues you watch
on TV. I know you guys like all these points being scored, but
the quarterback won't make it through the season in our league."

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