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INSIDE SLANT

Maybe LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell should have known trouble was coming when he learned his vehicle had been stolen from the parking lot of his apartment complex before the team left for Florida on Friday morning.

Things didn't get any better in Florida, with Russell throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble in LSU's 23-10 loss at Florida.

"It seemed like every time things started to go our way it ended up with an interception or a fumble," Russell said. "It wasn't meant to be."

The Tigers (4-2) might as well say the same thing about their chances of winning the SEC West after suffering their second SEC loss in three games.

"We made mistakes in a number of spots," LSU coach Les Miles said. "It's work to do. We've got a good football team, but we didn't play like it. We're all disappointed.

"(The number of turnovers) surprised me entirely. I didn't anticipate any of those. We were playing a very confident football team, there's no question. When you play sloppy, you give the other team an opportunity to beat you. That's what happened."

The worst of Russell's four turnovers came on a botched snap at the Florida 1-yard line with the score tied 7-7. Florida recovered and went on to score 16 consecutive points. Russell threw one interception at the Florida 15, another at the Florida 23 and another at the Florida goal line.

In addition to Russell's four turnovers, punt returner Chevis Jackson dropped a first-quarter punt that Florida recovered at the LSU 19-yard line and soon converted into a touchdown.

Then, on the first play of the second half, kick returner Early Doucet fumbled the kickoff. LSU eventually recovered the fumble but did so in the end zone for a safety.

"The turnovers took a lot out of us," Jackson said. "A lot of turnovers will take the air out of any team. That's what happens sometimes. When you turn the ball over a lot, you can't expect to win."

NOTES, QUOTES

   GAME BALL GOES TO: FS LaRon Landry -- Not many things went right for the Tigers, but Landry did his part with 12 tackles and a blocked punt late in the game.

   KEEP AN EYE ON: QB JaMarcus Russell -- Russell completed 24 of 41 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw three interceptions, including twice in the fourth quarter with one inside the Gators' 25 and the other at the goal line, and lost a fumble at the Florida 1-yard line.

   QUOTE TO NOTE: "We didn't tackle well. Our coverages weren't all that great. We made turnovers. We had to have a short-term memory when their big plays happened. Tomorrow's another day. We look forward to playing next week. This game is behind us." -- LSU free safety LaRon Landry.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

   LOOKING GOOD: RB Jacob Hester -- Hester started at fullback for the first five games but started his first game at tailback on Saturday. He responded with 68 total yards, rushing nine times for 43 yards and catching five passes for 25 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown.

WR Craig Davis -- Davis led LSU's receivers with eight receptions for 85 yards.

LB Ali Highsmith -- Highsmith finished with six solo tackles, a sack and a pass breakup.

   STILL NEEDS WORK: SS Jessie Daniels -- Daniels broke through Florida's punt protection and appeared to have a first-quarter punt blocked inside the Florida 10-yard line but inexplicably stopped and didn't put a hand up to block the punt. "I don't know. I just pulled up," Daniels told the Shreveport Times. "I could've blocked it. When I went to the sideline I told (special teams) coach (Bradley Dale) Peveto that I could've blocked it. He said, 'Yeah, why didn't you?' I said I didn't know why. I was thinking I didn't want to rough him, but if I would've just deflected it a little there wouldn't have been a penalty. I have no reason why I stopped. I don't know."

CB-PR Chevis Jackson -- He signaled for a fair catch on a punt at his own 35, but the ball went right through his hands and Florida recovered, setting up a Florida touchdown six plays later.

WR-KR Early Doucet -- Doucet fumbled twice on the opening kickoff of the second half, leading to an LSU safety.

   ROSTER REPORT: Sophomore OG Herman Johnson started in place of Will Arnold, who had arthroscopic surgery on his ankle last week and remains doubtful for Saturday's home game against Kentucky. Arnold will more likely return for the Oct. 21 home game against Fresno State or the Nov. 4 game at Tennessee.

A holding penalty against Johnson wiped out a 21-yard touchdown pass from Russell to wide receiver Craig Davis in the second quarter. Instead of leading 14-7, the Tigers fumbled the possession away and never scored another touchdown.

Senior TE Keith Zinger returned to the starting lineup after missing last week's game with a stomach ailment that has nagged him throughout the season.

With LSU opening in a three-man front, Ryan Willis started at defensive end and defensive end Chase Pittman started at nose guard.

CB Daniel Francis was carried off the field in the first half with a sprained left knee and did not return.

Previous Report: 10/05/2006


 

 

 


 
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