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Associated Press
LSU’s Kenny Hilliard, center, is tackled by Florida’s Marcus Roberson, left, and Michael Taylor during the first half Saturday in Gainesville, Fla.

Florida uses stifling defense to upend LSU

Gators defense shows its bite

– Mike Gillislee ran for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns, bringing No. 10 Florida to life in the second half as the Gators beat fourth-ranked LSU 14-6 Saturday.

Led by Gillislee and a dominant defense, Florida’s grind-it-out victory provided a signature win for coach Will Muschamp in his second season in Gainesville. It was the program’s first win 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, safety Matt Elam and defensive end Lerentee McCray provided the big plays on defense. Gillislee once again carried the load on offense.

Together, they wore down the Tigers (5-1, 1-1) 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.

The Gators looked completely different after intermission.

Florida scored on consecutive drives by running on 17 of 18 plays.

Gillislee ended both of them with 12-yard touchdown runs.

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

Initially, the closest official 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.

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