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Missed FG, shoe throw cost Florida in upset loss to LSU

Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A missed field goal and a thrown shoe played crucial roles in Florida's upset loss to LSU.

"I don't know," Florida coach Dan Mullen reporters after the 37-34 loss on Saturday in Gainesville, Fla.

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"I guess that's a penalty. I have no idea what happened. I didn't see it."

Tigers kicker Cade York made a 57-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining to give LSU the final advantage. The kick came after Gators cornerback Marco Wilson threw the shoe of Tigers tight end Kole Taylor, which allowed LSU to extend its last drive and attempt the kick.

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Gators kicker Evan McPherson later attempted a 51-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide left as time expired.

"They seemed to make the plays they needed to make to win," Mullen said. "We made every play you need to make to lose."

The Gators (8-2) entered the game at No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings, while the Tigers (4-5) are unranked and the defending national champion. Florida faces No. 1 Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Saturday in Atlanta.

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Gators quarterback Kyle Trask completed 29 of 47 passes for 474 yards, two scores and two interceptions in Saturday's loss. He also had two rushing touchdowns. Tigers quarterback Max Johnson completed 21 of 36 passes for 239 yards and three scores in the win.

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The Gators and Tigers combined for more than 1,000 total yards.

Trask gave the Gators a 7-0 lead with a one-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. LSU then answered when Johnson completed a five-yard touchdown toss to Jaray Jenkins.

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Eli Ricks then intercepted Trask at the start of the second quarter. He returned the interception for a 68-yard touchdown. McPherson made a field goal before Trask threw a touchdown pass to Jacob Copeland to give the Gators a 17-14 lead 2:25 before halftime.

Johnson then answered with a touchdown pass to Kayshon Boutte. York added a field goal at the end of the quarter to give the Tigers a 24-17 lead at the break.

York made another field goal on the Tigers first drive of the second half. Trask then scored a rushing touchdown and threw a touchdown pass on the Gators' first two drives of the third quarter to give Florida a 31-27 lead.

Johnson then got the lead back for the Tigers with a four-yard touchdown pass to Tre Bradford with 13:14 remaining in the game.

McPherson tied the score on a field goal with 2:51 remaining before LSU took control of the ball for its final drive. The Tigers started the drive on their own 25-yard line. The Gators stopped the Tigers short of a first down on 3rd and 10 before Wilson committed the unsportsmanlike penalty to extend the drive.

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Johnson then marched the Tigers to the Gators 39-yard line to set up York's go-ahead field goal. Trask responded and completed three-consecutive passes to get the Gators to the Tigers 33-yard line before McPherson missed his game-tying attempt.

"We felt that we could win," Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said. "We hadn't played very well and I'm just so proud of the grit and the toughness. A lot of young players and a lot of old players giving it everything they got for the Tigers."

The Tigers host Ole Miss at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.

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