GAINESVILLE, Fla. — What the LSU Tigers had here was failure to communicate.
That was at least part of the Tigers’ problem for most of the first half Saturday against Florida, as LSU’s coaches had what head coach Les Miles referred to as an “electrical issue” with their headsets and communications system.
Miles said the headset headaches were part of the reason LSU burned its final two timeouts back-to-back on third-and-goal at the Gators’ 4 with 1:18 left before halftime.
Despite that, Miles said: “I don’t think that made a whole helluva difference” in the game.
LSU will find out Monday which network will pick up its Oct. 20 game at Texas A&M.
LSU’s home game next Saturday against South Carolina will be at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The A&M game will likely either be picked up by CBS or one of the ESPN networks.
Right guard Josh Williford went down twice in the first half, first with 12:47 left in the first quarter and again with 13:15 in the second quarter, possibly with a concussion.
Linebacker Lamin Barrow went down making a tackle on the Florida sideline with 8:11 left in the second quarter but later returned.
Linebacker Kevin Minter headed to the locker room with 7:51 left in the third quarter with cramps but later returned. One play later, linebacker Kwon Alexander went down and was helped to the sideline and spent the rest of the game with his foot in a protective boot.
Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who was iffy coming into the game with a hand injury, left the game with a hamstring pull.
Alex Hurst started at left tackle for the second straight game while freshman Vadal Alexander was his replacement at right tackle. J.C. Copeland started at fullback after leaving the Towson game a week earlier with what appeared at first to be a serious knee injury.
Josh Downs made his first start at defensive tackle since the Washington game on Sept. 8. Anthony “Freak” Johnson had started the last three tames at the left tackle spot. The same was true at left end, where Barkevious Mingo made his first start since the Washington game over Lavar Edwards.
Aside from middle linebacker Kevin Minter, who finished one off the school record with 20 tackles, LSU’s best weapon Saturday may have been punter Brad Wing.
Wing and Florida punter Kyle Christy were locked in a duel of concussive kicks all day. Both punted seven times, with Wing averaging 45.6 yards per kick with a long of 57 and Christy averaging 49.1 yards with a long of 61.
Wing and Christy both dropped three punts inside the other team’s 20 yard line, with Christy having the only touchback, though his kicks appeared to pin LSU deeper than Wing was able to do to Florida.
At one point in the first half, the Tigers started from their 9-, 6- and 8-yard lines following Christy punts.
“He sure did affect field position,” Miles said. “We were always coming off the goal line.”
The loss snapped LSU’s streak of consecutive over Southeastern Conference Eastern Division opponents at seven, the longest streak in school history. ... This was just the fourth time LSU and Florida met with both teams ranked in the top 10 and just the fifth time both were undefeated. ... The Gators have trailed at halftime in three of their five wins. ... Florida now leads the LSU series 31-25-3. ... LSU still hasn’t beaten Florida in a day game in Gainesville since 1986.
Advocate sportswriters Scott Hotard and Les East contributed to this report.
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