Jayden Daniels accounted for 606 total yards and five touchdowns and No. 18 LSU defeated Florida 52-35 on Saturday night.
Daniels continued to make his case for the Heisman Trophy, leading the Tigers (7-3, 5-2 SEC) to touchdowns on five consecutive second half possessions. He completed 17 of 26 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns, and ran 12 times for 234 yards and two touchdowns to become the first quarterback in FBS history to account for at least 350 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in a game.
Florida (5-5, 3-4 SEC) took its only lead in the third quarter 28-24 on a 21-yard touchdown run by Trevor Etienne and Graham Mertz’s 1-yard run.
But Daniels scored from 51 yards out on the ground and then on LSU’s ensuing possession Noah Cain found Noah Cain for a 38-yard touchdown pass to make it 38-28.
His career night continued into the fourth quarter when he connected with Brian Thomas for a 37-yard touchdown to make it 45-35.
Daniels connected with Thomas again late in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Thomas had 150 yards on six catches and a pair of scores.
LSU took a 10-point lead early in the second quarter. Damian Ramos had a 28-yard field goal and Daniels added an 85-yard touchdown run, the longest in LSU history for a quarterback, to make it 17-7.
Both teams scored on their opening possessions. LSU took a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Josh Williams to cap a 7-play, 75-yard drive.
Florida answered, going 75 yards in 8 plays, tying the game at 7 when Mertz found Eugene Wilson for a 9-yard touchdown.
Etienne led the Gators, rushing for 99 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.
FLORIDA: The Gator defense struggled to contain the high-powered LSU offense, giving up a season-high 702 yards.
LSU: The Tigers continued their dominance over Florida, winning their fifth consecutive game in the series, the longest streak in a rivalry that dates to 1937.
A week after losing their quarterback to a controversial hit in a loss on the road against Alabama, LSU senior safety Andre’ Sam was ejected for targeting a hit on Florida running back Montrell Johnson near the end of the first half.
Wearing the same number as former Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, Mertz broke Tebow’s school record of consecutive passes without an interception with 204 attempts on the Gators’ first drive of the second half.
FLORIDA: Travels to No. 14 Missouri on Saturday.
LSU: Plays host to Georgia State on Saturday