Florida Gators fans honor Tom Petty, sing 'I Won't Back Down'

Beth Cruz
October 9, 2017

The Tigers marching band continued to play its traditional post-third quarter music while I Won't Back Down came on over the public address system. The Gators didn't seem prepared for that kind of adjustment at all.

LSU (4-2, 1-1 SEC) was limited to 36 yards of offense in the fourth quarter, but picked up two crucial first downs on a drive that began with less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Gators were unsuccessful in moving the ball past midfield and forced to punt.

The skinny: Redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks had two chances in the fourth quarter to drive the Gators into field-goal range and couldn't get it done. At its own 24-yard line, Florida elected to punt. Franks completed a pass to receiver Freddie Swain for a gain of eight before missing on a pass intended for receiver Brandon Powell.

Still, LSU opened the scoring on a Russell Gage 30-yard scamper to the left.

"The sense of urgency, it was pretty obvious we didn't have it there", McElwain said. The Rebels (2-3) endured their second straight blowout, a week after losing 66-3 to No. 1 Alabama and trailed 35-3 at halftime of this one before snapping a 10-quarter streak without a TD when Shea Patterson hit D.K. Metcalf for a 9-yard touchdown connection in the third quarter. Carter is also the first true freshman to score a touchdown this season. And just like that, Florida's young secondary let LSU take the lead on one of the Tigers' more predictable play calls.

The win prevented LSU from dropping to 0-2 in SEC play and holding a.500 record at the midway point of the season. Brandon Powell, Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain did little, with the longest catch going for 18 yards. The game was eventually played in Baton Rouge later in the season, with both teams buying out their nonconference opponents for that week. The well-known rocker was born in Gainesville, Florida, so when the Gators hosted LSU on Saturday, they knew they had to honor him somehow.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron met Monday with 12 players - at least one from each position group - to hash things out, and he sent those players back to their position groups for another series of meetings.

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