LSU stuns No. 6 Florida on 57-yard field goal

Brad McClenny-USA TODAY Sports

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — There were no shortage of eye-popping moments in this LSU-Florida game. Cade York’s 57-yard field goal. Marco Wilson’s inexplicable shoe toss. The dense fog that rolled in late and covered the Swamp. Kyle Trask’s three turnovers in the second quarter, including maybe the wackiest interception ever.

For the Tigers, those will be fond memories.

For the Gators, they will be nightmares.

Max Johnson threw three touchdown passes in his first college start, York delivered the kick of his life with 23 seconds remaining and reigning national champion LSU stunned No. 6 Florida 37-34 on a cool and foggy Saturday night in the Swamp.

York drilled his kick through the eerie elements and the uprights after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Florida’s Wilson, who threw tight end Kole Taylor’s size 14 shoe following a third-down stop. LSU would have punted. Instead, the Tigers got a first down and moved into York’s long-distance range.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where an opponent threw a shoe, to be honest with you,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said.

Not many have. The kick was a rarity, too, especially since York could barely see the goal posts.

“It was a little blurry,” he said. “It went down the middle, right?”

The Gators (8-2) had a final shot, and Trask got them in position to tie. But Evan McPherson was wide left from 51 yards on the final play. LSU (4-5) celebrated wildly all over the field.

“We had an easier one than they did. We just missed it,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said.

Johnson had a lot to do with the outcome. The son of former Super Bowl champion Brad Johnson repeatedly torched Florida’s beleaguered defense. He threw for 239 yards, nearly half of them (108) to Kayshon Boutte, and ran for 52 more.

“Boy, his confidence was incredible,” Orgeron said. “I think Max is going to be a championship quarterback.”

Johnson got a hug and a kiss on top of his head from his father, who walked down to the first row and leaned over the wall to reach his son. Teammates were still dancing and screaming all around.

Florida didn’t help itself with three turnovers in the first half that led to 10 points and a 24-17 deficit.

“You can’t win doing what we did tonight, no matter what’s going on and who you’re playing,” Mullen said. “Minus-three turnover ratio, we don’t score touchdowns in the red zone, we can’t make key stops when we need to defensively and we lose the special teams part of the game.”

Trask accounted for four touchdowns and all three turnovers, first putting his teammates in a hole and then helping them climb out of it. But he was unable to rally the Gators when it mattered.

He ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more, including his record-setting 40th of the season. He passed 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel for the most in a single season in school history. Wuerffel called Trask after the game and reminded him that the Gators lost their regular-season finale in 1996 before rebounding to win it all.

“It’s just one foot in front of the other, you know, and that’s what we plan on doing next week,” Trask said.

For most of the game, though, Trask looked nothing like the Heisman Trophy front-runner. The Gators looked even less like a team capable of upsetting the Crimson Tide next week in Atlanta in the Southeastern Conference title game with a College Football Playoff spot at stake.

Barely able to field a team because of injuries, opt-outs and COVID-19 testing and contract tracing, the Tigers forced Trask into a fumble and two interceptions in a first half that morphed what was supposed to be a tune-up into a meltdown.

The Gators had offensive lulls, defensive lapses and little to no edge on Senior Night.

They were 23-point favorites at kickoff. But LSU made more plays from start to finish. Trask’s turnovers were the difference.

He fumbled trying to scramble with 10 seconds to play in the half, essentially handing LSU a field goal. He also had an interception returned for a touchdown.

The third one cost the Gators points. Florida had first-and-10 at the LSU 15-yard line when Trask tried to connect with Kadarius Toney near the sideline.

Toney tipped the ball with his right hand. It ricocheted off Dwight McGlothern’s facemask right before he stepped out of bounds. And then Jay Ward was aware enough to get his hands back inbounds and catch the ball while on his knees.

It contributed to Florida’s worst quarter, worst half and worst loss of the season.


LSU: The Tigers may have settled on a quarterback, with Johnson showing glimpses of being a long-term solution at the all-important position. Surely, hiss first start won’t be his last.

Florida: The Gators have all kinds of issues heading into the title game. No one will give Florida a chance against Alabama.


The Gators surely will tumble in the next AP poll and in the CFP rankings.


LSU: Will attempt to host Ole Miss next Saturday. But the Tigers are precariously close to not having enough scholarship players to meet the league’s minimum threshold (53).

Florida: Faces Alabama for the 10th time in the league title game. It’s the most common matchup since the showcase event began in 1992. The Crimson Tide hold a 5-4 advantage, including three straight wins.

South Carolina gives AD Tanner raise, two-year extension

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner received a two-year contract extension that ties him to the school through June 2026.

Tanner, 64, is a two-time College World Series champion as the Gamecocks’ baseball coach who moved to leading the athletic department in July 2012.

The new deal was approved by the school’s board of trustees Friday and replaces Tanner’s old agreement that was set to expire in June 2024. Tanner will receive a raise of more than $153,000 per season, increasing his total compensation to $1.175 million.

Tanner has had his ups and downs leading the department. He took over when football coach Steve Spurrier was in the middle of three straight 11-2 seasons with players like defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Alshon Jeffrey.

Tanner’s hire to replace Spurrier, Will Muschamp, lasted less than five seasons before he was let go in the middle of 2020. Muschamp’s replacement, current coach Shane Beamer, has had back-to-back winning seasons and been to a bowl game his first two yeas.

Tanner has also overseen the rise of women’s basketball under coach Dawn Staley, who signed a seven-year contract before the 2021-22 season worth $22.4 million. Staley and the Gamecocks won the national title last April and are favorites to repeat this season.

Michigan RB Blake Corum says he’ll be back by fall camp

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan All-America running back Blake Corum said his surgically repaired left knee has gotten strong enough that he’s been cleared to run on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.

Corum said that he is “100%” sure he will play in the season-opening game on Sept. 2 against East Carolina

Corum tore a meniscus and sprained a ligament in his left knee against Illinois on Nov. 19. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, he sat out when the Wolverines won the Big Ten title and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Instead of entering the NFL draft, Corum decided to stay in school for his senior year.

“Feeling great all-around mentally, physically spiritually,” Corum told The Associated Press.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 952 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.

“I’ll be back definitely by fall camp,” he said. “I plan on doing everything in the summer workouts, depending on on what doctor says. He told me I shouldn’t be cutting until maybe June. I’m taking my time, but I will be ready by the season.”

Corum will be watching when his teammates face each each other in the Maize and Blue spring game on April 1 at Michigan Stadium.