BATON ROUGE — OK, doubters, what do you think now?

Yo, you Neanderthal holdouts in the back. Still think you win only with ball control, defense or those famous three words from the noted LSU philosopher of lore Curley Hallman — Field Po Sition?

That's so last century.

Get with the program here.

Never mind the result — LSU 42, No. 7 Florida 28. How much fun was that to watch?

Bottom line: Maybe LSU's offense really is unstoppable.

But that's not important now.

Lost in the on-going offensive fireworks, the biggest development in Tiger Stadium Saturday night was ...

Oh, never mind. Can't help it. Let's review the good parts first.

What a dilemma. LSU is finally selling beer in Tiger Stadium but if you sneak away to nab a cold one, you might miss two or three touchdowns.

You probably thought after watching this offensive thing go off for five games that your jaw was beyond dropping.

And the Tigers keep saying, Hold my beer.

This was a major test. The first true one, some (like me) said, some somewhat skeptically. This wasn't a Big 12 school with a laissez-faire defense and it certainly wasn't Vanderbilt.

This was the SEC's leading defense by almost every measurable. LSU didn't really notice much difference.

Where to start? Take your pick from Saturday.

This one is interesting. The Tigers' new-found offense averaged — averaged — 10.6 yards per play. That came out to 9.1 yards per run, 12.2 per pass attempt.

If that's not the most ever against an SEC opponent, all LSU can tell you is that it happened back in the leather helmet days, where records are sketchy.

More? Joe Burrow had as many touchdown passes (3) as incompletions — he was 21 of 24.

Or this one: LSU scored 42 points while running only 48 plays, which is within sniffing distance of a point a play.

Or, finally, this one, straight from the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, which is about an hour from the Gators' campus: In a full 60-minute game, LSU faced only four third-downs.

Four! Again, LSU got to the dusty portions of its records and could find nothing similar.

The last time Tiger Stadium was rocking for a Florida game like it was Saturday night, the Tigers famously converted five fourth-downs to win the epic 2007 game. They didn't even have five fourth-downs Saturday.

Skipping third down altogether was so much simpler. Easier, too.

Again, this was a Florida defense that was leading the SEC in points allowed, along with sacks (they got none) and leading the nation in takeaways (also zero).

Yes, it makes you wonder why LSU didn't think of this earlier.

Florida's only defense Saturday night was a ball-control offense that kept the ball away from the Tigers' offensive hijinks.

The Gators' game plan was hammered out in good faith — and it was working to perfection.

Florida, which had 457 yards offense of its own, held the ball for just over 38 minutes, leaving just under 22 for the Tigers use.

Nice, LSU seemed to say. But you know we only need a couple or three plays and a minute or so and, beep-beep, see you in the end zone.

Fun fact: The Tigers' three first-half touchdowns used a combined 11 plays.

This new-age offense almost looked like they'd switched uniforms and gone back to the 1990s where Steve Spurrier was always snickering at the Tigers' feeble attempts to slow him down.

But we digress.

There was that new development.

It's not the fun with numbers that the Tigers' offense can give you. But LSU's overshadowed defense played a big enough of a contributing role to at least get an attaboy for the effort.

The numbers just aren't there.

It was more situational with both teams in full shootout overdrive.

But just when over 100,000 fans were starting to get a crick in their necks from watching an offensive ping pong match, the Tigers got a dominant three-and-out that allowed LSU take the lead for good late in the third quarter.

Moments later the Gators were back at it and another tie looked inevitable when freshman Derek Stingley made an acrobatic interception in the back of the end zone.

The Gators lost serve.

Burrow licked his fingers and squeezed off 80 yards in three plays with the dagger on a 54-yard touchdown pass to Ja'Marr Chase for a two-touchdown lead.

At a glance the goal line at the end was, as they say, important only to select investors of the contest.

But some might have remembered how close Texas came to recovering an onsides kick in the Tigers' other foray into high-wire entertainment.

It didn't matter. Even with a questionable penalty making LSU do the goal line stand twice, the Tigers stuffed the Gators.

A little thing, perhaps. But if the defense is going to in join the fun, no telling where this team can end up.


Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at shobbs@americanpress.com

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