GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Florida's Southeastern Conference title hopes took a big hit and Louisiana State is looking more and more like the league's defending champion.
Matt Mauck threw for 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns as No. 15 Louisiana State ended a 16-year drought at No. 16 Florida with a 36-7 rout.
LSU (5-1, 2-0 SEC West) had lost seven straight at Florida since its last win here in 1986. The Tigers also were playing without running back LaBrandon Toefield, who was injured last week, but it did not matter as they intercepted Rex Grossman four times and never trailed.
"Well guys, that was a great win," LSU coach Nick Saban said. "I am really proud of our players. We knew we were going to have to be a tougher more physical team to win in a place like this."
Florida (4-3, 2-2 East), which lost to Mississippi last week, suffered its worst loss since a 62-28 defeat to Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl following the 1995 season. It was the Gators' worst home loss since a 40-0 defeat to Alabama in 1979, a season in which they went 0-10-1.
"I'll tell you what I told the football team, because I believe this," Florida coach Ron Zook said. "We're in a situation that's new but these players aren't going to quit. We're not letting them quit as a coaching staff. Do we got some work to do? Absolutely, we've got some work to do."
The Tigers defeated a ranked team on the road for the fist time since a victory at Auburn in 1996. LSU and Mississippi (2-0) are the only teams still unbeaten in the SEC West.
Defensive back Corey Webster picked off Grossman and ran in it for a score from 45 yards out for a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The Tigers added a field goal before Grossman's 16-yard TD pass to Taylor Jacobs cut the deficit to 13-7 at halftime.
"We got a lot of pressure on him," said Webster, who became the sixth Tiger to record a school record three interceptions. "The first one came because he threw the ball a little too early."
Grossman had a dismal night as he completed 18-of-43 passes for 163 yards. He has 14 interceptions this season after having just 12 all of last year.
"It's a combination of a lot of things," Grossman said. "We just need to fight our way back and out of this slump. It's not because of the change of coaches. They're going to be a great coaching staff. We all need a little experience."
After LSU forced a punt to start the second half, the Tigers drove 80 yards in 12 plays and scored on a 13-yard TD pass from Mauck to Devery Henderson. A 24-yard punt return by Domanick Davis set up a 25-yard TD pass from Mauck to Henderson for a 26-7 cushion.
LSU set up for a field goal to begin the fourth quarter but rubbed salt in Florida's wounds with a fake as holder Blain Bech ran 35 yards untouched for a touchdown and a 33-7 lead. John Corbello's 20-yard field goal capped the scoring.
"I have been wanting to run it since last year," Bech said. "Coach (Nick Saban) finally called it. I was looking to score. This is something you get once in a lifetime. In "The Swamp," it is something else."
The Gators tried a fake field goal when the game was scoreless in the first quarter. But kicker Jeff Whitaker's pass to Jacobs was incomplete.
Despite the loss of Toefield, LSU had little trouble running the ball. Davis rushed for 84 yards on 14 carries, Mauck carried 15 times for 67 yards and Joseph Addai added 56 yards. The Tigers averaged 5.2 yards a carry.
"We were doing whatever to be successful," Mauck said. "Any time you can run the ball, it is going to help out your passing game."
The Gators' running game was stuffed completely by the Tigers as Florida managed just 74 yards. Earnest Graham carried 14 times for 38 yards.
Florida managed 237 yards of total offense and suffered its worst SEC loss since a 45-3 defeat at Tennessee on October 13, 1990. The Gators, who lost to Mississippi last week, dropped back-to-back SEC games for the first time since 1992.
"We aren't out of this thing," Zook said. "I know you all can write that, but we're not. We're just not hitting on all cylinders now, we're kind of in a rut on offense we got to get out of."