Updated: Sunday, October 10, 2004 12:28 AM EDT
NCAA FOOTBALL RECAP
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(24) LSU 24, (12) Florida 21
LSU TIGERS
LSU Tigers
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FLORIDA GATORS
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GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Senior Marcus Randall may have earned himself another start.

Randall came off the bench to throw for 198 yards, including a go-ahead 10-yard touchdown to Joseph Addai with 27 seconds remaining, to lead No. 24 Louisiana State past No. 12 Florida, 24-21, in a Southeastern Conference contest.

"I wasn't just thinking about scoring, but that's what we needed to win," said Addai, who rushed for 93 yards on 10 carries and caught four passes for 26. "We've run that play a lot on the practice filed and tonight the criss-cross with Skyler Green paid off in a win."

The Tigers (4-2, 2-2 SEC West) got some revenge for last year, when they lost at home to the Gators (3-2, 2-2 East), 19-7. The Gators were the only team to beat the defending co-national champions in 2003.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of this team," LSU coach Nick Saban said. "Anytime you can come into this environment, a noisy, rocking stadium and come away with a win it's a good feeling. We showed some poise, physical toughness and did some good things. There's still room for improvement, but we came back and beat an outstanding football team."

Coming off a 45-16 drubbing at Georgia last week, LSU coach Nick Saban gave JaMarcus Russell his first start at quarterback, but after a shaky first period that saw Florida grab a 14-0 lead, the freshman left the game with an injured ankle, giving way to Randall.

"We decided to switch it up this game. I was ready," Randall said. "We hung in there and found a way to win in the end. The offensive line did a good job and the receivers did a good job over the middle and that opened up some plays."

The Tigers quickly marched 80 yards for their first touchdown, a one-yard run by Alley Broussard that pulled LSU within 14-7.

"That drive showed we were still in the game despite being down two touchdowns," Broussard said. "The holes opened up for our running game and Marcus did a good job finding receivers. It was a great comeback, we just have to keep playing, keep pushing."

Florida extended its advantage to 21-7 on an 18-yard pass from Chris Leak to O.J. Small with 1:39 left in the half, but Randall countered by finding Early Doucet for a 15-yard TD pass just before the break.

"This was my first start and I'm glad I could contribute to this win," Doucet said. "We knew we had to score before the half to stay close, so it was a big touchdown."

The Tigers, who blanked the Gators in the second half, pulled within 17-14 on Chris Jackson's 47-yard field goal midway through the third quarter.

"I can't say enough about our defensive effort in the second half," Saban said. "We made them punt eight times and and basically shut down the passing game, which isn't easy to do with Leak and those talented receivers."

Leak completed 15-of-33 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.

"We were in a position to win the game and we didn't get it done. We have to get that fixed," Florida coach Ron Zook said. "Time possession hurt - they had the ball 36 minutes, we had it 23. We have to make tackles and get them off the field."

Randall was 18-of-27 with two scores and an interception, while Russell went 6-of-10 for 56 yards and two picks.

"I don't want to sound harsh, but we felt humiliated just one week ago," Saban said. "These guys responded (when they were) 14 points down. I think our team did a lot of growing, it's about resiliency and how you compete and I was really proud tonight."


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