Served compliments of a fan, the LSU football team sat down 48 hours before playing Florida and dined on 100 pounds of breaded alligator meat. "It tasted pretty good," was freshman Linebacker Jerry Hill's assessment. "Just like fish." Obviously looking for a similar repast, LSU, which hadn't won out of its home state in 35 months, then took off for Gainesville, where the Florida Gators hadn't lost in 35 months. And still haven't.
In an untidy game marked by fumbles lost and easy scores on both sides, Florida turned LSU away just five yards from its goal in the final seconds, and it was the Tigers who were finally eaten, 28-23. Unbreaded, and, until then, unbeaten.
Florida, which boasts enough speed to field an Olympic relay team, got away quickly, thanks to two LSU fumbles after fair-catch signals on punts. The first gave the Gators the ball at the 10, from where Jimmy Fisher passed to Wes Chandler for a touchdown. The second came at the nine and was followed by a six-yard scoring run by reserve Quarterback Bill Kynes.
In the third quarter it was the Gators' turn to play giveaway. A fumbled pitchout at the Florida 26 led to one LSU touchdown; a fumble on the center snap at the Florida five led to a second. Then it came down to the final seconds, with LSU at the Florida nine, first and goal. Three runs—two of them by Tailback Terry Robiskie, who scored all three Tiger touchdowns—netted just four yards. On fourth down, with 14 seconds on the clock, LSU Quarterback Pat Lyons rolled to his right and passed toward Split End Bruce Hemphill, open in the end zone. The pass was low and wide. On that thin thread hung the Florida victory.
Overheard outside the Mississippi dressing room:
Fan One: "The way our offense played today, coach ought to make them run plays all the way back to Oxford."
Fan Two: "The way they played today, they wouldn't get home until 1980."
Favored Mississippi, an early-season victor over Alabama, managed just one first down in the first half and five in the second as Auburn won 10-0. Auburn's scores came on an early field goal by Neil O'Donoghue and a last-minute five-yard touchdown run by Quarterback Phil Gargis.
The last time Penn State lost three games in a row was in 1964. Until last week, that is, when Derrick Ramsey scored twice, one on a 61-yard romp, to give Kentucky a 22-6 victory over the crippled Nittany Lions. Penn State, down to almost no one at running back, finally scored after a pass-interference penalty put the ball at the Kentucky one.