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Gators continue one trend, Tigers end another

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 13, 2002

GAINESVILLE -- The trends keep coming, but not for the better.

With two interceptions that led to 10 first-half points Saturday, 56 of the 127 points Florida has allowed have come off turnovers.

Until Saturday, the Gators had not given up a touchdown in the first quarter. The only first-quarter points Florida had allowed were field goals against Miami and Ohio.

But LSU changed that.

The Tigers scored 13 in the first quarter en route to a 13-7 halftime lead.

* * *

STATUS QUO: Offensive coordinator Ed Zaunbrecher hinted early last week he might abandon calling plays from the booth and work from the sideline. However, he remained in the booth Saturday.

LATE ENTRY: Junior left guard Shannon Snell did not start because of the sprained right shoulder sustained last weekat Mississippi. But he entered the game in the third quarter.

Snell, a Tampa native, dressed all week but did not practice. He said Wednesday he felt strong enough to play.

But Zook said before the game Snell would be used on an as-needed basis.

"Shannon improved all week, and he was able to lift the same amount of weight that he lifted the week prior," Zook said. "There was a good chance he'd be ready for emergency purposes."

ON THE MOVE: With Snell not starting at left guard, offensive line coach Joe Wickline had to make some adjustments.

Redshirt freshman Mike Degory moved from center to left guard, and senior David Jorgensen started at center.

Jorgensen had started at right guard for five of six games this season but also has played center during his career.

Guard Mo Mitchell made his first start.

YOUTH MOVEMENT: Zook allowed three freshman receivers to dress: Jemalle Cornelius, Reggie Lewis and Kenneth Tookes.

It was the first game Cornelius, from Fort Meade, dressed. He began working with the varsity this week.

Tookes has dressed in five of six games, and Lewis is one of four freshman to dress in all six. None have played this season.

HOSPITALITY: Ciatrick Fason took a page out of the Green Bay Packers' book.

Fason and strong safety Cory Bailey were the first two players who accompanied Zook out of the tunnel before the game. Both ran the length of the field, and Fason jumped into the stands to give high-fives to fans in the north end zone.

Forgive his excitement: Fason is a freshman who plays on special teams.

NO GOOD: The Gators haven't done well on field goals as Matt Leach is 2-of-5 this season. The trick plays are shaky, too.

On fourth and 5, Florida faked a 42-yard field goal. Jeff Whitaker replaced the usual holder, Sean Morton, and lofted a pass toward running back Ran Carthon

But Whitaker, who once was a quarterback at Wake Forest, overthrew the open Carthon, and LSU took over on downs.

GETTING INVOLVED: With Ben Troupe's catch for 5 yards, it was the first time since Sept.28 a Gators tight end caught a Rex Grossman pass. Neither Troupe nor Aaron Walker had a catch against Mississippi.

-- ANTONYA ENGLISH, JILL MARTIN

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