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LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) celebrates with LSU wide receiver Jaray Jenkins (10) after Jenkins scored in the first half against Florida, Saturday, October 16, 2021, at Tiger Stadium on the campus on LSU in Baton Rouge, La.

Going into Saturday’s game with Florida, LSU junior wide receiver Jaray Jenkins had just two touchdown catches in 23 career games — both coming last season.

So before the game, he joked with quarterback Max Johnson about changing that, considering he needed to help fill the void left by injured star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte.

“Jaray has done a great job of preparing, and he’s gotten better every single week,” Johnson said after LSU’s huge 49-42 upset of No. 20 Florida. “We had a little talk before the game and he was just saying, ‘Let me get one in the end zone this week.’ And I said ‘OK.’ ”

Jenkins went out and matched his career total with two touchdowns in a span of 1 minute, 40 seconds in the second quarter, then added the game-winner in the fourth quarter.

Jenkins reeled in a 28-yard pass from Johnson for his first touchdown of the season with 8:31 to go in the second quarter to give his team a 14-6 lead, then snared a 5-yarder after an interception by safety Jay Ward.

His 1-yard TD grab on fourth-and-goal with 3:30 to play proved to be the game-winner for the Tigers. He was targeted four times by Johnson and caught all four for 50 yards. Jenkins had just 10 catches for 129 yards in the first six games.

New/old starters

LSU had three players make their first start of the season against Florida.

One of them was a familiar face as senior defensive tackle Glen Logan, who had been out since preseason with a foot injury, was on the field for Florida’s first snap.

It was the 32nd career start for Logan, a sixth-year player who made 29 starts from 2018-20.

Freshman safety Sage Ryan, a five-star recruit who missed the first five games because of a preseason injury, got his first collegiate start as the nickelback.

Ryan took over for Cordale Flott, who moved to cornerback after starter Eli Ricks was lost for the season.

Also, walk-on Jack Mashburn, a sophomore, got his first collegiate start at tight end.

Red zone success

LSU’s offense scored three touchdowns in three trips into the red zone Saturday, which kept the Tigers perfect when venturing inside the opponents’ 20-yard line this season.

LSU was one of five FBS teams that were perfect in red-zone opportunities going into the weekend’s games with 11 touchdowns and five field goals in its first six games.

The Tigers added to that with two passing TDs and one rushing score. They are now 19 of 19 for the season.

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Block that kick

Florida wide receiver Jordan Pouncey busted through and blocked Avery Atkins’ first punt of the game, which traveled 16 yards before the Gators recovered.

It was the first punt blocked against LSU since Oct. 8, 2011. Florida got to Brad Wing in the fourth quarter of that game, which the Tigers won 41-11.

Later in the first quarter, LSU defensive tackle Neil Farrell Jr. blocked an extra-point try by Florida’s Jace Christmann. It was the first blocked PAT for the Tigers since tackle Austin Deculus got his hand on one against Alabama on Nov. 3, 2018.

Costly penalties

LSU had three huge offensive plays wiped out by penalties — all in the second quarter.

A 71-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Brian Thomas Jr. was wiped out by a holding call on tackle Cam Wire, a 24-yard run by Tyrion Davis-Price was nullified on a hold by Jenkins, and a 50-yard Johnson-to-Thomas pass was erased by an ineligible receiver call.

Davis-Price was credited with 10 yards on his run, but LSU lost six points and 135 total yards on the three plays.

Injury report

LSU right guard Chasen Hines was injured in pregame warmups but was in the starting lineup. He left midway through the first quarter, however, and was replaced by sophomore Marlon Martinez, who played the rest of the way.

Left tackle Anthony Bradford suffered an injury to his right knee on the first offensive snap. But he returned later and split time with Wire the rest of the game.

Another setback

Dan Mullen, who notched his 100th career win earlier this season, lost to LSU for the third year in a row. He is 3-10 against the Tigers as head coach at Florida and Mississippi State.

Mullen was 2-7 at State and is 1-3 against LSU since becoming Florida’s coach in 2018. That season, the Gators defeated the fifth-ranked Tigers 27-19 in Gainesville.


In a bit of an offensive wrinkle, LSU used backup tackle Garrett Dellinger as an extra blocker, particularly on first down, to attack Florida’s 27th-ranked run defense. … LSU extended its streak of having at least one scoring pass to 36 consecutive games. … Ed Orgeron is now 16-2 following a loss and is 19-11 against ranked teams since taking over in 2016. … All flags in Tiger Stadium were flying at half-staff for National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service Day to honor law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

Email Sheldon Mickles at smickles@theadvocate.com