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Florida’s Pick-Six Against Joe Burrow Made “The Swamp” Boil Over
Screenshot from YouTube

The LSU Tigers and Florida Gators don’t have a flashy nickname for their rivalry like The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party or The Iron Bowl, but fans from both sides will tell you it’s as fierce as it gets. It might as well be called the “DBU Bowl” because players have been debating their defensive back prowess seemingly every year.

LSU and UF have played every year since 1971 but first officially gathered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1937. The result when the Bayou Bengals travel to The Swamp or when the Gators head out to Death Valley is always exciting, even if the defenses tend to take over.

LSU outlasting Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow in 2007 made for a classic. The 1960 installment was memorable because Florida players stole the Tigers quarterback’s wristband with their plays inscribed on it. The Hurricane Matthew fiasco of 2016 led to the game being moved to Tiger Stadium but concluded with an epic goal-line stand.

Considering the immense success of Joe Burrow, Florida fans may have already forgotten that before he torched the Gators in 2019 they got the best of him the year prior.

Florida vs. LSU 2018

No. 5 LSU was far and wide the better team when they played the No. 22 Gators in Gainesville, Florida, in 2018 in a game televised on CBS. But as with most college football rivalries, especially in the SEC, anything goes.

Maybe it was because Tim Tebow spoke on field during the game.

Maybe it was because this wasn’t supposed to be Burrow’s year.

Maybe head coach Dan Mullen just out-coached Ed Orgeron.

Joe Burrow wasn’t quite yet THE Joe Burrow just yet, but he was better than Feleipe Franks. Yet thanks to two Lamical Perine touchdowns and a Franks touchdown pass, Florida was out in front 20-19 with less than nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.

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After both teams exchanged possessions, Burrow and the Tigers had two minutes to drive the field and at least kick a field goal; Not out of the realm of possibility whatsoever, especially for a man who’d hoist the Heisman Trophy a year later.

But on October 6, 2018, Florida’s defense swallowed him whole.

Burrow dropped back on third-and-four and threw an out route intended for 6-foot-7 Stephen Sullivan.

UF cornerback Brad Stewart Jr. jumped the route, caught the pass and took it to the house for a 25-yard interception return touchdown. As you can tell, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium nearly exploded.

Florida’s Pick-6 Against Joe Burrow Seals Win

RELATED: “Franks To Cleveland” Turned The Swamp Into An Insane Asylum

I’ve seen Florida play a ton of Southeastern Conference teams — Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Kentucky Tennessee, Mississippi State and Ole Miss — but I’m not sure The Swamp was ever as rowdy as it was that play.

Burrow hadn’t thrown an interception that season until that game. Stewart actually grabbed another one earlier in the game.

“We knew he was going to crack in the clutch, because we sent our heat in the clutch time,” Stewart told ESPN after the game.

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Florida pulled off the upset and won the game, 27-19. Burrow came back with a vengeance last year and torched the UF’s defensive backs in Baton Rouge en route to a national championship.

But hey, at least Gator fans can cling to this moment when LSU fans rub the 2019 season in their faces.

MORE: Tim Tebow’s First Touchdown Showed His ‘Never Quit’ Attitude

Patrick has spent parts of the last four years covering University of Florida athletics and spent two seasons with Major League Baseball. He's a baseball junkie who spends his days defending Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. A recent Gator grad, Patrick currently resides in Gainesville, Florida.
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