Florida freshman receiver Tyrie Cleveland was confident before his 98-yard touchdown pass against LSU.
Tyrie Cleveland called his shot, and it just so happened to be the second longest passing touchdown in Florida football history.
With the Gators on the 2-yard line, and trailing 7-3 in the game with less than 100 yards of total offense, the highly-touted freshman wide receiver told his teammates, “meet me in the end zone,” according to fellow wide receiver Brandon Powell.
Ninety-eight yards later, Cleveland had given the Gators a 10-7 lead (including the ensuing extra point), shocked the offense to life and helped propel Florida to the huge win and a second consecutive SEC East crown.
Backup quarterback Austin Appleby, who has filled in for injured starter Luke Del Rio the last two weeks and very well may not relinquish the position the rest of the season, lofted up a beauty that Cleveland out-worked LSU cornerback Donte Jackson for, leaving him in the dust en-route to the go-ahead touchdown.
“The first time we ran it, incomplete. A little bit overthrown by me. I got hit as I threw it. He came right back to the bench and said, ‘This guy cannot hang with me,'” Appleby stated after the game. “In case anybody (didn’t) know, now you do know, Tyrie’s got some legitimate speed. He’s a weapon for us, and Coach Nuss had the confidence to call it again. The exact same play, the exact same everything. I did my job holding the safety. We had great protection. I had all day back there. I gave him a chance and he went and made the play.”
Cleveland, a four-star prospect and the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver whom McElwain plucked out of Texas, had his best game of the season against LSU, catching three passes for 124 yards while introducing himself with the biggest play of the game.