SEC Football Q&A: Should LSU Be Concerned About the Florida Gators Next Week?

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SEC Football Q&A: Should LSU Be Concerned About the Florida Gators Next Week?
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LSU QB Zach Mettenberger

Every Thursday on The SEC Blog, we will feature questions from the Bleacher Report inbox, Twitter and email. 

Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at bsallee@bleacherreport.com.

 

You've got SEC questions, and I've got SEC answers. Thank you, everybody, for your questions this week, and if I didn't get to them this week, they are still saved and will be used in the future.

And we're off:

 

Absolutely, you should.

I'm not going to jump off the LSU bandwagon, because the 12-10 win at Auburn was a road win in the SEC.

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LSU head coach Les Miles

I'll say it again...it was a road win in the SEC.

Those aren't easy to come by.

LSU's win over Auburn exposed two glaring weaknesses for the Bayou Bengals—the offensive line is inconsistent and quarterback Zach Mettenberger needs to work on his decision-making.

With that said, Florida is a vastly improved from last season due in large part to the emergence of Mike Gillislee as an every-down running back and Jeff Driskel as a weapon at the quarterback position.

Driskel doesn't have to go out and win football games with his arm or legs, he just has to be smart with the ball.

Running the ball and playing defense is always the path of least resistance in the SEC, and Florida can do both of those very well. 

The Auburn game gave LSU plenty to work on this week vs. Towson, and the Tigers better hope those issues get sorted out because traveling to the Swamp is no easy task...especially when pass-blocking is an issue.

 

No, Gene Chizik isn't done at Auburn. It's not even being considered, nor should it be.

I wrote on Saturday that barring a 3-9 disaster, Chizik's job status isn't going to be brought into question. The national championship season bought him a ton of equity, and at Auburn it's going to take an epically bad season for that to happen this season.

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Auburn head coach Gene Chizik

With that said, the slow start to the season should concern Auburn fans, particularly the fact that there doesn't appear to be a quarterback on the roster that first-year offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler trusts.

But since Loeffler and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder are both in their first year, it'd be a bit premature to sentence Chizik to imminent doom.

Everyone is knocking LSU for struggling against a bad Auburn defense last week, but that defense played very well on Saturday night due in large part to a secondary that's been in man-to-man coverage more than it has been in other games.

So no, Chizik isn't done at Auburn, nor is it an issue at this point.

That doesn't mean that we have to ignore the possibility, though.

 

In the SEC, no.

It's a brutal stretch of games that any team would have difficulty navigating, even the one that practices in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban (left) and LSU head coach Les Miles (right)

If LSU can get through that stretch unscathed, all of the talk that we've had this week about LSU not being ready for prime time following its win at Auburn will seem laughable.

The only other teams in the SEC that can probably argue that their stretch is tougher are South Carolina and Tennessee. 

After Kentucky this week, the Gamecocks play vs. Georgia, at LSU, at Florida and vs. Tennessee. The Vols will play at Georgia this week, have a bye, at Mississippi State, vs. Alabama and at South Carolina.

I'd still give the edge to LSU for having a tougher midseason stretch though.

 

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