LSU vs. Florida: Edge at Quarterback Means Gators Will Roll over Tigers

Randy ChambersAnalyst IOctober 6, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 08:  Jeff Driskel #6 of the Florida Gators at Kyle Field on September 8, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

LSU and Florida will meet in the SEC showdown on Saturday, and the outcome of the game will determine which team is truly capable of becoming the dark horse in the SEC this season.

Nobody really expected much of Florida this season, but the team is 4-0 and appears to be getting better each week. LSU has been struggling throughout the year, but it remains undefeated as well and is looking for that big victory to prove those naysayers wrong.

With the quarterback advantage going to the Gators, it is hard to really see LSU winning this ballgame. Despite the five reasons I listed earlier in the week why the Tigers don't have a chance, whichever team's quarterback steps up on Saturday will be the team that wins the game.

Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee recently broke down the quarterback competition between Jeff Driskel and Zach Mettenberger, and he gave the overwhelming edge to Florida. The LSU quarterback was supposed to add to this Tigers offense, but unfortunately, he has been an absolute bust early on.

It seems like a Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson rerun, but this time the star is only one guy instead of a two-quarterback clown show.

The coaching staff has very little confidence in him, as he has only thrown the ball 119 times in the first five games. He is also completing only 57 percent in the red zone, and that is where he has thrown his two interceptions.

Driskel, on the other hand, is completing close to 70 percent of his passes, appears to be gaining confidence as the weeks go by and is completing over 80 percent of his passes in the fourth quarter. Another thing that gives the Gators quarterback the edge is the fact that he is capable of making plays with his feet.

The sophomore quarterback is averaging over four yards a carry and has rushed for over 113 yards in the last two games. He has also done a good job of protecting the football and even helped put together clutch drives against teams such as Texas A&M and Tennessee.

The Gators quarterback is quickly growing up before our eyes, and this game will be another big step for the young signal-caller.

As for the rest of the game, both rushing offenses are in the top three of the SEC. The defenses could perform better, but they're two of the best this dominant conference has to offer.

The game is really going to come down to which first-year starter can make more plays. Both talented defensive fronts will stack the box and try to force each quarterback to win the game with his arm.

Mettenberger has the tools to be a successful quarterback, but he hasn't shown us much through the first few contests. Driskel, meanwhile, is improving each week.

We can talk about the defense and the powerful running games all day long, but the difference in this game will be the quarterback position. And with the edge going to the Gators and the home team, you have to believe that there will be a lot of happy folks in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday.

Note: All stats come from unless otherwise noted.