LSU vs. Florida: Gators' Victory Doesn't Make Them Instant SEC East Favorites

Ian BergCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2012

GAINESVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 06:  Tharold Simon #24 of the LSU Tigers tackles Jeff Driskel #6 of the Florida Gators during the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The No.11 Florida Gators pulled of the not-so-surprising upset on Saturday when they defeated the No. 3 LSU Tigers in Gainesville. Florida relied on Mike Gillislee and his 146 yards and two touchdowns to pound the Bayou Bengals into submission. 

While this is a time for the Gators to celebrate, a win against a stumbling LSU team doesn’t make them the instant SEC East favorite. Another game will take that honor later Saturday when No. 6 South Carolina hosts No. 5 Georgia. 

This game did provide some insight into the type of football that the Gators are able to play. The country was well aware of the talent that was layered on the Gators defense and a rushing attack that was undervalued. 

Heading into the game, the Gators were not getting a lot of respect for their offensive success. Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel was getting all of the attention. 

Driskel was a non-factor in the game for Florida. He had 13 carries for 14 yards and was 8-of-12 for 60 yards through the air. Florida was able to rely on their senior tailback to drive the offense. 

The effort of Gillislee may have earned him some college football final honors according to the SportsCenter Twitter feed:

#10 Florida defeats #4 LSU 14-6. #HelmetSticker nominee: FLA RB Mike Gillislee 34 carries, 146 yards, 2 TD…

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 6, 2012


Florida needs quality quarterback play to contend for the SEC East. Looking at the other top teams in the division, they both carry very good quarterbacks, strong backfields and play good defense. 

The Gators don’t have the dimension of an experienced and quality starter at quarterback. 

Driskel gets better with every game and will continue to show growth throughout the season. The Gators don’t have all season to let him mature. 

Florida travels to Vanderbilt next week but then faces the Gamecocks and Bulldogs in back-to-back games at home. Traveling to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium isn’t an easy task, but winning two games in a row of that magnitude will not be as easy as having a loud crowd.

The Gators are undefeated. They stand the chance of finishing the season undefeated if they continue to grow. 

This is a major step in the maturation of a young head coach and his football team. Florida has a lot of development that has to come in the next week. Driskel can’t only pass for 60 yards against Georgia and South Carolina. 

The Florida defense has been good enough to rank No. 17 in total defense in the country prior to Saturday’s win. It showed. Still, Driskel needs to grow a lot before they are legitimate contenders for the SEC East crown. 

Who even imagined this conversation at the beginning of the season? It has been a steady and methodical climb for Will Muschamp’s Gators.