Florida Gators at LSU Tigers: Tim Tebow or John Brantley?

James WalkerAnalyst IIOctober 4, 2009

MIAMI - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators listens to the coaches with John Brantley #12 against the Oklahoma Sooners during the FedEx BCS National Championship Game at Dolphin Stadium on January 8, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

Questions still remain regarding the health of Tim Tebow.  Coach Urban Meyer has deferred to the University of Florida medical staff to determine if Tebow will be ready to play at LSU, and rightfully so.

Many wonder if John Brantley can lead the Gators to victory in Baton Rouge on October 10th.  Of course, the only way we'll find out is if he starts in Tebow's place, so let's take a look and assume Brantley is going to start.

How will Steve Addazio strategize for the game?  First, he will rely heavily on Demps, Rainey, and Moody to carry the rock at least 30 times.  I'm not talking about running between the tackles mind you, but he will have to mix it up via draws and play-action along with good old-fashioned shovel passes.

That naturally leads to the play of the Gator offensive line.  Not only will they have to continue opening holes, but will they be able to pass protect against LSU's defensive rush?  Let's face it; the Gator's offense is a run first and pass second spread attack, which is the exact opposite of Brantley's strength and style.  If Brantley does start, can the Gator offensive line be able to make adjustments to protect him?

The Gator wide receivers must be scrutinized if Brantley starts.  With the departures of Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, questions at the beginning of the season were asked; unfortunately, they have yet to be answered.  Riley Cooper and David Nelson have shown glimpses of what they are capable of, but they will need to bring their "A" games to Baton Rouge if the Gators hope to win. 

I have confidence in Brantley, but the strength of the Gator offense will be marginalized.  The running game will be key, and if it carries the load then by default Brantley may be able to bring the Gator passing game into the spotlight.

The Gators are quite capable of winning if Brantley does start.  However, there is one thing to remember; if the Gators are to lose a game this season, this would be the one.  LSU is in the Western Division, and as long as the Gators win all their Eastern Division games, they will be in Atlanta to most likely face Alabama in December.

Let's take the guess work out of this analysis.  Just like if there was any doubt he wasn't going to return for his senior season, Tebow will start at LSU.  The above is moot.  My prediction: Florida 28 and LSU 10.  LSU's home-night game winning streak comes to a screeching halt.