NCAA Football Pre-Review: #4 LSU Tigers vs. #1 Florida Gators

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NCAA Football Pre-Review: #4 LSU Tigers vs. #1 Florida Gators
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

For those of you wondering what, exactly, a pre-review is, please refer to the introduction of my inaugural pre-review:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/265431-ncaa-football-pre-review-17-miami-hurricanes-vs-8-oklahoma-sooners

While it is uncertain whether Florida Gator all-everything quarterback Tim Tebow will play (John Brantley will get the start if Tebow cannot go), I can assure you that it does not matter.

Why not, Harry? You're talking about a two-time national champion with a Heisman Trophy to boot.

Good question. Simple explanation.

The result of the game will be the same.

 

Tigers vs. Gators Pre-Review

Saturday 8:00pm (UF -8, o/u 51)

1st Quarter

Florida receives the ball, allowing LSU's defense to take the field and try to set the tone.

Quarterback John Tebow (remember, it does not matter) looks to get tight end Aaron Hernandez involved early, completing a six-yard pass in the middle of the field.

The Gators stall after two running plays result in negative two yards.

LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson takes the field as the Tigers start their possession with favorable field position.

After a quick screen to wide receiver Brandon LaFell, the Tigers get Charles Scott going.

The Gators defense gives up some rushing yard and bends, but does not break.

End of the 1st quarter: LSU 3-UF 0

 

2nd Quarter

The atmosphere settles in and John Tebow finds some holes in LSU's defense. After a reverse to Jeff Demps yields 31 yards, the quarterback is able to connect with Hernandez on a 22-yard touchdown play in the corner of endzone.

Jefferson has some mild success while trying to answer UF's touchdown drive, but, after Charles Scott is stopped by Major White on 3rd-and-3 from the 50, LSU is forced to punt.

UF marches down the field, but is stopped short of the endzone and settles for a field goal.

End of Half: UF 10-LSU 6

 

3rd Quarter

LSU has its most impressive drive of the game to this point. Dinking and dunking their way down the field with short passes and option plays, the Tigers capitalize with a Scott 17-yard touchdown run up the middle of the Gators' defense.

The crowd is hyped, Death Valley is alive.

John Tebow cannot get the Gators past midfield, they must punt for the third time.

Jefferson to Brandon LaFell on a playaction pass gains 33 yards.

Jefferson to Terrance Toliver is not as succesful, resulting in the young quarterback's biggest mistake of the game as cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepts the ball.

John Tebow strikes quickly with a deep pass to Deonte Thompson for a 46-yard touchdown completion.

End of the 3rd quarter: UF 17-LSU 13

 

4th Quarter

The hard hitting that has taken place all night rises another notch. Both teams' offenses are seemingly stuck in neutral.

Jordan Jefferson finally gets LSU some traction on the field. Resorting to short passes and well-timed option plays again allows Scott to strike for a touchdown. This time he finds a hole to the left and scores on a 10-yard downhill run.

After a three-and-out and an LSU field goal, UF receives the ball with 3:33 to play down six.

A couple first downs to Hernandez sets up John Tebow with 1st-and-10 at the Tiger 18-yard line with 0:23 on the clock.

As they have all night, LSU's defense stops the Gators on four straight passing plays.

Final: LSU 23-UF 17

 

Notable stats:

Player of the Game: Charles Scott 21 rushes for 96 yards, two touchdowns

John Tebow: 18-33, 232 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and 13 rushes for 66 yards.

 

Summary

LSU's defense and running game put Jordan Jefferson in manageable situations throughout the night as they win their 33rd straight Saturday night home game. Charles Scott carries the load and is mentioned as a Heisman darkhorse.

UF suffers its first loss in 15 games. They are knocked off their perch atop the college football world.

(Note: The Gators are certainly not out of the conference and national title pictures. They win the rest of their regular season games and face the winner of Alabama/LSU in the SEC title game. A win there and the Gators should be in Pasadena.)

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