The Florida Gators appear to be licking their wounds and the fans questioning a lot of things after their loss to Alabama, but Les Miles and the LSU Tigers would be in a much worse position if not for a gift-wrapped win from the lowly Tennessee Vols.
For all the questions that surround the Gators after a loss to the Tide, remember that Alabama is ranked No. 1 for a reason, and the Gators are still searching for their identity and their talent looking to mature to expected form.
A big step in that direction is ripe for the picking against an LSU team that looks like it is sitting pretty at 5-0 and ranked 12th. In reality, the paper Tigers seem to have deep-rooted problems far worse than the Gators do, and this is a game for one of the teams to finally get on the right track.
The Tigers offense is downright putrid. Miles finally relented and turned to once-spurned QB Jarrett Lee against the Vols after Jordan Jefferson failed to break 100 yards passing or throw a touchdown since the opening weekend.
Lee did look like a Heisman candidate in relief duty, but only if you are comparing him to the man he replaced, Jefferson. Though Lee was able to move the ball a little against Tennessee, it will be a completely different story against a Gators defense looking for blood after the loss to Alabama.
Although the numbers may be skewed due to Alabama toning it down as the game went on and the offense's propensity for handing the ball over did them no favors, the defense played decent against the Tide—certainly well enough to shut down the LSU attack. With the offense revolving around the running attack, Florida's defense seems primed to shut down anything the Tigers look to do.
That should give the offense plenty of opportunity to capitalize with good field position.
After facing a stout Tide defense, things will get easier against LSU, but not by much. With such a terrible offense, LSU is undefeated for one reason—their defense is pretty good. Led by playmaking ballhawk Patrick Peterson, the Tigers will look to force John Brantley and the Florida offense into mistakes the way Alabama did last week.
Unfortunately for Peterson and company, the Florida offense should be able to play within itself and not try to do too much because they won't have to compete with such a talented offense.
If the Gators stick to their guns and do what worked against Kentucky, and at times against Alabama, it should be more than enough to put the Tigers on their heels.
That spells trouble for an LSU team that has made so many terrible decisions in crunch time. For his reputation as a gambler, Miles lives much closer to the edge than he has to most of the time, mainly because he makes poor decisions when it matters most. Not to mention his failure to work the clock, or mainly to not have it work him.
Expect Urban Meyer and the Florida staff to go back to the drawing board and put together a game plan capable of busting Miles' coaching at the poker table.
LSU's weaknesses and Meyer's ability to bounce back after an off-week spells a game for the Gators to get things back on track.