After getting one of the weirdest victories in college football history, No. 12 LSU travels to Gainesville Saturday night to play the 14th-ranked Florida Gators.
The Gators took a 31-6 beatdown from top-ranked Alabama and need to win to stay atop the SEC East division. The Tigers need a win to keep pace with the Crimson Tide and Auburn in the SEC West.
LSU has not won in the Swamp since 2004.
For the Tigers to win, here are the top five players LSU needs to play huge.
The Tigers' best shot at winning is to keep Florida's offense off the field.
That means LSU's offensive line must open lanes for RB Stevan Ridley to run through and protect QBs Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.
LSU has only allowed seven sacks, but Florida has 12 sacks this season, both middle of the pack in the SEC.
The Tigers have a decent running game, pounding out 195 yards a game. Meanwhile, Florida has been pretty stingy, permitting 109 rushing yards a game. However, the Gators can be gashed on the ground. South Florida (244 yards) and Alabama (170) have shown the way.
Now, can the Tigers learn to be maulers and win the battle in the trenches?
Russell Shepard and Rueben Randle may get the publicity at wide receiver, but the Tigers' go-to man on third down is Terrance Toliver.
The 6'5" senior was huge on LSU's game-winning drive against Tennessee, nabbing a 14-yard pass on 3rd-and-13 and a 20-yard catch on 4th-and-14.
If Jefferson and Lee have time in the pocket, Toliver can have a similar effect against the Gators. He keeps the chains and the clock moving.
Mathieu has been one of the most impactful freshman players in the country this season.
In five games, he has 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 21 tackles (three for losses).
One of LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis' favorite calls is to send Mathieu on a corner blitz. He has been able to get to the quarterback with ease so far. He will need to rattle John Brantley and Trey Burton if LSU is to win in Gainesville.
On defense, Peterson's main assignment will be containing the Gators' leading wide receiver Deonte Thompson (21 catches, 308 yards).
While he has two of the Tigers' six interceptions this season, Peterson's biggest contribution will be on punt returns.
The top return man in the SEC (third nationally) doesn't have to score a touchdown like he did against North Carolina and West Virginia, although it would help. But he does need to give the LSU offense excellent field position. The shorter the field, the better the chance LSU can get points out of the possession, even if it's just a field goal.
Lee may not get the start over Jefferson (who has thrown for under 100 yards in four straight games), but he will be the more important Tiger quarterback against Florida.
In his first significant action since last November, Lee completed 16 of 23 passes for 185 yards, including going 7-of-9 for 62 yards on the game-winning drive against Tennessee.
The key for the LSU offense is not to get predictable—always run whenever Jefferson is at quarterback and pass whenever Lee is under center.
Still, Lee needs to bring life to the 112th-ranked passing game in the country.
If he can convert on third downs and sustain drives into double-digit plays early in the game, then LSU can open up the playbook and take a couple of shots deep to Shepard and Randle later.