Given the dearth of stellar play at the quarterback position on both the LSU Tigers and Florida Gators football teams as of late, many may be expecting a good old-fashioned defensive battle when these two teams meet in the Swamp on Saturday.
Actually, it hasn’t been all bad, all of the time. There have actually been moments when all four quarterbacks to be discussed have played fairly well, but then there have been moments that are best forgotten, for at least three of them.
The LSU Tigers, when compared to the Florida Gators, are probably the team with the greater disadvantage at this position.
LSU’s starting QB, junior Jordan Jefferson, has been anything but a model of consistency at this position. He has at times appeared hesitant, uncomfortable and simply frustrated with his level of play.
He has been more effective with his legs than his arm. This is a problem given the talent at wide receiver on LSU’s roster. In addition, not being able to make defenses respect your passing game creates added resistance for your running game.
As we saw last week, junior Jarrett Lee, in relief of Jefferson was able to provide some degree of spark for the offense. He has a lively arm, however it seemed somewhat rusty against the Vols last Saturday as some of his passes were way off the mark.
He also showed Tiger fans that he still has the propensity to throw it to the other team, as he did last week when he was intercepted in the end zone. This took away the possibility of any points after leading the offense down the field on an impressive drive.
LSU’s best bet at this juncture is to probably continue with the duel quarterback rotation, hoping to find that one of the two brought a hot hand to the game.
The Florida Gators on the other hand have a good solid quarterback in junior John Brantley, who has some experience under his belt, and a backup freshman, Trey Burton, who is green, but has provided some excitement while in the wildcat formation.
Brantley started out the year with some obvious jitters as he had some difficulty with just receiving the ball from center while in shotgun formation. He and the center have ironed out whatever problems they were having then and he has since put up some pretty decent numbers.
That is until he met up with the Alabama Crimson Tide defense last week. Not only did Bama severely limit his production, but they also provided him with a good set of sore ribs, which persists as he heads into the LSU game.
He is expected to play, and for the Gators’ sake, they better hope he does. Trey Burton provides a spark, mainly rushing from the wildcat formation. However, he has only thrown two passes as a collegiate and LSU’s defense is hardly the stop unit you want to be playing against as you try and work the kinks out of your passing game.
With question marks at QB hovering, as these two teams enter play on Saturday, it should make for an interesting matchup to watch, if for no other reason, than to see which team has the better answer at this critical position.