On Saturday, at 3:30 P.M. EST, the LSU Tigers will host the Florida Gators. This game will be held at Tigers Stadium. The Tigers are currently ranked No. 1, while the Gators are ranked No. 17 and currently underdog by 13.5 points.
Who will come out with the win?
SEC East vs SEC West: Why LSU will win
The first problem for the Gators is their quarterback situation. Florida had a big game last week versus Alabama. In that game, the Gators lost their starting QB John Brantley (ankle injury). They will play without him this week and freshman Jeff Driskel will get the start.
When Driskel came in the game last week, he seemed lost and stressed. It led to a few bad plays. It won’t be any easier this week for the freshman. He will make his first career start on the road against the best team in the country. He might be a high profile high school quarterback, but expect a few errors from Driskel. It will lead to good field positions for LSU, and maybe defensive scores.
Another problem arises for the Gators. Before last week, Florida was ranked No. 1 in rushing offense. They had an average of 259 rushing yards per game. However, Alabama was able to silence both running backs even without their star linebacker CJ Mosley. Indeed, Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey were stopped and Florida had 15 total rushing yards. Before Alabama, the Gators faced Florida Atlantic, UAB, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Against below average teams, the speed of the running backs were a huge factor and gave them the opportunity to run over 200 yards in almost every game. However, when you face the top team in the country, this edge disappears. LSU, just like Alabama, has terrific outside speed. They will neutralize Florida’s rushing attack.
LSU will run heavily with solid runners: Spencer Ware and Michael Ford. LSU will also use two quarterbacks: starting QB Jarret Lee and dual threat QB Jordan Jefferson. I don’t think they will overlook their opponent since it is a big rivalry.
LSU will want to crush them just as Alabama did. The difference might be the turnovers. Jarret Lee does a nice job to protect the ball, while Driskel might struggle under pressure.
Can the Gators upset the Tigers?
There are some reasons to believe an upset could occur. First, LSU offensive line struggles with a few injuries. It could impact their running game, and before last week, Florida had the fifth best rush defense in the country. Second, as mentioned above, Jeff Driskel will start.
High profile universities don’t have a mascot as their backup QB. They always have high profile athletes from high school. Driskel has the size, the ability and the speed to have success in the future. With a new QB, I can see Florida coming out and give an extra effort.
Finally, the Gators pass defense looked awful at home vs. Alabama, but expect improvements. It will be positive for them to go on the road.
Indeed, they had many communication problems because of the loud crowd. On the road, the defensive backs should be able to communicate since the crowd will be silent when LSU will be on offense.
The public is all over LSU -13.5. LSU has a solid defense and Florida scored only 10 points at home vs. Alabama. It will be tough for the Gators to score more than 16 points.
Can LSU score four touchdowns and one field goal against this Florida defense? Ask yourself this question, and you will know which team to pick.