Week 6 Preview: Florida at LSU

Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp can’t be thrilled with the way things are going with his offense and quarterback situation or the way the defense gave up 181 rushing yards to Trent Richardson.

But the Alabama game is behind the Gators and they have a new opponent to worry about.

Led by the nation’s best defense, the top-ranked Tigers look to frustrate the 17th-ranked Gators, who are expected to start freshman Jeff Driskel at quarterback for the injured senior John Brantley on Saturday in Baton Rouge.

LSU is 5-0 and is on top of the poll for a second straight week after easily beating Kentucky 35-7 last Saturday. Incumbent QB Jordan Jefferson made his season debut after being suspended for the first four games following an arrest on a felony battery charge in connection with an Aug. 19 bar fight.

A grand jury reduced the charge to a misdemeanor last Wednesday, leading Miles to reinstate Jefferson as a backup to Jarrett Lee.

Jefferson scored on his first play back, diving over the goal line on an early fourth-and-goal to put the Tigers up 7-0.

Miles has yet to give Jefferson his starting job back but envisions his return adding a new wrinkle to the offense. He passed for 1,411 yards with seven touchdowns while running for 450 and seven scores last season.

“We will use Jefferson in a variety of ways,” Miles said. “At different times in the season, we will need every skill and every collective attribute of our team.

“We are excited about this season right now.”

The Gators who are 4-1, are likely not quite as optimistic after the way things played out last weekend.

Brantley injured his right leg on a sack late in the first half of last Saturday’s 38-10 loss to then-No. 3 Alabama, Florida’s worst home defeat since falling 36-7 to LSU in 2002. He was helped to the locker room and did not return, and Muschamp said Monday the injury won’t require surgery but will keep the senior sidelined at least a week.

Brantley, who has thrown for 942 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions, had started 18 consecutive games. His injury opens the door for Driskel, but the highly touted freshman looked shaky last week.

Driskel completed 2 of 6 passes for 14 yards, fumbled a snap and was sacked twice as the Gators gained just two first downs with him under center.

“I’ve got a lot of faith in him,” running back Chris Rainey said. “He’ll be ready to go, ready to take that challenge.”

It would certainly help Driskel if the running game can get on track, but that could be difficult.

The Gators entered last week’s game leading the SEC in rushing at 259.0 yards per game but finished with 15. The Crimson Tide lead the FBS in rush defense with an average of 39.6 yards allowed, and LSU is almost just as stingy, ranking third at 60.4.

“Again, we’ve got our work cut out for us,” said Muschamp, who served as LSU’s defensive coordinator from 2002-04. “You got to get that taste out of your mouth. There’s no better opportunity than going to Baton Rouge and playing LSU.”

The Tigers have won 13 straight home games since losing 13-3 to Florida in 2009. The Gators were the top-ranked team at the time while LSU was No. 4.

This is the fifth time in six meetings one of the teams is ranked in the top 5, with No. 12 LSU defeating No. 14 Florida 33-29 last October being the lone exception.

Like the Gators, the Tigers also rely heavily on the ground game that could see a boost if Jefferson is inserted to run the option. LSU is averaging 172.6 yards a game and is second in the SEC with 14 rushing touchdowns.

LSU’s top tailbacks, Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, had subpar performances last week, but Miles was encouraged with what he saw from his backups.

Sophomore Alfred Blue had a career-best 72 yards on 16 attempts, while freshman Terrence Magee accounted for 38 yards on 12 rushes. Ware, who has a team-best 323 rushing yards, had four carries for five yards before leaving the game with a hamstring injury.

Miles is hopeful that Ware will be healthy enough to return to the running back rotation.

“We’ll have the opportunity to run the ball again with a number of guys,” Miles said.

LSU’s depth at running back could pose problems for Florida, which allowed Alabama to rush for 226 yards – the same number it allowed in its first four games combined.

This will be the toughest road test the Gators will face all year. Question is; can they answer the bell?

31 thoughts on “Week 6 Preview: Florida at LSU

  1. Regardless copied or not, this is going to be a tough one. The O-line better have gotten their stuff straightened out or were in for another long one.

  2. Hey come on now. So he took some info from EPSN, who cares. I’ve watched Neil outright plagiarize me.

    LOL

  3. This is another test for us to see exactly where we are at, hopefully our O-line plays with some pride and hopefully we actually tackle a running back without him dragging us 5 more yards.

  4. Well, it’s only half serious as its meant more as a ribbing toward him, and not that it’s exclusive property but a few weeks ago I laid a scenario for Florida to reach ATL

    Again, like I say, good natured ribbing, since it’s not as though nobody in the history of the world has ever thought to lay out plans as such

    However, before the UT he did say Floyd was back and was the next Nick Fairley and was the most important piece of the Gator dline, whereas I said Easley was the better Fairley comparison and Easley is really the key cog on the Dline

    Then 2 weeks later Neil was singing Easley’s praises.

    In fact, while Neil was praising Floyd and I was touting Easley, you were right there with Neil praising Floyd and arguing with me on it. Then you joined Neil is the change of heart to saying Easley is the key.

    One of your arguments as to why a guy who hadn’t produced a damn thing in his career was important to the team was that the team hadn’t been producing. Interesting reasoning, if nothing else.

  5. I don’t know how big of a test it will be.

    LSU is a strange team. They have a very weird habit of playing to the competition. They can beat Florida in overtime, causing us to think maybe Florida improved and/or LSU is overrated, then they can turn around and paste Bama by 14.

    I mean, just look at last year. They miraculously beat UT by 2, Florida by 4.

    Then they beat Bama, who SLAUGHTERED UT and UF both, by 3.

    They beat MSU by 22 but Ole Miss by only 7

    So, in short, if LSU destroys Florida it won’t be a shock. If they barely squeak by, that won’t be a shock either but I wouldn’t put too much stock into a close result.

  6. You should put plenty of stock into this game. Lsu, just has home field advantage here and is a better overall team. Are they better then Bama, frankly I dont think so yet. If we get something going with our QB situation and running game, we will keep it close. We lost our QB against Bama, but we were moving the ball on them easily. We just fell apart and our defense ended up playing the entire game. We just need to move the ball efficiently, so lets see if Weis can get the back ups comfortable and get something going.

  7. I know you were just ribbing him man. But I would like to go on record that I think the world of both Easley & Floyd. I really don’t have a favorite. I really wasn’t trying to sound wish-washy.
    The only reason I felt that Easley was the leader of the “D” 2 weeks ago was because he had more playing time than Floyd. I wasn’t saying that he was better.

  8. I said if Florida kept it close I wouldn’t put too much stock into it since LSU has shown a tendency to allow teams to stay in games longer than they had any business staying in.

    How about this champ – I saw this coming long before the season started, while you actually thought they had a chance vs Bama.

    So, if I want to or don’t want to put stock into a game’s final score, that’s how I’ll do it, since I am not blinded by blue and orange glasses.

    Let’s be perfectly fucking clear of something – if Bama had any inclination at all to get to the air, they’d have scored over 50 points. Florida caught Bama the same way they caught all of his – every single one of us, on the opening toss, had a “holy shit” reaction – holy shit they went deep, holy shit Brantley actually hit it, holy shit a Florida receiver actually got open enough to catch it.

    After that Bama let them have the middle of the field because Florida has astonishing red zone woes – let em toss it around 20-20 because, when the field shortens, they don’t have the beef to pound, or the hands and arms to squeeze it in.

    Florida has got a lot of talent, but they are 2-3 rungs down from the Alabamas of the world.

  9. We did have a chance against Bama, and then JB got hurt and it all went to hell. You can go crap on the gators if you like and consider it blind glasses, but I saw the game and we had a chance. Bama moved the ball by running it, and we moved it by throwing it and we were doing a good job at it.

    You can say all you want, b/c you have had hater glasses on JB and thats fine, but we had a chance. We were forced to put in Driskel, which froze, and we had to put in our Def the entire game and you cannot do that to your Defense.

    And Bama sux so you know throwing it, and we saw that. They stopped, b/c it was not working for them and thats really their only issue this year. People barely talk about it though, b/c they are so strong in the running game. South Carolina has the same issue, but their running game doesnt have a Richardson or Lacy.

    We had a chance to at least keep it close, but right now we are a hurt team losing the Qb and having to run with back ups.

  10. Here we go again.

    It was over before JB got hurt.

    OVER. Bama got caught off guard early and adjusted then pummeled Florida.

    Brantley himself dug the hole with the pick 6. A pick 6 is when the opposing team intercepts a pass and runs it back for a TD.

    As mentioned, Florida moved the ball in space, but couldn’t do anything when the field shrunk.

    Now, maybe the way you define “had a chance” means since they all didn’t drop dead at once and still took the field, then sure, they “had a chance”

    What the non fanatics was a team that came out quick, landed a quick shot, then got systematically beaten into the ground.

    Bama stopped throwing because it wasn’t working ? And here the football universe has been led to believe Nick Saban likes to run, batter, bruise and wind the clock down.

    So, you are saying Bama, who had the lead, stopped throwing because they suck, and NOT because they were running the clock ?

    Just for the record, Saban is a “bully” I don’t know if you saw it yesterday, but he used Vandy as his passing practice dummy.

    FYI going into the Bama game, Brantley and McCarron had pretty much identical stats, and McCarron had done it against a tougher schedule.

    Through 4 games:

    Brantley: 55-86, 64%, 752 yds, 8.7, 4-2, TD% 4.7, Int %2.3, 148.1 rtg

    McCarron: 63-95, 66%, 779 yds, 8.2, 4-2, TD% 4.2, Int% 2.1, 144.9 rtg

    Now, McCarron has had HIS “breakout game” whereas JB, while injured, has yet to have a true breakout game.

    Their stats on the season as of now are:

    Brantley: 66-102, 65%, 942, 9.2, 5-3, TD% 4.9, Int% 2.9, 153 rtg

    McCarron: 86-125, 69%, 1014 yds, 8.1, 8-2, TD%6.4, Int% 1.6, 155 rtg

    So, heading into the Florida game they were practically identical. So, since they were practically identical, and McCarron faced stiffer competition, and your contention is Bama, and by extension McCarron, sucks throwing it, then you may now just be realizing that you are saying Brantley sucks throwing it.

  11. Here we go again.

    It was over before JB got hurt.

    OVER. Bama got caught off guard early and adjusted then pummeled Florida.

    Brantley himself dug the hole with the pick 6. A pick 6 is when the opposing team intercepts a pass and runs it back for a TD.

    As mentioned, Florida moved the ball in space, but couldn’t do anything when the field shrunk.

    Now, maybe the way you define “had a chance” means since they all didn’t drop dead at once and still took the field, then sure, they “had a chance”

    What the non fanatics was a team that came out quick, landed a quick shot, then got systematically beaten into the ground.

    Bama stopped throwing because it wasn’t working ? And here the football universe has been led to believe Nick Saban likes to run, batter, bruise and wind the clock down.

    So, you are saying Bama, who had the lead, stopped throwing because they suck, and NOT because they were running the clock ?

    Just for the record, Saban is a “bully” I don’t know if you saw it yesterday, but he used Vandy as his passing practice dummy.

    FYI going into the Bama game, Brantley and McCarron had pretty much identical stats, and McCarron had done it against a tougher schedule.

    Through 4 games:

    Brantley: 55-86, 64%, 752 yds, 8.7, 4-2, TD% 4.7, Int %2.3, 148.1 rtg

    McCarron: 63-95, 66%, 779 yds, 8.2, 4-2, TD% 4.2, Int% 2.1, 144.9 rtg

    Now, McCarron has had HIS “breakout game” whereas JB, while injured, has yet to have a true breakout game.

    Their stats on the season as of now are:

    Brantley: 66-102, 65%, 942, 9.2, 5-3, TD% 4.9, Int% 2.9, 153 rtg

    McCarron: 86-125, 69%, 1014 yds, 8.1, 8-2, TD%6.4, Int% 1.6, 155 rtg

    So, heading into the Florida game they were practically identical. So, since they were practically identical, and McCarron faced stiffer competition, and your contention is Bama, and by extension McCarron, sucks throwing it, then you may now just be realizing that you are saying Brantley sucks throwing it.

  12. What tougher schedule?? They played penn state which everyone knows is overrated(since your giving definitions: this is when the other team has been rated higher, by people guessing), and who Arkansas? that is the only one I will give you, but frankly your argument of a harder schedule is just dumb.

    Your right Saban likes to do all those things, but he also likes to win and see the ball move. WHen he is having incomplete passes consistently he moves to his strength, running it. I guess you were watching another game.

    Oh and when a team gets caught off gaurd, yeah thats when your supposed to throw it, and they didnt get caught off gaurd regardless. Lol your a you just refuse to admit it was a great throw and a great catch, the defense got beat and we capitalized. Its not like Debose was completely by himself, pointing and smiling at you while you were watching the game, he was busy fighting off a defender and had a perfect thrown ball to him. Heres another definition: when your caught off gaurd, you are completely oblivious to what is going on around you.

    Its that clear enough for you pookie??

  13. Penn State is a much tougher opponent than FAU or UAB. Simple as that.

    How come Brantley wasn’t hitting Debose on that same pattern all game ?

  14. Oh I am sorry, did you mistake me for Weis bone??What kind of dumb question is that, how in the world would we know that, WHEN the ENTIRE argument for weeks that we were all having was, “why are we not throwing the ball deep”?

    Talking to you is just useless, you ask questions that we cannot possibly know b/c WE DO NOT CALL PLAYS. Yet again, dumb questions from our wonderful thebone.

  15. No I dont, and if they did they were covered and he did the smart thing a QB should do and hit his checkdown, and let his play makers do what they do best. Its common sense, just b/c we want the huge play, doesnt mean it was called for or if they can even try to do it.

  16. Its very possible, but considering we dont know the play calls, you have no case. All you can do is laugh at yourself, b/c you wont win this argument. If you can prove to me that we called plays to throw downfield, I will admit you are right

  17. What ?

    First off, once again, there’s no “we” – you don’t play for the team.

    Secondly, who the hell is talking about play calls to throw downfield ?

    I said the Bama d was caught napping. Just to explain what I mean – Bama, like most non Florida homer fanboys, were more concerned with stopping the run than worrying about:

    1. A Florida receiver getting separation deep.

    2. Brantley spotting him.

    3. Brantley hitting him.

    4. The receiver catching it.

    Basically, to that point, Brantley had been an inaccurate decision making disaster and Debose was nothing more than a route runner.

    So, yeah, when the safeties and DK are peeking in the backfield when that play happened, they were caught napping/caught by surprise. They certainly weren’t giving that after that play.

    Not to mention, the whole point of calling it to start the game was specifically to catch them by surprise.

    Especially since it was by Weis’ own admission.

    I don’t know why that’s so hard for you to figure out when the entire football community understands that. It’s passing football 101 and is based on the same tenets as play action. You understand what play action is, right ? It’s when a QB fakes the handoff to the RB on a pass play in order to freeze defenders, increasing the odds of a greater passing window. It is NOT the difference between pre snap and post snap. Just clarifying since it was just over a week ago that you learned what a pick 6 was.

  18. Knew what a pick 6 was, but hey thanks for the lesson in nothing. So the moving of the ball down the field the entire first half by throwing it, guess that was catching them off gaurd each time a pass was caught, oh little bone.

  19. [QUOTE=lemans.z20;2791]what pick 6 are you speaking of? He had one Int?[/QUOTE]

    Again, conceding the middle of the field at the expense of stopping the run and guarding against the deep bomb is nothing new.

    No matter what argument you try to come back with, remember this:

    190 yards. 10 measly points on their first two possessions.

    A pick 6 which negates the opening TD

    After the initial surprise bomb negated by the pick 6 – 125 yards, 3 points then punts.

    So, Bama gets caught off guard on the opening shot and becomes a little more cautious because it seems Florida’s qb can actually hit that once in a while, and Florida seems to now have a receive who can actually catch a ball.

    They have a shifty speedster in the backfield so, what is the strategy at that point ?

    It’s keep it in front ie protect the deep, watch the backs and concede the middle if need be. It’s a normal strategy that applies to just about anyone with athletes that can get downfield. It’s particularly effective as it has a psychological effect of creating a false sense of security for the offense, since the qb and receivers aren’t going to have nearly that amount of room in the red zone.

    If you’re a merciless person like Nick Saban, you’re looking at Florida’s red zone “offense” and your instructions are simple – “let them have the middle. Stop the run and protect the bombs. Their linemen aren’t battering us and eating up plays in the middle isn’t tiring our guys out, nor is it eating the clock giving their d a rest.”

  20. You just cant admit it, “Floridas QB can actually hit that once in a while”. Take off your hater glasses and fanboy driskel glass and see reality, the kid can throw, accept it and move on with your life. 190 yds in the first half is fantastic passing so you know, that could mean he is on his way for a 300-400 yd passing game. SO we do remember it, and I still dont know what the hell your argument is, 190 yds, and we had no running game. Take off the hater glasses please and dispose of them.

  21. Good, so he hit some passes against what was effectively a prevent defense.

    Please provide quote where I specifically said Driskel was better.

  22. THeir is no way in hell im going to go back in the forum and find the thread that you posted that. Sorry, I know you have no life and like to do that, but this forum doesnt dictate my day like it does yours, and I know I get you very unsettled and angry, but get over it.

  23. Not dodging, I just work and have a wife, and oh that other thing called a life, though apparently I am the center of yours hahaha.

    I never said Brantley sucks, your the one that was proven wrong when he started completed passes and running the gators down the field against bama. Accept it bone, accept it and youll be able to sleep better at night when your thinking of me.

  24. In his 18th game, this 4/5 star recruit had 190 yards in a half. Even in his finest hour, he still put Florida in the hole with a pick 6.

    Call it whatever you want, but facts are facts – his finest hour produced a 1-1 td/int ratio and a deficit for his team.

    Now, you said Bama’s passing game sucks. It was pointed out that McCarron’s stats were practically identical to Brantley’s heading into the game. So, using YOUR OWN LOGIC, if Bama’s passing game sucks, and their pilot had stats identical to Florida’s except they did it vs a tougher schedule, then by extension of your own logic, Florida’s sucks thus Brantley sucks.

    Not to mention, McCarron threw few passes to his backs aka fewer long handoffs. So, he was going downfield a bit more and still producing identical stats to Brantley

    In fact, in the 1.5 additional games McCarron has played while Brantley has been out, his passes to his backs are STILL fewer than Brantley’s

    So, congratulations for effectively saying Brantley sucks !!

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