Looks like the Gators will be experiencing another Saturday night in Death Valley.
The SEC has announced that the Florida-LSU game two weeks from now will kick off at 7:00pm ET. The game will air on ESPN.
Both the Gators and Tigers are off to fast starts in 2015, which usually means that CBS would get the rights to the game. However, LSU AD Joe Alleva requested that the game be played at night; the SEC apparently obliged, giving CBS the Alabama-Texas A&M game instead.
Florida hasn’t played too many night games in Tiger Stadium, but they have played two in recent memory: 2007 and 2009, both of which featured Tim Tebow. LSU won the 2007 game partly because they went 5-5 on fourth down, and because they shut down Tebow when it mattered most. Florida would win the 2009 game thanks to a tremendous defensive performance, and just enough production out of Tebow and the offense.
On the flip side, Florida has played nothing but night games so far this year with the exception of the Tennessee game; yet only one of those (Kentucky) was on the road. LSU at night is a particularly nasty environment that only the best teams can go into and win, and while Florida will get a sort of practice run by going into Missouri’s Faurot Field, there’s just no preparing for what they call “Saturday night in Death Valley” (brilliant nickname, I know).
Then again, Will Grier and company shocked me by how well they played against Ole Miss despite battling the flu, so maybe they can shock me again with a great performance in Baton Rouge.