This week is loaded with college football action and some fantastic games. One of the best of the bunch is the SEC showdown between the LSU Tigers and the Florida Gators. LSU enters the game at 5-0 and with a number 4 record, moving into title contention as always, while the Gators are back to where they are more accustomed to being for the first time in a few years, sitting pretty at 4-0 with their own nice number 10 ranking. It’s a big game for both teams and will help to dictate how the rest of their years, and how the SEC, unfolds.
Florida has looked strong so far this season, but they haven’t faced the toughest of opponents as of yet. A road win at Texas A&M was nice, as well as road win the next weekend against arch rival Tennessee. However, they haven’t messed with the big boys yet, and this will be their first opportunity as they welcome the Tigers to Gainesville and try to drown them in the Swamp.
The defense for the Gators has been great so far this season, surrendering just 12.8 points per game, 12th best in the nation, while the offense hasn’t been shabby either, putting up 30.5 points per game. The attack is led by sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel. Driskel is completing nearly 70% of his passes, and has four touchdowns against just one interception. He’s also rushed the ball 33 times for a 4.5 yards per carry average.
The real work on the ground though is handled by senior Mike Gillislee. Gillislee has 400 yards rushing on the season with a 5.8 yards per carry average, and five touchdowns. Combined, both of these players have taken on a much larger role in the offense this future, and have led the team very well thus far.
LSU, meanwhile, has five wins to start the year but also hasn’t face much worthy competition. Their only truly notable opponent was Auburn, and they went on the road there and barely escaped with an ugly 12-10 victory. Their defense has been right on par with Florida’s, giving up 12.6 points per contest, but the offense has so far been a little bit more productive under the direction of Zach Mettenberger.
Mettenberger has been lighting things up and finally getting a chance to shine this year. He has completed 65.5% of his throws for 1,000 yards and six touchdowns against two interceptions. He only had 11 career passing attempts prior to the start of this year, so he has come in right away and really has shown that he belongs. On the ground, he turns to Kenny Hilliard, who averages 6.9 yards per carry and has scored six TDs so far.
Looking at the official numbers, and LSU is a 2.5 point road favorite against Florida. The over/under for the game has been set at 42 points, thanks to the stingy defenses which both teams have displayed thus far.
It’s great to see Florida back in the top 10, it’s where the Gators belong. But don’t expect them to finish the season with that kind of ranking. As the SEC schedule heats up, they’re not going to emerge unscathed. That starts here, with LSU getting a big road win to bolster their own ranking, and look forward to another fantastic match-up next weekend, against South Carolina.