Gameday: No. 10/11 Florida vs. No. 4/3 LSU

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather Forecast: 85°F, scattererd T-storms (45% chance of rain), WNW at 4 mph
Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT

Tickets: Starting at $58 on TiqIQ

TV: CBS/CBSHD (Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: CBSSports.com | Mobile Video: CBS Sports app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper

(10/11) FLORIDA GATORS (4/3) LSU TIGERS
Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Les Miles
Record: 4-0 (3-0 SEC) Record: 5-0 (1-0 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida +2.5, O/U 42

HOMEWORK

Need to catch up on what happened with the Gators over the last two weeks? No problem. OGGOA has been here the whole time posting a ton of information so you can do your homework on the team before its next exam on Saturday.

LSU a big test, great opportunity for Florida | Gators do not need superheroes | Miles says Florida is much improved | Gators defense can still improve

HISTORY / STREAKS

» Florida leads LSU 30-25-3 in the all-time series between the two teams and holds a 14-11-3 advantage in Gainesville. The teams have squared off every year since 1971. The Tigers have won consecutive games in the series but have split the last 12 contests with the Gators 6-6 dating back to 2000. UF is the last team to have won more than two-straight games in the series, capturing four contests in a row from 1998-2001.
» It is just the fourth time in the series that Florida and LSU enter the game both ranked in the top 10. It is just the fifth time that the Gators and Tigers are both undefeated when going head-to-head on the gridiron.
» Florida is 10-1 against unranked opponents and 1-5 against ranked teams since Muschamp took over the program in 2011.
» Muschamp spent four years at LSU as an assistant coach under Nick Saban. He is 1-2 all-time as a coach against the Tigers (0-1 at UF, 1-1 at Auburn).
» Since 1990, the Gators are 28-9 overall and 8-2 in The Swamp when playing a game after being afforded a bye week.
» Florida has started the season 4-0 for the fourth-straight year but is looking to improve to 5-0 for the first time since the 2009 season. LSU is 5-0 for the fourth year in a row.
» The Gators have not defeated a ranked opponent at home since Nov. 15, 2008.
» Florida has not defeated an SEC West team in Gainesville since Oct. 17, 2009. LSU has won seven-straight games against SEC East opponents overall with its last loss coming to UF in 2009.
» The Gators were 0-5 when trailing at the half in 2011 but has started the 2012 season 2-0 in that category with both victories coming against league opponents.
» Florida is 7-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and 0-4 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. The Gators are also 8-2 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points and 8-3 when scoring first.
» UF has scored in all but one quarter (15-of-16) so far in 2012.
» The Gators have scored on 13-of-14 red zone trips (92.9 percent) but have only converted 8-of-14 possessions (57.1 percent) into touchdowns.
» Florida has converted just 23-of-58 third-down attempts (39.7 percent) this season.
» The Gators have held their opponents to 18-of-62 on third down (29.0 percent); UF was second nationally in third-down defense (27.3 percent) last season.
» Florida has at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons after never having more than one in a single season before 2010.
» The Gators are outscoring opponents 64-13 in the second half and 34-0 in the fourth quarter through four games this season. UF is the only team in the SEC to not allow a fourth-quarter point to be scored.
» Florida is out-possessing opponents by an average of 9:34 through four games, a margin that ranks eighth nationally.
» The Gators are +5 in turnover margin through four games after being -12 in 2011. UF has forced the most turnovers in the SEC (325) since 2000, while LSU has forced the second-most turnovers (316) in that span of time.
» Florida has grabbed six interceptions so far in 2012 (three games with two each) and is already closing in on its 2011 total of eight picks.
» The Tigers are riding an 18-game regular season winning streak into The Swamp on Saturday. It is the longest such streak in the nation.
» LSU will play its 20th straight game as a top-five ranked team.
» The Tigers are ranked in the top 10 nationally in rush defense (ninth), total defense (fourth), scoring defense (ninth) and pass defense (sixth).
» A total of 20 players on LSU’s roster have recorded an impact defensive play (sack, tackle for loss, interception, forced/recovered fumble).
» The Tigers under Miles are 12-10 vs. top 10 opponents and 4-3 against the Gators.

LAST TIME OUT

After dropping a heartbreaker at home to LSU in 2010, Florida entered Tiger Stadium looking for some revenge against their annual SEC West rivals. Instead the Gators were dished a harsh dose of reality by the Tigers, which outscored them 14-0 in the first quarter, led 24-3 at the half and went on to wipe out the visitors 41-11 in Baton Rouge, LA. Florida was forced to start freshman Jacoby Brissett at quarterback for the second-straight game, and he was held to just 94 yards passing, which included a 65-yard touchdown throw. LSU outgained UF 253-124 on the ground, and the Tigers’ defense dominated the Gators’ offense, registering four tackles for loss (one sack), a forced fumble and two interceptions.

Read the rest of the Florida-LSU preview including injuries and absences and which players to look out for from both sides of the field.

INJURIES AND ABSENCES*

» Active (5): Redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins (thumb), junior defensive end Dominique Easley (knee), junior running back Trey Burton (back), redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed (concussion), redshirt sophomore tackle Chaz Green (ankle)
» Inactive (8): Junior DB Cody Riggs (foot), redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral), junior long snapper Drew Ferris (collarbone), redshirt freshman guard Tommy Jordan (shoulder), junior Buck LB Ronald Powell (ACL), freshman TE Colin Thompson (foot), redshirt junior DE Kedric Johnson (knee), senior defensive lineman Nick Alajajian (knee)

* As of Oct. 5 at 4 p.m. (will be updated closer to the game).

PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

FLORIDA
» Senior running back Mike Gillislee (#23)…who is entrenched as the Gators’ starter, a role he has worked towards achieving over four years. He registered career-highs in carries (24) and rushing yards (148) in the season opener and has averaged 5.8 yards per carry and more than a touchdown per game this season. He has totaled 402 yards on 69 carries with five scores.
» Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel (#6)…who was officially named the starter in week two and has shown remarkable improvement with each passing game. He has completed 69.6 percent of his passes (55-of-79) this season for 698 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
» Redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed (#11)…who is leading the Gators in receptions (16) and is second in receiving yards (193) through four games. His 16 catches are the fifth-most at his position nationally. Reed became a full-time tight end in 2011 but missed four games that season due to injury. He has the ability to be a major receiving threat and big-time mismatch for Florida offensively.
» Redshirt senior wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. (#85)…who leads the Gators with 205 reception yards and has two catches of 50+ yards, which ranks him fourth nationally in that category. Six of his nine receptions have resulted in first downs (five of which occurred on third down).
» Senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic (#1)…who is the straw that stirs the drink for the Gators on defense. He is first on the team in solo tackles (16) and tackles for loss (4) as well as second in overall take downs (22).
» Redshirt junior Will LB Jelani Jenkins (#3)…who returns to the starting lineup for Florida after missing three weeks and two full games with a broken thumb. Jenkins has started 25 games for the Gators throughout his career and, along with Bostic, is defensive leader for one of the best units in the country.
» Junior defensive linemen Sharrif Floyd (#94) and Dominique Easley (#2)…who are back to playing their natural positions and are looking to breakout as former five-star prospects that joined the team in 2009. Floyd has registered 3.5 tackles for loss (out of 16 total tackles) this season, while Easley is looking to add to his one sack as he returns to action after missing two weeks and one game due to a swollen knee.
» Junior safety Matt Elam (#22)…who has grown into his role as a leader and may very well be the Gators’ most dynamic playmaker on defense. He has 119 career tackles (76 solo, 13.0 for loss) along with four sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and three interceptions already in his career.
» Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis (#19)…who is starting for Florida for the fourth-straight season. He was one of three kickers nationally to convert three or more field goals of 50+ yards in 2011 and was named as a finalist for the Lou Groza Award for a top-notch campaign that included him going 22-for-26 on field goals and a perfect 31-for-31 on extra points. Sturgis, who has already kicked three of the four longest field goals of all-time for the Gators, is just 14 made field goals away from passing Jeff Chandler’s 67 for most in school history.

LSU
» Junior QB Zach Mettenberger (#8)…who is in his first year as a starter for LSU after transferring from Georgia two years ago. Despite playing four non-conference opponents already, Mettenberger has turned the ball over five times (two interceptions, three fumbles) through five games while completing 65.5 percent of his passes for 1,016 yards and six touchdowns. He will be making his second career road start with his first coming two weeks ago at Auburn.
» Junior DEs Sam Montgomery (#99) and Barkevious Mingo (#49) and DTs junior Bennie Logan (#18) and sophomore Anthony Johnson (#90)…who make up a dominant defensive line for the Tigers that has combined to register 16.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hurries. Mingo alone has seven hurries while Montgomery and Johnson have combined for 12 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
» Running back trio sophomore Kenny Hilliard (#27), junior Michael Ford (#42) and junior Spencer Ware (#11)…who have each carried the ball extensively for LSU and are all averaging over 5.1 yards per carry. Hilliard is the Tigers’ primary back with 53 carries for 366 yards (6.9 yards per rush) and six touchdowns, but Ford and Ware have combined to tote the rock 70 times for 388 yards and two scores. Junior fullback J.C. Copeland, who leads the way for LSU’s rushers, was expected to be out for the game but is instead healthy and will play.

CBS SPORTS PREVIEW

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2 Responses to “Gameday: No. 10/11 Florida vs. No. 4/3 LSU”

  1. Basshole says:

    Biggest game of the year; really feel like we have a shot if we play well. Hopefully we can force them into a couple turnovers

  2. Tractorr says:

    This is the biggest game in the last couple of years.

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