Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: 81°F (feels like 82°F), clear, winds E at 4 mph
Time: 7:30 p.m. EDT
TV: SEC Network (Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer, Maria Taylor)
SiriusXM: 136/192 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
|FLORIDA GATORS||LSU TIGERS|
|Head Coach: Will Muschamp||Head Coach: Les Miles|
|Record: 3-1 (2-1 SEC)||Record: 4-2 (0-2 SEC)|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Southeastern|
Odds: Florida EVEN | O/U 44
KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS
Busy during the week? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!
Notebook: Will Muschamp addresses recent incidents, prep for LSU
Story: Coaches want Gators’ playmakers to step it up
Story: Freshman QB Treon Harris reinstated, will not play vs. LSU
Friday Final: Coordinators discuss offensive problems, fresh faces on defense
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Florida is 31-26-3 all-time against LSU, leading the Gainesville portion of the series 15-11-3. The Tigers have won three of the last four meetings against the Gators.
» UF and LSU have been annual opponents since 1971; the teams are meeting for the 44th consecutive year.
» Florida has lost five-straight games against top 25 opponents and is now 4-13 against ranked opponents under Muschamp.
» Muschamp served as a position coach and defensive coordinator at LSU for a total of five seasons under then-Tigers head coach Nick Saban. UF strength & conditioning coach Jeff Dillman spent four seasons as an assistant in Baton Rouge.
» The Gators are 21-4 against unranked opponents under Muschamp and 12-2 against unranked SEC teams during his tenure.
» Florida has converted 15-of-16 red zone trips into points this season but have only scored nine red zone touchdowns through four games.
» UF has allowed five sacks in four games, including none against two separate opponents (Eastern Michigan, Alabama).
» The Gators are ranked fifth nationally in turnover margin (+8) and sixth in turnovers gained (15) despite playing only four games thus far this season.
» Florida has forced 15 turnovers through four games, tying for the most in a four-game stretch for the Gators since 1996.
» According to UF, Florida’s run defense has been so stout that that it has only allowed 11 double-digit runs on the year, third-fewest in the nation.
» The Gators have forced more turnovers than any other SEC team this century, accounting for 381 since 2000. The Tigers are second with 371 turnovers forced.
» Florida is first nationally in interceptions returned for touchdowns (18) and interception return yards (1,941) since the start of the 2008 season. In that span, Florida is third in total interceptions with 113.
» Redshirt senior wide receiver Quinton Dunbar enters Saturday having caught a pass in 32-straight games. He is three games away from tying a school record for most consecutive contests with a reception.
INJURIES AND ABSENCES
» Active (4): Redshirt senior linebacker Michael Taylor (knee), freshman quarterback Will Grier (back), freshman wide receiver C.J. Worton (hand), freshman running back Brandon Powell (hamstring)
» Questionable (3): Junior RB Matt Jones (knee), freshman LB Daniel McMillian (head), freshman LB Matt Rolin (ACL)
» Out (4): Redshirt senior defensive tackle Leon Orr (knee), Redshirt junior WR Valdez Showers (ankle), redshirt senior tight end Jake McGee (leg – season), freshman DB J.C. Jackson (shoulder – season)
THE WORST GATOR CHOMP EVER
During the SEC Network‘s gameday show, SEC Nation, former Gators QB Tim Tebow, former Tigers DE Marcus Spears and radio host Paul Finebaum all picked the Florida-LSU game. Tebow and Spears chose their respective schools, and Finebaum decided to pick the Gators, indicating his choice with the absolute worst Gator Chomp in the history of mankind. Check it out below.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
While the Tigers may be down this season, so are the Gators (again), and Florida needs to pick up some victories as its schedule will only get tougher from here with more prolific offenses and stronger teams ahead. The Gators must find a way to generate some offense on Saturday, and they will likely rely on their running game to get things going and open up passing lanes as the game progresses. Florida’s defense also must prove it has truly turned the corner last week at Tennessee after it gave up nearly 1,000 yards combined to Kentucky and Alabama in its two previous contests. Muschamp must start winning big games if he hopes to remain at UF next season, and LSU is the next in line for the embattled head coach.
Winless through two SEC games against now-ranked Mississippi State and then-ranked No. 5 Auburn, the Tigers are also hoping to get back on track. Like Florida, LSU’s passing game has struggled, and it enters Saturday’s game with its quarterback position in flux. The Tigers still have top 15-ranked Ole Miss, Alabama and Texas A&M – plus rising teams in Kentucky and Arkansas – to play before the season is out, so a win over the Gators on the road is on paramount importance for LSU this week.