Florida vs. LSU: Prediction, pick, line, odds, live stream, watch online, TV channel, game preview

By Adam Silverstein
October 7, 2017
Florida vs. LSU: Prediction, pick, line, odds, live stream, watch online, TV channel, game preview

The No. 21 Florida Gators enter Saturday afternoon’s showdown with the LSU Tigers fresh off its most decisive victory of the season but with two offensive starters for that game set to be sidelined. The Gators and Tigers have been rivals for a long time, but the feud has reached a different level of intensity lately.

Here’s what you need to know and how you can watch Florida-LSU.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Oct. 7 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]

TV: CBS (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Allie LaForce)
Live stream: CBSSports.com.com | CBS Sports apps
SiriusXM: 137, 190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

No. 21 Florida Gators LSU Tigers
Head Coach Jim McElwain Ed Orgeron
Record 3-1 (3-0 SEC) 3-2 (0-1 SEC)
Conference Southeastern Southeastern

Four things to know

1. Revenge of the Gators II? Coming out of the Hurricane Matthew situation a year ago, Florida was plenty motivated on the road as the lesser team at LSU and pulled off a memorable victory in the series with a fourth-down, goal-line stand to end the game. If the Gators really want to stick it to the Tigers, this is their opportunity to do so inside The Swamp with a rowdy crowd thirsty for blood after being disrespected a year ago. If McElwain and the coaching staff are not hammering that point home, they’re not doing their jobs. Florida should be pumped to be playing this game and confident going in after a solid victory a week ago.

2. Expect offensive shenanigans: One week after LSU suffered an incomprehensible upset at the hands of Troy in Death Valley, expect offensive coordinator Matt Canada to have even more freedom directing his unit. Motions, shifts, trick plays, the Tigers are going to open their playbook, and against a struggling Gators’ defense, that could be a massive problem. This is a must-win game for LSU, and while it is for Florida as well, the pressure is on the visitors this time.

Meanwhile, the Gators are looking to get by after losing a second star receiver in sophomore Tyrie Cleveland — the team’s lone remaining big-play threat from the position with junior Antonio Callaway still suspended. Simply put, sophomores Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain have not proven to be that dynamic to this point, which means that freshman Kadarius Toney, redshirt senior Brandon Powell and maybe even redshirt junior Dre Massey should see their roles and playbook possibilities increase.

3. These defenses are shocking: And not in a good way. Florida enters Saturday’s game ranked 69th nationally in both scoring defense and total defense. Not nice. While LSU is more respectively ranked 30th and 23rd in those categories, it has given up 87 points over its last three games and has those rankings inflated by only allowing 10 points in its first two contests against BYU and Chattanooga. Back to the Gators, which have played better up front as of late but will have a tough time Saturday dealing with running back Derrius Guice. The young secondary needs to play bend-but-don’t-break defense, while the front absolutely must get the job done wrapping up Guice, not overpursuing and getting some pressure on the quarterback.

4. Back to you, kid: Redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks has started three of four games and already been benched twice. The offense — and the team — is now his with redshirt junior Luke Del Rio sidelined for the season with a broken collarbone. And while Franks has completed a respectable 63.5 percent of his passes for 557 yards with three touchdowns and one interception this season, he’s still incredibly green. Franks locks in on his No. 1 receiving option and does not read the field well at this point in his development. He seems to have a level head but has fumbled a couple times, though only lost it once. The Gators will win if Franks can at least make a couple reads and take some chances deep down the field, even if unsuccessful. Unlike Del Rio, Franks can keep the defense honest with the long ball and must do so early and often on Saturday.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida +2 | O/U: 42

This is a legitimately even game featuring two dominant programs that appear to be shells of their former selves. LSU falling to Troy inside Death Valley simply cannot happen. Florida putting forth the 69th ranked total defense and scoring defense is worse than not nice — it’s completely unacceptable.

But this rivalry is more than the sum of its parts. The Gators should still be juiced from the disrespect shown to them by the Tigers and their fans one year ago during the Hurricane Matthew fiasco. Florida has a real opportunity to stick it to LSU by winning back-to-back games in this series for the first time since 2008-09, and though it will have to do so without its star receiver, a win at home should be expected.

Then consider that the line opened at -6 and has fallen all the way to +2 for Florida. Home field advantage at The Swamp for an afternoon rivalry game is a solid 3.5 points; Gator Growl weekend adds at least another half point, which means Florida at a minimum should be favored by 4. There is so much value in this line that it would be absurd not to take a Gators team that appears to be growing in confidence against a reeling Tigers squad.

And while it would normally be fair to expect this game go under the total, these defenses are not playing well and both offensive coordinators should be pulling out some tricks today. So I’ll put the perfect record on the line with a surprising over. IF UF were to lose, it would be by a bad margin anyway.

2017 records: ATS picks 2-2 | O/U picks 4-0

Injuries and absences

Suspended (9): WR Antonio Callaway, RB Jordan Scarlett, DL Keivonnis Davis, DL Richerd Desir-Jones, DL Jordan Smith, WR Rick Wells, LB James Houston IV, LB Ventrell Miller, OL Kadeem Telfort

Probable (3): LB Kylan Johnson (hamstring), DL Khairi Clark (undisclosed), DL Elijah Conliffe (undisclosed)
Questionable (1): OL Kavaris Harkless (shin)
Out (2): WR Tyrie Cleveland (high-ankle sprain), WR James Robinson (heart), QB Luke Del Rio (collarbone – season), DB Marcell Harris (Achilles – season)

Game notes

» Florida is 32-28-3 all-time against LSU with a 15-12-3 mark when playing in Gainesville.
» The Tigers are 5-2 against the Gators since 2009. The last five games have been decided by an average of seven points.
» Florida is 67-24-2 all-time on homecoming, 25-3 since 1989. UF has hosted LSU six times on homecoming and holds a 2-3-1 record in those games.
» Florida improved to 45-6 in the month of September since 2005.
» McElwain is 13-1 at home after a 5-0 campaign in The Swamp last season.

» Florida is 214-11 since 1990 when an opponent scores 21 points or fewer in a contest, including 19-0 under McElwain.
» Also under McElwain, the Gators are 18-1 against unranked opponents and 4-7 against ranked opponents. UF is 16-0 when outrushing an opponent, 18-4 when scoring first, 16-2 when leading at half and 10-1 when winning the turnover battle.
» Florida owns the nation’s longest streak of returning either a kickoff or punt for a touchdown, doing so in 12 consecutive seasons. It has yet to do so in 2017.
» The Gators have the second-most wins in the nation since 1990 (261).
» Florida has scored in 365 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation and tied for the longest all-time (Michigan). UF can break that record if it does not get shutout in the LSU game.
» McElwain is the first coach in SEC history to play for the conference title in a his first two seasons at the helm of his program.


Florida will wear blue jerseys, white pants and orange helmets on Saturday.


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