LSU is officially in crisis mode after last week’s home loss to Troy, but the Tigers don’t have much time to figure things out. No longer ranked for the first time in a year, LSU visits No. 20 Florida on Saturday in SEC action.
The Tigers had won 49 straight games against visiting non-conference opponents and were favored by three touchdowns against the Trojans before suffering another embarrassing effort under coach Ed Orgeron. “At the end of the day, it was who wanted it more,” said LSU linebacker Devin White. “You could tell they wanted it more.” That’s not a good sign for LSU, which must now bounce back against a Florida team that is already 3-0 in the conference, albeit with a major asterisk after last week’s win. Gators starting quarterback Luke Del Rio suffered a broken collarbone in the 14-point victory against Vanderbilt and will miss the remainder of the season.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Florida -6.5
ABOUT LSU (3-2, 0-1 SEC): The Tigers’ lead back is Darrel Williams, who was held out of the end zone for the first time this season in last weekend’s defeat despite a season-high 17 carries. Danny Etling threw two touchdowns for the second straight game as the squad continued to play without standout running back Derrius Guice (knee), who is questionable for this weekend. Devin White (13 tackles) and Christian LaCouture (two sacks) were among the defensive standouts last week for LSU, which has allowed an average of 29 points in its last three games.
ABOUT FLORIDA (3-1, 3-0): The Gators posted back-to-back wins in dramatic fashion before pulling away late against Vanderbilt after Del Rio was lost for the season. “Eventually we’re going to break the wall down, man. We’re going to be a really good team,” said Feleipe Franks, who replaced Del Rio and went 10-of-14 for 185 yards in the most efficient effort of his freshman campaign. Malik Davis and Lamical Perine ran for a combined five touchdowns to take some of the pressure off Franks, who entered his name into Gators lore last month with a 63-yard game-winning TD pass against Tennessee as time expired.
1. Eleven different Gators have caught a 10-plus yard pass this season.
2. Florida won 16-10 at LSU last season, stuffing Guice from the 1 in the final seconds.
3. LSU WR D.J. Chark has a rushing score, but he is still seeking his first receiving TD despite 16 catches for 338 yards - both team highs.
PREDICTION: Florida 23, LSU 20