The LSU Tigers vs Florida Gators game is now upon us. LSU and Florida meet in their annual non-divisional matchup on Saturday. The Gators are hosting LSU for homecoming. The Tigers were defeated 24-21 by the Troy Trojans in Death Valley this past weekend. Both of these teams have a heated history. Last year, Hurricane Matthew caused the game to be moved from Gainesville to Baton Rouge. Florida was not happy about moving it to Death Valley. Tigers athletic director Joe Alleva did a tremendous job in making sure the safety of both programs was the top priority.
Over the last decade or so, this matchup has come down to the wire. In 2016, the Gators defense stopped LSU running back Derrius Guice at the goal line to secure their second straight SEC East title. As for this season, a lot is on the line. LSU is looking to become relevant again, and Florida is hoping to hold on to their undefeated record in SEC play. Jim McElwain could be coaching for his job security in this game. Though the Gators have had success the last few seasons, their tenure under Mac has become somewhat distinguished. If Florida doesn’t win this game, his name could be on the hot list for coach firings.
LSU Needs A Change
Offensively, LSU has to pull it together. Their last outing was horrendous for this young offense. Put into play that their offensive line is banged up with injuries, and this offense will get really bad. But Danny Etling has this in his hands. The senior quarterback has looked solid all season and can continue to do so. The Tigers should have Guice back this week (hopefully) which will boost the running game.
Defensively, the Tigers have to play better. They gave up 24 points to a very quality Troy team. This year’s defense hasn’t been as elite as they can become, though. Their first few weeks were solid. But these past two weeks have been brutal on this defensive unit. Dave Aranda has to switch up the scheme for this defense to hold against the Gators.
Florida is Ready
For Florida, they will be without star receiver Tyrie Cleveland. He was injured last week and will not play. That could become a huge gap in their receiving core if LSU can find a way to shut down the offense. Feliepe Franks will obviously start at quarterback. He has been average through the season. The Gators still have suspended players and more injuries, which could plague this unit into not performing at their highest level.
Defensively for Florida, their unit just has to play Gators football. Other than the Michigan game, this unit has looked as one of the best in the conference. Florida always has a solid defense. That is definitely proven again this year. The LSU game is always big for UF, but it means more this year.
The Hate Continues
With the downfall of the way the game was handled last year, Florida wants to shut LSU up. Tiger fans still have that same hatred towards Florida, just bigger now.