LSU will try some special teams horseshit. They always do. It usually works, and usually when it is most humiliating and obvious for Florida. This hasn’t happened for a while, so we’re all probably well overdue for a fake field goal or punt from the Tigers.
We love Brad Wing, and also Brad Wing can kiss our ass. Forever.
Quarterbacks will be spotty at best. The defenses average out to really good, and by that we mean that LSU has a bankably great defense that consistently does things, and Florida’s is a sloppily aggressive scheme that either gets sacks or turnovers, or gives up big plays.
Florida’s spread on giving up big plays is weirdly specific. Grantham’s defense has given up a respectable number of plays around ten or twenty yards, putting it in the top thirty nationally. But slide that over to look for plays of 30 yards or more, and Florida is in Illinois territory hanging somewhere in the bottom quartile of the nation. It’s good when it’s good, and when it is bad it is very, very bad.
The complement to that boom/bust dynamic should be turnovers, and fortunately for Florida that holds true here. The Gators have forced eight fumbles so far, and have more defensive turnovers than LSU, and in general are more of a pressure-heavy defense overall. LSU is the anaconda; Florida is the drunk guy outside the bar throwing haymakers at the bouncers.
The one thing LSU’s defense does better in this department: Interceptions. The next part is definitely related to this stat!
Joe Burrow will probably do the thing where he hits three passes that really matter. Burrow doesn’t have to do everything in this offense. Sometimes he doesn’t have to do much at all besides handoff, because LSU will run the ball at least forty times a game, every game. If you had Nick Brossette and Clyde Edwards-Hilaire, you would run the ball forty times a game, too.
When he does pass, there will be rushers coming his way. If he gets one off, someone will be open downfield, and that’s where LSU gets one of those thirty-yarders Florida will hand out every now and then. This is to prepare Florida people for the exact brand of heartburn this game will bring. This is now a public service website.
Punting will also matter. Excuse us while we find the appropriate GIF for the feelings of disgust that even thinking this summon.
LSU’s been the better punting team so far this season, which is really unfair given how punting was the one thing Florida had left as a rock-solid, bankable advantage here. Deeply uncool, Tigers. Being mediocre for years on end should have at least one perk, and y’all won’t even let us have that.
It will be a one-score game. Six of the last ten meetings between LSU and Florida have been decided by a single score. The last four have been decided by a combined seventeen points, including last year’s 17-16 squeaker effectively decided by Florida missing an extra point. (Again: Deeply uncool of you to undermine our confidence in the one thing we had left, LSU.)
It will be close because these are sort of the same team in terms of operation. Both teams work at a crawl, running very few plays on offense and letting the defense and special teams dictate play. Florida is basically the best, handsomest sloth in the nation: So far in 2018, only Rutgers and UTEP have run fewer offensive plays.
Yet Florida also sits 38th in the nation in time of possession, which should tell you what it’s like to watch them play. If they could pull out chairs and take an espresso break mid-huddle, Florida would do that, because Dan Mullen has decided the move this year is to take every game and shorten it as much as possible.
Florida is somehow 4-1 this year despite having a roster where playmakers include “Kadarius Toney” and “people you are frantically googling on your phone right now.” They are Italy, the football team. It will all happen slowly and expensively, and yet somehow still kinda work.
LSU is, appropriately enough, France. Slow, but not as slow, and somehow better right now despite being that way forever.
Gary Danielson will love everything LSU does on offense. The man is defenseless against offenses that still sometimes line up under center and power run in the red zone. It would almost be a disease if it weren’t the most predictable thing about him.