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Week 12: Florida vs. LSU

Notes:

Since 2011, LSU is 4-1 over the Gators and has won those games by an average margin of victory of 12.7 points per game.

With a Gator win on Saturday, Florida will clinch the SEC East title. This was a the game that was cancelled earlier in the year and was supposed to be played in the Swamp in Gainesville. Both quarterbacks in this battle were former teammates at Purdue.

Florida is 1-2 on the road (SEC road games) this season losing to Tennessee and Arkansas. The Gators only road victory has come in Nashville against Vanderbilt. Florida defeated Georgia on a neutral field.

 

Florida:

The Gators are coming off of an impressive home victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks last week winning by a score of 20-7. The Gators are averaging 26 points per game and are rushing for 152 yards per game along with passing for 225 yards per game.

Quarterback Austin Appleby is completing 65% of his passes for 671 yards with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Appleby will be filling in for Jake Del Rio, who was injured over the last couple of weeks. Appleby has shown the ability to stretch defenses at times but must be able to release the football quickly this weekend against an active defensive front seven in LSU.

Florida has been a different team this year at home then on the road this year. The Gators have converted 46% of their third down attempts this year, however, on the road or on a neutral field- the team has converted 36% of their attempts. Over the last 3 games against Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina (2-1 during that stretch), the Gators have rushed for 94 rushing yards per game (100-UGA, 12-Arkansas & 171-USC).

The Gators have rushed for only 77 rushing yards per game this year on the road and have passed for 200 yards per game in opposing teams stadiums.

Running back Jordan Scarlett leads the team in rushing with 617 rushing yards averaging 5.2 yards per carry with 6 touchdowns.

Wide receiver Antonio Callaway leads the team with 35 receptions for 533 yards with 2 touchdowns.

Defensively, the Gators have one of the best statistical defenses in college football. The Gators are allowing 13 points per game and have held opposing offenses to 111 rushing yards per game along with 155 passing yards per game.

Florida has played much better at home than on the road as a unit this season. The Gators have allowed 141 rushing yards per game and 205 passing yards per game this season.

The defense has recorded 27 sacks as a defensive unit and has held offenses to 29% on their third down attempts. However, on the road the Gators have allowed offenses to convert 36% of their third down attempts.

Florida is +1 in turnover margin entering this game.

 

LSU:

The Tigers are coming off of an impressive 38-10 road win at Arkansas in which the offense racked up 390 rushing yards on the Razorbacks.

The Tigers enter this battle averaging 27 points per game and are rushing for 233 yards per game along with passing for 170 yards through the air per game this season.

Quarterback Danny Etling has completed 58% of his passes for 1,378 yards with 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Etling has played in back to back big SEC games and has been battle tested entering this match-up with Florida.

Over the last five games since coach Ogeron has taken over the head coaching duties, the Tigers have averaged 267 rushing yards per game. The offensive line has shown continuity and has opened up massive holes in recent weeks for running backs Derius Guice and Leonard Fournette.

LSU is converting 41% of their third down opportunities and must stay in third and short situations to take the pressure off of Etling to solely make plays in the passing game. Look for LSU to utilize the screen game against the aggressive Gators defensive front seven.

Both Guice and Fournette are hitting stride at the end of the season and are rushing for 1,648 yards with 17 touchdowns. Guice is averaging 8.7 yards per carry while Fournette is averaging 6.8 yards per carry.

Wide receivers Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre will be instrumental this Saturday if the Tigers are to get the win. Both players have combined for 56 receptions for 645 yards with 3 touchdowns. They will need to stretch the Gators secondary deep to open up running lanes for Guice and Fournette later in the game.

LSU has been playing very well on the defensive side of the ball and has been dominant in certain categories. The unit is allowing 13 points per game and is yielding 114 rushing yards per game along with holding opposing offenses to 198 passing yards per game.

LSU is +1 in turnover margin and has held opposing offenses to 33% on their third down attempts.

The secondary has been stellar under defensive coordinator Dave Aranda this year. Over the last five games, LSU has held opposing offenses to 88 completions of 158 pass attempts (55%) with 3 passing touchdowns and has forced six interceptions.

LSU has recorded 24 total sacks and will look to mix up stunts and blitz packages to put pressure on Florida quarterback Austin Appleby to make adjustments.

 

LISTEN TO A FULL PREVIEW OF THIS GAME THIS SATURDAY FROM 10-12PM EST:

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About Joseph Lisi

Joseph Lisi is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America), the Maxwell Football Club and the National Football Foundation. He is the owner of the website: www.goforthe2.com and hosts a weekly college football radio show on SB Nation Radio and FNSTY Sports Radio from 10-12pm EST every Saturday morning. Listen live at: www.sbnationradio.com or www.fntsy.com/radio. Joseph is a former college football researcher for ABC Sports and has been featured on: SportsXRadio with Ken Thomson, ESPN Radio, Sirius XM Radio, FNTSY Sports Network, the Sid Rosenberg Show (640 AM Sports-South Florida), 1560 AM CBS Sports Melbourne, FL and multiple media outlets throughout the nation. Joe appears every Friday with Ken Thomson on SportsXRadio for the Football Fiasco in which every game on the college board is broken down during the show. Follow Joe on Twitter: @goforthe2

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