Weekend Spotlight: Florida at LSU
No. 17 Florida (4-1, 3-0 SEC) at No. 11 LSU (5-1, 2-1)
Florida leads the series 31-25-3 (Last meeting October 6, 2012: Florida 14, LSU 6)
Florida and LSU have met on the gridiron 59 times, including every year since 1971 Aside from the history between these two schools, this game has major implications in this year’s SEC. Florida has relatively cruised through its first three SEC games, outscoring its opponents 85-34 despite losing starting quarterback Jeff Driskel for the year. LSU has to win this game in order to keep its hopes for a conference title alive. LSU lost to Georgia earlier this year and still has games against divisional opponents Texas A&M and Alabama left on the schedule.
Florida has rebounded nicely from an early season loss to in-state rival Miami. The Gators have been led by their defense which enters the game ranked first in the SEC in total defense (217 ypg), yards per play (3.8 ), scoring defense (12.2 ppg), rushing defense (65 ypg), passing defense (152 ypg), pass efficiency defense (81.2), third down conversions (23%), and first downs allowed (63). Junior quarterback Tyler Murphy ranks fifth in the country in quarterback rating the past two weeks (188.7) since taking over the job from injured Jeff Driskel. While LSU may have an advantage playing at home in Tiger Stadium, the Gators have fared quite well compiling an all-time record of 16-14 on the road at LSU.
LSU’s high powered offense will have quite the test against Florida’s defense. The Tigers offense is led by senior quarterback Zack Mettenberger who leads the SEC in pass efficiency (190.1 rating), and has thrown 15 touchdowns to just two interceptions on the year. LSU has put up at least 35 points each week this year and is averaging 45.5 points per game which is good for third in the conference. Mettenberger’s favorite target is junior wide receiver Odell Beckham who is leading the nation in all-purpose yards (228.2 ypg). The two have hooked up 35 times for 386 yards and seven touchdowns through six games.
Two Point Conversion:
-10th straight year the teams have met with both being ranked in the top 25.
– Florida & LSU are number one and two respectively in turnovers forced in the SEC since 2000 (359 & 348).