Florida Gators at LSU Tigers Pick 10/12/19
Florida Gators (6-0) at LSU Tigers (5-0)
When: Saturday, October 12, 8 p.m. EDT
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.
Point Spread: LSU -13.5 (BetNow)
Total: O/U 55
Outlook For Week 7
That was a solid statement from the Florida defense against Auburn. The Gators finally faced an opponent that’s actually a quality squad, and they were up to the challenge, stifling Bo Nix and wearing down the Tigers’ defense. Now they come up against another group of Tigers that have been putting up points like nobody’s business. This might be the best team that Ed Orgeron has had during his time at LSU, and there’s a real sense that the Bayou Bengals might be ready to challenge for an SEC title.
To do that, they’ll have to get by a Florida squad that’s the complete opposite of what Steve Spurrier used to do during the Gators’ heyday. Under Dan Mullen, Florida’s offense has been stuck in the mud, but the Gators more than make up for it with a nasty defense that has conceded just 57 points for the entire season. The defense will need to be at its best to contain an LSU offense that hasn’t been held under 42 points in a game this season.
How the Public is Betting the Florida/LSU Game
The public has jumped all over LSU in this one, pushing the line from 4.5 points to 13.5 points since its opening. The total, however, has been nearly static: it’s moved from 54.5 to 55 points.
Defensive lineman Luke Ancrum is suspended and will not play against LSU. Defensive backs C.J. Henderson and Jeawon Taylor are both questionable with an ankle and shoulder injury, respectively. Kyle Trask exited the Auburn game with an injury to his left knee but is expected to play.LSU:
Tackle Saahdiq Charles missed the Tigers’ win over Utah State, but he is likely to play against Florida. Safety Grant Delpit is questionable with a head injury, and corner Cordale Flott is out with an undefined injury. Linebacker Rahssan Thornton has been suspended for a violation of team rules.
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When Florida Has the Ball
It would be easy to look at Florida’s offensive performance against Auburn and think that the Gators had finally turned a corner with their ground game. After all, Lamical Perine had his first 100-yard game of the season and scored a touchdown to go with his 130 rushing yards against Auburn. But take an in-depth look into what really happened, and you see that Perine got 88 of those yards and the touchdown on one play where Auburn had a missed tackle. Other than that, he didn’t go anywhere, and neither did the Gators’ offense after the first quarter. Sure, Florida put up 398 yards of offense, but the Gators also turned the ball over four times. The only reason that the Gators got bailed out is that the Auburn offense also turned it over four times, and Bo Nix crumbled in the face of the crowd in the Swamp.
Florida won’t have the crowd behind it this time, and there’s no guarantee that Kyle Trask will be 100 percent either. If his knee acts up, the job will fall to Emery Jones, a freshman. Florida wants to avoid that scenario at all costs because there are few things worse for a freshman to face than a sold-out Tiger Stadium crowd in a night game.
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When LSU Has the Ball
While the Gators have been stuck in neutral, the Tigers are flying behind senior quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow has already exceeded last year’s touchdown numbers, tossing 22 against three interceptions in LSU’s first five games. Only against Northwestern State did he fail to throw at least four touchdowns, and that was partially because he only had 35 minutes to work with before putting the Demons away. Against Georgia Southern in the LSU opener, Burrow actually had more touchdowns (5) than incompletions (4).
He won’t do that against Florida, but there’s no guarantee the Gators will be able to stop him, given how dominant he and top receiver Justin Jefferson have been. However, if the Gators can find the solution to Burrow’s aerial assault, they’ll have the upper hand, as LSU is not a great team on the ground. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the leading man out of the Tigers’ backfield but has only broken 100 yards once this season. LSU knows it’s the Burrow Show for this season, and if you can solve him, you essentially stop the Bayou Bengals.
- This series has tended to favor the home team, which has been a major backfire on LSU over the past two seasons because of Hurricane Matthew. Since this game became an annual series in 1971, the rivals have played in odd years in Baton Rouge and even years in Gainesville, except for 2016 and 2017, because the hurricane forced the Gators out of Gainesville and caused the schools to switch hosting years for that two-game stretch. Because of that, Florida has hosted the past two meetings, and while LSU did win the 2017 game in Gainesville, it did so by just one point, resulting in another cover for Florida.
- Historically, this has been both a competitive fixture and a low-scoring one. In six of the past eight meetings, at least one team has failed to break 20 points, and in four of the past seven, both sides have been unable to hit 20. LSU hasn’t scored more than 20 since the last time this game was played on its regular date in Baton Rouge, which was a 35-28 Tiger win in 2015. That was also the last time that both of these teams arrived for this matchup in the Top 10 nationally.
Heat shouldn’t be a factor in this matchup, as temperatures are projected to be around 71 degrees at kickoff.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
The Gators showed me a lot on defense against Auburn, but as great as Bo Nix is, he’s just a freshman. Joe Burrow is a senior and a darn good one, and he’s playing at home in one of the most intimidating atmospheres for a visiting team to face. Florida hasn’t seen anything close to this kind of game situation this year, as the Gators’ only true road game of the year came at Kentucky, and with all due respect to the Wildcats, Lexington only becomes an intimidating place to play during basketball season.
Not so in Baton Rouge, and Florida is likely to learn that the hard way. The Gators’ defense will keep them hanging around for three quarters, but LSU is too talented on offense, and Florida doesn’t have enough of an offense of its own to hang with the Bayou Bengals. I’m taking LSU here.
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