No. 8 Florida Gators (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS) vs. No. 6 LSU Tigers (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date/Time: Saturday October 17th, 7:00PM EST
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UF +9.5/LSU -9.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5
The road towards an SEC Championship goes through Baton Rouge for two teams this Saturday. The visiting no. 8 Florida Gators are one of just 3 teams remaining in the SEC with an unblemished record and they could take a strangle hold of the SEC East crown with a victory this weekend. However, we all know how intense and crazy things get down in Baton Rouge on a Saturday night. For the no. 6 LSU Tigers, not only are they trying to remain in control of the SEC West but they are trying to remain in the college football playoffs discussion as they look to remain unbeaten.
The Bayou Bengals have rode on the back of Leonard Fournette to a perfect start and the Heisman Trophy candidate has shown no signs of slowing down. Through just 5 games, the sophomore running back has amassed 1,022 yards with 12 touchdowns while establishing himself as the top player in the country. Fournette has been thoroughly impressive and despite a limited number of carries in last weeks blowout win over South Carolina, he still managed 158 yards on just 20 touches. The 158 yards total on the ground was actually the stars lowest mark of the season which is a statement in itself.
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This week things may get a little tougher for the Heisman hopeful. The no. 8 ranked Gators has outstanding talent on the defensive side of the ball that should be able to give LSUs offense their biggest challenge of the season. Florida is giving up just 296 total yards per game which is good enough for the 16th best mark in college football. The Gators have been equally strong against the run holding opponents to just 99 yards per game (12th in FBS). Therefore it will be very interesting to see if Florida can fill the holes up front and bog Fournette down. Obviously the sophomore back is going to get yards, but Florida must keep him from busting open any big plays like he did last week against South Carolina with his game breaking 87 yard touchdown run.
If the Gators can find a way to contain Fournette, they should have a decent chance to compete. I still think LSU has the talent advantage but Florida has been getting better with each passing week. The major problem and adjustment going into this week will be life without quarterback Will Grier. Grier was surprisingly suspended following the 21-3 victory over Missouri last week after testing positive to performance enhancing drugs. The redshirt freshman had made a great start to the season with solid play behind center that was a big part of Floridas early success.
Stepping into the fold this week will be sophomore Treon Harris. Harris was actually the starter going into the season before Grier took over the reins. Harris has had a great deal of inconsistency over the last year or so behind center which were part of the offensive issues that plagued former head coach Will Muschamp. With Harris back under center, it definitely raises a cloud of concern and that is the major reason that the Gators are near double point dogs this Saturday. However, I do not think people should jump off the Florida bandwagon just yet. Florida uses a very conservative offense just like LSU and they will undoubtedly put some extra focus on running the ball this week with Kelvin Taylor. With the exception of Fournette, these are two equally talented teams. Therefore if Florida is able to play well against the run, this could be a really fun game to watch.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think this could be one of those classic 13-10 type football games LSU and Florida both have a history of producing. Two really good defenses will be in action and both coaches know what the other offense is going to do. I think the scoring is kept down in this game. Take the under 47.5!
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