Scouting LSU Tigers

This week the Gators face the mad man of college football, Les Miles, and his LSU Tigers. Miles is either the luckiest man in the history of college football or the most intuitive. I tend to lean toward the former.

LSU is the third straight unbeaten team that Florida will have faced. They are better than the first one, Kentucky. Not as good as the last one, Alabama. But they are easily the oddest one of all. They beat Tennessee Saturday with one of the oddest end of game scenarios you'll ever see.

LSU Offense --- Once again the Gators are facing a team that's greatest strength is the running game, but in the case of LSU it's about their only strength…. at least offensively. LSU runs for 196 yards a game, but passes for just 131. They scored 30 opening day against North Carolina but haven't scored 30 since.

Running back Stevan Ridley is the key guy. He's a strong, powerful runner with good speed and great numbers (97-557, 5.7, 4). He accounts for the vast majority of their yardage on the ground. The rest of the rushing yardage comes from quarterback Jordan Jefferson (47-189, 2) who had an 83-yard touchdown run on the first play of the Tennessee game but added just 17 more the rest of the day. Former quarterback Russell Sheppard (21-152, 2) will also carry the ball in various situations.

Quarterback, however, is the big problem where Jefferson (46-89, 449, 2/6) and Jarrett Lee, have combined for two touchdowns and seven interceptions. Lee (18-25, 206, -/1) has been on and off the field for what seems like a decade while Jefferson is talented but often clueless. They can hit a big play, but can't sustain much of anything. The big concern for Florida is to not give up the big play. LSU will often look awful in the passing game and then hit a 50-yard play.

The passing game should be better than it is because there is plenty of talent at wide receiver. Rueben Randall (18, 13.4, 1) is a guy with good size at 6-3 and has plenty of speed. Terrence Toliver No. 80 (14, 10.6) is a proven player who should be much more involved in what they are doing while Shepard (10, 7.8, 1) is just learning the position.

The O-Line is solid with right tackle Joseph Barksdale, left guard Josh Dworaczyk and center T-Bob Hebert all returning starters. Barksdale is the best player while Hebert saved the Tennessee game when he snapped the ball before time expired. They come off the ball hard, though they are not as good as ‘Bama.

Overall, this is an offense that is quite predictable and easy to prepare for. They saddle up Ridley and see how far they can ride him and go from there. If the Gators can control Ridley and eliminate big plays LSU is in trouble.

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