Of importance for both teams is improving on offense, especially in the passing game. The Gators come into the contest with an incumbent starter at quarterback in Jeff Driskel who has struggled this season and was benched in the fourth quarter of the Tennessee contest. Treon Harris came in and finished the game strong and helped the Gators over the top. Harris was suspended during the week, and then reinstated Friday, but won't be used Saturday in the contest.
That means Driskel has to step up, and his receivers have to step up around him. The Gators receivers have dropped 10 passes in the last two games, and that is entirely too many to have an effective passing game. These receivers need to step up and help Driskel who may be a bit in the tank last week.
Florida should ride the coattails of the running game, which has been pretty effective so far this season. Junior Matt Jones was banged up all week, but is expected to be 100% for the contest and Florida head coach says he needs to use sophomore Kelvin Taylor a lot more in the running game as well. Meanwhile, LSU is struggling to stop the run with a very young defensive front and the gators believe they can expose that.
The Tigers are also struggling in the passing game and rely on the running game. They have big play ability when they do throw, but lack any kind of consistency. That plays right into the strength of the Gator defense, which actually did show a ton of improvement in defending the pass during the Tennessee game.
Florida hasn't felt this good about it's special teams since 2012 when they had an All-American kicker and freshman All-American punter.
The Gators also return home in The Swamp after playing the last two contests on the road and with a night game, this looks to be an electric atmosphere Saturday night. The whirlwind of emotions this week with an overblown fight incident and the suspension of Harris and his subsequent return to the team on Friday should be at a peak because team favorite Harris got the good news late on Friday.
Harris won't play Saturday, but he can certainly go a long way in helping this team by pumping them up on the sideline.
I like a lot of the match ups for this game and also the turn of events, coupled with a big time crowd that will be ready to see these Gators play again. I still think the contest will be close, but I am going to go with the Gators 13-10.
Click the links below for our Gator coverage from the week.Florida Gators (3-1)(1-1) vs. LSU Tigers (4-2)(0-2)
Saturday October 11, 2014; 7:30 P.M. ET
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
TV: SEC Network Fives for LSU
Gators commit Jerome Baker will be in attendance
Roper sees a confident Driskel
Podcast: Gators and More