Alex Anzalone knows the Gators have their hands full against LSU

The Gators walked out of Vanderbilt Stadium with a win on Saturday, but they also left down a few starters.  Florida’s formerly deep and strong defense took a few hits, leaving some questionable for LSU the game against LSU this weekend or even more games down the road. 

Starting defensive end Jordan Sherit is definitely out with a knee injury, along with starting defensive tackle Joey Ivie with a thumb injury. Both didn’t play against Vanderbilt.  Bryan Cox Jr. may also find himself out for the game or with very little time on the field. 

Gator Veteran Alex Anzalone says losing some key guys on his defense does not make things easy, but the team has the mindset that it’s someone else’s turn to step up. 

"I think it's big. Jordan Sherit is a big-time player for us and losing him definitely hurts,” Anzalone said.  “But we have a lot of young guys that can help out and step up. That's why you come to Florida, is to play as a freshman. You don't come here to redshirt and do whatever. I think I'm excited to see a lot of the young guys play and step up. It's next man up, and that's our mentality going into this week."

LSU will be traveling to the Swamp on Saturday, bringing their threatening All-American tailback Leonard Fournette.  Fournette’s status is currently “day-to-day” as he is having issues with his ankle.  But if Fournette is back up and running against Florida, the Gators will have to bring their A-game. Oh yeah running back Derrius Guice just had a personal best game himself.

“At the end of the day, you have to stop the run to be successful,” Florida head coach Jim McElwain said.  “They’ve got a rested Fournette. He’s as good as he is and obviously he’s going to be hungry because he saw what the other guy did. They’ll be a little competition there, I think.”

Anzalone said he remembers Fournette playing extremely well when they competed two years ago. 

“He ran the ball on us a little bit,” Anzalone said.  “He is as he's advertised. He is the best back in the country.”

While watching film, Anzalone said in the past it “worked out kind of in his (Fournette) favor.”  Going forward, Anzalone said the Gators need to have more attention to detail and just play sound, assignment football. 

“You watch the film and his play speaks for itself,” Anzalone said.  “He’s one of the best, or arguably the best running back in college football. It’s a big challenge for the defense. The biggest thing is just making gang tackles, running towards the ball. That’s something we do every week playing in the SEC but especially going against Leonard Fournette.”

Even without Fournette last week, LSU blew out Mizzou 42-7 with over 400 rushing yards in the contest. 

“I mean, they’re tradition is running the ball,” Anzalone said.  “That’s one of the biggest things going against them. It should be a good challenge for us. It should be a good challenge and it should be fun.”

Fightin Gators Top Stories