Scouting LSU

Florida looks to rebound at home this week and stay in the SEC East race against 15/18th ranked LSU. The Tigers have won four in a row since the opening loss at Virginia Tech and boast the nation's top defense. The Tigers are the defending SEC Champs and are 1-0 in the conference. The Gators mashed LSU 44-15 a year ago. Florida has won 13 of the last 14 meetings and Nick Saban is 0-2 against UF. The game is set for a festive 7:45pm start on ESPN in the Swamp.

Tiger Defense:

They lead the country at allowing 202 yards per game, only 115.6 through the air. The group has given up just one passing touchdown and only 11 points per game. The defense held Louisiana Lafayette to 0-16 on third down conversions a week ago. Overall, teams have converted just 15 of 75 third down opportunities and this is an area the Gators have struggled lately. The defense is called the "James Gang" led by Butkus award candidate linebacker Bradie James. He has 62 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks and interception so far this season.  Damien James is the outstanding safety who has 2 interceptions and 1 for a touchdown. Up front, LSU is led by Chad Lavalais at defensive tackle and Marcus Spears at defensive end,  The front four is playing much better than a year ago. The linebackers are big and can run with Jeremy Lawrence and Lionel Turner.   Norman LeJeune is a very active strong safety and Randall Gay and Demetrus Hookfin man the corner spots.

Tiger Scheme:

It is simple... they play 4-3 cover two and blitz and attack from multiple looks. They are very active in the front four and are aggressive early in the down sequence. I expect them to play a lot of zone early to test the patience of the Florida attack. They will run some fronts where Kendrick Allen is located on top of the center head up and attack mostly in passing situations. The favorite blitz is the weakside fire in which Lionel Turner will come and also exchange responsibilities with Marquise Hill the defensive end. The defense is similar in scheme to Miami. They also like to bring the "Mike" blitz in which Bradie James will come from regular depth and make tackles for loss in the running game.

Gators on the Attack:

Certainly Florida's passing attack must improve this week and look for them to challenge an untested secondary. Look for Florida to use two types of formations more, especially in the passing game. Two back with a tight end and two tight ends and two backs. This allows for maximum protection and gets both Jacobs and Perez, the two primary receivers out into the route. Look for both receivers to line up opposite the tight end and with the tight end in trips. The tight end will be a focus in the middle of the field and especially in run situations and in the double tight end set.  UF will have a tough go running inside early so look for toss sweep to the weak side and the draw trap as well. In blitz situations Florida's receivers can get open versus LSU but the tight end could be a focus if the safeties lay back. Shannon Snell will be a game time decision and I get a sense he will not play and if that does happen, expect Jorgensen at center and Degory at guard. They can also move Mo Mitchell to left guard and Randy Hand to right guard. This is a must win game for Zook and he will have a special play or two once again for the Tiger defense. If they do run straight ahead look for them to go behind Mitchell and Colon.

Big Game Gators:

Ben Troupe,Taylor Jacobs, Jonathen Colon and Earnest Graham.


Tiger Offense:

LSU's offense is averaging the same as Florida's offense with 31 points per game. That is where the similarities end as LSU is second to last in the conference in total offense at 340 yards per game and dead last in passing offense at 132 yards per game. Matt Mauck has struggled to find consistency in replacing Rohan Davey yet he has avoided mistakes that could cost the Tigers with just 2 interceptions.  Mauck has completed just 45% of his passes, with Michael Clayton the sophomore catching 21 with 4 touchdowns.  Domanick Davis will be the starting tailback with Toefield out and is averaging 5 yards per carry and has 5 touchdowns.  Joseph Addai is a the young phenom behind him and will play and carry the ball in this game.  LSU's offensive line is a very good off the ball running team led by the right side of guard Rob Sale and tackle Rodney Reed. Four of the lineman are over 300 lbs and their is only one senior in the starting lineup (Sale).  The offensive line has given up 14 sacks and does not protect well, especially on the left side.

Tiger Scheme:

Once again a very similar offense as is the defense to Miami. The Tigers are and "I" formation team that wants to establish the run. Davis is a good outside runner and the lineman are very mobile in the running game. The favorite run plays are the "counter" "sweep-strong" and the "Iso".  They set their passing game up out of the run with play action passes. They will boot and waggle pass outside the pocket and flood the zone. The quarterback draw is a favorite play call out of the spread-shotgun formation. They like the play action post to challenge the safeties.   Mauck does a nice job of throwing the ball away. The tight end is an excellent blocker and will be involved in the passing game.


Gators on the Prowl:

Bam Hardman will be a big factor in reading and recognizing the run action for the Gators this week. He should have a big game in double digit tackles if UF can stop the run. It is also imperative that the defensive ends of Bobby McCray and Clint Mitchell take on the counter with force and don't get hooked on the sweeps. The interior part of UF's line has really disrupted the past few games Ian Scott, Tron Lafavor and Bryan Savelio should have a big day in passing situations. Look for pressure when LSU does pass from these guys.  Bradie James. He has 62 tackles, 3.5\r\ntackles for a loss, 2 sacks and interception so far this season.  Damien\r\nJames is the outstanding safety who has 2 interceptions and 1 for a touchdown.\r\nUp front, LSU is led by Chad Lavalais at defensive tackle and Marcus Spears at\r\ndefensive end,  The front four is playing much better than a year ago. The\r\nlinebackers are big and can run with Jeremy Lawrence and Lionel Turner.  \r\nNorman LeJeune is a very active strong safety and Randall Gay and Demetrus\r\nHookfin man the corner spots.
\r\n
\r\nTiger Scheme:

\r\n

It is simple... they\r\nplay 4-3 cover two and blitz and attack from multiple looks. They are very\r\nactive in the front four and are aggressive early in the down sequence. I expect\r\nthem to play a lot of zone early to test the patience of the Florida attack.\r\nThey will run some fronts where Kendrick Allen is located on top of the center\r\nhead up and attack mostly in passing situations. The favorite blitz is the\r\nweakside fire in which Lionel Turner will come and also exchange\r\nresponsibilities with Marquise Hill the defensive end. The defense is similar in\r\nscheme to Miami. They also like to bring the \"Mike\" blitz in which\r\nBradie James will come from regular depth and make tackles for loss in the\r\nrunning game.
\r\n
\r\nGators on the Attack:

\r\n

Certainly Florida's\r\npassing attack must improve this week and look for them to challenge an untested\r\nsecondary. Look for Florida to use two types of formations more, especially in\r\nthe passing game. Two back with a tight end and two tight ends and two backs.\r\nThis allows for maximum protection and gets both Jacobs and Perez, the two\r\nprimary receivers out into the route. Look for both receivers to line up\r\nopposite the tight end and with the tight end in trips. The tight end will be a\r\nfocus in the middle of the field and especially in run situations and in the\r\ndouble tight end set.  UF will have a tough go running inside early so look\r\nfor toss sweep to the weak side and the draw trap as well. In blitz situations\r\nFlorida's receivers can get open versus LSU but the tight end could be a focus\r\nif the safeties lay back. Shannon Snell will be a game time decision and I get a\r\nsense he will not play and if that does happen, expect Jorgensen at center and\r\nDegory at guard. They can also move Mo Mitchell to left guard and Randy Hand to\r\nright guard. This is a must win game for Zook and he will have a special play or\r\ntwo once again for the Tiger defense. If they do run straight ahead look for\r\nthem to go behind Mitchell and Colon.
\r\n
\r\nBig Game Gators:

\r\n

Ben Troupe,Taylor\r\nJacobs, Jonathen Colon and Earnest Graham.
\r\n
\r\n
\r\nTiger Offense:

\r\n

LSU's offense is\r\naveraging the same as Florida's offense with 31 points per game. That is where\r\nthe similarities end as LSU is second to last in the conference in total offense\r\nat 340 yards per game and dead last in passing offense at 132 yards per game.\r\nMatt Mauck has struggled to find consistency in replacing Rohan Davey yet he has\r\navoided mistakes that could cost the Tigers with just 2 interceptions. \r\nMauck has completed just 45% of his passes, with Michael Clayton the sophomore\r\ncatching 21 with 4 touchdowns.  Domanick Davis will be the starting\r\ntailback with Toefield out and is averaging 5 yards per carry and has 5\r\ntouchdowns.  Joseph Addai is a the young phenom behind him and will play\r\nand carry the ball in this game.  LSU's offensive line is a very good off\r\nthe ball running team led by the right side of guard Rob Sale and tackle Rodney\r\nReed. Four of the lineman are over 300 lbs and their is only one senior in the\r\nstarting lineup (Sale).  The offensive line has given up 14 sacks and does\r\nnot protect well, especially on the left side.
\r\n
\r\nTiger Scheme:

\r\n

Once again a very\r\nsimilar offense as is the defense to Miami. The Tigers are and \"I\"\r\nformation team that wants to establish the run. Davis is a good outside runner\r\nand the lineman are very mobile in the running game. The favorite run plays are\r\nthe \"counter\" \"sweep-strong\" and the \"Iso\". \r\nThey set their passing game up out of the run with play action passes. They will\r\nboot and waggle pass outside the pocket and flood the zone. The quarterback draw\r\nis a favorite play call out of the spread-shotgun formation. They like the play\r\naction post to challenge the safeties.   Mauck does a nice job of\r\nthrowing the ball away. The tight end is an excellent blocker and will be\r\ninvolved in the passing game.
\r\n
\r\n
\r\nGators on the Prowl:

\r\n

Bam Hardman will be a\r\nbig factor in reading and recognizing the run action for the Gators this week.\r\nHe should have a big game in double digit tackles if UF can stop the run. It is\r\nalso imperative that the defensive ends of Bobby McCray and Clint Mitchell take\r\non the counter with force and don't get hooked on the sweeps. The interior part\r\nof UF's line has really disrupted the past few games Ian Scott, Tron Lafavor and\r\nBryan Savelio should have a big day in passing situations. Look for pressure\r\nwhen LSU does pass from these guys.