TSX Review: LSU Week 6

Go inside to get the week's review from The Sports Xchange.

INSIDE SLANT

   Apparently, coach Les Miles and his staff liked what they saw from both quarterbacks in LSU's victory over Tennessee, and the Tigers once again will split time between juniors Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee in their game at Florida.

   Jefferson scored on an 83-yard run on the game's first play from scrimmage on his way to a 100-yard rushing day against the Volunteeers. He completed only 3 of 10 passes for 30 yards, however, with an interception.

   Lee was 16 of 23 for 185 yards and also threw an interception.

   "We have a week to determine who starts and who doesn't," Miles said. "I think that both will play certainly in a like situation and in a like way that they were played in the last game."

   Miles said he thought both quarterbacks had similar enough skills that it wouldn't necessarily telegraph to Florida what was coming depending on which one was in the game, but it's obvious Jefferson is the bigger running threat.

   Jefferson has 189 net yards rushing, second to tailback Stevan Ridley's 557 for the season. Lee is in the hole with minus-15 on the season.

   "We know as a team that if we put Jordan in that he has the option to both pass and run the ball," sophomore wide receiver Rueben Randle said. "With Jarrett in, it's more of we know that Stevan is going to run the ball or Jarrett is going to pass it.

   "It is just something that we are going to have to get used to in practice. We all feel comfortable with both quarterbacks playing the game."

   The game at Florida will be the first road appearance for the Tigers since their victory at Vanderbilt back on Sept. 11. The Tigers improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC Western Division by sweeping a three-game homestand against Mississippi State, West Virginia and Tennessee.

   After the game against the Gators, the Tigers step out of conference play again to play host to McNeese State.  

 

NOTES, QUOTES

   --Florida has been a pivotal game for LSU the last two years. The Tigers were 5-0 last year at the time of their meeting with the Gators and only 4-3 after losing the game 13-3. In 2008, they were 4-0 going to Gainesville but after losing 51-21 to the Gators, they were only 4-4 the rest of the way.

   --This will be the sixth consecutive meeting that No. 12 LSU and No. 14 Florida have both been ranked in the top 25 at the time of their meeting. The last time one of the teams wasn't ranked was in 2003, when the unranked Gators upset No. 6 LSU 19-7 in Baton Rouge.

   --LSU leads the SEC and is 10th in the country with 16 sacks in five games. Florida has allowed only seven sacks all year and gave up only one to Alabama in its last game.

   SERIES HISTORY: Florida leads LSU 30-23-3 (last meeting, 2009, 13-3, Florida).

   SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: The Tigers are fourth in the conference in rushing offense (195.6 ypg) but are struggling in their passing game. They played two quarterbacks in the win over Tennessee, with Jarrett Lee, the backup, handling most of the passing. He was 16 of 23 for 185 yards but had an interception. RB Stevan Ridley is the SEC's top rusher.

   SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: The defense overall ranks sixth in the country in total defense, holding foes to just 246.6 yards per game.  The Tigers are allowing only 76 yards a game rushing, which also is sixth in NCAA FBS statistics. LB Kelvin Sheppard is fourth in the SEC in tackles (9.6 per game), and DE Drake Nevis is third in sacks (0.70 per game).

   QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think it's a completely different scenario. It's a clock-management issue without question, but it's not the same. This specifically was trying to use a down, not give up a down, and that was a mistake. That was not the mistake that was made at Ole Miss." -- Coach Les Miles, discussing how the clock-management issue at the end of the Tennessee game compared to the problem in last year's loss at Ole Miss.

 

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

   THIS WEEK'S GAME: LSU at Florida, Oct. 9 -- The Tigers look to go 4-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1987. They also are looking to end a two-game losing streak against the Gators, who have won three of the last four meetings. Though they are in different divisions, the two teams meet every season as "crossover" opponents.  

   KEYS TO THE GAME: Get the passing game going. Florida is holding opponents to under 110 yards a game rushing despite giving up 170 to Alabama in its last outing. LSU's defense wants to shut down Florida's running attack to make the Gators one-dimensional on offense.

   PLAYERS TO WATCH:

   RB Stevan Ridley -- Ridley leads the SEC in rushing (111.4 ypg) and is the most consistent offensive threat for the Tigers. The junior has been in triple digits rushing in three games, including his last two (123 vs. Tennessee, 116 vs. West Virginia).

   CB Patrick Peterson -- Whatever you do, don't flip the channel or leave your stadium seat to visit the concession stand when Florida is punting. Peterson has become one of the most electrifying returners in the country with two runbacks for touchdowns. He is averaging 23.58 yards per return, best in the country, in his first season on special teams. Oh, yeah. The junior is considered one of the top cover corners in the country as well.

   DT Drake Nevis -- Nevis is a playmaker on defense. He is fourth on the team in total tackles with 26 stops, six of which have been for losses. He has a team-best 3.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.

   ROSTER REPORT:

   --WR Chris Tolliver (head) is out indefinitely.

   --DE Sam Montgomery (knee), injured in the win over Tennessee, is going to require surgery and is lost for the season.

   --TE Mitch Joseph and DE Kendrick Adams are both expected back after sitting out the Tennessee game with injuries.

   --RG Will Blackwell (ankle), injured on the first play of the season, continues to sit and likely will miss the rest of the regular season.

 

 


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