LSU vs. Florida - MATCHUPS

A breakdown of the No. 18 LSU (4-1) vs. No. 16 Florida (4-2) game, set for 6:45 p.m. (C) kickoff from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. The contest will be televised by ESPN.

LSU rushing offense vs. Florida rushing defense

The Tigers have the weapons, from the backfield through the offensive line, to move the ball on the ground. LSU can't afford to be one-dimensional against the Gators, but it must be noted that Miami, Fla., ran for 306 yards in its win over Florida

Advantage: LSU


LSU passing offense vs. Florida pass defense

The Tigers got a few more yards through the air against Louisiana-Lafayette, but the Cajuns are certainly a far cry from Florida. Ole Miss was the first SEC team to throw for over 100 yards against Florida this season (Eli Manning, 154 yards), so it will be a challenge for LSU to reach that mark

Advantage: FLORIDA


Florida rushing offense vs. LSU rushing defense

The Gators have Earnest Graham in the backfield averaging close to 100 yards per game, and the games in which Florida is able to run the ball usually go hand-in-hand with their good passing games. LSU has not yet faced a team as balanced as Florida, so it's hard to say how the Tigers' improved defense will fare.

Advantage: FLORIDA


Florida passing offense vs. LSU pass defense

The Tigers are a much-improved team against the pass this season, but they've yet to face a team as potent as Florida. Of course, the Gators haven't met much defensive resistance outside of the Miami, Fla., and Ole Miss games.

Advantage: FLORIDA


LSU special teams vs. Florida special teams

Kentucky threatened to leave The Swamp with a win thanks to its performance on returns, and LSU brings better talent into the game than the Wildcats did. It's hard to think the Gators will have continued letdowns here, but the Tigers have enjoyed their edge here because of stellar execution.

Advantage: LSU



Florida seems to be answering questions about what the program will look like under head coach Ron Zook. But the Gators still have to defend the honor of The Swamp after Miami, Fla., stormed in for a win and Kentucky nearly came away victorious. Look for Florida to exploit its home field advantage against an LSU team that hasn't proven yet it can play well on the road in 2002.

Advantage: FLORIDA



Florida was slowly building momentum following its big win at Tennessee before Ole Miss. The Gators are in the toughest stretch of their 2002 schedule and the Tigers can only hope that playing four straight weeks of SEC football (and seven straight games dating back to the season opener) will have an adverse effect on the home team in this game. Still, it's hard to pick against the Gators in The Swamp when they're favored. Here's hoping we're wrong - way wrong! 




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