10 interesting tidbits about Florida’s matchup with the LSU Tigers

·4 min read

When the season was still hot summer days away from starting, it was easy to point to Oct. 16 as a big day on the schedule.

Now, not so much.

Florida and LSU have combined for five losses this season and are clinging desperately to a chance to salvage a good season while knowing Atlanta is pretty much out.

This isn’t what we signed up for in August. An 11 a.m. local time game? (Good for Florida, but tells you about the status of this year’s contest). For the second straight year, one team isn’t ranked. And we’re looking at you LSU.

It doesn’t take away from the fact that these two teams don’t like each other and the fan bases get growling when they get together. Most of the animosity started with the postponement of the 2016 game because of Hurricane Matthew to the end of the season and the chirpiness that came out of Baton Rouge when we actually had a nice day on what would have been game day.

From there it escalated, but none of that means anything now. This is about two teams trying to find themselves while their fans wonder if they truly want to.

The injury bug has certainly contributed to the problems on the Bayou.

The biggest loss on offense is wide receiver Kayshon Boutte, who was tied for the national lead in touchdown catches with nine. He’s out for the season as is corner Derek Stingley, who has been out most of the year. You may remember him from a pick in the end zone against Kyle Trask two years ago. Also, defensive end Ali Gaye is out, defensive tackle Joe Evans, safety Major Burns and most recently cornerback Eli Ricks. LSU does get Greg Logan back for his first game of the season at defensive tackle.

In the last seven games between these two teams, it has come down to a one-possession final score.

The one exception was 2019 when LSU won 42-28 in what was still a fourth-quarter game. The Tigers, as you know, went on to win the national title that year.

Dan Mullen does not have a great record against LSU at 3-9.

But his last game against the Tigers at Mississippi State was a 37-7 win over Ed Orgeron. It was the largest Bulldogs win in the history of the series. So, there’s that.

In the history of this series, both teams have been ranked 26 times.

This isn’t one of those times. Both teams have been in the top 10 six times when they have met. And seven times, one of the teams has been ranked No. 1.

Florida – 1994, ’96, ’97, 2009

LSU – 1959, 2007, 2011

Offense has been the problem for LSU this season

… as the Tigers have been adjusting to new offensive coordinator Jake Peetz. Orgeron tried to push the right button again by bringing in Peetz, who had worked for Joe Brady with Carolina in the NFL. Brady, of course, was the coordinator when LSU won the national title in 2019.

The biggest issue has been running the football.

LSU ranks 127th out of 130 teams in rushing offense. The only teams below the Tigers are Arkansas State, Bowling Green and Mississippi State, which doesn’t try to run the ball. LSU is 23rd in the nation in passing, and Max Johnson, who beat Florida last year, is third in the SEC in passing

You are probably tired of Gator coaches saying the team needs to clean some things up

… but it is kind of a big deal, especially in this game. One thing LSU has done a good job at is avoiding penalties. The Tigers have committed only 25 in six games. Florida has committed 49 in as many games. That’s a big penalty differential.

Speaking of penalties, the fewest Florida ever had in a game was one

… and that came in the famous 2016 hurricane game when Florida won 16-10 to win the East. One penalty. And LSU only had two. And this after the two times got into a scuffle during the pregame.

We know that Florida has done well on the offensive line this season

… as the Gators lead the SEC in total offense (Ole Miss leads in yards per game). LSU, as we mentioned, is hurting on the defensive line and has struggled to generate a pass rush. The Tigers have only had two sacks in three SEC games. On the other hand, Florida has 20 sacks as a team and Brenton Cox and Zach Carter are tied for the SEC lead with six each.

In the end, this looks a lot like last year except LSU gets to try to save its season at home.

A year ago, LSU was 3-5 when the Tigers came to Gainesville and a bunch of weird stuff happened. Hopefully for Gator fans, this Florida team plays with the edge it lacked on a foggy night in December. The crowd will be an issue, but the LSU fans will be wiping sleep out of their eyes for a quarter.

[vertical-gallery id=46396]

[listicle id=57575]

[listicle id=57573]

[listicle id=57780]

Follow us @GatorsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Florida Gators news, notes and opinions.

1

1

1

1

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting