Two of the nation’s most prolific programs look to stay afloat in the SEC as the No. 10 LSU Tigers host the No. 17 Florida Gators on Saturday afternoon at Tiger Stadium.
LSU's balanced and hard-charging offense will Florida’s fourth ranked defense, that’s let up a paltry 12.2 points per game this season. The Tigers are third in the SEC in scoring offense with 45.5 points, and the Gators are first in rushing defense with 65 yards allowed per game. In 2012, Florida stunted any chances of a Tigers run to the national championship with a 14-6 victory, holding LSU to 42 rushing yards and forcing three turnovers.
A second loss for either team would make toppling Alabama or Georgia nearly impossible, especially for the Gators, who end their season with five of the last seven games against ranked opponents.
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger is currently the most accurate passer in the conference, but Gators cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy and freshman defensive back Vernon Hargreaves represent four interceptions for arguably the nation’s best secondary.
They’ll also try to hold back top Tiger receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, statistically the second and third ranked receivers in the SEC. The pair has combined for 1,302 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Landry suffered a foot injury in last week’s 59-26 victory over Mississippi State, but is listed as probable.
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Florida hasn’t given up more than 164 passing yards in a single game this season, which could mean more work for LSU’s top rusher Jeremy Hill. The sophomore’s racked up 594 rushing yards and an SEC-high nine rushing touchdowns this season.
Since taking over for Jeff Driskel, junior quarterback Tyler Murphy leads the Gator offense with 530 yards passing and five touchdowns to one pick in three games. While he’s not asked to sling the ball up and down the field, Murphy’s been especially accurate the last two games, completing 31 of his 40 pass attempts.
Sophomore Matt Jones and junior Mack Brown have split carries in the backfield this season, and combined for 606 yards and five touchdowns. And senior receiver Solomon Patton has caught four of the Gators six passing touchdowns this season.
The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by CBS, or watch their live online stream here.
Betting Odds: LSU favored by 7 points
Over/Under: 47.5 points
Prediction: LSU 20, Florida 17