Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#179 Florida 55 vs.
#180 LSU -13.5
Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 8:00pm EDT
Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge
Written by Chris Kubala

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#179 University of Florida
#180 Louisiana State University
6-0
5-0
2-2-1
4-1
1-4
4-1
32
54
9
19

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It’s a crossover matchup in the SEC as a pair of heavyweights in the top 10 of the rankings lock up down in the bayou. The #7 Florida Gators are on the road as they make the trip to face the #5 LSU Tigers on Saturday night. Florida remained unbeaten as they knocked off #7 Auburn 24-13 at home last Saturday. LSU rolled past Utah State 42-6 at home in their last contest last Saturday to maintain their perfect mark. The Gators own a 33-29-3 edge in the all-time series, including a 27-19 home win in the last matchup on October 6, 2018.

Florida Gators Seek Second Straight Win vs. Top 10 Opponent

Florida remained unbeaten as they picked up a home win over a top-10 foe in a crossover matchup in the SEC last week with a win over Auburn. The Gators now try to repeat that success, only with this one on the road. Florida never trailed in the contest and rode their defense to another victory. The Gators owned a 398-269 edge in total yards, picked up 19 first downs while allowing only 12 and won the time of possession battle by a 33:41 to 26:19 margin in the contest. Both teams were sloppy in the game as each side committed four turnovers in the game.

The Gators enter this one 32nd in passing offense with 284.5 yards per contest and 89th in rushing offense with 139.8 yards per game this season. Florida is 53rd in the FBS in scoring offense as they average 32.3 points per game while the team is fifth in scoring defense as they allow just 9.5 points per contest. Feleipe Franks is 54 of 71 passing for 698 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions plus 68 rushing yards and a score. He’s done for the year with a dislocated ankle with a fracture suffered against Kentucky. Kyle Trask is 70 of 97 passing for 881 yards with seven touchdowns and two picks while Emory Jones is 16 of 25 for 124 yards and a score. Lamical Perine leads the team with 69 carries for 327 yards and four scores on the season. Dameon Pierce is next in line with 28 carries for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Van Jefferson is second on the Gators with 19 receptions for 258 yards and a score. Kyle Pitts has a team-leading 25 receptions for 254 yards plus three scores while Trevon Grimes (16 grabs, 235 yards), Josh Hammond (16 catches, 199 yards, TD) and Perine (18 grabs, 93 yards, TD) are next in line. Evan McPherson has hit all 21 extra point attempts and seven of eight on field goals with a long of 42. Chris Howard hit both his extra point tries and hasn’t attempted a field goal this season.

LSU Tigers Try to Remain Unbeaten

LSU cruised past Utah State at home in their last contest and now brings their high-octane offense against the tough Florida defense. The Tigers are at home here and that could work in their favor. LSU led only 7-6 after the opening quarter but dominated the game over the final three quarters en route to the one-sided triumph. The Tigers racked up a 601-159 advantage in total offense, rolled up a 32-10 edge in first downs and dominated the time of possession by a 41:03 to 18:57 margin in the contest. LSU forced three turnovers to shake off the two miscues they had themselves.

The Tigers are second in the nation in passing offense with 416 yards per contest while the team is 75th in rushing offense with 155 yards per game. LSU is first in the FBS in scoring offense with 54.6 points per game while ranking 29th in scoring defense with 19.8 points per contest. Joe Burrow has hit 127 of 162 passes for 1,864 yards with 22 touchdowns and three interceptions: he’s added 62 yards plus two scores on the ground. Myles Brennan is 17 of 26 for 216 yards and an interception. Clyde Edwards-Helaire leads the team on the ground with 65 carries for 360 yards and five touchdowns. Tyrion Davis-Pierce (28 carries, 112 yards, two TD) and John Emery Jr. (26 carries, 114 yards, two TD) are next in line. Justin Jefferson leads the team with 30 catches for 547 yards plus seven scores while Terrace Marshall Jr. (20 grabs, 304 yards, six scores) and Ja’Marr Chase (23 catches, 451 yards, six TD) are solid targets as well. Cade York has hit 34 of 35 extra points and seven of eight field goal tries with a long of 48 this season.

Burrow is a Heisman candidate right now and will be the key to LSU getting in the playoff picture. He'll be facing one of the toughest defenses in the nation on Saturday night.

"He’s played in a bunch of big games," said Florida head coach Dan Mullen. "He’s got great skill players around him and, you know, you can see his trust in those guys to go make plays out there. And then I think he’s deceptively, really athletic. So he can extend plays and he can make plays happen in the run game, if you’re gonna give it to him, he’s gonna take it. He’ll be the best quarterback we’ve faced so far this year and it’ll be a great challenge for our defense.”

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Talk about a clash of titans here: LSU has the nation’s best scoring offense while Florida is in the top 10 in scoring defense. The Gators are allowing only 183.3 yards per game through the air and lead the nation in takeaways (17) and interceptions (12) this season. Florida is going to have to find a way to contain the LSU attack, which just saw Burrow become the first quarterback in school history to throw for at least 300 yards in four straight games. The Tigers are an explosive offensive team and they don’t beat themselves. The turnover game may be important: LSU has committed only six turnovers this season while Florida has 13. That, plus home field advantage, gives the Tigers the upper hand here.

Prediction: LSU Tigers -13.5

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We know that Florida is a tough defense and they want to make every yard a fight. The Gators are a top-10 scoring defense and they are terrific at forcing turnovers. On the other side of the coin, LSU is an explosive offensive team and Burrow has turned the heat on their passing game up to 11 with his accuracy and solid decision making. While Florida has shut out two opponents and allowed only three points to a third, this is by far their steepest challenge. We saw the Gators give up 20 points to Miami (FL) and 21 to Kentucky with a backup QB: will Florida's defensive luck run out when it comes to stopping the Tigers?

The under is 5-1 in the Gators' last six games overall, 4-1 in their last 5 games following a straight up win and 4-1 in their last five on grass. We've seen the scoring go up in the last three games of this series but it has gone only from 26 to 33 to 45 points in that span. After seeing the way the Florida/Auburn game went last week, it's hard to see big point totals here. This one has the winner somewhere in the mid 20s to the low 30s, which helps keep this one under the number.

Prediction: Under 55.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.