#8 Florida Gators at #6 LSU Tigers
Tiger Stadium – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Saturday, October 17, 2015, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: LSU -6
Current Line: LSU -6 1/2
Opening Total: 47 1/2
Current Total: 44 1/2
Opening Money Line: LSU -250 / Florida +210
Current Money Line: LSU -240 / Florida +200
Two of the three remaining undefeated teams in the SEC face off as the #6 LSU Tigers host the #8 Florida Gators Saturday night. LSU is 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC West ahead of 2-0 Texas A&M. Florida is 6-0 and alone in first place in the SEC East at 4-0.
Florida leads the series 31-27-3 including 16-15 in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have won 6 of the last 10 including 30-27 last year in Gainesville. These two teams have played every year since 1971.
Florida is coached by Jim McElwain. The Gators have home wins over New Mexico State 61-13, East Carolina 31-24, Tennessee 28-27, and Ole Miss 38-10, along with road wins at Kentucky 14-9 and Missouri last week 21-3. Florida was a 6.5 point favorite against Missouri and the total was 38.5. The Gators took a 14-3 lead after the first quarter. They added a 40 yard pick six in the third quarter and neither team would score again. The Gators had 337 total yards to 257 for the Tigers. Missouri had two turnovers. Florida is 5-1 ATS and the total is 3-3 this season.
LSU is coached by Les Miles. The opening game against McNeese State was cancelled due to bad weather. LSU has road wins over Mississippi State 21-19 and Syracuse 34-24. The Tigers have home wins over Auburn 45-21, Eastern Michigan 44-22 and last week against South Carolina 45-24. The South Carolina game was originally scheduled to be in Columbia but was moved to Baton Rouge because of the severe flooding in South Carolina. The Tigers were 20.5 point favorites against South Carolina and the total was 50.5. LSU took a 17-10 lead into halftime. The Tigers would expand the lead to 38-17 late in the third. South Carolina cut the lead to 14. The Tigers added another touchdown early in the fourth to lead by 21. Neither team scored again as LSU covered by the hook. The Tigers had 624 total yards to 283 for the Gamecocks. The Tigers are 2-3 ATS and the total is 4-1 this season.
Florida is outscoring teams 32-14. The Gators are #10 in points allowed nationally. Florida averages 385 total yards per game on offense including 246 passing and 139 rushing yards. The Gators are #102 in rushing and #85 in total offense out of 128 teams. On defense, Florida is allowing 296 total yards per game including 196 passing and 101 rushing yards. The Gators are #16 in total defense and #15 against the rush. Florida has forced 13 turnovers and has 3 of their own. The Gators average 47 penalty yards per game and opponents average 34. Florida is 44/99 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 36/104. The Gators have forced 21 sacks and allowed 15 this season. Florida is 23/28 scoring in the red zone with 18 touchdowns and opponents are 12/15 with 5 touchdowns. Florida has two pick sixes this season.
Earlier this week, Florida quarterback Will Grier was suspended for a year for testing positive for PED’s after taking an over the counter supplement he didn’t know was banned. Grier threw for 1,204 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions and rushed for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns. Treon Harris takes over as the new starter. He has thrown for 269 yards with two touchdowns and no picks , along with 10 carries for 63 rushing yards. Josh Grady could also see some snaps at quarterback.
Running back Kelvin Taylor has 114 carries for 438 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 10 catches for 90 yards. Jordan Cronkite has 28 carries for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus a catch.
Receiver DeMarcus Robinson has 34 catches for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandon Powell has 16 catches for 252 yards and 3 touchdowns. Antonio Callaway has 13 catches for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns. DeAndre Goolsby has 12 catches for 184 yards and a touchdown. Jake McGee has 18 catches for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. Five defensive players are questionable or out.
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LSU is outscoring teams 38-22 this season. The Tigers are #20 in scoring. LSU averages 468 yards per game including 346 rushing and 122 passing yards. The Tigers are #3 nationally in rushing but #122 in passing. The Tigers are #23 antionally in total offense. On defense, LSU is allowing 291 yards per game including 192 passing and 100 rushing yards. The Tigers are #39 or better in all three categories nationally. LSU has forced seven turnovers and has one of their own. The Tigers average 72 penalty yards per game and opponents average 42. LSU is 25/57 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 28/74. The Tigers have forced 12 sacks and allowed 7 this season. LSU is 20/23 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns and opponents are 11/12 with 9 touchdowns. The Tigers have a punt return for a touchdown and a pick six, and have allowed a kick return for a toucdown.
Quarterback Brandon Harris has thrown for 610 yards with 4 touchdowns, and has rushed for 146 yards on 31 carries with 3 touchdowns. Receiver Malachi Dupre has 14 catches for 196 yards and 2 touchdowns. Travin Dural has 14 catches for 229 yards and a touchdown. No other receiver has more than 5 catches this year. Tight end Brandon Dillon is probable for undisclosed reasons. Another tight end John David Morre is out indefinitely with a knee injury.
Running back Leonard Fournette has 119 carries for 1,022 yards with 12 touchdowns, along with 5 catches. He is the early favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Darrel Williams has 43 carries for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns. Derrius Guice has 29 carries for 263 yards and a touchdown, along with 3 catches.
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Florida is 6-0 ATS in road games, 5-0 against teams with winning home records, 4-0 in SEC games, after a straight up win, against teams with winning records, and overall, 6-1 on grass, 5-1 after a cover and after allowing 170 passing yards, and 3-7 after allowing less than 20 points. The Gators are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in Baton Rouge. The under is 13-6 overall in this series and 7-3 in Death Valley.
LSU is 4-1 ATS after allowing 100 rushing yards or less, and in October, 2-5 after a cover, and after rushing for 200 yards or more, and 1-4 against teams with winning road records. The favorite is 5-2 ATS in this series recently. LSU has covered four of the last five games against Florida.
This should be a low scoring defensive struggle. Fournette is the best player on the field for either team and I think he will be the difference. I like the Tigers to remain undefeated.