Florida Gators Host LSU Tigers in Critical SEC Matchup


As a Gator fan, this was one of the 2008 matchups I feared the most. In recent years,


has a history of allowing big days to feature backs.

Leon Washington

– 134 yards –


31 – UF 14.

Frank Gore

– 127 yards –


38 – UF 33.

Fred Russell

– 150 yards –


37 – UF 17.

Jerious Norwood

– 174 yards –

Mississippi State

38 – UF 31.

Joseph Addai

– 156 yards –


21 – UF 17.

Knowshon Moreno

– 188 yards –


42 – UF 30.

Mike Hart

– 129 yards –


41 – UF 35. I think that’s more than enough of the painful memories. LSU has a running back with the potential to give the Gators another one.

Charles Scott – who was born in Tampa by the way (you learn something new every day) – has had a great start to the season. He has rushed for at least 102 yards in all four of the Tigers’ games and is averaging 7.5 yards a carry. Scott is built like Emmitt Smith, and as evidenced by the last couple of games, has the stamina to carry the ball at least 20 times. He has emerged as a star and will be counted on to help control the clock in LSU’s favor to keep Florida’s high-powered (I had trouble getting that one out) offense off the field. If Scott gets going early, it’s going to be a long day for the Gators and they’ll have a hard time staying in it. We’ve seen plenty of evidence that Florida doesn’t do well when playing from behind.

The Gators do allow less than 100 yards per game on the ground, but they will need to hold that average more so in this game. With the exception of a few plays during the loss, the Florida defense has played great this year. UF is currently tied for fourth in the nation, only allowing 11.4 points per game. Jermaine Cunningham and Carlos Dunlap have played excellent from the defensive end positions and every linebacker that has seen the field has contributed well in one way or another. After regressing during the Ole Miss game, the defense seemed to pull it all back together against Arkansas. But LSU isn’t Arkansas. The Tigers are one of the top teams in the nation and the defending national champions. It would take a near miracle for the Gators to hold them under 10 points.

On the offensive side of the ball, it’s time for the coaches to unleash Tim Tebow. Tebow was unstoppable last year because he played with a reckless abandon. Not 100% heading into the Georgia game, coaches held Tebow back by not using him as much in the running game. You all know the end result. This year Tebow appears to be healthy, but also looks like he’s running at half speed. Something is off in his game. He doesn’t look like he’s running like we all know he can and he doesn’t seem as willing to take on big hits. Everyone’s guess seems to be that coaches instructed Tebow to be a little more careful because the Gators can’t afford to lose him. Well they can’t afford to have him continue to not play up to his potential either. Tebow needs to be unleashed. He needs to be given the offense back and the coaches need to allow him to lead this team. 2007 Tebow would have run harder against Ole Miss and helped the Gators control the clock. 2008 Tebow looked like a different player at times and wasn’t nearly as effective carrying the rock. If 2008 Tebow can’t get the Gators past Ole Miss, then 2007 Tebow needs to be allowed to do his thing against LSU.

Other than finding the real Tim Tebow, the Gators need to build on one of the most positive things they did during the Arkansas game. Utilize more of the playmakers.

Chris Rainey

is the team’s leading rusher with 220 yards and is averaging 7.5 a carry, but had two games in which carried the ball only 3 times each.

Jeffrey Demps

is second on the team with 176 rushing yards, but has only carried the ball more than 3 times in a game once. He’s also averaging an outstanding 13.7 yards per carry and has touchdown runs of 62, 36, and 48 yards. Basically what I’m saying is GET THESE GUYS THE BALL!!! Against Arkansas, Rainey and Demps combined for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns on 17 carries. That’s an average of 12.1 yards per carry. Last time I checked you only need 10 yards for a first down. This isn’t rocket science people.

Percy Harvin

is one of the most electrifying players in the nation when he touches the ball, but if statistics mean anything, so are these two.

This should be a great game and is definitely one the Gators can win. After watching the Florida offense at times this year, it would be easy to think LSU should come away with the victory. Hell, looking at it objectively, if I were a betting man, I would say take LSU with the points and run with it. But the Gators can win this one. I’ve commented before that the problem is not the talent or what the players are capable of; it’s that they aren’t being utilized in the right fashion. Hopefully coaches have prepared for this game by fixing what hasn’t been working and we’ll get to the see the Gator offense we expected this year.