A game between a pair of SEC rivals highlights the late afternoon window of games, and this one shapes up to be a real dandy. The #5 LSU Tigers his the road to take on the #22 Florida Gators in a game which gets the SEC Game of the Week treatment on CBS.
Both clubs have designs on taking down their respective divisions in the SEC, and Saturday’s tilt will let us know for whom the goal is more realistic. The Georgia Bulldogs will have plenty to say about Florida’s goal of taking down the top spot in the SEC East, while the Alabama Crimson Tide clearly control their own destiny in the SEC West.
Let’s take a look at what shapes up to be one of the finer games of Week 6 of the College Football regular season.
LSU @ Florida, 3:30 PM EST, CBS
- LSU -1 (-110)
- Florida +1(-110)
- LSU -116
- Florida -104
- Over 5 (-110)
- Under 5 (-110)
LSU vs. Florida Pick:
LSU enters this contest with a perfect mark of 5-0. The Tigers started the season off with a 33-17 upset victory over the Miami Hurricanes, a school which entered the game as the #8 program in the nation. Since that point, LSU has delivered three convincing victories and a thrilling one-point win over the rival Auburn Tigers in Week 3.
Last week, the Tigers rolled over the Ole Miss Rebels by a score of 45-16 behind a stellar outing from junior QB Joe Burrow. For the game, Burrow threw for 292 yards and three scores, and he added on 96 rushing yards and another score on the ground for good measure.
That was by far Burrow’s finest outing of the season. On the year, he has completed 53.4 percent of his passes for 1,023 yards and six scores.. Burrow has also added on a total of 154 rushing yards and two scores through five games.
Senior RB Nick Brossette has been leading the way in the backfield. He already has 103 carries on the year, which have been good enough for him to produce 481 yards and six scores. Sophomore Clyde Edwards-Helaire has also been a factor at running back, producing a line of 57/275/5 so far.
The receiving corps has been led by sophomore Justin Jefferson, who has caught 18 passes for 294 yards and two scores. All told, LSU is averaging 204.6 passing yards, 192 rushing yards, and 33.8 points per game.
The Tigers have been strong defensively as well. The team is allowing an average of 230.8 passing yards, 103 rushing yards, and 15 points per game. The unit has produced 13 sacks and generated a whopping 10 turnovers thus far.
The Florida Gators enter the contest with a mark of 4-1, and they are outscoring opponents by a margin of 177-70. The lone blemish on their record is a Week 2 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats, a team which remains undefeated and has risen to #13 in the AP poll.
Outside of that loss, the Gators include three big wins on their 2018 resume, as well as a real tight 13-6 win over Mississippi State last week. The Bulldogs came into that game ranked #23 in the nation. While that one was a tight defensive affair, the Gators have shown they have some offensive chops as well.
Sophomore QB Feleipe Franks has completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 961 yards, 12 TDs, and three picks. He has also added on 110 yards and another score on the ground. Freshman Dameon Pierce and junior Jordan Scarlett are leading the charge in the backfield, with lines of 25/255/2 and 40/203/2 respectively.
Junior wideout Freddie Swain has been the most productive of the pass catchers, hauling in 10 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. On the whole, the Gators offense is averaging 203.4 passing yards, 174.8 rushing yards, and 35.4 points per game.
Defensively, Florida has been holding opponents relatively in check. The team is giving up an average of 140 passing yards, 171 rushing yards, and 14 points per game. The unit has produced 15 sacks, which is tied for 15th in the nation, and generated an impressive 14 turnovers through five games.
Looking ahead, the Gators take on the Vanderbilt Commodores before heading into a bye the following week. LSU has a massive game with Georgia next week, followed by a date with rival Mississippi State before getting a week off.
These two schools have met a total of 64 times. The first meeting took place back in 1937, a 19-0 victory for the Tigers. All told, Florida has a slight 32-29-3 edge in the series. Over the past decade, LSU has an edge of 6-4 straight up and a mark of 5-4-1 against the spread.
The Over has been the correct choice in five of those contests, but the Under has come in for four of the past six meetings. LSU has been the straight up winner in four of the last five meetings, including last year’s 17-16 win.
You have to go back to 2013 to find a margin of victory of greater than seven points in meetings of these two rivals. While totals are typically low for games between the two, the 2014 and 2015 tilts were relatively high scoring, with totals of 57 and 63 points respectively.
While LSU has the loftier ranking, the clubs are close in terms of production and talent. That said, oddsmakers give LSU at least an outside chance at a national title with odds of 40/1, while Florida is a much longer shaot at 75/1.
The tight spread suggests we are looking at a close, hard fought affair. We see nothing that indicates otherwise. At the end of the day, LSU has just enough of an edge to cover the tiny spread and escape Gainesville with a close victory.
We’ll take LSU minus one point as they once again justify their lofty #5 ranking.