clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Florida vs. LSU, Theater of Operations: Taking a look at the Tigers' running game

It's time to officially turn our attention to the LSU Tigers and their running game as the Florida Gators look to put all the distractions of the week behind them.

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

If there's a team (aside from Vanderbilt and Arkansas, because one is just terrible at football and the other doesn't care about passing) in the Southeastern Conference that struggles so much on offense that they become a one dimensional football team the LSU Tigers are it.

Sounds like the Florida Gators doesn't it?

They can't throw the ball and they know it. So what do they do? They rely on a very potent running game to get the job done. So far on the year, while they've struggled with wins and losses, they've run the ball very effectively. The 2014 edition of Cam Cameron's offense has employed a three-headed rushing attack and two of them are freshman.

Officially, Leonard Fournette is the leading rusher on the team but he might not be the most important. On the year, Fournette has 364 yards and four touchdowns on 66 carries. Kenny Hilliard, the senior, is the second leading rusher on the team with 309 yards and five touchdowns on 61 carries. Darrel Williams, who was recruited as a running back has switched over to fullback and has carried the ball 37 times and has racked up 184 yards and three touchdowns.

Play No. 1: Hilliard runs for 28 yard touchdown


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Hilliard is going to take the handoff and literally will go untouched into the endzone for the touchdown. When LSU's offense is rolling, their offensive line is blocking well. Both the Tigers and the Gators are running teams and it's going to come down who can stop the run.

As of now, I trust the Gators defense a little more, I think.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Excellent blocking on this play. Wisconsin sends a delayed blitz on the play but all it does is just put the linebackers in a bad position. They didn't execute the blitz all that well either.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Hilliard just uses his speed to outrun the rest of the defense to the endzone for the touchdown.

Play No. 2: Fournette runs for a 17 yard touchdown


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The I-formation, right? Right. Fournette will take the handoff and attempt to go up the middle but that's a no-go so he's going to bounce it outside to the right.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Here's where he cuts outside. He'll have to beat the linebacker and the safety on the play but as you'll see in a moment that's not going to be a problem at all.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Fournette makes the linebacker miss (he's the one diving) and will shake off the tackle by the safety. He'll then be free on the outside to run.

Play No. 3: Brandon Harris to Malachi Dupre for 51 yards


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Harris will run the play action and then rollout to the right side and just wing the ball down the field. He'll have a wide receiver open and if the throw was just a little further it would have been a touchdown, but like the Gators, they're just excited to complete a pass.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

You can see how the entire defense bites on the play action here. That will leave the receivers one-on-one with the defensive backs and LSU will take advantage of it.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

The safety is late breaking off his coverage, but Dupre makes a heck of a catch anyway. He'll spin and be tackled at the one yardline and they'll get the touchdown on a run for their only points of the game.

As for the Gators and LSU tomorrow, I think the game could go two ways. I think LSU could win in a blowout (because I just don't see the Gators doing that) or if it's close I think the Gators win. The Gators have shown this year, whether good or bad, that in close games they know how to handle the pressure.

My gut tells me it's close as long as the Gators can stop the run.

Gators win 20-17.