My 25 predictions for Florida's struggle in The Swamp with LSU (7:30 p.m., SEC Network or WatchESPN)...
- Florida will not score first.
- Both teams will score in the first half. (Somehow.)
- Neither team will lead by more than seven points in the first half.
- Jeff Driskel will take every snap at QB for Florida.
- Driskel will account for more than 200 yards of total offense.
- Matt Jones will not run for more than 50 yards.
- Kelvin Taylor will run for more than 75 yards.
- Florida will have at least three rushes of more than 15 yards.
- Quinton Dunbar will not make a touchdown catch. (STILL OBVIOUSLY A REVERSE JINX.)
- Demarcus Robinson will have between three and seven catches.
- Florida's receivers will have under 11 combined catches.
- Florida will score under 27 points.
- Florida's defense will allow under 5.0 yards per play.
- LSU running backs will average under 4.0 yards per carry.
- A linebacker will lead Florida in tackles.
- Florida will allow at least one 40-yard reception.
- Florida will record at least one interception.
- Florida will force fewer than three turnovers.
- Andre Debose will make a play on special teams ... like he did four years ago.
- Kyle Christy will bury at least one punt within LSU's 10.
- Florida will miss a field goal.
- Florida will win the time of possession battle.
- Florida will lead for the majority of the game.
- Florida will win.
- And it's gonna be ugly.
What could possibly happen tonight for Florida?
Treon Harris isn't available. Matt Jones isn't starting, thanks to a bum ankle. And so Jeff Driskel is Florida's lone horse at quarterback, and Kelvin Taylor the lead back. The offense that looked feeble at times against Tennessee won't have the best player it had on that day at full strength, and will have the player that looked worst.
And even if LSU's defense is reloading, there's foot-shooting potential.
So this one's on Florida's defense.
LSU's passing game might not be a big problem, give that the Tigers' quarterbacks have struggled to Driskelian levels this season; expecting overthrows would be patently fair. But LSU's running game hasn't been great, either, and Florida's run defense might be legitimately great, given the miserly 2.78 yards per carry it allows even considering how Alabama trampled it.
No one would confuse these Tigers for Alabama, either, and while no one's confusing Florida for its past great iterations, the Gators haven't carried themselves with self-doubt to mirror outsiders' worries.
I think this one gets ugly, and is won or lost on the ground. I think Florida's better-equipped for that kind of trench warfare. And I think a confident, emotional Florida team wins this game by exhausting LSU.
And I could be wrong, but I doubt it.