LSU and Florida ready for top-10 clash in Death Valley

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Freshman Derrius Guice led the ground attack against South Carolina with 161 yards. Photo by LSUsports.net.

With a crushing 45-24 victory over South Carolina last Saturday, LSU rolled out to a 3-0 record in the SEC, but that unblemished mark will receive its stiffest test this weekend.

The Tigers will host a top-10 matchup as the eighth-ranked and undefeated Florida Gators make the trip to Baton Rouge.

Empty seats will not be a concern this time around.

The destination of the South Carolina game was not moved until three days prior to the game. As a result, many season-ticket holders and students could not attend.

Only about 42,000 fans showed up to see LSU hammer the Gamecocks.

That won't be the case on Saturday night. The primetime clash with Florida sold out early Monday morning, ensuring that over 102,000 fans will be packing Death Valley.

Under first-year head coach Jim Mcelwain, the Gators have rolled to a 6-0 start, but they will have to come into their matchup with the Tigers without starting quarterback Wll Grier.

Grier has been suspended for the rest of the season after testing positive for a banned substance.

The first-year starter had finally given the Gators a viable passing attack for the first time since Tim Tebow was the man in Gainesville.

He was completing 66 percent of his passes and had thrown 10 touchdowns opposed to just three interceptions.

However, it isn't a total disaster for Florida.

Treon Harris now steps in at quarterback. Harris has plenty of experience from last year and actually started the season opener for the Gators.

Overall, Harris has gone 19-27 for 269 yards with two scores and no picks.

Harris provides the Gators with an additional weapon on the ground that they didn't have with Grier.

The Tigers should now expect a heavy dose of running by Florida.

The Gators' ground attack only ranks 100th in the country--being led by Kelvin Taylor--the son of former Florida great Fred Taylor.

Like in years passed, the Gators are known for their defense.

Their secondary is led by arguably the best cornerback in the country in Vernon Hargreaves, III.

Brandon Harris will be trying to test him and the rest of the Gator unit after having his best game as a starter. Against the Gamecocks, Harris went 18-28 for 228 yards and two scores.

The game will most likely come down to whether or not the Gators can stop the Tiger rushing attack.

The Gators will have the best run defense LSU has faced this season. They rank No. 12 in the country.

The Tigers are coming off of a win where they rushed for 396 yards. Their ground attack ranks third nationally.

Against South Carolina, LSU featured two running backs that went over 150 yards when true freshman Derrius Guice went for 161 and Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette went for 158.

It was the first time that had happened since 1996 when Kevin Faulk and Rondell Mealey did it.

Fournette's season total now stands at 1,022. He has become the fastest Tiger to ever reach the 1,000-yard mark, and he is only the 10th man in the history of college football to reach that total in just five games.