BATON ROUGE, La. (CBSMiami.com) – The University of Florida is coming off being thumped by the nation’s best scoring defense, Alabama; and must follow it up Saturday with a game against arguably the best overall defense in the country, the LSU Tigers.
For Florida, the task became almost insurmountable when starting quarterback Jeff Brantley was injured in the first half of the game against the Crimson Tide. Brantley has been ruled out for Saturday’s game in Baton Rouge.
That means true freshman Jeff Driskel will get his first start for the Gators in the unfriendly confines of Death Valley. Driskel came in for mop-up duty in the second-half against Alabama and the results were not pretty.
Now, Driskel must take on a LSU defense that has vaulted the team to the top spot in national polls.
LSU’s defense is giving up just 3.8 yards per play and surrendering a total of 262 yards per game through five games against top competition, including the offensive juggernaut of Oregon.
The Bengal Tigers pull down an average of 2.4 sacks per game and have a total of 12 sacks this season. And if Florida had ideas to run the football, it might want to find a new game plan.
LSU is allowing just 60 yards per game on the ground, which are just a few yards worse than the Alabama defense that completely shut down UF’s offense last Saturday. LSU’s passing defense is a little more vulnerable giving up 202 yards per game; but throwing against LSU is playing with fire.
LSU is pulling down at least one interception per game this season, which is good for 22nd in the country.
But, UF still has talented running backs and an offensive coordinator who has been described as a guru in most of his stops.
The Gators are averaging 34.2 points per game, even though they were held to just 10 points last week, with none coming after Driskel entered the game.
The Gators’ talented duo of running backs managed just 15 total yards of rushing against the Crimson Tide. Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey ran for a total of 8 yards on 14 carries, or roughly half-a-yard per carry.
Florida’s total offensive output per game is roughly 414 yards per game, which ranks them 51st in the country. Given the Gators have a freshman quarterback going against the best defense in the country; the game has the potential to get ugly very fast.
The game can be seen exclusively on CBS4 starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.