(17) Florida 11

(4-2, 2-2 SEC)

(1) LSU 41

(6-0, 3-0 SEC)

Coverage: CBS

3:30 PM ET, October 8, 2011

Tiger Stadium (LA), Baton Rouge, LA

1 2 3 4 T
#17FLA 0 3 8 011
#1LSU 14 10 3 1441

Top Performers

Passing: J. Lee (LSU) - 154 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: S. Ware (LSU) - 24 CAR, 109 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: R. Randle (LSU) - 4 REC, 127 YDS, 1 TD

Florida-LSU Preview


Les Miles is anxious to get Jordan Jefferson more involved in LSU's offense after the former starting quarterback's suspension was lifted last week.

Florida coach Will Muschamp can't be as thrilled with the way things are going with his offense and quarterback situation.

Led by one of the nation's best defenses, the top-ranked Tigers look to frustrate the 17th-ranked Gators, who are expected to start freshman Jeff Driskel at quarterback for the injured John Brantley on Saturday in Baton Rouge.

LSU (5-0, 2-0 SEC) is atop the poll for a second straight week after easily beating Kentucky 35-7 last Saturday. Jefferson made his season debut after being suspended for the first four games following an arrest on a felony battery charge in connection with an Aug. 19 bar fight.

A grand jury reduced the charge to a misdemeanor last Wednesday, leading Miles to reinstate Jefferson as a backup to Jarrett Lee.

Jefferson scored on his first play back, diving over the goal line on an early fourth-and-goal to put the Tigers up 7-0.

Miles has yet to give Jefferson his starting job back but envisions his return adding a new wrinkle to the offense. He passed for 1,411 yards with seven touchdowns while running for 450 and seven scores last season.

"We will use Jefferson in a variety of ways," Miles said. "At different times in the season, we will need every skill and every collective attribute of our team.

"We are excited about this season right now."

The Gators (4-1, 2-1) are likely not quite as optimistic after the way things played out last weekend.

Brantley injured his right leg on a sack late in the first half of last Saturday's 38-10 loss to then-No. 3 Alabama, Florida's worst home defeat since falling 36-7 to LSU in 2002. He was helped to the locker room and did not return, and Muschamp said Monday the injury won't require surgery but will keep the senior sidelined at least a week.

Brantley, who has thrown for 942 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions, had started 18 consecutive games. His injury opens the door for Driskel, but the highly touted freshman looked shaky last week.

Driskel completed 2 of 6 passes for 14 yards, fumbled a snap and was sacked twice as the Gators gained just two first downs with him under center.

"I've got a lot of faith in him," running back Chris Rainey said. "He'll be ready to go, ready to take that challenge."

It would certainly help Driskel if the running game can get on track, but that could be difficult.

The Gators entered last week's game leading the SEC in rushing at 259.0 yards per game but finished with 15. The Crimson Tide lead the FBS in rush defense with an average of 39.6 yards allowed, and LSU is almost just as stingy, ranking third at 60.4.

"Again, we've got our work cut out for us," said Muschamp, who served as LSU's defensive coordinator from 2002-04. "You got to get that taste out of your mouth. There's no better opportunity than going to Baton Rouge and playing LSU."

The Tigers have won 13 straight home games since losing 13-3 to Florida in 2009. The Gators were the top-ranked team at the time while LSU was No. 4.

This is the fifth time in six meetings one of the teams is ranked in the top 5, with No. 12 LSU defeating No. 14 Florida 33-29 last October being the lone exception.

Like the Gators, the Tigers also rely heavily on the ground game that could see a boost if Jefferson is inserted to run the option. LSU is averaging 172.6 yards a game and is second in the SEC with 14 rushing touchdowns.

LSU's top tailbacks, Spencer Ware and Michael Ford, had subpar performances last week, but Miles was encouraged with what he saw from his backups.

Sophomore Alfred Blue had a career-best 72 yards on 16 attempts, while freshman Terrence Magee accounted for 38 yards on 12 rushes. Ware, who has a team-best 323 rushing yards, had four carries for five yards before leaving the game with a hamstring injury.

Miles is hopeful that Ware will be healthy enough to return to the running back rotation.

"We'll have the opportunity to run the ball again with a number of guys," Miles said.

LSU's depth at running back could pose problems for Florida, which allowed Alabama to rush for 226 yards -- the same number it allowed in its first four games combined.


Passing Leaders

J. Driskel53.81140910
T. Harris49.6101994
A. Jennings48.91611117
B. Harris55.645262

Rushing Leaders

M. Jones1668174.96
K. Taylor1165654.96
L. Fournette18710345.510
T. Magee1125715.13

Receiving Leaders

D. Robinson5381015.37
Q. Dunbar2135316.82
T. Dural3775820.57
M. Dupre1431822.75

Research Notes

While Jarrett Lee has held down the fort for LSU, newly re-instated Jordan Jefferson has stated that he would like to start. Unfortunately for him, Lee has prove himself more than capable of leading the Tigers as he has thrown just one pick while leading an offense that has averaged nearly 40 points per game and has not won by fewer than 13 points. While LSU also started 5-0 last year, 3 of those wins were decided by 1 score.

ESPN Stats & Information