Before every game, veteran Sun college football beat writer Robbie Andreu comes up with five pertinent questions and then answers them after the game. Here’s Week Five:
1.Will the Florida secondary play better today or get torched like it did a week ago?
The secondary wasn’t the problem in this one. With the exception of the long pass play given up early in the third quarter that safety Duke Dawson had his hands on (tie goes to the receiver), the Gators did not give up a whole lot in the passing game, holding LSU to 125 yards. Coverage was much better, and so was the tackling, especially by safety Chauncey Gardner Jr.
2. Tyrie Cleveland has been UF’s go-to receiver. Will anyone step up and make plays in his absence?
No one did, and as a result, the Gators had close to nothing happening in the downfield passing game. Feleipe Franks took a couple deep shots in the first half, but the receivers were blanketed on both throws, and neither came close. Without Cleveland, the Gators clearly lacked a go-to receiver. The longest pass play of the day went to Brandon Powell for 18 yards. So, no explosive plays in the passing game.
3. Can the Gators establish a running game against a fast, physical LSU defensive front that’s giving up only 126.0 yards a game rushing?
The Gators didn’t have the ball a whole lot in the first half, but in the second they got their ground game going with tailbacks Malik Davis and Lamical Perine, along with wildcat quarterback Kadarius Toney. The ground game brought the Gators back from 14 down in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, there wasn’t much there on the ground.
4. The Gators haven’t come up with any turnovers in the last two games. Does that streak end?
The streak should have ended, but it didn’t. Late in the first half and early in the second, senior cornerback Duke Dawson had his hands on three potential interceptions, but secured none. And as far as causing a fumble, the Gators never came close, so that makes five games in a row that UF has not come up with a forced fumble or a fumble recovery.
5. Will an LSU running back rush for 100 yards or more?
This question could have been changed at the half to: will an LSU wide receiver rush for 100 yards or more? The Tigers came out and decimated the UF defense with jet sweeps by the wide receivers in motion. It took most of the first half for the Gators to figure out how to quit giving up the edge so easily. The running backs, Derrius Guice and Darrell Williams, had very little success, but the LSU wide receivers hurt the Gators, leading the Tigers in rushing with 52 yards (8.7 yards a carry).
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.