Andreu’s Answers: Big opportunity for Gators

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Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks looks to hand off the ball against LSU at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Oct. 7, 2017. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Either way, this is going to be a statement game for the Florida Gators. It will tell us if they’re closer to returning to elite status in college football than many have projected — or they’re not.

So, huge game in The Swamp, the biggest since No. 5 Ole Miss rolled in here in 2015 and got mugged 38-10. Are the Gators equipped, or even ready, to make a statement like that one? Not sure about that.

But I do know the Gators are going to be prepared to play their best Saturday. Now, will their best be good enough against a talented and very physical LSU team that has already beaten Miami at a neutral site and Auburn on the road?

I know what you’re thinking. Pick LSU. You picked Tennessee. You picked Mississippi State. So, stay on that roll, you’re saying, and the Gators will win again.

I could do that. But I’m not.

I just have a feeling about this game. And when I have a feeling, I have a feeling.

And here it is: the UF defense is going to shut down the LSU running game and put the game in LSU quarterback Joe Burrow’s hands. Then, Polite and Co. are going to swarm Burrow like they did Nick Fitzgerald last Saturday. Offensively, Dan Mullen is going to come up with another game plan that will allow quarterback Feleipe Franks to manage the offense and continue to improve his game. And then there’s the home-field advantage, which will be bigger than ever with Tim Tebow going into the Ring of Honor and the 2008 national championship team being honored. And, the game is sold out.

So, sorry about this, but I’m going with the Gators.

Prediction: Florida 13, LSU 10.

35 COMMENTS

  1. Welcome back to the good guys again Robbie! Don’t screw it up for us. Love what Mullen and staff are doing with this group. No denying they’re getting better, we’ll see how far and how fast Saturday night! Play hard, GO GATORS!!

  2. For me it is more important to play well, with relentless effort and with adjustments as the game goes on as to win. Doing that will result in wins in the future, and only that will result in a win tomorrow.

  3. First time in years where I actually have faith in our coaches.

    When we lost to UK, I didn’t panic. I saw the confusion on our team, I saw the new systems creating some havoc, but I also saw the remnants of the McElwain mindset still in our players and I knew Mullen still needed time to purge that negative mindset.

    What I set my eyes on was the rebound game against Colorado State and how we played against them. I wanted to see us put the previous loss behind us and focus on the game at hand. Under McElwain, we’d have probably won, but it would have been a fight down to the fourth quarter until we put them away. Then we blew CS off the field, and I was then convinced Mullen’s coaching was taking affect on this team.

    Then we blew out UT in Knoxville, and my confidence in this staff and our kids hasn’t wavered since I knew we were going to beat Miss. St. and I feel really good about beating LSU.

    Mainly because I don’t think LSU is any better than MSU is along either side of the line of scrimmage. Beating a hapless Ole Miss team with a terrible defense doesn’t impress me either. They beat “good but not great” AU team by 1@ AU, so I give them that, but we also beat a “good but not great” Miss. St. team in Starkville too.

    Mullen knows what he’s doing, and I expect a lot of the same game plan against LSU that we ran against Miss. St. as well.

    UF wins by 10 and the strength of two forced turnovers and a big special teams play by the Gators, 24 – 14.

  4. But I want to add one more thing too… a loss here, at least a hard-fought, close loss doesn’t damper my enthusiasm about this team.

    We already beat one of the top three toughest opponents on our schedule in Miss. St., and LSU and UGA are the other two. I still don’t expect to beat UGA, but if won out the season and our only other two losses were to two top 5 teams in LSU and UGA?

    That’s still headed in the right direction imo.

  5. were now arguing about predictions! like Allan Iverson about practice… oh well. I agree with Robbie on everything, and he truthfully knows a hundred times more about sports than me. shoot us both if we are wrong.

  6. But thank you, Robbie, for putting your emotions in front of your logic and picking the Gators. And for putting forth some logical reasoning for your emotionally driven pick. I, too, think the big, Tebow-emotion filled and loud crowd in The Swamp will have a major impact on the game, if Florida can keep it close into the fourth quarter. Of course, that is the big question of the day. And a big “IF” for this team. Much depends on the play of Franks and the OL much of the day. Fingers crossed that both have big step up games vs. LSU and both avoid a lot of critical mistakes during the game.

  7. I agree 100% with your first take, Todd. I have never drank the lswho hype kool-aid. They will begin to fall off of a cliff after this game. I’ve always thought that the Gators will win this game and will do so by 10+ points. Revenge from a botched extra point last year, The Swamp coming alive, and the 2008 team in the house will energize the Gators to a win. GO GATORS!!!

  8. I don’t feel comfortable talking about the Gators being elite yet! There are elite players on both sides of the ball, but the team is still lacking in the elite department. The defense, making huge strides; the offense, better but not elite. When I see the offense consistently finish drives with a score, then we can use the elite word. The offense is really improving this year! The problem with elite status is that the o-line is not dominating the line of scrimmage. The o-line was okay at Starkville. Still, too many o-line penalties are killing big plays (50-yard pass to Grimes negated) and scoring. So, will okay be enough to win in the Swamp against LSU? I hope so. Go Gators!

  9. I had a dream. I dreamt the Gators win 38 to 13. I’m not hitting the bong either. I think that the Gators put it all together and we get an interception return and punt return for touchdowns. I think the offense scores 3 TDs. And yeah. Throw in a FG.

  10. I’ve always been the optimist as a Gator fan due to all the fun I’ve had over the years following them. The boys have been very aggressive lately and will win 31-17. I can’t wait for that great fourth quarter feeling when I know the game is put away.

    • We don’t have Will Grier this time but good wishful thinking. If this game turns out the way you say, I will come back here to congratulate you on your bold prediction. But, it ain’t happening… Let’s save that 35-6 for Georgia please! I’ll the 13-10 tomorrow or 6-3 though my heart will not like a close game but if it’s got to be close then so be it as long as we win! Go Gators!!

  11. Clyde. “O” does very little during games other than walking around motivating plays and deciding to go for it on 4th down or not. The DC and OC run the show on the field other than that, and those two guys are top tier coaches. Both can match up with Mullen with game plans and game day play calling. So not sure what coaching advantage Florida has in this game other than the main guy is the head coach and LSU has two main guys and a head coach.

    • Tampa…I’d take Mullen and his staff over LSU’s coaches after seeing the creative play calling and game planning in the UT and MSU games. We better hope the Gators have a coaching advantage Saturday. It may come down to that.

  12. As if we didn’t have the odds stacked against us already, now Robbie is picking us to win. This is not good. 🙁 But well, well, I have a gut feel that the fans will do their job and turn the back the clock. Robbie’s losing streak will have to wait another day to continue.

    Could tomorrow mean the rebirth of the SWAMP where only Gators get out alive? We shall see…. if you ain’t Gator, you must be Gator bait! LSU? Gator Bait!!! Go Gators!