The game: Oct. 6 in The Swamp.
Last year’s result: Down 17-3 early in the third quarter, the Gators made it a one-point game going into the fourth quarter, but were shut out the rest of the way in a 17-16 loss at Florida Field. The difference in the game was a missed extra point by Eddy Pineiro.
Key players returning: CB Greedy Williams, LB Devin White, DE Rashard Lawrence, OT Saahdiq Charles and DB K’Lavon Chaisson.
Key losses: RB Derrius Guice, QB Danny Etling, C Will Clapp, WR D.J. Clark and DE Christian Lacouture.
Scouting the offense: For the first time in a long time, the Tigers enter the season without an elite running back to carry the load. And this is a season where they probably really need one given the situation at quarterback. No one knows who the starter is going to be between four unproven players — Myles Brennan, Justin McMillan, Lowell Narcisse and Ohio State graduate transfer Joe Burrow. Brennan, McMillan and Narcisse struggled throughout the spring and Burrow saw the field only sparingly at OSU. Whoever the QB turns out to be, he’ll be surrounded by mostly young and unproven playmakers at wide receiver and running back. The leading returning receiver is tight end Foster Moreau, who caught 24 passes last season. The strength is up front, where the Tigers return three of five starters.
Scouting the defense: The defense is similar to the offense in that many new, unproven players are moving into the starting lineup, especially up front and at linebacker. The Tigers do have three elite defenders to build around in end Rayshard Lawrence, linebacker Devin White and cornerback Greedy Williams. Williams intercepted six passes last season and may be the best cover corner in college football.
Scouting the special teams: The Tigers return their top two field-goal kickers, but that could be viewed as bad news. The two combined to make only 16-of-27 attempts last season. Cole Tracy, a transfer from Assumption College, will get into the mix in preseason camp. LSU will continue to use two punters — Zach Von Rosenberg (regular punts) and Josh Growden (shorter punts).
“(A) key competition in the fall camp, obviously, is going to be at quarterback. The addition of Joe Burrow has added to the competition we already have at quarterback. We feel that Justin, Myles, Lowell are three excellent quarterbacks. We’re going to let this thing play out and let the best man win.” — Ed Orgeron