Abolverdi's Analysis: Florida will beat depleted Tigers convincingly
There’s nothing better than a convincing victory over your rival.
The Gators have enjoyed plenty of those wins over the past decade, primarily over Tennessee. Florida beat the Vols by 20-plus points in three of the last four games.
The program also owns a two-game winning streak of 20-plus points over state rival Florida State. UF even beat Georgia by three scores in 2014, 2015 and last season.
However, it’s been 13 years since Florida beat LSU convincingly.
The Gators had a 30-point victory in 2008, 51-21, but their last four wins in the rivalry have been by an average of eight points. One score decided six of the last seven meetings, but this game won’t be close at all.
The Tigers are decimated by injuries — losing four more starters this week — and their coach, Ed Orgeron, is sitting on the hottest seat in college football. LSU is missing a total of five starters on defense as well as the team’s top wide receiver (Kayshon Boutte) and running back (John Emery Jr.).
Moreover, the team has lost back-to-back SEC games and Orgeron admits that his players haven’t been able to “block out the noise” from fans and critics.
The Gators, meanwhile, responded to the Kentucky loss with a 42-0 shutout against Vanderbilt and will now look to eliminate the false start penalties that plagued them in Lexington.
Florida’s offensive line will perform better procedurally with a noon crowd and pave the way for a big day on the ground. Expect UF to eclipse 200 yards rushing and quarterback Emory Jones to take a couple deep shots on LSU’s young defensive backs.
With Boutte out and star cornerback Kaiir Elam back in action, the Gators secondary should avenge last year’s loss to LSU QB Max Johnson and limit his ability to hit explosive plays.
And by the game's end, Florida will have its biggest margin of victory in Baton Rouge since Steve Spurrier's 44-15 win in 2001.
Prediction: Florida 38, LSU 17