Thursday, February 23, 2017
LSU offense vs. Florida defense
RB Charles Scott's numbers are staggering at this point in the season: He's averaging 7.5 yards per carry and 133.8 yards per game and has picked up six rushing touchdowns along the way. The 5-foot-11, 233-pound back possesses a rare blend of power and speed, but it's important to point out that he's gotten plenty of help from his friends. Fellow RBs Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy provide excellent depth and the Tigers rarely miss a beat when either of them gives Scott a breather. QB Andrew Hatch is athletic enough to make some plays with his feet as well, and he's expected to return to the lineup after missing the Mississippi State game with a head injury. Florida's linebackers must respect the quarterback keeper when Hatch is in the game, and the time it takes them to locate the ball in these situations will make it easier for blockers to reach them at the second level. Of course, LSU's offensive line has played no small part in LSU's success running the ball. The massive duo of 325-pound LOT Ciron Black and 375-pound LG Herman Johnson are physical drive-blockers capable of engulfing defenders. They should be able to move Florida DT Terron Sanders and DE Jermaine Cunningham off the ball and create seams, and 262-pound FB Quinn Johnson is an effective lead blocker who's strong enough to root talented Gators MLB Brandon Spikes out of the hole when Florida runs between the tackles. Hatch may play this week but it's unlikely he gets his starting job back because redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee followed a strong half against Auburn three weeks ago with a strong performance against Mississippi State two weeks ago. Lee has a strong arm and he can pick defenses apart when he gets into a rhythm so it's important that he's comfortable with the game plan and prepares for his opponent well. That's unsettling news for Gators fans because a bye week has given the LSU staff an extra week to prepare him. In addition, Lee should be able to find an open man when he drops back to pass. Florida CBs Joe Haden and true freshman Janoris Jenkins are going to have a hard time matching up with Tigers WRs Brandon LaFell and Demetrius Byrd. Both LaFell and Byrd have the quickness to get open underneath and the speed to stretch the field. TE Richard Dickson is a reliable target over the middle and his size should give Ss Ahmad Black and Major Wright problems. Finally, LSU has surrendered just four sacks thus far and is capable of holding its own working against Florida's active front four. And if the Tigers force the Gators to blitz in an effort to get to Lee and/or Hatch it will create some single-coverage matchups for their talented receivers on the outside.
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