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LSU Hosts Florida as 8 Point Home Underdogs
College Football Game of the Week
This is the big matchup of the week in college football. The big question that everyone is waiting to be answered is will Tim Tebow play this Saturday against the #4 ranked LSU Tigers? Urban Meyer hasnít said a whole lot about it except that Tebow is doing well, but is going to be a game time decision. Itís obvious that the Gators need their leader for their biggest game of the season. Tebow is able to do things that few QBís are able to do. He not only can will his team to win with his play on the field, but he wills them to win with his leadership. He fires the whole team up, not just the offense, and if Florida has to play this game without their Captain they are going to play their best ballgame of the year to stay undefeated.
This LSU team hasnít blown people away with their play, but they do what they have to do to win. They are 5-0 this year, because when they find themselves with their backs against the wall they do what they have to do to get the job done. In their game against Mississippi State they needed a goal line stand to pull out the win. In their following game they went down 13-12 with 1:09 left in the game after an A.J. Green TD reception, but Charles Scott was able to break multiple tackles and score on a 33 yard TD run to seal the deal on their next possession. Being able to pull out the tough wins is something you just cannot coach. It comes from having a team full of leaders, and thatís exactly what LSU has. Both teams have National Title hopes, but come Saturday night one teamís dreams are going to be all but gone.
THE PRIMETIME MATCHUP
Tim Tebow/Floridaís Rushing Attack vs. LSUís Rushing Defense
It is no secret what Florida likes to do offensively. They want to run the ball with their spread offense. Florida is #1 in the SEC with total offense averaging 526 yards per game. 308 of those yards come on the ground. They use their unique spread option attack to open up the play action passing game. Tim Tebow is not a drop back pocket passer, but he is more than capable of burning you deep. When they have this running game going Tebow is almost impossible to stop. Urban Meyer does a great job of disguising what the play will be with play fakes, which confuses a defense. If the rushing game isnít working then it is a lot easier for a defense to recognize what is about to come at them. Even if Tebow is unable to play this is still going to be where the game is won or lost. If Florida has to start John Brantley the more times he is put in throwing downs the better. LSU is only allowing 116 yards per game rushing so they are a very solid team against the run. They are going to have to commit to stopping this Florida rushing attack to make things easier on their secondary. With this Florida offense you have to expect them to put up some yards. Itís impossible to completely stop them, but if LSU can slow them down and come up with some big stops in big situations they will be in it till the end.
THE FINAL VERDICT
This is going to be a very physical ballgame. These teams donít like each other, and both know if they are going to stay in the National Title hunt this game is very important. I fully expect Tim Tebow to play in this game. He is too dedicated to this team and their undefeated year to sit out the biggest game of the year. If he does play I doubt he is 100% so it will be even more important for this Florida offense to get the running game going with RB Chris Rainey and RB Jeff Demps so Tebow doesnít have to play like a battery ram like he is use to. If they are able to accomplish this it will open up the passing game for Tebow, and we have seen how tough it is to stop this Florida team when Tebow can use play fakes to confuse the defense.
LSU has one of the best defensive coordinators with John Chavis and you better believe he understands the importance of stopping this Gator rushing attack. I expect LSU to stack the box with their big front seven and try to slow down their running game. If they can do that they will be able to give their offense good field position. This offense has struggled so far this year, but they have the talent to put up some points especially if they are put in good situations with good field position.
Let's face it folks. We don't know how good either one of these teams is, based on who they have played thus far. The Gators spanked LSU a year ago but LSU did win in 2007 and in 2005. Tebow is certainly the wild card here. But +8 is just too juicy to pass up in this situation. Our numbers make the game much closer than that, so, we'll bite. LSU +8
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