First Kevin Sumlin, Now Les Miles; Disagreeing With Will Muschamp Becoming The Norm

Although mild by comparison, LSU Tigers’ head coach Les Miles has joined the ranks of those disagreeing with Florida Gators’ head coach Will Muschamp. It’s not an argument of Texas A&M levels (even though that wasn’t much of an argument either), but a difference of opinion between the two regarding the annual game between their teams.

Last week, Muschamp voiced his support of keeping the game between the Gators and Tigers on the schedule every season. The stature of the teams coupled with the rivalry that has been created is reason enough for many to want to see the game on an annual basis. With the changing landscape of the SEC and the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, Miles doesn’t feel the same way. At least, that’s what we’re devising from this:

“This is all based on some vague tradition that is not considering that you’re adding teams to the conference.” – Les Miles, LSU Tigers’ Head Coach

Miles went on to say that Florida isn’t in the same state as LSU (a true fact) and that the rivalry is only there because of the enjoyment of playing each other (uh, okay). The LSU head coach has never been easy to understand when it comes to attempting to read into his words, but this much seems obvious: he doesn’t value the rivalry that has been created over the past 41 years as much as Muschamp does.

Florida and LSU have faced each other 57 times (and each of those last 41 years) and have each won six of the last 12 meetings. Whether Miles wants to admit it’s a true rivalry or not, it has become one and should continue long after these two coaches have moved on. It should be preserved over attempts to create new rivalries with the new SEC members. Those will come over time, but this rivalry has already flourished.

Muschamp reiterated his point again. He believes the game is good for both programs, for college football, and for the conference. He’s right. Sure, the SEC doesn’t need much help when it comes to big games and national prominence, but there’s no need to start to eliminate valuable rivalries now.

Quick Look: LSU Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide

Quick Look has gone beyond just Florida and into the expanse of the SEC schedule. That could be a good or bad thing depending on your following of college football, but get excited because it also now includes predictions from someone who is generally regarded as the garbage garbage throws away in terms of picking games.


Rarely does it seem the game of the year/decade/century lives up to the hype. I haven’t done the statistical research to back that up, but take a game played by our very own Gators as an example. The 2009 SEC Championship Game was thought to be a special moment in the making. It was, for the other team playing in it. It’s easy to get excited for this Saturday’s matchup between the nation’s top ranked teams – Alabama and LSU – but it’s also just as easy to blow it off, believing there’s no way it will live up to its hype as the true national championship game. I have decided to get excited for a number of reasons that I now present to you in numbered, but not ordered, list fashion because we all like lists. They’re clean and tidy and we can follow along relatively easily.

1. I truly like watching Trent Richardson play the game of football. Some fans will say it’s blasphemous to enjoy the field exploits of a player on a rival squad. I say call me a blasphemer. Richardson is the type of player that makes me enjoy watching football. Me likes the talent and power; Richardson possesses plenty of both. Regardless of the uniform one may wear, I can’t dismiss good play and I won’t dismiss Richardson.

2. Games full of defense can be boring if it’s because they also include inept offenses. The Tide and Tigers possess some darn good defenses that are also enjoyable to watch. I see big plays, hits and moments in everyone’s future.

3. There’s a slight hope that Les Miles will pull off a fake punt allowing a certain punter that won’t be named to take off down the sidelines toward the end zone. If said punter decides it’s a good idea to spread his wings again, one can only hope an Alabama defender is within utter destruction distance. (TBG does not condone violence in football games, but can get onboard with the idea of “he had it coming.”)

4. I’ll be so hyped after Florida’s blowout of SEC East fellow Vanderbilt that I’ll still be in the clouds when this game kicks off. Yes? No?

5. There’s talk that if this game is close enough and both teams have a good showing, there could be national title game rematch implications. I find that hard to believe if someone like Oklahoma State or Stanford remains undefeated, but the scenarios will be dissected ad nauseam over the weeks leading up to the selection special (or whatever that thing is called). Think you’ve seen the media go crazy over something like, let’s say, Tim Tebow? Just wait until an undefeated BCS conference team is passed by a one-loss SEC team that lost that one game to the team they are set to play for the title.

Being excited for an event is good thing. I’ll enjoy watching this game one way or another and the outcome can only enhance that. As for that outcome, I might as well get to my prediction…

There’s that old saying that to win football games you have to do two things well – run the ball and stop the run. In my humble and typically incorrect opinion, Alabama does both just slightly better than LSU. Therefore, I’m going with the Crimson Tide and a score of 24-21. I came up with that score using a mathematical equation that’s far too complicated for your feeble minds and would only cause my email box to fill up with praise and job offers if I posted it here. Or I took a few minutes and guessed. Take your pick and enjoy what should at least be the game of the moment.

Defense: LSU Tigers 41 – Florida Gators 11

First thoughts here. Offense here.


Once again, the run game did in the Gators. LSU decided early it would pound the rock against Florida and did so to the tune of 49 times for 238 yards and three touchdowns. It wasn’t as explosive as what Alabama did to the Gators, but it was effective time and time again.

Spencer Ware led the way for the Tigers with 109 yards on 24 carries. His long of the day was only 18 yards, but he was able to consistently gain yards and make would-be tacklers look ridiculous. When relieved by Alfred Blue, it was much of the same. Neither went down at first contact and both were able to drag defenders for additional yards. That could be a testament to their ability as power runners, but more often than not it was due to a glaring problem in the Gators’ defense – tackling.

For the second-straight game, Florida defenders weren’t able to make tackles. They would meet Ware or Blue, attempt to stand them up, and ultimately get run over. This isn’t a coaching problem, it’s a fundamentals problem. These players know how to tackle, but aren’t using proper technique or are just getting overpowered. That can’t happen. Far too often, Matt Elam was coming up to help make a stop because the LSU running backs were bowling over the defender that got to them first. Amazingly, Jon Bostic had 13 tackles, Sharrif Floyd had 11, Dominique Easley had nine, and Jelani Jenkins added eight. Elam was second on the team with 12, but it seemed like his total was closer to 30 or 40. In a game dominated by the run, Bostic and Jenkins need step up. They two may have totaled 21 tackles, but how many ended with Ware or Blue falling forward? The answer is most of them.

A quick side note related to linebacker talk: Michael Taylor is going to be one heck of a defender. He should be on the field more. That is all.

In the passing game, Jarrett Lee didn’t end up being a hero, but only because LSU didn’t ask him to be. Lee only attempted 10 passes, but completed seven for 154 yards. He looked comfortable dropping back when he needed to and if asked to do more, could have had much better numbers. Even Jordan Jefferson got in on the passing action including a…gasp…jump pass! I can’t blame Les Miles for giving the Gators a taste of their own medicine, but I also hope next year in Gainesville Will Muschamp goes for it on every fourth down and calls a fake on every kick and punt.

If there was a glaring weakness in the passing game it was allowing the big gain. Rueben Randle totaled 127 yards on four catches including a touchdown during which he just ran by Cody Riggs. Russell Shepard averaged 20.5 yards on two catches. And even though Deangelo Peterson and Kadron Boone only had one catch each, they both went for over 20 yards. The secondary gave too much room to LSU’s receivers and was beaten deep on more than one occasion. During one-on-one coverage situations, Gators’ defenders looked lost being either too focused on the quarterback or too focused on the receiver, but never a good balance of both. Bostic had a sure interception that he never turned around to catch. He was covering the receiver perfectly on the play, but had he been aware of the ball, it would have been a definite turnover.

Speaking of turnovers, the Gators were unable to force any for the second-straight game. In each of the last two matchups, there were points late when Florida wasn’t that far out of it. Against Alabama, the Gators entered the fourth quarter down 24-10, but the defense was unable to force a turnover or stop the Tide in the fourth and the game got out of hand. Against LSU, it was much of the same. Down 27-11 entering the fourth, Florida had a chance to make a move. Again the defense was unable to stop the Tigers and the game got more out of hand than it had already been.

The defense screams potential and Muschamp probably screams a lot more at them. There is experienced talent and inexperienced talent as well. Against elite opponents, that talent has been on hold. Florida clearly has a lot to learn and improve upon before the program returns to that level, but what’s frustrating is what’s holding them back: a lack of pressure, tackling problems, and coverage mishaps. Can they be fixed? We don’t know, but the SEC schedule doesn’t stop to give the Gators time to do so. A week off after Auburn will be welcome, but then it’s right back to work.

Up next: special teams.

Preview: Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers – Saturday, October 8, 2011 – 3:30pm

The lineup as it currently stands: quick look, Florida hero, LSU hero, recruiting story from the past, and now the full preview. The Gators faced their first real test against Alabama. It’s now time for test number two and it might not be pretty. As Florida fans, we’re still behind our school and our team. As realists, we aren’t so sure. LSU isn’t at or near the top of the polls by some luck of the draw. The Tigers – who I’ll admit I thought were ranked too high at the beginning of the season – are that good. Get ready for the ride.


The Facts

Opponent: LSU Tigers
When: Saturday, October 8, 2011 – 3:30pm
Where: Baton Rouge, LA
Television/Radio: CBS, GRN, Yahoo, Sirius 91, XM 91
Records: Florida: 4-1 (2-1), LSU: 5-0 (2-0)
Point Spread: LSU -13
Over/Under: 43
Betting Score That Would Calculate To: LSU 28-15
Scoring Offenses: Florida: 34.2, LSU: 38.0
Scoring Defenses: Florida: 14.8; LSU: 12.8
Our Gators’ Win Factor (See Here): TBG: 15, OEW: 20

5 Things About LSU From Wikipedia

ONLY FIVE?!? Yes.

1. The full name: Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College.
2. We’ve had some very unoriginal mascot names so far this season. Mike may not be creative, but at least it’s not Tigger the Tiger or something along those lines. Side note: a live tiger mascot is one the cooler things in college football.
3. John Lombardi is the president of the Louisiana State University System. The same Lombardi that was Florida’s president from 1990 to 1999.
4. Swine Palace was the first building on the current campus. Its name fit the bill as it was originally a livestock barn. It is now Reilly Theater.
5. Yet another win for LSU…the yearbook is called Gumbo.

When The Gators Have The Ball

UPDATE: There are several whispers of Brissett possible getting the start Saturday. Driskel may have an issue with his ankle that could slow him, forcing the other true freshman to get the ball. If that’s the case, much of the same below applies with Brissett’s name inserted.

Earlier this week, I called it The Jeff Driskel Show. Since then, it has become more than that. With Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis announcing an open competition at quarterback for Florida, it became The Jeff Driskel Band featuring Tyler Murphy and Jacoby Brissett with special guest Trey Burton. It appears to have come full circle and all sign points to Driskel getting the starting nod on Saturday against LSU (except for those ever increasing signs pointing to what I stated in the update above). However, others could and probably will take snaps. Due to that, I’ll go with The Jeff Driskel Experience until it’s no longer something any of us wish to witness; or at the very least, until Burton runs the wildcat.

The last true freshman to start at quarterback for the Gators was Chris Leak in 2003. Leak would beat no. 4 Georgia that season and LSU in Baton Rouge. The Tigers had a defensive coordinator back then that looked remarkably like Muschamp (PSST! It was Muschamp.). That LSU team wasn’t the no. 1 team in the nation like this one is, but it did manage to win all of the rest of its games and the national championship. That’s not an exact light at the end of the tunnel, but may give some of you historians out there a brief moment of hope.

Driskel will struggle on Saturday; that much is inevitable. Death Valley is as hostile as it gets in terms of game day environments. It’s never easy to win on the road in the SEC, but some places are harder than others and LSU is one of them. When you’re a true freshman forced to play due to injury, it’s not any easier. Driskel has talent and over time can develop into a true Gator great. That progression may start against the Tigers, but their all-world defense will have something to say about it. In the second half against Alabama, we saw Driskel in “let’s not try anything too crazy and instead just get out of here without losing anyone else” mode. He was given a very limited number of plays to run and rightfully so. The Crimson Tide defense wasn’t going to give him an inch (even if they did give him 31 yards on one play that made Gator fans everywhere grin just a little). Against LSU, things will open up. They have to. While establishing the run game is of the utmost importance, Florida will need to pass at some points to move the ball down the field. The run can be effective, but this isn’t an offense designed to run the ball 50 times and pass it only five. Driskel may not be asked to do much, but he will be asked to do something.

And now for that run game. I just said the run game can be effective. Let’s take that one step further: the run game HAS TO be effective. This was the Gators’ strength. Against Alabama, it quickly became a weakness. The offensive line crumbled under the pressure put forth by the Tide’s defensive line. Runs to the middle never developed and runs to the outside where quickly sniffed out. It was ugly. There’s really no better way to say that. Chris Rainey couldn’t get going and Jeff Demps was hurt early and rendered ineffective. With John Brantley watching this one and Driskel (or Brissett) taking charge for the first time, the run game needs to be the freshman’s crutch. Driskel needs to be able to rely on six, seven, and eight yards from the running backs consistently. There is, however, a problem: LSU’s defense.

Florida gets no break a week after facing one of the nation’s best. The Gators couldn’t move the ball on the ground against the Tide and with Driskel at the helm, Florida couldn’t pass either. The Tigers will be just as tenacious, just as fast, and just as rough on the quarterback. The line could be the most vital part of the Gators’ offense. They must open up lanes for the backs, but also keep Driskel from becoming too acquainted with the Death Valley turf.

When The Tigers Have The Ball

Gators’ fans have wanted to see Florida throw the ball more this season. Tigers’ fans could probably want the same thing. A top ranking and 5-0 record makes it less of an issue though. However, LSU does have a similar pass-to-rush ratio. The Tigers are led be Jarrett Lee who has attempted 108 passes through five games. Lee is not extremely accurate, doesn’t go deep a lot, and is really just an all-around average quarterback. But in seeing his most time since his 2008, his weakness seems to no longer be one. In 2008, Lee attempted 269 passes and threw 16 interceptions. He only threw two interceptions over 2009 and 2010 combined, but never attempted more than 89 passes in either season. To start 2011, Lee has thrown the ball 108 times and only done so to the other team once. In his first 269 attempts, 16 interceptions; in his next 237, three. Throw in the seven touchdowns Lee has thrown this season and you have an average, but reliable quarterback.

Lee will need to be rattled. Somewhere inside of him is an erratic quarterback. It may be deep inside of him, but it’s there somewhere. This is where the entire defense comes into play. The defensive line must find its pressure again. LSU has talent across the offensive line, but Florida has talent of its own. The pressure from the line needs to be accompanied by great linebacker and secondary play. The defense did its best to keep A.J. McCarron himself last week. They didn’t let an average quarterback look like a great one. The same needs to happen against Lee. If the LSU QB is the hero, the game will turn quickly.

Where improvement needs to be made though is in stopping the run. Alabama was able to let McCarron be his usual self because they dominated Florida in every aspect of the run game. LSU has a solid run attack too. It’s not as good as the Tide’s, but instead works in a pound-away-at-the-line sort of mode. Tackling at the line will be the key for the Gators to stop the Tigers from sustaining long drives and eating up too much of the clock.

Special Teams

There’s one thing to keep in mind: the fake field goal. Les Miles brought it out last season and he’s just crazy enough to do it again. Florida must be alert in all special teams’ situations.

Outcome

A tough environment coupled with going up against one of the nation’s best defenses will make things difficult on the Gators. Whether it’s Driskel or Brissett taking snaps, the Florida quarterbacks will be facing serious pressure all day. If one can keep his head in the game and not get too rattled – and, of course, the defense can return to form – the Gators could stay in this one. It will be a battle to even do that though. Expect LSU’s defense to give Florida everything it has. If you want a specific unit to look at in this one that could have a big impact on the outcome, it’s the Gators’ offensive line. Not to add to the pressure of an already big game, but this one is your game boys. Time to come together.

Heroes Of The Series: Les Miles – Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers

Heroes of the Series explores some of the stars of past. These players or coaches either excelled for Florida or the Gators’ opponent of the week – in this case LSU. They may have been the star of the game or provided a spark that shifted momentum. They might be remembered for their entire careers or just for that single game. To get you riled up and more ready than you already are for the week’s matchup, it’s a two-part series with part one covering an opposing player and part two highlighting a Gator.


After winning the national championship in 2006, the Gators took a step backward with a much younger team in 2007. Florida started the season exactly like it has many times in the past few years – 4-0 – but a close loss to Auburn would start a four-game span of 1-3 for the Gators. If a 20-17 loss to the Tigers wasn’t hard enough to swallow, Florida fell 28-24 to those other SEC Tigers and Les Miles one week later.

There are many reasons people perceive Miles as “crazy” when discussing his on-field coaching decisions. Clock management is one reason. Going for it in situations when others wouldn’t is another. Against the Gators it was the latter that came out in full force.

At times during the game, Florida led 10-0, 17-7, and 24-14. Regardless of LSU’s play, the Gators seemed to have control of the scoreboard at the least. That’s the most important number in the game – the score – but there was another that ultimately led to the Tigers taking the lead in the fourth quarter and holding on to it: 5-for-5. In the fourth quarter alone, the following happened on three consecutive fourth downs for LSU’s offense:

Fourth-and-three: Matt Flynn four-yard touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd.

Fourth-and-one: Jacob Hester two-yard run.

Fourth-and-one: Jacob Hester two-yard run.

Those last two would be part of a drive that would end with another two-yard Hester run, this time into the end zone to give the Tigers the lead for good.

Miles has been called “The Mad Hatter.” His decision-making and going for it five times on fourth down in one game definitely contributes to that. However, such decisions have led to a 67-17 record at LSU. We like to give Miles a hard time, but with the Tigers he has had four seasons of 11 wins or more, won a national title, gone 4-1 in bowl games, and currently has LSU in the top three of both major polls.

We could see dialed-down Miles on Saturday, but it’s unlikely. Whether it is going for it on fourth down or the fake field goal attempt which results in the kicker making a defense look silly (he’s used that one a few times), something will happen that will make us scratch our heads, but wonder just how good of a coach he is. Beware Florida fans; the Mad Hatter will have something up his sleeve.

SEC Coaches And Their SEC Backgrounds

SEC Media Days are currently happening. You already knew that because you are a good fan that follows everything there is to follow about the SEC. You know that during these days, we hear a lot from the head coaches at the 12 SEC programs. We hear their thoughts of the state of the SEC, what the future of the SEC might bring, and how they like SEC. Basically, it is a lot of SEC.
12 coaches in all and plenty with experience in the SEC before their current positions. Whether they were a head coach at another SEC school in the past, an assistant somewhere else within the conference, or actually played in the SEC, they have been around the conference’s block. Did you know that only three of the current 12 SEC head coaches – or 25% – are at their first SEC stop? Of the remaining nine – which would make 75% – seven are with their second SEC program in one capacity or another. The remaining two have been at three or more places with Florida’s own Will Muschamp leading the way with four stops (for those liking the percentages, that means Muschamp has played or coached at 33% of the SEC programs). The current SEC head coaches average ties to exactly two SEC schools.
I will admit that is a lot of numbers. And there are more. For instance, four coaches (33% again) have ties to the Gators. But that is enough of that. Trying to keep up with it all can leave you scratching your head and just wishing the season was here so you no longer had to find others things to fill your brain. We at The Bull Gator are here for you. To eliminate the confusion of the numbers and who coached or played where before they became the head coach at a particular SEC school, we have created the chart below. It should clear everything up and paint you a perfect picture of which SEC head coach has ties to which SEC programs. You are very welcome.

Is LSU’s Les Miles Lucky Or Bold?

Les Miles pregame

Many will claim LSU head coach Les Miles is lucky more often than not. The ball bounces his way, a freak penalty bails him out, or the football gods give him the opportunity to weasel his way out of whatever blunder he has just committed. This luck led to the 11-2 record the Tigers posted in 2010 and is the reason LSU is again picked to be a force in the SEC in 2011, they would say. But is it really luck?
Team Speed Kills – SB Nation’s SEC football blog – explores Miles’ luck and more specifically the fake field goal against Florida that led to the Tigers win at The Swamp in 2010. After examining it and similar calls against South Carolina in 2007 and Kansas State while Miles was at Oklahoma State in 2003, Team Speed Kills comes to the conclusion that it may not be luck guiding Miles’ hand. It may be bold play calling. Miles knows there’s a risk with making that call, but there’s a risk with deciding to go for the first down the traditional way as well.
So what say you? Is Miles lucky? Is he bold? Or is he a little bit of both? In his six seasons at LSU, he has never produced less than eight wins and has had 11 or more four times. Winning 62 games in six seasons can’t all be attributed to a rabbit’s foot.

The Long Snapper (5/6/10)

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.  Tim Tebow is at the top of the list in terms of NFL jersey sales.  More Tebow jerseys sold during April than that of any other player.  Impressive considering the draft didn’t occur until April 22, but not surprising.  Tebow also claimed the title of best-selling rookie since the NFL started tracking rookies four years ago.  In reporting the news, the Associated Press got in a jab of their own: “Tebow is, at best, third on Denver’s depth chart at QB.”  It’s the “at best” that makes you look twice.  None of us have any idea if Tebow will be a successful NFL quarterback.  There’s a slim chance he could become a starter during his rookie season (I’ll admit I believe that’s highly unlikely, but it’s not like the Denver Broncos have the league’s best QB depth at the moment).  There’s probably a fairly decent chance he could claim the backup role at sometime.  And there’s a 100% he will be the third QB.  The Broncos didn’t invest a first-round pick in a guy they plan to put on the practice squad.  I’d say, at worst, Tebow is the third QB.  But why not take as many jabs at the guy whenever you can?  All he’s trying to do is live out his dream.
Oh look.  A post-spring top 25.  Andy Staples’ crack at it puts Alabama firmly at the top where – and this is coming from a Florida fan – they should be.  At number two is the little team that could, Boise State.  Everyone seems to believe this is the year the Broncos could end up playing for a national championship if they can get through the regular season undefeated.  I’m starting to think all this hype may lead to an upset somewhere along the way.  The Gators sneak into the top ten, which is probably exactly where they should be.  Florida returns a ton of talent, but also lost some great ones.  Miami and FSU also made it in at 12 and 22 respectively.  You won’t find USF though.  The Bulls may be a year away from returning to the top 25.
Visit every high school in the state of Florida.  Every single one.  All 548 of them.  Sounds ambitious and it is, but it’s what Skip Holtz has planned for his assistants to do.  Holtz himself isn’t allowed to visit schools during this time, but his nine assistants will be getting to every school in the state during the spring evaluation period.  At first it seems impressive, but then it seems somewhat crazy.  There are some very small programs out there that may not produce the talent USF is looking for.  But I don’t think that’s necessarily the point.  This is about building relationships and keeping the Bulls in the mind of every school across Florida.  There have been great athletes at weak programs in the past.  And there have been strong programs that have produced upwards of 10 FBS signees in one year.  Holtz’s plan puts USF out there for all to see and remember.  The Bulls are entering a whole new world when it comes to recruiting.
LSU has announced its punishment for center T-Bob Herbert after the offensive lineman was arrested for DWI.  Herbert has been suspended indefinitely and cannot participate in anything football-related until he fills certain obligations.  I always loved the indefinite suspension.  Realistically, it means absolutely nothing.  Go ahead and look up the word indefinite.  You’ll get back unclear, uncertain, undecided.  So basically LSU is saying “we have no idea what to do with Herbert so we’ll throw out the word ‘suspension’ to make you all believe we are laying down the law.”  Man up Les Miles (and any coach in a similar situation for that matter).  Give the kid at least a game to realize for at least one moment he was an idiot.  We’ve all made stupid decisions, but no one learns if there aren’t consequences.  And that has been your public service announcement from TBG.  The more you know.
The List: Let’s go random today shall we?
1. Wilber Marshall
2. Honey Moon
3. Dustin Byfulgien
5. Charlie Bradley
The Sixth Man: You might have to read this sentence twice.  Kentucky’s John Calipari doesn’t want a raise.  Huh?  The Wildcats’ head coach recently said he’s interested in an extension, but doesn’t want a raise.  Makes perfect sense!  Just go for the extension John.  After all, you’re only one year into an eight year deal.  Why not add more years to the end of it without more money?  Everyone believes 100% you’ll still be at Kentucky in 2017 anyway.  No really, they do.

Florida Gators 13 – LSU Tigers 3

The man himself returned and although it wasn’t the best offensive display we’ve ever seen, it follows what may be this season’s motto: “a win is a win.” Florida didn’t win big. The Gators didn’t win pretty. But the orange and blue won and remain the top team in all the land.

Tim Tebow, post-concussion and all, ran the ball 17 times and put it in the air 16 to lead Florida to the 13-3 win over LSU. He wasn’t spectacular, but didn’t need to be. #15 did what he needed to do, which was basically just get the ball into the end zone once. The Tigers’ offensive ineptitude did the rest allowing the Gators their lowest point total in a win under Urban Meyer.

Florida was determined to control the game on the ground. Exactly what they should’ve done, they did. Nothing fancy, but run, run, run…win. 48 runs to 16 passes. 193 yards on the ground to 134 through the air. 86 yards for Jeffery Demps and seven yards per carry on only six rushes for Emmanuel Moody (I’ll go ahead and take it easy on Meyer for a moment, but just go so far as to mention there’s nothing wrong with taking 4-5 carries away from Tebow and giving them to Moody…nothing wrong at all). Most importantly, the Gators held the ball for 36:30, compared to the Tigers 23:30. An advantage like that usually leads to post-game celebration (well, unless you’re Wisconsin taking on Ohio State).

Now on to that defense. Woo wee that defense. Growing up, I watched a lot of great Gator teams and a lot of stupendous defensive efforts. But I rarely remembered many of them. The offense was too explosive. That’s where the glory is and that’s what I remembered. The defense could have its best game all year and I may have recalled a hard hit or two, but for the most part I remembered the offense. But this defense. Oh this defense. I, you, we will remember this defense.

Remember in the 2007 game when LSU went for it 27 times on fourth down and made it every single, Les Miles cursing’ time??? This time around they made it once. Once out of three attempts. In fact, they only made one third down conversion as well. One out of nine. Poor, poor LSU. Those conversion rates aren’t going to do it. Even if you are riding a home, night winning streak that started around the same time Siegfried and Roy first met.

I always enjoy the LSU game. Tennessee, Georgia, and FSU (and that once a decade Miami matchup) are always viewed as bigger rivals, but this one always ends up meaning a heap. And with the exception of a few recent outliers, most of the time it gives us a darn good game. But I’m damn sure glad it’s over. On to the game Florida needs that nation’s best defense more than ever.