The LSU-Florida 2021 edition of an epic SEC rivalry will be a meaningful game for the Tigers. After two straight losses, a win on Saturday would push the program back to a winning record. But a loss sends the Tigers to 3-4 overall and the conversation of Ed Orgeron being gone will heat up even more.
LSU-Florida 2021 Preview
Entering this game, the injuries keep coming to the LSU program. Junior cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. will remain out with an injury. Sophomore star receiver Kayshon Boutte is done for the season with a leg injury he suffered against Kentucky. On Wednesday, Orgeron announced that cornerback Eli Ricks will have surgery on his shoulder and miss the remainder of the 2021 season. As if being 3-3 wasn’t bad enough, the Tigers are now down three key players. When Florida comes to town on Saturday, expect to see a few backups in starting roles.
Tigers Offense Must Step Up
Looking at the offense, LSU’s rushing attack needs to continue to be a factor this week. Against Kentucky, Tyrion Davis-Price had 147 yards and two touchdowns. Those statistics are the best for LSU in a while in terms of activating the ground game. Freshman stars Corey Kiner and Armoni Goodwin should be able to see action this week, too. Both newcomers are elusive tailbacks that could exploit the Gators defense and have an impact on the game.
The second factor in this match-up for the offense will be the wide receivers. With Boutte out, someone has to step up and become the go-to receiver. That player could be Malik Nabers. Last week, he caught three passes for 66 yards. The Tigers only accounted for one touchdown through the air against the Wildcats. But going up against Florida, that will have to be the difference maker. The Tigers could also see Brian Thomas Jr., Deion Smith and potentially Jack Bech play a big time role this week as well.
Defense Has To Expose The Gators
Switching to the defense, the unit hasn’t been great this season. Heading into this week, LSU is allowing 26.2 points per game and nearly 300 passing yards. The defensive line could be the key factor on this side of the ball. LSU has to get pressure on Gators quarterback Emory Jones in the backfield. The unit cannot allow the Gators to drive down the field and connect on long plays.
The secondary will be depleted with Stingley and Ricks out. To add to the mix, Major Burns is out and Sage Ryan has yet to play. But Ryan not seeing the field could potentially change on Saturday. If the secondary is going to have success on the Florida receivers, Dwight McGlothern will have to step up in Stingley’s absence. Jay Ward will likely be the other starting cornerback and he needs a solid outing as well.
LSU-Florida 2021 Game Prediction
LSU enters this game as a 10.5 point underdog. Earning a win here will be no easy task and both sides of the ball need to play a near perfect game to get the win. Florida’s offense can be exposed, but the Tigers’ defense has to play much better. From an offensive perspective, the Tigers’ play calling has to improve and Johnson has to get the ball out quickly and efficiently. The running game will have to be consistent and gain more than two yards per carry to play a factor. However, the rumors surrounding Orgeron’s departure could be on the minds of the players again this week. LSU will play hard but ultimately the Gators will take this one, 38-24.