Decision Time in Death Valley

Leak Runnin the Offense toward the End Zone

Leak Runnin the Offense toward the End Zone (Photo credit: whateyesee13)

A definitive moment, Gator Nation!

We find out this weekend whether our defense is for real, whether our offense is actually becoming something more than just a run-only, ball protection scheme and whether LSU is actually the best team in the SEC. Into Death Valley we go and both teams are a much different version than the last two years. LSU is much different from last year’s team that visited The Swamp. In the last three games, the same can be said of the Gators. The winner of this game is the first one to establish their strength, our defense or LSU’s offense. Let’s talk some football…

Zach Mettenberger, LSU’s QB, was a non-factor last year. Enter Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator and the former transfer from Georgia is lighting up competition this year. He had the tools, but didn’t have the game plan or talent last year. He throws primarily to two good receivers, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, and when I mean primarily….I mean primarily. Between the two receivers they have 77 catches. Among the remaining 11 players who have caught a pass for LSU, their total is 31. So….yes, primarily the ball is going to one of those two players. Put or shut up time for our secondary this week?  You betcha. LSU also has Jeremy Hill who can pound the ball on the ground. This is about as balanced of an offensive attack that we will face this year. The question will be how fast a start does LSU get on offense compared to how our defense starts. We’ve been sluggish at the outset the last three games and LSU usually starts very hot on offense. That does not bode us well if we get into a hole in this game on the road. The flip side is that LSU’s defense is not their best in recent years. They’ve given up 21, 44, and 26 points against their last three SEC opponents. It will be interesting to see how our offense stacks up today. This definitely is our turning point in the season. Either we become the team to beat in the SEC East or not. The ball’s in our hands.

Everyone knows who Tyler Murphy is by now. One wonders if the had been a highly recruited QB if he would have been starting a couple of years ago. As it turns out, it doesn’t matter. He got to the big leagues and is making it count. Now Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas are one thing. If he plays like he has been against LSU then we’re probably about to see a meteoric rise in the marketing of Tyler Murphy. There is no doubt that our offense likes playing with Tyler Murphy. Whatever he brings to the huddle, it has been a good thing. Everyone is playing harder on that side of the ball and it is creating a situation that allows are defense to tee off on the opponent. We will definitely need that today. We’re not favored against LSU and the fact is, I don’t care. Everyone keeps pointing to 2011 where we took an absolutely thin team with a freshman QB in his first start and were abysmal. We are not that team anymore. I would definitely like to avoid the idiotic personal foul penalties we’ve received in recent games, but the fact is that our defense needs to set the tone for this game. It’s statement time and if our defense wants to be considered the best then they need to shut down the LSU offense to do so. Our offense just needs to keep doing what is doing and not turn the ball over. The loser’s out of the SEC Championship race. Either we’re for real or not. Time to make it real. Florida 27 LSU 23. Game time is 3:30pm EST, 12:30pm PST on CBS with Verne and Gary (sigh!). Get to your local Gator Club where a Victory over LSU in Death Valley is best served with Gators! ‘Nuff said.

Go Gators!

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