FLORIDA GATORS (4-1)
at LSU TIGERS (5-1)
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Line: LSU -7, Total: 47.5
Both looking to avoid a critical second loss on the season, SEC powerhouses No. 10 LSU and No. 17 Florida will square off in Baton Rouge on Saturday afternoon.
Florida is 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS this season, but it has been a new season since Tyler Murphy took over for an injured Jeff Driskel at QB, with the Gators winning SU and ATS in both games since the switch. LSU is 5-1 SU and 3-2-1 ATS, easily covering last week they scored 59 points while crushing Mississippi State by 33 points. The Tigers are averaging a whopping 45.5 PPG this season (9th in nation), though it may be difficult to replicate that against the Gators defense that ranks fourth in FBS with 12.2 PPG allowed. In an ugly slugfest last year, these two teams combined for only 437 yards of offense in a 14-6 Florida victory, with the Tigers entering the game as 1.5-point road favorites. The Gators have also historically had no trouble going to Baton Rouge, going 6-4 SU and 8-2 ATS in the past 10 meetings there. However, the last time LSU hosted in this series in 2011, The Tigers walked away with a 41-11 victory.
Can Florida pull off the upset in Baton Rogue? For the answer, connect to College Football Best Bets for all the StatFox Experts picks throughout the 2013 regular season and bowl season. The four experts continue to thrive in college football Best Bets with a combined 58.1% ATS record (61-44-3) for the season. StatFox Gary is a sizzling 82% ATS (9-2-1) in college football Best Bets over the past four weeks and 67% ATS (10-5-1) this year. StatFox Scott is 67% ATS (10-5-1) on Best Bets in the past three weeks and 60% ATS (18-12-1) for the season. StatFox Dave is 75% ATS (9-3) on Best Bets in the past two weeks and 56% ATS (22-17) for the season. StatFox Brian is 52.4% ATS (11-10-1) in Best Bets this season.
Junior QB Tyler Murphy has been a savior for this Florida team under center after Driskelís early struggles. Murphy has completed 72.2% of his passes for 530 yards in 2 1/2 games, throwing for five touchdowns with just one interception. Driskel had thrown three interceptions and only two touchdowns before suffering his season-ending broken tibia. Murphy has three main receiving threats in WRs Solomon Patton (19 catches for 348 yards, 4 TD), Trey Burton (23 catches for 282 yards, 1 TD) and Quinton Dunbar (18 catches for 274 yards). And on the ground, Will Muschamp splits the carries evenly between RBs Matt Jones (75 carries for 322 yards, 4.3 YPC, 2 TD) and Mack Brown (76 carries for 284 yards, 3.7 YPC, 3 TD). Itís also been key that Murphy can use his legs, adding 24 carries for 135 yards (5.6 YPC) and two touchdowns to his passing total. Floridaís stingy defense is strong against both the run and pass, limiting opponents to 2.8 YPC and 4.6 yards per pass attempt, with opponents completing just 46.4% of their passes.
The high-octane LSU offense is led by the steady play of QB Zach Mettenberger, who is completing 68.2% of his passes for 1,738 yards and 11.1 YPA this season. He has 15 touchdowns to only two interceptions, effectively using his 6-foot-5 frame to control the flow of the offense. He relies mostly on two receivers with more than 600 yards, while nobody else has more than 79. WR Odell Beckham (35 catches for 686 yards, 6 TD) leads the team in yardage while WR Jarvis Landry (42 catches for 616 yards, 7 TD) paces the team in receptions and scores. The offense isnít one-dimensional, however, with RB Jeremy Hill racking up 7.5 YPC on the ground on 79 touches for 593 yards and nine touchdowns. LSUís passing defense is giving up 6.9 yards per attempt while the front seven is allowing just 4.3 YPC on the ground.