A roller coaster game, and week, saw the Florida Gators come from behind to defeat Tennessee for the tenth straight time, but then lose their budding freshman quarterback to suspension. Now the Gators return home to the Swamp for the first time since Sept. 13 to host LSU on Saturday night. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, with coverage airing once again on the SEC Network.
In conjunction with the game, the Baltimore Gator Club will once again host a watch party at The Greene Turtle at McHenry Row. We have seen tremendous turnouts this season by club members, as well as family and friends, and we encourage you to join the party this weekend! The Greene Turtle has provided great drink specials for us and has even given us FREE food platters in the past couple of weeks. In addition, the Club will host a raffle for special prizes which this week includes a Gator football autographed by head coach Will Muschamp. All Gators present will receive a free raffle ticket while additional tickets may be purchased for $1 each. Proceeds from the event will go towards a scholarship for a current Gator student from the Baltimore area.
Trailing 9-0 in front of a raucous crowd on Rocky Top, the Florida Gators (3-1, 2-1 SEC) rallied past Tennessee for their tenth consecutive win in the series. Although redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel struggled, junior running back Matt Jones picked up the load, rushing for 114 yards and the game’s only touchdown. The Gator D was stout as well, limiting the Vols to 233 yards and causing three turnovers, the last of which sealed the game. Sophomore kicker Austin Hardin only attempted one field goal, but he drilled it from 49 yards to put Florida up, 10-9, and the defense took it from there.
LSU (4-2, 0-2 SEC) lost for the second time in three weeks last Saturday, falling behind early and never mounting a rally in a 41-7 loss at Auburn. The Tigers, who lost at home to Mississippi State on Sept. 20 and then beat New Mexico State, have fallen out of the rankings after rising as high as No. 8.
The Bayou Bengals still rely on a pounding ground game with Leonard Fournette and Kenny Hilliard each averaging over 5.1 yards per carry. The two have combined to score nine touchdowns this season while Darrel Williams and Brandon Harris have each contributed three more scores. On the other side of the ball, the Tiger D has already picked off six passes this season while also forcing five fumbles.
The two teams, who have met every season since 1971, have split the last three meetings with the home team winning each time. Florida leads the all-time series, 31-26-3, and holds a 15-11-3 record against LSU in Gainesville. Saturday’s game will mark the first time since 1989 that the SEC rivals will meet when neither squad is ranked. (By the way, the Gators won that game 16-13 in Baton Rouge thanks to All-American Emmitt Smith and a last-second field goal.)