With Tyler Murphy at quarterback, the offense has started to produce the way Will Muschamp and Brent Pease thought it would heading into the season. Murphy’s presence under center (and in the pocket) seems to have made a huge difference. He’s getting the ball down the field to the wide receivers, leading the Gators to touchdowns once they get into the red zone, and making plays with his feet, whether it’s to buy time in the pocket or make a critical run on third down.
With the offense evolving (and improving) the more Murphy plays and the defense playing the way it is, the Gators have a chance to beat every team left on their schedule. They certainly have a chance Saturday in Baton Rouge.
To come away with the win, Murphy has to keep his composure (and there’s no reason to think he won’t) in the hostile environment and the offense is going to have to control the ball and the clock and keep the potent LSU offense on the bench for long periods of times. The Gators also have to make the most of their trips to the red zone and take care of the football. If they turn the ball over three or four times, it could turn into a disaster.
Defensively, the Gators have to have the mentality that they’re going to give up some plays. It’s inevitable. When they do, they have to have a short memory and move on to the next play and get a stop. The Gators’ play in the red zone is going to be critical. If UF can win most of the battles here and hold LSU to field goals instead of touchdowns, the Gators’ chances of winning go way up.
I see the Gators playing well in this game. I see it coming down to two or three big plays making the difference.
I’m tempted to pull the trigger and go with the Gators. But I just have a feeling that the homefield advantage is going to be big and the Tigers are going to have a little bit too much offense for the Gators to handle in the end.
Prediction: LSU 31, Florida 24.