Take Five Breakdown: Florida-No. 18 LSU Preview

LSU Preview

by Chris Will
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Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

A trip to Death Valley is right around the corner for the Florida Gators on this Veterans Day weekend. The blackout jerseys proved unlucky last week as Florida fell to Arkansas in overtime. Now the Gators turn their attention to a hungry LSU squad with the fresh taste of defeat still in their mouth after a matchup with Alabama. Inside the Gators caught up with Koki Riley of The Daily Advertiser to discuss the LSU Tigers.

Five LSU Tigers to Know

Jayden Daniels, Quarterback, Senior

  • The Heisman hopeful has made his case for being one of the best college football players in the country. He has over 2,700 yards in the air to go along with 27 touchdowns and four interceptions. That’s all before you even take in the run game. On the ground, he’s added almost 700 yards for six touchdowns. “His accuracy has improved,” Riley said, “He’s been just a lot more consistent there. He’s just been more he’s been smarter. He’s been more decisive. There isn’t an obvious flaw.”

Malik Nabers, Wide Receiver, Junior

  • This name comes as no surprise. Nabers has been on a tear this season. When it comes to the top wideouts in college football, it is Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers atop that list. With over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, he has been that guy on this team. “He’s been a monster week in and week out,” Riley said.

Logan Diggs, Running Back, Junior

  • But it isn’t a single threat in the backfield. Diggs has exploded onto the LSU scene with 635 yards and six touchdowns. “Diggs has been the feature guy really since week two,” Riley said, “He’s the most well-rounded running back on this team.”

Brian Thomas Jr., Wide Receiver, Junior

  • Jayden Daniels would not be having the season he has without the dynamic duo of Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. His 11 touchdowns are the most by an SEC wide receiver. “I think he’s also a first-round caliber player,” Riley said, “Hasn’t been quite as consistent this year, but he’s still been incredible.”

Harold Perkins, Linebacker, Sophomore

  • Perkins had a standout true freshman season at linebacker for the Tigers. His second year faced some interesting changes in positioning on the field to kick things off, but he has still been one of the top difference-makers on that side of the ball. His four sacks lead the team in that category. “He’s been better in coverage this year than he was last year,” Riley said, “He hasn’t popped the same way as he had last year, but he hasn’t had a bad season at all.”

Five Fast Facts

  • Whoever wins this matchup gains the edge in the all-time series, as it is currently tied at 33-33-3.
  • The Gators are 12-9 on the road vs. LSU across the last 21 meetings dating back to 1981 despite being 2-7 since 2005.
  • The Gators have won 13 of their last 16 games in The Swamp (including eight of 10), but are 2-14 in their last 16 contests outside The Swamp and 2-10 in their last 12 true road games.
  • Florida has scored in 33 straight trips to the red zone (25 TD, 8 FG), ranking ninth in the FBS with a 94.4% conversion rate. The Gators have converted on every trip to the red zone across their last eight games.
  • WR Eugene Wilson III leads all FBS true freshmen in receptions per game (6.4) and ranks third in receiving yards (416) and receiving yards per game (59.4). He has 19 catches for 165 yards and three touchdowns in the last three games.

Five Game Day Storylines

Jayden Daniels Status

  • Daniels was taken out of the Tigers’ matchup with Alabama due to concussion protocol. The situation brought questions over his status against the Gators. Riley said head coach Brian Kelly expects Daniels to play. If he doesn’t Garrett Nussmeier will take over. “He’s probably one of the better backup quarterbacks in college football,” Riley said, “Has some playing experience, a big arm, really talented in terms of just his arm talent, arm strength, not afraid to fit a ball to a tight window.”

Has Their Number

  • LSU has won four in a row against the Gators. Florida hasn’t won this matchup since 2018. They haven’t won in Baton Rouge since 2016. The Tigers have never won five in a row against the Gators. That could change this weekend.

Time to Bounce Back

  • Both these teams faced devastating losses last week. Florida lost at home to an unranked Arkansas team to give them their first SEC win of the season. LSU believes they could have beaten Alabama. Both teams now look to get back on track. “I think the Alabama loss was deflating,” Riley said, “I think that’s the best way to put it. It just took the wind out of this team’s sails.” LSU looks to add another win in this historic rivalry. Florida looks to secure bowl eligibility.

Florida on the Road

  • Florida’s path to bowl eligibility got exponentially harder after the loss to Arkansas. Not just because they’ll close the season with three straight top-20 opponents, but because the two “easier” matchups will come on the road. In the second season under Billy Napier, the Gators have won just two games on the road. The first being at Texas A&M last season and the second being at South Carolina this season. LSU is a much better team, and the atmosphere will be rocking for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against an SEC foe.


  • Several Louisiana natives on this Florida roster will make their return to the bayou. Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne lead the Bayou brothers’ backfield for the Florida Gators and will look to have a big moment in front of their Louisiana brethren. Head coach Billy Napier also returns to the state he used to coach. The former University of Louisiana head coach looks to leave his mark on Saturday.


  • Chris Will: LSU 48-21
  • Koki Riley: LSU 45-35

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