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LSU visits "The Swamp" for key SEC showdown with Florida

Oct 3, 2006 - 7:44 PM No. 9 LSU (4-1) at No. 5 Florida (5-0), 3:30 pm EDT

GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) - The last opponent to defeat Florida at home returns to "The Swamp" on Saturday when No. 9 Louisiana State takes on the fifth-ranked Gators in a marquee Southeastern Conference matchup.

The Gators have won 12 straight home games since a 24-21 setback to the Tigers in 2004 - their final year under Ron Zook. LSU also won here in 2002 and has taken three of the series' last four meetings, including a 21-17 triumph in Baton Rouge last year.

Florida (5-0, 3-0 SEC East) pulled away late in a 28-13 triumph over Alabama last Saturday. Chris Leak threw a pair of touchdowns, giving him 79 for his career and moving him past Rex Grossman into second place on the school's all-time list.

The Gators are looking for their first 6-0 start since 1996, when they went on to win the national championship under Steve Spurrier.

Making the task more difficult for Florida was the sprained right knee sustained by starting running back DeShawn Wynn against the Crimson Tide. Wynn, who has 354 yards and three touchdowns this season, may not be healthy enough to play against the Tigers.

However, the Gators got a boost Thursday when star defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, who had missed the last two games, was reinstated by the school's substance-abuse committee from an indefinite suspension. Thomas, who twice tested positive for marijuana over the summer, has a team-best three sacks in just two games this season.

Florida is in the midst of a brutal four-game stretch that includes a visit to Auburn next week and, following a bye, its annual "Cocktail Party" contest vs. Georgia in Jacksonville.

LSU (4-1, 1-1 SEC West) routed Mississippi State last Saturday, 48-17, in a game delayed 52 minutes by a lightning storm just after halftime.

JaMarcus Russell completed 18-of-20 passes for a career-high 330 yards and three touchdowns en route to SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

If the game is close, LSU might have the advantage, as Colt David and Ryan Gaudet are a combined 3-of-3 on field-goal attempts, while Florida's Chris Hetland is 0-of-3.

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