33 - 29 Final
  for this game

LSU-Florida Preview

Oct 6, 2010 - 2:48 AM By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer

No. 12 LSU (5-0) at No. 5 Florida (4-1), 7:30 p.m. EDT

Les Miles may be considered lucky, but LSU is still unbeaten. Visiting Florida could change that.

The No. 12 Tigers will likely need an improved performance if they're going to beat the 14th-ranked Gators in Gainesville for the first time in six years Saturday night.

Miles has come under increased scrutiny for questionable play calling and clock management, despite a 56-15 record in six seasons with LSU (5-0, 3-0 SEC), including the 2007 national title.

"It's crazy how much negativity we have going on around Baton Rouge right now," running back Stevan Ridley said.

That negativity grew further in spite of the Tigers' 16-14 win over Tennessee last Saturday. With the ball at the Volunteers' 2 and the clock winding down, quarterback Jordan Jefferson mishandled the snap and was tackled. However, a penalty to Tennessee for too many men on the field led to Ridley powering in the winning score on the ensuing play with no time remaining.

The chaos was reminiscent of LSU's loss at Mississippi last season, when the team failed to get a play off with time expiring and the ball at the 5.

"I understand the responsibility of the way we managed the back end of the game is mine," Miles said. "I can tell you that the issue was trying to use and have utility in an extra down. We used way too much time in substitution."

While Miles is accepting responsibility, the Tigers still need a much more disciplined performance against Florida (4-1, 2-1). They committed four turnovers with nine penalties against the Volunteers.

"I don't know that we could play any sloppier. I don't know that we could have planned it any more poorly," Miles said.

Miles is expected to rotate Jefferson and Jarrett Lee at quarterback for a second week, despite them combining for three interceptions against the Vols.

Jefferson has thrown for fewer than 100 yards for four consecutive games, and his six picks this season lead the conference. The junior hasn't thrown a touchdown pass since completing two in a 30-24 season-opening win over then-No. 18 North Carolina.

Lee was much more effective last week, completing 16 of 23 passes for 185 yards. The junior also moved LSU 68 yards on 13 plays during the final drive before Miles controversially inserted Jefferson with second-and-goal at the 2.

"We need to play both quarterbacks," Miles said.

Jefferson and Lee are likely in for a major test against a Gators' defense that has allowed an average of 181.8 passing yards while leading the SEC with 12 interceptions and collecting 12 sacks.

LSU totaled 162 yards of offense in a 13-3 loss to then-top-ranked Florida on Oct. 10, 2009.

The Gators have won the last two meetings in Gainseville since falling to the Tigers in October 2004. They're 37-2 at home since, holding opponents to an average of 12.5 points.

A return home could be just what Florida needs after last week's 31-6 loss at No. 1 Alabama dropped Urban Meyer's team seven spots in the poll.

"You don't have to be pumped up to play LSU at night in The Swamp," defensive lineman Duke Lemmens said. "It's another SEC game and we have a chance to either go downhill or uphill with that game, and we're going to do our best to go up."

John Brantley's health will play a major factor. The junior quarterback suffered a rib injury last week, but is confident he'll be on the field.

"I'm a little sore like any other game, but nothing major, nothing that's going to stop me from doing anything," said Brantley, who has completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 902 yards and six touchdowns this season. Two of his three interceptions this year came against the Crimson Tide.

If Brantley struggles, the Gators would turn to freshman Trey Burton, who has thrown two passes all season. However, he leads the team with eight total TDs and is often used in wildcat formations.

Florida's offense could be in for another tough performance with LSU's defense allowing a conference-low 79.0 rushing yards while yielding 167.6 through the air with six INTs.