Gators hope depth, maturity lead to better competition against LSU this time around
Saturday's showdown between No. 10 Florida and No. 4 LSU will mark the first day game in Gainesville betweeen the two schools since 2006, and will be Florida's greatest challenge to date this season.
LSU will be trying to go 6-0 for a third consecutive season, and the fourth time in eight years under head coach Les Miles. The Tigers bring the nation's longest regular season winning streak into the game - 18 - which dates back to last year's season-opening win over Oregon.
Florida coach Will Muschamp and his players believe the Gators are much more equipped to handle LSU this season than last.
"I feel we’re 10 times better at least,'' sophomore FB Hunter Joyer said. "We’re a better team, together and as individuals.
The Gators are also a defense with more depth compared to last season's thin unit that was dominated by LSU's offense the last time they met. Muschamp said last year's 41-11 game just reiterated what he already knew.
"We weren’t physical enough on the line of scrimmage to compete and play in this league,'' he said. "Our depth was part of that issue because of the way we practiced. We were sitting there in training camp last year and I think we had nine or 10 scholarship offensive lineman for camp. We couldn’t even roll two groups in there some days. We had to be careful because if you get another couple of guys injured, now you’re down to seven. And that makes it difficult. So some of the things I wanted to do and felt like we needed to do, we couldn’t because of numbers and the chance of attrition.''
More from Muschamp on how a more mature team with more depth should be a better matchup with the Tigers this season.