LSU's rushing attack is the best in the SEC, eighth-best in the country, at 279.5 yards per game, led by sophomore tailback Kevin Faulk. The Gators running game was stymied last week by Arkansas, a team with a strong defensive front, and too many talented backs are actually weakening the whole.
Edge: LOUISIANA STATE.
Florida has the most efficient passer in NCAA history in Heisman Trophy candidate Danny Wuerffel, not to mention three speed-burning wide receivers that, so far, no secondary has been able to cover man-to-man. Arkansas' play-action pass attack is effective, but only as a result of its running game.
The Gators' defensive front is superb, despite its inexperience, but the offensive line is struggling of late to overcome the same ill. LSU has talented defensive ends; and the offense can run-block with the best. Pass-blocking, though, if the Gators can shut down the run, is not the Tigers' specialty.
Both teams have explosive return men _ LSU's Faulk and Florida's Jacquez Green and Reidel Anthony _ who could play a large role in field position. Both teams have adequate kickers and punters, but nothing special.
LSU's Gerry DiNardo is making things happen in only his second year with the Tigers, and defensive coordinator Carl Reese has slowed the Fun "N' Gun for two years straight. But it's awfully hard to out-smart Florida's Steve Spurrier on offense or Bob Stoops on defense.
The Tigers, riding a seven-game winning streak, are eager to take a crack at the nation's No.1 team, but the Gators play with supreme confidence every week, a characteristic taken from their head coach. Bottom line, Florida has better athletes. And no one wants to lose on homecoming weekend.
_ JOANNE KORTH