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NFL draft prospects to watch in Florida vs. LSU

Matt Baker: A running back duel at Clemson and why Jordan Cronkrite could be in for another big day for USF. Plus, Tampa Bay Times staff picks for week 7.
Florida Gators defensive back CJ Henderson (1) wags his finger after breaking up a pass intended for Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Jeff Thomas during the season opener. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 11
Updated Oct. 11

Three things NFL fans should be watching during Florida-LSU:

LSU’s secondary: Safety Grant Delpit has put up underwhelming numbers (19 tackles and an interception) but is regarded as this year’s version of ex-FSU do-it-all defender Derwin James. Cornerback Kristian Fulton is showing up on early mock drafts, too.

RELATED: Why Grant Delpit is the next LSU defender Bucs fans should know

LSU outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson: He was recently linked to the Bucs in one of CBS’ ridiculously early mock drafts. Because Tampa Bay apparently can’t get enough ultra-talented linebackers from LSU.

UF’s cornerbacks against LSU’s receivers: Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson have combined for 13 touchdown catches already. But they haven’t gone up against a cornerback duo like UF’s Marco Wilson and first-round talent CJ Henderson.

Running with the Bulls

USF probably won’t be able to rack up another 300-yard rushing day as it did against UConn because BYU is nowhere near that bad. But the Cougars’ run defense isn’t great, either. BYU is allowing almost 4.7 yards per rush (No. 97 nationally) and gave up 242 in last month’s loss at Toledo. Don’t be surprised if former Gator Jordan Cronkrite has another big game for USF.

RELATED: USF football: Five things to know about BYU

Tweet of the week

Akers vs. Etienne

Two of the top running backs in the nation will square off when Florida State visits No. 2 Clemson. But statistically, the matchup isn’t close:

FSU running back Cam Akers

Florida State running back Cam Akers (3) carries during the second quarter of the season opener against Boise State. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]

Rushing yards per game: 116.4 (No. 10 nationally)

Touchdown rushes: 7 (No. 9)

Total touchdowns: 9 (No. 5)

Yards from scrimmage per game: 138 (No. 7)

Total touches: 130 (No. 4)

Clemson running back Travis Etienne

Clemson's Travis Etienne (9) rushes out of the backfield with blocking help from John Simpson (74) while Charlotte's Marquavis Gibbs defends during a Sept. 21 game. [RICHARD SHIRO | AP]

Rushing yards per game: 92.4 (No. 33)

Touchdown rushes: 5 (No. 27)

Total touchdowns: 5 (No. 49)

Yards from scrimmage per game: 110.4 (33)

Total touches: 77 (No. 70)

RELATED: Florida Gators, FSU football facing their own Death Valley

By the numbers: Week 7

0 Fourth-quarter points Florida has allowed in its past five games

14 Programs with at least 750 all-time wins. Clemson is at No. 749 and can join that club by beating FSU

1 Team that hasn’t yet allowed a rushing touchdown (Georgia, which hosts Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks)

2003 The last time Minnesota started 6-0, which it can do with a win over Nebraska

81 Combined points allowed by Penn State and Iowa through five games each

9 Career starts for Southern Miss offensive lineman Bryce Foxworth (Boca Ciega High) heading into a big Conference USA West matchup with North Texas

RELATED: Why Peyton Manning, Drew Brees will impact Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers

Tampa Bay Times staff picks for week 7

Away Home Mike Sherman, Deputy Editor-Sports Joey Knight, USF Beat Writer Ernest Hooper, Assistant Sports Editor Matt Baker, College Beat Writer Martin Fennelly, Columnist Traci Johnson, Assistant Sports Editor
Virginia Miami (-1.5) Virginia 31-24 Virginia 32-31 Virginia 30-12 Virginia 27-24 Virginia 26-24 Virginia 28-27
BYU (-6.5) USF BYU 35-24 BYU 17-10 BYU 35-30 BYU 31-27 BYU 31-28 BYU 28-21
FSU Clemson (-27.5) Clemson 38-17 Clemson 38-13 Clemson 28-17 Clemson 42-17 Clemson 45-21 Clemson 34-10
Florida LSU (-13.5) LSU 35-21 LSU 34-27 UF 17-13 LSU 28-24 LSU 30-24 LSU 31-24
Colorado Oregon (-20.5) Oregon 31-21 Oregon 35-17 Oregon 35-20 Oregon 35-17 Oregon 38-17 Oregon 31-10
South Carolina Georgia (-25.5) Georgia 49-21 Georgia 38-14 Georgia 32-12 Georgia 35-14 Georgia 45-16 Georgia 42-12
Maryland (-5.5) Purdue Maryland 31-24 Maryland 41-35 Maryland 33-23 Maryland 28-21 Maryland 27-20 Maryland 24-17
Miss St (-6.5) Tennessee Miss St 23-20 Miss St 28-13 Miss St 10-8 Miss St 31-20 Tenn 23-16 Miss St 24-14
Oklahoma (-10.5) Texas* OU 38-28 Texas 41-40 Texas 31-30 OU 42-35 OU 37-33 OU 42-38
Michigan (-21.5) Illinois Michigan 27-7 Michigan 24-10 Michigan 42-12 Michigan 28-10 Michigan 52-14 Mich 31-3
Wash St Arizona St (-2.5) ASU 24-21 ASU 31-24 ASU 28-17 ASU 31-30 ASU 33-31 ASU 35-28
Mich St Wisconsin (-10.5) Wisc 27-14 Wisc 30-17 Wisc 42-30 Wisc 28-13 Wisc 28-14 WISC 32-20
Alabama Texas A&M (no line) Alabama 45-23 Alabama 45-20 Alabama 50-20 Alabama 42-20 Alabama 38-20 Alabama 42-21
Cincinnati (-7.5) Houston Cincy 35-20 Cincy 35-20 Cincy 45-35 Cincy 31-21 Cincy 29-21 Cincy 34-21
USC Notre Dame (-11.5) ND 35-20 ND 38-24 ND 44-22 ND 35-28 ND 34-24 ND 31-24
Penn St (-4.5) Iowa Iowa 24-21 Penn St 24-20 Penn St 35-15 Penn St 24-16 Iowa 23-21 Iowa 24-21
Navy Tulsa (-1.5) Navy 31-28 Navy 38-31 Navy 28-27 Tulsa 31-28 Navy 24-17 Navy 28-24
Louisville Wake Forest (-7.5) Wake 34-28 Wake 35-31 Louisville 23-20 Wake 31-24 Wake 26-23 Wake 35-34
Arkansas Kentucky (-6.5) Kentucky 27-21 Arkansas 38-35 Kentucky 17-10 Kentucky 27-24 Kentucky 37-23 Kentucky 28-17
Ole Miss Missouri (-11.5) Mizzou 42-21 Mizzou 40-28 Mizzou 40-21 Mizzou 35-20 Mizzou 31-25 Mizzou 31-17
This week Lock of the week Wisconsin Arizona State Virginia Alabama Alabama Wisconsin
This week Upset of the week Virginia Texas Texas Virginia Iowa Iowa
Last week vs. spread 12-8 7-13 11-9 10-10 11-9 9-11
Overall vs. spread 55-54 55-54 55-54 54-55 54-55 51-58
Last week straight up 15-5 15-5 14-6 12-8 17-3 15-5
Overall straight up 82-28 81-29 73-37 83-27 81-29 84-26
Season Locks 3-3 2-4 5-1 5-1 5-1 3-3
Season Upsets 1-5 2-4 1-5 4-2 1-5 4-2

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A Florida Gator fans yells during the first half of the Nov. 2 game against Georgia in Jacksonville. The Gators travel to Columbia, Mo. for a noon Saturday game against Missouri. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Here are our picks for this week’s top college football games, including Florida-Missouri, USF-Cincinnati and Florida State-Alabama State.
  2. Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck leads him team on the field prior to an Oct. 26 game against Maryland in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 52-10. STACY BENGS  |  AP
    The last time Minnesota started 9-0 was 1904. Another big event that year involved Cy Young.
  3. Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks poses for a photo with Reyce Ramsey, 9, one of the fans who sent him a get-well card. SCOTT RAMSEY  |  Special to the Times
    When the Florida Gators’ quarterback got hurt at Kentucky, cards came from a 9-year-old in Kissimmee and a retiree in Oldsmar.
  4. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts (84) celebrates after scoring a touchdown on a 15-yard pass reception during the second half against Vanderbilt on Nov. 9 in Gainesville. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    The Florida Gators still have a lot to play for, even with a sleepy game in cold Columbia.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon III Hargreaves kneels in the end zone after the Seattle Seahawks defeated his team in overtime in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer) JOHN FROSCHAUER  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: It’s a mailbag episode, with answers on Jameis Winston’s future, Lavonte David’s season, Mike Evans’ plight, Kevin Cash’s third-place finish and Charlie Strong’s job...
  6. Florida quarterback Emory Jones looks for a receiver against Towson during the second half on Sept. 28 in Gainesville. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask and Emory Jones all have remaining eligibility, which adds an interesting dynamic to next season.
  7. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass in the first half of an NCAA football game against Alabama Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tuscaloosa , Ala. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP
    Two notable teams fell despite 50-plus point wins. That happens sometimes.
  8. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) is carried off the field by his teammates after defeating Alabama 46-41 on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP
    The Tigers break an eight-game losing streak to the Tide with a gutty, statement road victory.
  9. Florida linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, here against Tennessee earlier this season, says “I’m proud of myself’’ after leading Florida’s defensive domination vs. Vanderbilt. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Journal: One of Diabate’s sacks is also a turnover that sets up a Gators touchdown.
  10. Florida wide receiver Trevon Grimes (8) runs after a reception past Vanderbilt linebacker Kenny Hebert (21) during the first half in Gainesville. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Kyle Trask’s 363 yards were the most by a Florida quarterback since Tim Tebow in 2008. But give credit to the guys catching his throws.
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