Our weekly college football gameday guide begins with the No. 20 Florida Gators’ trip to LSU and a quick look back at last year’s LS-Shoe game. The blunder became a teachable moment in Gainesville. Just ask defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
“We understand that we have to not do things that are going to shoot ourselves in the foot, per se.” — Grantham, using an interesting word choice to describe the infamous thrown shoe.
UF strength on LSU weakness
The Gators’ rushing offense is tied with Coastal Carolina as the best in the nation (6.7 yards per attempt). That’s a good sign against an LSU defense that gave up 7.3 yards per carry last week to Kentucky — the Tigers’ worst performance in two years. Unless LSU fixes things quickly, UF has a chance to run away with a win.
Coach O’s last stand?
LSU coach Ed Orgeron might be coaching for his job against UF, despite being two years removed from a national title. Here’s how his post-championship results stack up against the obvious, unfortunate comparison: Gene Chizik, the Pinellas County native who was fired two years after winning it all at Auburn.
Record against ranked teams: 1-4
Scoring differential: minus-8
Average ranking in SP+ advanced metrics: 51.5
Record against ranked teams: 2-8
Scoring differential: minus-158
Average ranking in SP+ advanced metrics: 45.5
When Timmy McClain starts for USF against Tulsa, he’ll have the longest streak of starts (four games) by a quarterback of the Jeff Scott era. That says more about the previous circumstances than it does McClain, but the true freshman is progressing well. His passing yards and efficiency have increased in every start and should swell again off an open date against a weak passing defense.
Local of the week
UCF defensive tackle Keenan Hester (St. Petersburg Catholic)
With starter Kalia Davis (knee) out for the season, Hester is poised for a bigger role and potentially a starting spot. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound redshirt sophomore recorded his second career sack last week against East Carolina and will need more splash plays if his Knights are going to upset No. 3 Cincinnati.
If Manny Diaz is going to quiet some of his critics, North Carolina is a good place to start. The Tar Heels rolled over Diaz’s defense last year with Javonte Williams and Michael Carter combining for an NCAA-record 544 rushing yards. Both are in the NFL, but the Hurricanes’ shaky defense hasn’t moved on, as evidenced by all their missed tackles. That makes this a prove-it opportunity for Diaz against his former Texas boss, Mack Brown.
By the numbers: Week 7
29 Years since UF gave up 300 passing yards to LSU.
3 Times LSU quarterback Max Johnson has thrown for at least 300 yards this year.
2007 The last time Kentucky beat a No. 1 team (43-37 over LSU in triple overtime).
7 Pass breakups for Northwestern’s A.J. Hampton (Wharton High). Only six players have more.
23 Home wins in a row for Cincinnati before UCF’s visit. Only Clemson (31) has a longer streak.
5 Consecutive games with a touchdown catch for Pitt’s Jordan Addison. The last Panther to have a six-game streak? Larry Fitzgerald in 2003.
12 Baylor’s national ranking in offensive pass efficiency (168.31) and defensive pass efficiency (108.50).
4 Consecutive 100-yard rushing games for Texas’ Bijan Robinson. That’s the longest Longhorns streak since 2016 (D’Onta Foreman).
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