COLLEGE GAME OF THE WEEK: FLORIDA AT LSU
(FLORIDA SPORTS INFORMATION)
Florida is 4-1 against ranked opponents under Dan Mullen, including a 3-1 record against top-10 teams (and 1-1 against top-5 teams). Since the start of last season, only Florida, LSU (five), Alabama and Ohio State (three apiece) have at least three wins over teams in the top 10 of the Associated Press Poll at the time of kickoff. • Since the start of the 2014 season, Mullen is 7-6 against top-10 opponents, but four of those losses came against Alabama. In 2014, Mullen’s Mississippi State team defeated three top-10 opponents in three consecutive games (Sept. 20 – at No. 8 LSU, 34-29; Sept. 27 – Bye; Oct. 4 – No. 6 Texas A&M, 48-31; Oct. 11 – No. 2 Auburn, 38-23). • Last season, UF beat three ranked opponents (as well as multiple top-10 opponents) for the first time since 2012. • Prior to beating No. 5 LSU last season, Florida had lost nine of its last 11 games against top-five teams, a stretch that dated back to the start of the 2010 season. Six of the nine losses were by 21-plus points. • Since the start of the 2002 season, Florida is 15-6 in games when both it and its opponent are top-10 teams, and it is 5-2 since the start of the 2012 season. Prior to 2002, the Gators were 16-16-1 in top-10 matchups. • This will be the 25th time in program history the Gators faced top-10 opponents in consecutive games, with the most recent occurrence coming in 2011. The only two times UF won both games were in 2006 and 2008, when it won the SEC Championship Game and followed it up with a victory in the BCS National Championship Game both seasons. • Last year, Florida beat ranked teams in consecutive games (No. 23 Missississippi State, No. 5 LSU) for the first time since 2008, when it won at No. 23 Florida State (Nov. 29), then beat No. 1 Alabama for the SEC title (Dec. 6) and No. 2 Oklahoma to win the BCS National Championship (Jan. 8, 2009). • Florida can beat two straight top-10 opponents for the first time since 2012 (No. 4 LSU – Oct. 4; No. 9 South Carolina – Oct. 20; No. 10 Florida State – Nov. 24). • UF’s 10-game winning streak is its longest since winning 22 in a row in 2008 (last 10 games) and 2009 (first 12). It is also tied with Appalachian State for the third-longest active FBS streak, behind Clemson (19) and Ohio State (12). • This is the seventh 10-game winning streak in school history. The other streaks are: 12 games (1995); 11 (last 7 of 2006, first 4 of 2007); 11 (last 3 of 1927, first 8 of 1928); 10 (1996); 10 (last 9 of 1984, first game of 1985). • The Gators are off to their first 6-0 start since 2015, and they’re seeking a second straight 10-win season for the first time since posting 13 wins in both 2008 — Mullen’s final year as offensive coordinator — and 2009. • UF is making its 42nd appearance on College GameDay (which includes the 2008 Orange & Blue Game), and it is 26-14 in the 40 previous games the show traveled to. Saturday will be Florida’s third GameDay appearance this season.
- Pressuring opponents into mistakes has been the calling card of Florida’s 2019 defense, and that statement is backed up by the Gators’ nation-leading 19 takeaways (two more than any other FBS team). • Since the start of last season, Florida’s 43 takeaways are tied with Syracuse for the most in the FBS. • Florida has 15 takeaways in its last four games alone — which is equal to the season total of the team ranked No. 2 nationally in takeaways this year (San Jose State). • The Gators have forced four turnovers in three of its last four games (Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn). The last time they forced four-plus turnovers in at least three games within a season was 2014 (four games). • Florida’s 12 interceptions lead all FBS teams, and its 11 from the last four games alone is equal to the season total of the team ranked No. 2 nationally in interceptions this year (San Jose State). UF and San Jose State are the only FBS teams with double-digit interceptions. • Florida is the only FBS team with at least three interceptions in three games this year (three apiece against Kentucky, Tennessee, and Auburn). And San Jose State and Washington are the only FBS teams with three plus interceptions in multiple games this year. • Florida is the only FBS team featuring four players (Shawn Davis, Kaiir Elam, Donovan Stiner, Marco Wilson) with multiple interceptions this year — and only Missouri, Nebraska, and San Jose State have three players with multiple interceptions. • Shawn Davis leads the Gators with three interceptions — and he is one of 23 FBS players with that many this year. Davis entered this season with zero interceptions in 18 career games played. • Kaiir Elam has two interceptions and is one of six FBS true freshmen with multiple interceptions this year. • Florida’s 26 sacks are tied for third in the FBS, and its 50 tackles for loss are tied for fourth nationally. UF needed 11 games to eclipse 25 sacks last year, and it took seven games to eclipse 50 TFLs last year. • Jonathan Greenard is Florida’s top disrupter in its front seven, as he ranks second in the SEC in tackles for loss (6.5) and sacks (4.0). Greenard’s 4.0 sacks are tied for 30th nationally. • Florida is the only SEC team with more than five players with at least 2.0 sacks, a number seven Gators have reached — Greenard – 4.0; Jabari Zuniga – 3.0; Khris Bogle, Zachary Carter, Trey Dean III, James Houston IV, Ventrell Miller, Jeremiah Moon- 2.0. • Florida’s 10 sacks in its Week 0 win over Miami set a school record and were the highest total by an SEC team since Nov. 28, 2008, when Ole Miss had 10 against Mississippi State. • SMU (vs. South Florida) and Penn State (vs. Purdue) are the only other FBS teams with more than 10 sacks in a game this season. Last year, Army (10 against Houston – Dec. 22) was the only FBS team with 10 in a game. From 2015-17, an FBS team had 10-plus sacks in a game just seven times.
A point of emphasis on defense from both Coach Mullen and Coach Grantham has been red zone defense. UF leads the FBS in that regard (35.7 percent / 5 scores in 14 trips). • The Gators also rank second nationally in opponent red zone touchdown percentage (21.4 percent / 3 touchdowns in 14 trips). Only Oregon has a better percentage (20.0 / 2 touchdowns in 10 trips). • This has translated to Florida ranking fifth nationally in scoring defense (9.5 points), and UF has multiple shutouts in the same season for the first time since 2012, when they shut out Kentucky and Jackson State. • Florida’s defense has been most impressive in the second halves of games this season, as the Gators are outscoring their opponents 112-17 in the second half this season. The only second-half points Florida has allowed in its last three games was Tennessee’s 40-yard field goal in the third quarter. • The Gators are also outscoring opponents 64-7 in the fourth quarter this year — with the only points coming from Miami’s DeeJay Dallas, who had a 50-yard touchdown run UF’s season-opening win in Orlando. • Over the last 13 quarters of football (starting with the fourth quarter of the Kentucky game, through Saturday’s win over Auburn), Florida has outscored its opponents 115-16.
The Gators have 250-plus passing yards in all six of their games this year, marking the first time since a six-game stretch the spanned the final two games of 2003 and first four games of 2004 they have thrown for that many yards in six consecutive games. • UF has nine games of 250-plus yards passing in 19 games under Mullen. It had 10 such games in the 38 games from 2015-17, and nine such games in the 63 games from 2010-14. • Since the start of the 2005 season, only the 2007 Gators — a team which Mullen was the O.C. for — threw for 250-plus yards at least six times within a season (they did it eight times that year). • UF threw for 300-plus yards in three straight games (312 vs. UT-Martin; 300 at Kentucky; 313 vs. Tennessee), marking the first time it has done that since the final two games of 2002 and its 2003 opener. • The last time Florida had three consecutive games of 300-plus yards passing during the same season was back in 2001, when it eclipsed that mark in all 12 games. • Florida has three 300-yard passing games in a season for the first time since 2009 (three games), and the only other seasons since 2003 it posted at least three 300-yard games were 2004 (four) and 2007 (three). • In Mullen’s 19 games as head coach, the Gators already have four games of 300-plus yards passing — with two coming against SEC teams. In UF’s 101 games from 2010-17, it totaled six 300-yard outings, with only two coming against SEC foes. • Redshirt junior Kyle Trask took over Florida’s offense at the start of the fourth quarter against Kentucky, leading a comeback victory after Feleipe Franks left the game with an injury. • Since then, Trask is 66 of 92 (71.7 percent) for 841 yards and six touchdowns (plus two rushing touchdowns). • For the season, Trask ranks ninth nationally in completion percentage (70 of 97 / 72.2 percent) and 18th in passing efficiency (168.15). • Trask finished the Kentucky game 9 of 13 for 126 yards and led the Gators to 222 yards of total offense and 19 points in the fourth quarter. • In his first collegiate start against Tennessee (and his first start since his freshman year at Manvel [Texas] High School), Trask went 20 of 28 (71.4 percent) for a career-high 293 yards and two touchdowns. Trask’s 293 yards were the highest single-game total since Austin Appleby’s 296 at Tennessee in 2016.
Florida, Arizona and Washington State are the only FBS teams featuring at least six pass catchers with fiveplus receptions and 150-plus yards this season. • Florida is one of five FBS teams with four passing plays of 60-plus yards this season. • The Gators are also one of five FBS teams with at least six plays of 60-plus yards, and their veteran receiving corps is responsible for five of those six plays. • Josh Hammond has two — 76-yard touchdown run at Kentucky; 65-yard reception to set up the winning touchdown versus Miami. Hammond is one of five FBS players with a 65-yard run and reception this year. • Freddie Swain hauled in a 64-yard touchdown reception en route to 146 receiving yards on six receptions against No. 7 Auburn. Swain’s 146 yards marked the highest single-game total by a Gator since Demarcus Robinson had 216 yards on 15 receptions against Kentucky on Sept. 13, 2014. • Van Jefferson has a pair of 90-yard receiving games this year (94 against UT-Martin; 93 at Kentucky), making him the first Gator with two such outings in a season and consecutively since fellow senior Tyrie Cleveland did it against Tennessee (93) and Kentucky (110) in September 2017. • Hammond also had a 90-yard outing this year, as he totaled a career-high 93 yards against Miami. • The four 90-yard receiving games by three different Gators are the program’s most such outings in a season since 2016, when it also had pass catchers reach that total in a game four times. • Nine different Gators have a touchdown reception this season — which is tied for the second-highest total among all FBS teams. Last season, 11 different Gators caught a touchdown — which was the first time since 2009 that many UF pass catchers had a touchdown.
LSU SPORTS INFORMATION
LSU hosts Florida on Saturday night in a sold out Tiger Stadium in a matchup featuring a pair of undefeated Top 10 teams. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN. LSU is ranked No. 5 in the AP Poll and No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and brings a 5-0 overall mark and a 1-0 league record into the contest. The Tigers are coming off a 42-6 win over Utah State last week. Florida is ranked No. 7 in both polls and is 6-0 overall and 3-0 in league play. The Gators are coming off a 24-13 win over Auburn last week. Saturday’s Top 10 LSU-Florida matchup marks the first time both teams come into the game ranked in the Top 10 since 2015 when the No. 6 Tigers beat the No. 8 Gators, 35-28, in Tiger Stadium on ESPN. LSU is off to a 5-0 start for the second straight year and the ninth time since 2003 (17 years). The Tigers have won five of their last six games when facing a Top 10 opponent. Last year, LSU set a school record with four Top 10 wins. Earlier this year, LSU beat then-No. 9 Texas, 45-38, in Austin. ESPN’s College GameDay will broadcast from the Quad in the center of the LSU campus on Saturday, the second time this year the Tigers have been the featured game for the broadcast (at Texas was first time). College GameDay will be making its 13th appearance on the LSU campus. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron brings a 30-9 mark in 39 games as the Tiger coach into the contest. Of his 30 wins with the Tigers, 23 have come by double figures. 4Five of Orgeron’s 30 victories have come against teams ranked in the Top 10 in the nation. The five Top 10 wins rank as the fourth-most in school history, trailing only Les Miles (16 in 12 years), Charles McClendon (10 in 18 years) and Paul Dietzel (6 in 7 years). LSU has scored more points (273) through the first five games of the season than any SEC team during the SEC era. LSU has scored 40 or more points in the first five games of a season for the first time in school history. LSU leads the nation in scoring offense at 54.8 points per game. The Tigers are first in the SEC and No. 2 in the nation in total offense (571.0) and passing offense (416.0). QB Joe Burrow leads the SEC in total offense (385.2), passing yards per game (372.8) and passing yards (1,864) and he’s second in the league in passing TDs (22) and pass efficiency (216.2 rating). He’s completed 127 of 162 passes for 1,864 yards and 22 touchdowns. It’s the most completions, passing yards, and TDs through five games than any player in LSU history. WRs Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson rank Nos.1-2 in the SEC in receiving yards per game with 112.8 and 109.4 respectively. The duo has combined for 53 receptions for 998 yards and 13 touchdowns. WR Terrace Marshall is No. 7 in the league with 76.0 yards per game (20 rec., 304 yards, 6TDs). CB Derek Stingley leads the SEC and ranks No. 3 nationally in passes defended with 10 (2.0 per game). Stingley leads the Tigers with a pair of interceptions. LB Jacob Phillips ranks No. 4 in the SEC in tackles per game (7.8). PK Cade York ranks No.2 in the SEC in total points (55) and points per game (11.0), while RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is No. 2 in the league in kickoff returns with a 27.2 average (5 ret., 136 yards).