Florida vs LSU Preview

Date: October 15, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
Network: ESPN
Records: Florida Gators (4-2) vs LSU Tigers (4-2)
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida
Spread: Florida -2.5
Over/Under: 50.5
Pick: Florida 31 – LSU 27

Florida vs LSU Preview

Florida comes into this game as a two and a half point favorite at home. The Gators and Tigers both enter at 4-2. LSU is coming off a 40-13 loss to Tennessee, while Florida is coming off a 24-17 victory against Missouri. The game will be a test of strength vs strength and weakness vs weakness, and it could very well come down to the end.

LSU Tigers

Offensive Stats

Points Per Game (Rank): 25.2 (83)
Total Yards Per Game: 404.6 (55)
Passing YPG: 243.6 (62)
Rushing YPG: 161.0 (54)
Points Per Play: 0.326 (91)
Yards Per Play: 5.2 (79)
3rd Down Conversion %: 43.48 (38)
4th Down Conversion %: 50.00 (68)
Red Zone Scoring %: 78.95 (78)

Rush Play %: 47.80 (88)
Yards Per Carry: 4.4 (55)
Runs Per Game: 37.0 (53)

Pass Play %: 52.20 (44)
Completion %: 67.21 (20)
Yards Per Pass: 6.7 (93)
Passes Per Game: 36.6 (26)
Interception %: 0.55 (6)
QB Sack %: 9.41 (115)

Defensive Stats

Points Per Game (Rank): 19.4 (22)
Total Yards Per Game: 341.8 (28)
Passing YPG: 219.4 (43)
Rushing YPG: 122.4 (32)
Points Per Play: 0.297 (31)
Yards Per Play: 5.2 (46)
3rd Down Conversion %: 38.89 (65)
4th Down Conversion %: 50.00 (46)
Red Zone Scoring %: 78.57 (38)

Rush Play %: 50.76 (59)
Yards Per Carry: 3.7 (41)
Runs Per Game: 33.2 (32)

Pass Play %: 49.24 (73)
Completion %: 57.05 (31)
Yards Per Pass: 7.4 (70)
Passes Per Game: 29.8 (43)
Interception %: 2.01 (83)
QB Sack %: 7.45 (28)

Advanced Stats

F+ is a combination of FEI and SP+. SP+ is an opponent and tempo adjusted efficiency metric while FEI is a neutral field scoring differential per-possession metric. F+ is broken down into Offensive F+ (OF+) and Defensive F+ (DF+). All five of the metrics are from Football Outsiders. PFF’s Point Spread Rating is PFF’s power rankings.

F+: 1.00 (19)
FEI: 0.54 (16)
SP+: 12.4 (25)
OF+: 0.77 (27)
DF+: 1.16 (17)

PFF: 7.1 (35)

LSU Tigers Team Breakdown

The LSU Tigers are lead by transfer quarterback Jayden Daniels, formerly of Arizona State. Daniels posses a significant threat to a Gators defense that has struggled with mobile quarterbacks. The Tigers are extremely talented at receiver as well. The weaknesses of the offense sit on their running backs and their offensive line, which is being made worse by injuries.

LSU has an extensive history of defensive back play, but this team is actually led by their defensive line. Ali Gaye and B.J. Ojulari on the edge and Jaquelin Roy and Mekhi Wingo on the interior. Mike Jones Jr. leads the linebacker core, with key freshman Harold Perkins getting key snaps. The linebackers will have to do a good job of containing and tackling, and will be relied upon to stop Anthony Richardson’s scrambles. While the secondary is not up to the usual LSU standards, they are an experienced group with multiple transfers, including Mekhi Garner who played under Billy Napier last season at Louisiana.

LSU Tigers Keys To Victory

  1. Stop the Run
  2. Protect the Quarterback
  3. Limit Turnovers
  4. Get the Tight Ends Involved

Florida Gators

Offensive Stats

Points Per Game (Rank): 26.6 (70)
Total Yards Per Game: 390.8 (71)
Passing YPG: 188.4 (107)
Rushing YPG: 202.4 (24)
Points Per Play: 0.430 (39)
Yards Per Play: 6.3 (20)
3rd Down Conversion %: 38.71 (67)
4th Down Conversion %: 75.00 (15)
Red Zone Scoring %: 82.35 (67)

Rush Play %: 54.69 (45)
Yards Per Carry: 6.0 (6)
Runs Per Game: 33.8 (87)

Pass Play %: 45.31 (87)
Completion %: 53.68 (113)
Yards Per Pass: 6.9 (84)
Passes Per Game: 27.2 (102)
Interception %: 4.41 (115)
QB Sack %: 2.86 (16)

Defensive Stats

Points Per Game (Rank): 27.0 (63)
Total Yards Per Game: 423.8 (95)
Passing YPG: 220.6 (49)
Rushing YPG: 203.2 (117)
Points Per Play: 0.378 (62)
Yards Per Play: 5.9 (98)
3rd Down Conversion %: 52.24 (125)
4th Down Conversion %: 28.57 (14)
Red Zone Scoring %: 80.00 (42)

Rush Play %: 57.42 (117)
Yards Per Carry: 5.0 (131)
Runs Per Game: 41.0 (108)

Pass Play %: 42.58 (15)
Completion %: 64.08 (90)
Yards Per Pass: 7.8 (83)
Passes Per Game: 28.4 (29)
Interception %: 4.23 (16)
QB Sack %: 6.58 (45)


F+: 0.68 (37)
FEI: 0.32 (38)
SP+: 9.6 (35)
OF+: 0.77 (26)
DF+: 0.45 (41)

PFF: 7.0 (36)

Florida Gators Team Breakdown

Running Game
Florida vs LSU
Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Gators come into this game as one of the most efficient running games in the country. Montrell Johnson will be getting his first start at Florida. Johnson is averaging 8.0 yards per carry (YPC) entering the game. Trevor Etienne is listed as second string for the first time this season. The 4-star freshman from Louisiana is currently averaging 6.7 YPC.

Nay’quan Wright will be the third running back for the first time this season, but will continue to rotate through. Wright is much less effective on the ground than Johnson and Etienne, averaging just 4.0 YPC, but he provides a lot of value in the passing game. Wright has played less recently even while starting, getting just 8 snaps against Missouri last week. Anthony Richardson will be looked upon to provide explosive plays to the offense when he runs, especially against an LSU defense that plays a decent amount of man coverage.

Passing Game

In the passing game, the Gators have been very up and down this season. Richardson has been the main reason why, as he has yet to find much consistency. He has a 55.9% completion percentage and is averaging 8.2 yards per attempt. According to PFF, his adjusted completion percentage is 64.8%. Ideally, it would be above 70%. Richardson has a 70.7 PFF grade on the season, with 8 big time throws, which they describe as “a pass with excellent ball location and timing, generally thrown further down the field and/or into a tighter window” according to PFF’s Steve Palazzolo and Sam Monson. He also has 9 turnover-worthy throws.

For the Gators receiving wise, Justin Shorter leads the team in yards with 334 yards on 15 catches, averaging an impressive 22.3 yards per reception. Xzavier Henderson leads the team with receptions with 23 for just 210 yards. Ricky Pearsall leads the team in touchdown receptions with just two, but has added one on the ground. He has 14 catches for 254 yards for 18.1 yards per reception.

Florida Gators Keys To Victory

  1. Get 3rd Down Stops
  2. Run The Ball
  3. Pressure and Contain the Quarterback
  4. Win the Turnover Battle

Florida vs LSU Recruiting Notes

This game is a major official and unofficial visit weekend for the Gators. They have a lot of high value 2023 and 2024 targets visiting and will look to impress. Florida has decided to make this weekend a big recruiting weekend because of the bye week next week, which will allow for coaches to spend more time with recruits after the game on Sunday and even Monday. It is easily the biggest recruiting weekend of the year for the Gators.

2023 Official Visitors

The Gators are welcoming four official visitors according to On3 and Gators Online’s Donavon Keiser. Newly committed safety Bryce Thornton, and quarterback commit Marcus Stokes are two of them. A pair of 5-star teammates make up the other two, in defensive tackle James Smith and edge rusher Qua Russaw.

2023 Unofficial Visitors

5-Star running back and Alabama commit Richard Young will be attending the game for the second time this season, according to 247Sports and Swamp247’s Blake Alderman. 4-star defensive tackle Jordan Hall will be in attendance, as will 4-star defensive tackle and UCF commit John Walker. South Carolina commit Xzavier McCloud will be visiting as well. Georgia Tech graduate transfer linebacker Demetrius Knight will be there, as well Gainesville receiver 4-star Jaren Hamilton. Both Knight and Hamilton have not received offers from this coaching staff.

2023 Commits Visiting

Sports Illustrated’s Conner Clarke has the Gator’s hosting 11 current 2023 commits on unofficial visits for Florida vs LSU. The three stars are wide receivers Creed Whittemore and Tyree Patterson, as well as interior offensive lineman Knijeah Harris from IMG Academy. Recently committed four-star cornerback Dijon Johnson will be in attendance, as will cornerback Sharif Denson. Safety Jordan Castell and linebacker Jaden Robinson will be there. Three four-star defensive linemen will be in attendance with TJ Searcy, Kamran James, and Kelby Collins. Collins is currently Florida’s highest ranked commit on the On3 consensus. Top 100 wide receiver Aidan Mizell will be at the game as well.

2024 Visitors

There are a ton of high-quality 2024 visitors that will be in attendance. 247Sports 5-star quarterback DJ Lagway leads the list of names. Other 5-stars in attendance include top cornerback and number two overall recruit Desmond Ricks, legacy recruit edge rusher Elijah Rushing, and wide receivers and teammates Jeremiah Smith and Josiah Trader.

2024 running back commit Chauncey Bowens is among the four-stars in attendance for 2024. Running back Stacy Gage will be there, as will offensive tackle Daniel Calhoun. Florida State commit Jordan Pride, a safety is expected to be there, as is safety Jordan Johnson-Rubell. Edge rusher Ernest Willor is expected to be there, as are linebacker Kristopher Jones and cornerback TyShun White.

There are a couple three-stars expected to be in attendance for 2024. One is defensive lineman Kendall Jackson. The other is safety Christian Peterson, who does not currently have an offer from Florida.

2025 Prospects

247Sports Consensus 5-star receivers Caleb Cunningham and Jamie Ffrench are expected to be in attendance for Florida vs LSU, as is four star receiver Koby Howard. Tight end Ethan Barbour is expected to be there, as well as athlete Vernell Brown III and linebacker Gavin Nix. Quarterback Tramell Jones Jr is expected to be in attendance. On3 expects edge rusher Armondo Blount to be there as well.

Is Kayshon Boutte set to hit the Transfer Portal?

LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte seems set to hit the transfer portal

Huge news out of Baton Rouge, and not of the good variety for LSU fans. Star wide receiver, Kayshon Boutte, is considering entering the transfer portal — but that might not be the worst of it for LSU. Could a transfer to Alabama be on the way?

Why is Kayshon Boutte transferring?

With Ed O gone and a mass exodus of players leaving LSU, Boutte figured it’s his turn. Brian Kelly and his staff seem to be losing any and all veteran talent. The prime example being Eli Ricks going to Alabama. Boutte is a former Freshman All-American, and has huge upside who could easily be a WR1 on many teams in college football.

Kayshon Boutte is a guy who can catch anything that’s thrown his way. However, with sub par quarterback play, he is being been held back. A leg injury ended Boutte’s 20211 season with the Tigers, and a change of scenery now seems necessary. Where will he end up? Well, if you look at his twitter, it feels pretty obvious.

Where will Kayshon Boutte transfer to:

Now, with teammate Eli Ricks headed to Alabama, and the Tide being his number two out of high school, it seems fairly clear that Nick Saban and Alabama are early front runners for Kayshon Boutte. Pete Golding, Bama’s defensive coordinator, tweeted this on December 13th:

Which Boutte then liked. Out of high school, Golding recruited Boutte to Alabama along with Holmon Wiggins who is also still at Alabama. The Tide feel like the top contender for the top wide receiver.

If not Bama then where else:

Honestly, this is a little tricky. I don’t think there is another option, Boutte could always surprise us and choose someone out of left field, but there isn’t really another spot that makes sense. Justin Stepp, who recruited him to Arkansas is now at South Carolina, and the other two teams in his top five have different staffs all together.

I believe Kayshon Boutte is Alabama bound, but be wary of the surprise team that could always pop in and take him.

LSU Head Coach Candidates

With Ed Orgeron out after the season, who are the top candidates to take his place?

LSU head coach candidates
Associated Press

The Tigers and head coach Ed Orgeron reached a separation agreement today, in which Orgeron would finish out the rest of the 2021 season and not come back. Nearly two years after winning a National Championship, Ed is now out in Baton Rouge. The move raises a huge question: Who now coaches at arguably one of, if not the best, head coaching jobs in college football? 

Below, I list out the LSU head coach candidates separated by three tiers: 

  1. Hot Candidates – Those who have been garnering the most buzz among the fanbase, media, etc.
  2. Outside looking in – Those who either have ties or would make good candidates, but something is not letting them be in that top tier.
  3. The Others – Those who are long-shots and either are not as qualified or will be almost impossible to get.

Top “Hot” LSU Head Coach Candidates: 

  • Mel Tucker – Michigan State HC: 
Michigan State coach Mel Tucker looks on after a touchdown in the first quarter of their college football game against Western Kentucky at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, on Saturday, October 2, 2021. (Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

The current Michigan State head coach is in year two in East Lansing, and has done a great job so far. Tucker cleared out a good chunk of the roster after the 2020 season and replaced them with lots of transfers. He has also done a fairly nice job as a recruiter. It seems like a hard thing to do getting him to leave Michigan State. But, he has ties to the SEC under Nick Saban and Kirby Smart as an assistant.

Getting a chance to double his salary and having a large salary pool and recruiting base would be enticing enough for any candidate to leave. Tucker should be among the top candidates for the LSU head coach position 

  • Lane Kiffin – Mississippi HC: 

Good ole Lane Kiffin. Coming off of a thrilling win against the Vols last night, Kiffin has his team rolling this year, getting out to a 6-1 start. We all know about Kiffin’s personality and his ability to mesh with his players. We also know about his ability to recruit anywhere at any time. The question is: can he succeed at a “blue blood” program? His results at USC and Tennessee aren’t that promising, and that may make a school like LSU hesitate. You cannot deny his offensive mind and the excitement that would bring to Baton Rouge, though. 

  • Billy Napier – Louisiana-Lafayette HC: 
Photo Courtesy: ragincajuns.com

Currently the coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, Napier has done an outstanding job of building that program. He has ties to Saban (WR coach at Alabama from 2013-2016) and is a great offensive mind, which is something the Tigers may need. Napier also has an idea of what it is like recruiting in-state, something LSU will need more of going forward. Napier may be a bit under the radar, but would make a great candidate for the vacant LSU head coach position.

  • Luke Fickell – Cincinnati HC: 
Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Notre Dame and Ohio State are the only two jobs I think Fickell would take. However, LSU sure as hell would give him something to think about. He has led the Bearcats to two 11-win seasons and is well on his way to another one. Fickell is as loyal as anyone when it comes to staying put, but the money, assistant salary pool, recruiting opportunities, etc may be too great to pass up. 

Outside Looking In:

  • James Franklin – Penn State HC: 
Getty Images

If it weren’t for the USC rumors, I would have put Franklin in that top tier. Instead, he falls into this second group due to his large buyout and his loyalty to Penn State (so far). He’s one of the best recruiters in the nation and has a knack for hiring good assistants. 

  • Jimbo Fisher – Texas A&M HC: 
Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher, left, talks to quarterback Kellen Mond (11) during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Same as Franklin above in terms of a large buyout ($95 Million!!!) but isn’t necessarily tied to Texas A&M like Franklin is. Still, that buyout is insanely large and would be tough to justify paying $100+ million for any coach not named Nick Saban. 

  • Mario Cristobal – Oregon HC: 

Cristobal is an excellent recruiter, and has done a great job at Oregon so far. I think Miami makes a ton more sense for him to go to rather than LSU, but he sure would make an impact in Baton Rouge. Cristobal also has SEC experience as an assistant under Saban. 

The “Others”:

  • Matt Campbell – Iowa State HC: 
AMES, IA – OCTOBER 10: Head coach Matt Campbell of the Iowa State Cyclones gives two thumbs up after his team scored a touchdown in the second half of the play at Jack Trice Stadium on October 10, 2020 in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa State Cyclones won 31-15 over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

Campbell has done an outstanding job at Iowa State considering the lack of recruiting prowess. He can develop talent with the best of them, and always has his teams ready for big games.

However, Campbell is an extremely loyal person (turned down multiple jobs to stay in Ames) so it will be hard to see him leaving Iowa State until it happens. Still, he should at least be on the list of potential LSU head coach candidates.

  • Dave Aranda – Baylor HC: 
Oct 3, 2020; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Baylor Bears head coach Dave Aranda yells from the sidelines during the third quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The former LSU DC has done a nice job in Year Two at Baylor. He is someone that may be a hard sell for the fanbase, in comparison to the other candidates involved. He can recruit well and always had good defenses, but does lack experience as the Head Guy.

Joe Brady – Carolina Panthers OC: 

Robby Anderson #11 of the Carolina Panthers talks with Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady during the Carolina Panthers Training Camp at Bank of America Stadium on August 21, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

This is an under-the-radar candidate, but the former LSU OC seems happy in the NFL and it’s known that he does not enjoy recruiting that much.

Bill O’Brien – Alabama OC: 

New offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien watches the quarterbacks work during practice. The Alabama Crimson Tide opened practice for the 2021 season as they prepare to defend the 2020 National Championship Friday, Aug. 6, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

He did a very solid job at Penn State, considering the circumstances. This will just be an extremely hard sell for everyone involved (fanbase, players, boosters, etc) and O’Brien may be looking to go back into the NFL instead. 

Summer Scouting: Derek Stingley, CB, Louisiana State University

LSU Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., Photo taken by Hilary Scheinuk

LSU was one of the most talented teams in college football in the 2019-20 season, and perhaps their best player, Derek Stingley, has yet to step foot in the NFL. As a full-time starter for the Tigers, Stingley recorded 15 pass deflections and six interceptions in his freshman season. Stingley was not only the best freshman in the SEC (despite getting snubbed on the SEC freshman of the year award) but was one of the best cornerbacks in college football. Unfortunately, in his sophomore season, he dealt with some injuries and some non-COVID-related illnesses. However, if Stingley can get back on the field at 100-percent, there is no question he will again be one of the best players in the nation. With that being the case, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Stingley gets drafted in the top-5 of the 2022 NFL Draft; the talent is undoubtedly there.