1) LSU will rush for under 100 yards. The Tigers are averaging just under 200 yards a game on the ground so far this year. But with Derrius Guice at less than full strength, that average is going to take a beating.
2) Feleipe Franks will have his best game yet. Perhaps that’s optimism talking. Or maybe it’s the fact that he’s no longer looking over his shoulder without Luke Del Rio as a backup option. Even without Antonio Callaway (who he never had to begin with) and now Tyrie Cleveland, he still has plenty of options to choose from. If he gets going early, watch out.
3) Florida will score a defensive or special teams touchdown. There isn’t a way to logically predict this, but a team that turns it over four times against Troy is as logical a team to predict to give your team six points on defense as any. Just a feeling here.
4) Ed Orgeron will call multiple, perhaps several trick plays. A coach who suddenly finds his job security teetering is exactly the kind of guy to expect trickery from. Be on the lookout for fake punts, double passes, etc.
5) Florida will be penalized seven or more times. One of the key issues this team seems to have early on is drawing golden hankies. Most recently, the Gators got flagged for back to back false start flags and then a delay of game against Vanderbilt. In a rivalry game with high emotions, I’d expect that trend to continue.
6) LaMical Perine and Malik Davis will each score a touchdown. They may not combine for five, but Florida’s offensive line looks to be coming together at the right time and LSU’s defense suddenly looks susceptible to run heavy offenses.
7) Florida will dominate the time of possession. For the same reason as in prediction #6. I wouldn’t say the Gators’ line is ready to face the nation’s best defenses yet, but it does seem to be improving. And with a pair of talented backs in Perine and Davis, the Gators could string together some long, punishing drives.
8) Franks will complete a pass of 50+ yards. Hopefully it won’t come on the final play of the game this time, and hopefully Doug Nussmeier’s play calling will give him ample opportunities to do so. Take your pick between Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain regarding who will be on the receiving end of it.
9) LSU will come to play, at least early. If this were later in the season and the Tigers’ fate was already mathematically sealed, I might be inclined to think they’d play dead. But with so much still to hypothetically play for, I expect nothing less than LSU’s best shot.
10) Florida struggles early, maybe even trails, but rolls to victory late. If Guice and fellow tailback Darrel Williams were at full health, I would at least give consideration to the possibility that LSU wins. But the Gators have the capability to wear LSU down and then out, and LSU does not have the capability to do the same.
Projection: Florida 31, LSU 14