Know Your Enemy: In order to know a bit more about No. 7 Florida, here's a Q/A with Gator SI editor Zach Goodall
With the No. 7 Gators set to come to Baton Rouge for the first time in three years, we asked Florida Sports Illustrated editor Zach Goodall a few questions about what to expect from the 2019 Gator squad.
Goodall went into detail about the injury to starting quarterback Kyle Trask, the pass rush defense and some notable offensive standouts Trask will attempt to carve up the LSU secondary with.
Just how good has Kyle Trask been since Feleipe Franks went down? Also with Trask and his recent injury, how concerned is the coaching staff about further injury?
Trask has been the perfect game manager, taking what defenses give him across the short/intermediate middle of the field and stretching towards the outside when it opens up. However, it's evident how much Florida valued Franks' mobility, as Trask has been suspect to poor pocket awareness, which has led to five fumbles in the pocket over the past three games.
His knee injury appears to be nothing to fret over, as he returned to play with a sprained MCL two drives after he went down. But even if he's 100%, expect to see Emory Jones get playing time on occasion to change the pace.
This will, without a doubt, be the best defense LSU has played all season. What are some of the challenges the Gator defense presents and who are some notable standouts?
This is, arguably, the most well-rounded pass defense in the nation, with consistent pressure paired with sticky coverage in all aspects other than at middle linebacker from David Reese, but his flaws can be covered up pretty well with the talent that surrounds him. Reese is a tackling machine and the quarterback of the defense, so that, of course, is no disrespect to him.
Jonathan Greenard went from being an unknown grad transfer from Louisville to one of the most important players on this defense in the matter of, like, a drive to begin the year. He is one of the most dominant pass rushers in the country, and Florida has plenty of other contributors such as Jabari Zuniga, Jeremiah Moon, Adam Shuler, Zachary Carter, and Khris Bogle among others to get pressure on the QB.
Any injured players that are expected to return against the Tigers on Saturday? How significant will they be to the Gator gameplan?
Zuniga dressed this past weekend for the first time since Week 3, but failed to play a snap as he wasn't at 100%. He will be this weekend, and while Florida's pass rush has been just fine without him, it will become incredible with him on the field again.
Who are some notable names/weapons that Trask will have at his disposal and the LSU defense should be worried about? What do they do well?
LSU has plenty of studs in their secondary, such as Grant Delpit and Derek Stingley, but Florida is at least two deep at all three WR positions (and don't forget TE Kyle Pitts). The unit is positively unpredictable, as each receiver is capable of posting a "breakout" game at any point.
Their routes are all sharp, they vary in size and athleticism to specialize in beating all different types of defenders, they block with passion, and have serious chemistry to pull off all sorts of route combos. It's easily the deepest position group on the roster.
I have LSU pulling this off, simply because they're playing at home. This Florida team isn't perfect, but it deserves more credit than they've gotten all year. two-touchdown line is ridiculous, but give me LSU winning 27-24.