It’s amazing how much the narrative can change in college football after a few weeks.
The story line of Florida’s season-opening loss to Michigan was how poorly the Gators’ offensive line played, causing panic within a fan base that had heard nothing but praise all preseason about the unit’s development.
Well, after a couple strong performances against Kentucky and Vanderbilt the last two weeks, that same Florida offensive line is again receiving strong praise.
This time from LSU coach Ed Orgeron, as he prepares his Tigers for a visit to No. 21 Florida in The Swamp.
“Great offensive line. Best line we’ve seen so far this year,” Orgeron said of the Gators, during the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday. “Good defensive line. They have three running backs that can run the football. Obviously last year they began to run the football, especially on the pow play on us, they came right at us and we could not stop it.
“The speed on defense. I know Randy Shannon very well. I’ve played in the Swamp. Obviously we haven’t played very well this year, besides the first game. I think it’s about us putting a game together and playing very well and taking care of the ball.”
Florida rallied back from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit two weekends ago at Kentucky as freshman running back Malik Davis rushed for 60 yards in that final quarter alone, taking advantage of the best running lanes the Gators had produced all season.
Then Davis and fellow Florida running backs Lamical Perine and Mark Thompson contributed to a combined 218 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns in a win over Vanderbilt last weekend.
LSU, meanwhile, has not been as stout up front, which Orgeron also noted.
The Tigers were stunned at home last weekend with a 24-40 loss to Sun Belt opponent Troy, which rushed for 206 yards in the upset victory.
LSU is mired in a rough three-game stretch in which it was blown out by Mississippi State, 37-7, in its SEC opener, followed with a lackluster 35-26 win over Syracuse and then the letdown against Troy.
“(We’re) very thin on the offensive line. We play two freshmen on the offensive line. We lost a lot of starters on the defensive line. And LSU has traditionally been strong on the line of scrimmages. So we lost a little bit of our physicality,” Orgeron said bluntly. “We’re going into games and we’re not starting very fast so the team can get down on that, which is not an excuse. I’ve got to control that. I think we’ve just got to start faster and play well on both sides of the line of scrimmage and make big plays. I think that we’ll play with a lot more emotion this weekend for sure.”
The post LSU coach Ed Orgeron says Florida offensive line the best Tigers have faced appeared first on SEC Country.
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