The thick of SEC play starts now for the LSU Tigers (5-0) as they face the Florida Gators (6-0) in a heated rivalry on Saturday Night in Tiger Stadium.
Some things change, and some things stay the same between this year’s matchup and the previous one. The bad blood is one thing that remains. So does Joe Burrow’s position at the helm for LSU.
But the Tigers defense will be up against a quarterback not named Feleipe Franks this time around.
Here’s a look at how the signal-callers from both teams compare.
First Impression: Burrow had a rough start to last week’s win over the Utah State Aggies, but bounced back after the first quarter of play. His decision-making was particularly questionable in the beginning, and ball security was an issue for the offense overall. He still looked impressive on the stats sheet, and continues to be considered a Top 3 quarterback prospect by most draft analysts ahead of April.
Last showing: vs. Utah State W, 42-6
Burrow was 27-of-38 passing for 344 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.
Bottom line for Saturday: Burrow will be up against a defense as stout as LSU’s this week, and will need to be careful to avoid turnovers. Todd Grantham is one of the best defensive coordinators coaching college football, and he’s going to bring everything he can to throw Burrow off. The quarterback threw two interceptions in last season’s 27-19 loss. It will be a close game, but Burrow should come out as the better quarterback by a considerable margin when the action’s all over.
First Impression: Trask suffered in an injury in last week’s matchup, but is expected to be a full go for Saturday. The redshirt junior has looked poised in the pocket, and has enough mobility. He lacks experience, being thrust into action this season after Franks went down against Kentucky, and it will be interesting to see how he handles his role moving forward. Ball protection was also an issue for Trask, who fumbled twice against the Auburn Tigers last week.
Last showing: vs. Auburn W, 24-13
Trask was 19-of-31 passing for 255 yards and two touchdowns.
Bottom line for Saturday: Trask is going up against a tough secondary and formidable defense overall that will finally have some of its starters back. Staying accurate and moving the chains will be important to put points on the board consistently, considering that LSU’s high-power offense has put up between 42-66 points on the board in five games. Wide receiver Freddie Swain has been a force, recording six receptions for 146 yards and one touchdown against Auburn. The Gators could give LSU some trouble if Trask and Swain get some good chemistry going on Saturday.