Florida football: Five things to know for LSU week – The Independent Florida Alligator
A week after losing by 21 points to Arkansas, Florida defeated South Carolina 20-7 at home, lost a handful of starters to injuries, and is now faced with a must-win game at LSU if the Gators want to guarantee a clinch of the SEC East.
Here’s what we learned from coach Jim McElwain’s and quarterback Austin Appleby’s press conferences on Monday:
1. Florida is still reeling from injuries
UF will be without at least seven starters when it faces LSU on Saturday: center Cam Dillard, linebackers Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone, defensive lineman Bryan Cox, left tackle David Sharpe, quarterback Luke Del Rio and safety Marcus Maye.
Maye, a redshirt senior, will not return this season after breaking his arm against South Carolina last Saturday.
McElwain said defensive lineman CeCe Jefferson and offensive lineman Tyler Jordan may play against LSU, but they will likely be game-time decisions.
“You’re talking (about) some real significant pieces,” McElwain said. “At the same time, we’ve got a bunch of guys jumping in and playing their tails off and that’s fun to see.”
2. Road atmosphere isn’t an excuse
After Florida’s 38-28 road loss to Tennessee on Sept. 24, Appleby placed some of the blame for the offense’s struggles on the crowd noise.
On Monday, McElwain had a message for Appleby and his offense.
“Don’t let it happen again,” McElwain said. “They shouldn’t have been issues. To me, they were excuses.”
“It’s an excuse,” the quarterback said. “When it’s loud and you can’t hear yourself think, it’s our job to communicate the calls from the center all the way out. And we’re gonna have a test at our hands with the crowd noise, obviously, and it’s nothing we can’t overcome.”
3. Appleby’s former teammate at Purdue is now LSU’s starting QB, and it