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|LSU to square off against top-ranked Gators|
LSU Sports Information
BATON ROUGE — High energy and extra effort have been common on the LSU practice fields this week as the fourth-ranked Tigers continue to prepare for Saturday's clash in Tiger Stadium against top-ranked Florida.
Kickoff for the Tigers and Gators is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. in a sold out Tiger Stadium. The game will be televised to a national audience on CBS. The LSU-Florida game will feature the highest-ranking between two teams in Tiger Stadium since 1959 when No. 1 LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss, 7-3.
LSU went indoors on Wednesday in an effort to stay out of the unusually warm temperature in Baton Rouge. The Tigers will practice again on Thursday afternoon followed by a walk-thru on Friday.
"Practice went as if you were preparing for Florida," LSU coach Les Miles said. "There was a lot of energy and effort. We weren't perfect, but practices never are. The guys are excited and they're looking forward to playing; they are preparing well.
"I suggested to (the team) that they study early tonight and get off their feet and relax. Then, come in here Thursday and practice hard and do the same thing. Then, Friday relax and go through the game plan and then come in Saturday and be ready to play."
Last year, LSU brought a 4-0 record and a No. 3 national ranking into Gainesville and then went out and suffered a 51-21 defeat at the hands of the Gators. Miles said this year's LSU team is different than the one who played Florida last year.
"I think there are some marked differences there," Miles said. "I think we're a much better team; we're stronger and looking forward to the competition. We're stronger in our approach, and what they've accomplished to this point.
"Against a very talented Florida team, we want to play well. The greatest compliment we can give our opponent is certainly to play our best football. I didn't think we did that last year; we want to play our best football this year."
While LSU knows who will be quarterbacking its team on Saturday, there is still the uncertainty as to who will be calling signals for the Gators. Miles said that the Tigers continue to prepare for the Florida offense, no matter who is playing the quarterback position — Tim Tebow or John Brantley.
"We're preparing for the Florida offense," Miles said. "There's a personality there. We recognize the quarterback can be a different guy, but he'll probably be asked to do very similar things. They have some very talented guys."
Miles also noted that most of the talk about Florida has centered around the offense and the quarterback position, and that many people aren't giving enough attention to its defense, one that ranks first in the SEC in scoring (7.2 points per game) and total defense (212.8 yards per game).
"There's a whole defense that no one is talking about that's playing really well," Miles said of the Gators. "Our competition is more than just the quarterback. Across the board they are a very talented football team."