Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Spread: LSU by 2.5
Watchability: This is the ninth straight year that LSU-Florida is a Top-25 matchup, and the fourth time both teams are ranked in the AP Top 10 entering the game. Will LSU flip the switch after a sloppy win over FCS school Towson? Will Florida end its pattern of starting hot and fading when the competition gets tough? The Gators are 1-7 in October the past two years. Points will be at a premium: LSU allows 12.6 points per game, Florida 12.8.
Shining stars: LSU: Sam Montgomery. The 6-5, 260-pound junior has 6.5 of LSU’s 41 tackles for loss and leads a D-line that also features Anthony Johnson (5.5 tfl, 1.5 sacks), DE Lavar Edwards (5 tfl, 2.5 sacks) and Barkevious Mingo. In LSU’s 12-10 win over Auburn, Montgomery tackled Tre Mason in the end zone for a safety and had a 5-yard sack among his 3.5 tackles for loss. Florida: Mike Gillislee. The bruising senior, who has run for 402 yards and five touchdowns, will be key to slowing down LSU’s pass rush. His 56 carries through three games equaled the total number he managed last year. Florida coaches are well aware that Towson ran for 188 yards against the Tigers.
Who could steal the show: LSU: Kenny Hilliard. The 5-11, 240-pound sophomore is averaging 6.9 yards per carry with six TDs and heads a backfield committee with Spencer Ware and Michael Ford. The trio will try to take the pressure off QB Zach Mettenberger, who lost another fumble vs. Towson and was shaky for the first three quarters. Florida: Jeff Driskel. He completed passes to 10 different receivers in his last outing, and is hitting nearly 70 percent of his throws. The sophomore has been very efficient, accounting for five TDs against one INT.
You going? Ranking the road trip: Nearly 90,000 fans will jam The Swamp to cheer the Gators, who boast their highest ranking since Week 5 of the 2010 season. Florida is 124-18 (.873) at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium since 1990, the second-best winning percentage in the nation.
Magic number for LSU: 18. The Tigers carry the nation’s longest regular-season win streak, 18, into Saturday’s game. They haven’t lost a regular-season game since falling 31-23 to Arkansas in the 2010 finale.
Magic number for Florida: 0. That’s how many points the Gators have allowed in the fourth quarter this season. They’ve outscored opponents 64-13 after halftime.
The game comes down to: It looks like Florida junior LB Jelani Jenkins will return from his fractured thumb and play with a cast on his right hand. That should help the Gators contain LSU’s running game. In the Tigers’ only other road game, at Auburn, Mettenberger completed just 15 of 27 throws for 169 yards and no touchdowns. He’ll face a much stronger defense at The Swamp.
Prediction: Florida 20, LSU 17.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from SEC bloggers Daniel Lewis and Larry Hartstein, follow @CBSSportsSEC.