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LSU linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson (18) tackles Florida running back Lamical Perine (2) with help from LSU defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko (91) and LSU linebacker Patrick Queen (8) in the first half between the Tigers and the Gators, Saturday, October 12, 2019, at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

There should have been pressure, fatigue and some sense of disarray for the LSU defense when Florida made the fast-paced Tigers offense seem human on its first three drives of Saturday's game.

The LSU offense spent less than four minutes on the field for its first drive, which resulted in a Cade York missed field goal. It was the first time the Tigers hadn't scored on the first drive all season.

LSU scored in 32 seconds on its next drive in two plays — a 57-yard run by Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a touchdown pass by Joe Burrow — and the Tigers showed they were committed to the speed that has the team scoring touchdowns in an average of 2 minutes and 23 seconds.

Then, after a grueling 12-play, 75-yard Florida touchdown drive that took 6 minutes, 21 seconds and tied the game 7-7, the LSU offense went three-and-out in less than two minutes.

How many LSU fans in the stands, in the bars, in their living rooms, mouthed some form of the words ESPN play-by-play broadcaster Chris Fowler said on-air?

"The quick three-and-out puts the LSU defense, that was out there for a long Florida drive just moments ago, back on the field," Fowler said.

Yes, that was the dread.

The LSU up-tempo offense was all fine and dandy in wide-margin victories over defenses that ranked outside the top 50 in scoring defense, those voices across town might have said. The offense could mask the 38 points surrendered to Vanderbilt and Texas.

But against Florida's top 10 defense?

What would happen when LSU's historic offense was stopped?

The answer came the next drive: Florida's offense started at its own 17, ran four plays, then punted.

It was about as strong a response as the LSU defense could have provided.

The assumption was that LSU's defense was playing on short rest.

It wasn't.

The Tigers were on a rotation: in Florida's 10 drives in LSU's 42-28 win over the Gators, the Tigers used seven different combinations of players within its defensive front to start each drive.

When Florida scored on that 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that tied that game 7-7, the Gators did so against a defensive line that had Rashard Lawrence and Glen Logan at the ends and Tyler Shelvin at nose tackle.

After LSU went three-and-out, the Tigers cycled in Neil Farrell and Breiden Fehoko at the ends and true freshman Siaki "Apu" Ika subbed in for Shelvin for the first time in the game.

Sophomore Micah Baskerville also subbed in for the first time in the game, replacing Patrick Queen at inside linebacker.

The answer to the defensive fears with teams that have up-tempo spread offenses seems to be depth — a solution that LSU coach Ed Orgeron pointed to after the Tigers' 66-38 win over Vanderbilt, when the offense was averaging 1 minute, 48 seconds per touchdown drive.

"That's not a lot of rest on the sideline," Orgeron said then. "So when we have a quick scoring drive, we're going to have to make sure that guys are fresh or we may have substitute guys. We're just gonna have to regulate that."

The issue for LSU at the time was that it didn't have much depth on defense, especially on the defensive line.

Lawrence and Logan both missed three games with injuries they suffered against Texas, and when they returned against Florida, the linemen were able to provide quality depth for starters Fehoko and Farrell to take breathers.

It's a crucial difference, said Fehoko — a player who transferred to LSU after playing two seasons at Texas Tech, a team that used the Air Raid offense under former coach Kliff Kingsbury.

During his sophomore year at Tech, Fehoko said, he played 70-plus snaps in the 2016 season-opener against Stephen F. Austin, then played 72 snaps in the second game against Arizona State.

Texas Tech lost to Arizona State 68-55, which was the most points the Red Raiders gave up all season.

"When you come off a long drive and teams are going up-tempo," Fehoko said, "you come to the side (and) you're usually getting yourself mentally ready and physically ready to go back in."

"Now," he continued, "I come to the side, I can actually chill on the bench for a little bit. Now, somebody else is going to go in for another drive. I can actually watch and see what they're doing, see what the offense is doing, see where I created the mistakes I made last drive."

LSU did make mistakes against Florida, which produced 457 total offensive yards against LSU and scored on three straight 75-yard touchdown drives in the middle of the game.

But the rotation allowed the defense to recover, and the Tigers didn't allow any points on Florida's final four drives.

"We need each other a lot," Logan said. "Me and Rashard working back, we're not going to be in the best condition. So, we rely on Breiden, Neil. We rely on everyone."

Email Brooks Kubena at bkubena@theadvocate.com.