Photos: LSU battles Florida _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU running back Leonard Fournette (7) runs for a first down as Florida defensive back Keanu Neal (42) gives chase during the first half of the teams' game Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 in Gainesville.

Four downs

1. Fournette’s Encore

LSU’s highly touted true freshman rumbled, leaped and spun for 140 yards against Florida last week, a career-high and, by far, Leonard Fournette’s most impressive outing against a major conference team. What’s he got for an encore? Kentucky’s rushing defense has faced two capable backs of his caliber this season and has given up a combined for 339 yards and four scores. The real question: Will the Tigers ride Fournette for 20-plus carries or continue the running back rotation that Les Miles likes so much.

2. No. 3 at DT

LSU is still searching for a No. 3 at defensive tackle, a guy to rotate in with starters Christian LaCouture and Davon Godchaux. The coaching staff has played musical chairs with the No. 3 DT, and the latest guy to fill the spot is redshirt freshman Maquedius Bain. He was in during the Tigers’ goal-line stand against Florida late in the fourth quarter. Bain joins Lewis Neal (255-pound converted DE), Frank Herron (he struggled at Auburn) and Quentin Thomas (still recovering from arm injuries) as No. 3 guys used this year.

3. A big sixth win

After LSU’s 41-7 loss at Auburn three weeks ago – the worst loss in 15 years for the Tigers – some questioned whether Miles’ team would reach a sixth win for bowl eligibility. After all, LSU had played all of its non-conference cupcakes. It’s amazing what a dramatic road win can do. LSU beat Florida and, now, all of the sudden there’s hope for a solid season that could end with a nice bowl trip (the school’s 15th straight). It all becomes not, though, with a loss to the Wildcats.

4. The quarterbacks again?

The quarterbacks again.

If you expected us not to write one of our Four Downs on the QBs, you’re sadly mistaken. LSU’s quarterback competition has more swings in it than one of LSU baseball’s fall practices. Anthony Jennings. Brandon Harris, Anthony Jennings. Brandon Harris. Jennings had his best performance of the season against a major conference team in the win at Florida, and Miles said he’ll start the game against Kentucky. Harris’ shot at starting may have come and gone with his struggles at Auburn.


Ross Dellenger: LSU 27, Kentucky 20

The Tigers seem to have found something at Florida (outside of a much-needed win): a play-making workhorse at running back. Freshman Leonard Fournette broke out against the Gators. LSU is an entirely different team if it can run the ball successfully. The defense remains rested, the passing game finds open guys and the Tigers control the clock - and the game. They do it again against a better-than-normal Kentucky squad.

Sheldon Mickles: LSU 34, Kentucky 19

The stats say Kentucky’s defense is allowing 152.0 rushing yards per game in its six outings. A closer look shows South Carolina (282) and Florida (237) gashed the Wildcats to the tune of 259.5 yards a game, which means their other four foes averaged 98.3 yards per contest. If they hold LSU’s deep and powerful stable of runners under 152 yards, they’ll win. But don’t count on it.

Scott Rabalais: LSU 30, Kentucky 24

Both the Tigers and Wildcats have remarkably similar stats and UK wasn’t intimidated by the crowd in its triple OT loss at Florida. Still, the Tigers may have found something last week offensively with Leonard Fournette and Anthony Jennings 2.0 at the controls. If LSU can continue to stay away from turnovers, the Tigers will win another wild one.