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LSU linebacker Arden Key (49) and defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence (90) celebrate a defensive play during the first half against Louisville in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, Dec. 31, 2016, in Orlando, Fla.


For LSU to have a chance at Florida, it must be markedly better on the defensive line. The Tigers allowed 206 yards rushing against Troy, 191 by Jordan Chunn. Florida has not one featured back but three — Lamical Perine, Mark Thompson and Malik Davis. Davis and Perine teamed for 182 yards and five TDs against Vanderbilt. LSU’s Rashard Lawrence and Ed Alexander return, but they have to bring a toughness seldom seen from LSU this year.


LSU reverted to its 2016 offense against Troy and the result was a 10-0 halftime deficit. The Tigers went back to Matt Canada’s attack in the second half and mounted a strong comeback. Ed Orgeron said it will be Canada’s offense Saturday, with Danny Etling doing the quarterbacking throughout with little or no input from Myles Brennan. Whatever LSU does or whoever it picks to do it, the Tigers must stay committed to their plan.


In LSU’s first three games, penalties were way up (average of 10 per game) but turnovers were nonexistent. The last two games, the Tigers have been flagged just seven times total but committed five turnovers, four against Troy alone. LSU can’t keep trading one set of momentum-killing mistakes for the other. You can’t expect the Tigers to play a perfect game, but they must find a way to execute at their highest level yet.


The Tigers are finally getting healthier overall. Not only do Lawrence, LSU’s best defensive lineman, and Alexander return to the defensive front, but running back Derrius Guice is expected back as well. Meanwhile, Florida will be without top wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland, a big blow to what can be an inconsistent passing attack. Enough talk of youth and inexperience. LSU should be Florida’s match physically. Can the Tigers parlay that into an enormous road win?

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​