Friday, October 09, 2009

Florida Comes to Death Valley

This is it. The one game that has kept me up at night. The one game that motivates me when on the treadmill. It was about 83 days ago when I sent my dad the text, "84 days until Judgment Day!" It was the one game I could not stop dreaming of because of that smidgen of hope that the impossible could happen.

For months I proclaimed Saturday as Judgment Day. The day Superman fell. Superman is invincible? Nope. Turns out the Man of Steel loses to a fellow by the name of Doomsday. I have hoped for months that LSU would someone find a "Doomsday" by October 10th. Possibly, Chad "Dreadlocks of Doom" Jones? I could only ponder.

Tomorrow night Judgment Day will take place. The No. 1 ranked Florida Gators will come into Tiger Stadium to take on the LSU Tigers. The Gators are riding a 14 game winning streak and they are the over-the-top favorite to win the BCS National Championship.

Leading the way for the Gators is senior Tim Tebow. Behind Tebow there's an amazing defense, a stellar running game, and plethora of talent all over the field. Even with Tebow's current state the Gators are seen as an anonymous favorite to beat LSU.

No Tebow? Psh. Who cares! John Brantley will be an excellent quarterback. He will do fine against an average LSU defense!

A lot of those arguments do make sense. LSU does have a suspect offense and defense. How are they going to muster enough points to beat Florida? And really is Brantley that big of a downgrade from Tebow? For a whole week I have read them all, but in the end regardless of what I hear or read or how much I hear about how "upset" Florida is about their last trip to Tiger Stadium I still see an opportunity for LSU.

There's a reason it's called Death Valley. There's reason the stadium has a reputation as daunting as the Roman Coliseum. There's a reason it registered an earthquake back in 1988. There's a reason Bear Bryant referred to the stadium as "being inside a drum." The reason is because that place is the most over-the-top, intimidating place for a football team to play. There is something about. It is something you can not describe or define, but when that football team comes out onto the field and they see 93,000 screaming fans it is an instant shot of adrenaline. They feed off the crowd.

I look at that stadium I say LSU has a chance against Florida because of it. I honestly do not know what will happen Saturday. Most likely Florida will win because there's that notion that Florida's defense is far too good to let LSU beat them. Regardless of who is at quarterback the biggest battle is the LSU offense versus the Florida defense. You also look at the fact there's a young quarterback in Jordan Jefferson who is going against an experienced defense.

All that does not bode well for LSU...or so they say.

But then there's the other side. The X-factor. This game is in Tiger Stadium and like I described earlier the stadium is one of a kind. Take into account that last year LSU got embarrassed at The Swamp 51-21 and you have yourself the possibility of a fired up LSU coming out of the gate Saturday night.

If LSU wants to even think about beating Florida they have to punch the Gators in the mouth right out of the box. They have to make Florida fear. Florid has no fears. During this 14 game winning streak most teams have been blown out by the Gators. Sure there was the close game against Alabama in the SEC Championship, but that was in Atlanta.

And the intense National Championship game? That was in a neutral site as well.

My point is LSU has got to take advantage of the what should be the largest crowd in Tiger Stadium history. Les Miles's team has to grasp this advantage. I understand Brantley's great potential, but this is his first start. Take advantage of that LSU. Make them question Brantley early on. Make them panic. Make the Florida defense second guess each other. Plant in their minds LSU is outplaying them. Make them think they are not invincible.

In the words of King Leonidas in 300 during his talk with the tyrant Xerxes, "The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even a god-king can bleed."

Show the world LSU that Florida can bleed. Show the world that Florida can fall.


Anonymous said...


The Real Deal said...

Wow indeed. I waited forever for this game. I always thought LSU would put up a much better fight. Have to admit that was one heck of a boring game.