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LSU vs. Florida brings wealth of storylines, animosity, significance

Could Saturday’s matchup with Florida have been any more heavily anticipated a month ago, considering the Gators may have been considered the least threatening opponent remaining on LSU’s schedule at the time?

Leonard Fournette Derrius Guice

LSU running backs Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice chat during pregame warmups for the Tigers’ eventual rout of Southern Miss. (Jerit Roser)

The rivalry always bears its share of intensity and talk — whether in the lead-up to games or the offseason. But the public squabbles over the eventual postponement of a contest originally scheduled for Oct. 8, controversial photographs with a cat skeleton and a recently unleashed blunt swagger from the Tigers’ players have heaped gallons of fuel upon that fire.

All for a game that has plenty of storylines, regardless of all that talk.

Saturday will mark the final game in Tiger Stadium for seniors such as Kendell Beckwith, Tre’Davious White and Lewis Neal, as well as likely some juniors such as Leonard Fournette, Jamal Adams and Davon Godchaux — although Fournette drew headlines this week he might consider otherwise.

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Ole Miss provides LSU, Ed Orgeron a much-needed measuring stick | Podcast

Ed Orgeron motivates LSU defensive line

LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron encourages the Tigers’ defensive linemen prior to their 45-10 victory against Southern Miss. (Jerit Roser)

LSU, particularly offensively, has looked revitalized under interim coach Ed Orgeron, to say the least.

But the Missouri and Southern Miss squads on which the Tigers have hung a combined 87 points are a far cry from the five opponents that await during the next six weeks.

And No. 23 Ole Miss (3-3) figures to provide No. 25 LSU its biggest measuring stick thus far this season — a couple weeks later than anticipated because of the postponement of the Florida matchup until Nov. 19.

Jerit Roser and Mark Clements discuss some keys and expectations for this week’s game in the podcast below, as well as a peek ahead to the brutal November stretch of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Texas A&M in consecutive weeks and some takeaways from highly regarded prospect Dylan Moses’ visit to Baton Rouge this past week.

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LSU, Danny Etling face more challenging, indicative litmus test at Auburn | Podcast

LSU could still continue its rebound and enter November’s showdown with Alabama on a long winning streak and looking much different that the squad that lost its season opener.

But the Tigers could just as likely stumble again. And again. And again. To a four- or five-loss season.

Saturday at Auburn will be the best indicator yet as to which direction coach Les Miles and company will go.

The performance of new quarterback Danny Etling, who earned his first start this past Saturday against Mississippi State, has been encouraging.

But, if history is any indication, the odds his and his team’s success continues on the road this weekend aren’t exactly through the roof.

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LSU turns to Danny Etling: Will QB change bring stabilizing force or more trouble? | Podcast

Danny Etling provided LSU an undeniable spark in the second quarter of an eventual 34-13 rout of Jacksonville State.

But the junior transfer turned the ball over twice and went 0-for-6 during a second half that re-raised questions for a fan base that had just emphatically applauded what appeared to be answers.

So what lies ahead for the Les Miles and the Tigers — particularly at the quarterback position?

Jerit Roser and Mark Clements discuss their expectations in the podcast below.

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What are LSU’s prospects after falling to Wisconsin? What to watch vs. Jacksonville State | Podcast

LSU stunned its fan base and much of the nation this past Saturday with a 16-14 loss to unranked Wisconsin.

Now, the Tigers will have to quickly lick their wounds and rebound at home against Jacksonville State — not only well enough to even their record, but also to answer questions before opening SEC play.

What are Les Miles and company’s realistic national title hopes after started on the wrong end of their matchup with the Badgers?

On the flip side, just how badly and quickly could matters spiral if LSU can’t find more offensive success?

Jerit Roser and Mark Clements discuss these and a slew of other topics, including keys to watch against the Gamecocks, in the podcast below.

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