Well, a couple days after Ricky Jean-Francois said LSU would relish the opportunity to take Tim Tebow out on Saturday, Tebow responded yesterday.

Tebow mostly took the high road and said the ‘company line’ of things fed to him by the Florida sports information department, saying that Saturday will be a tough game on both sides and that Florida hopes to make amends for last season’s tough loss to the Tigers.

Did I really expect anything dirty to be said by Florida? Nah, I didn’t. But it sure would have made things fun. I mean, we all know what the Gators players are saying amongst themselves regarding Francois and we all know what they are thinking when they are asked these questions. So why don’t just one of them come out and say it?

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With the Jean-Francois volcano seemingly cooled, the focus is now more on the field — where it should be.

Here are my keys to victory for both sides.

Keys for LSU:

1. Stop Florida’s periphery players – Forget Tebow. LSU has to stop Harvin, James, Demps and the rest of the crew. Tebow won’t beat LSU running in 3-4 yard intervals down the field. If LSU stops Florida’s edge players, there is a good chance they will stop Florida’s entire offense.

2. Sounds execution – LSU can move the ball on Florida’s defense — which has 0 seniors on the entire unit. But the Tigers have to avoid the petty mistakes that plagued them in their 2006 23-10 loss in the Swamp. LSU moved the ball in that game, too, but 5 turnovers sealed their fate.

3. Tackling fuel – LSU is coming off a bye and they have to make sure they do not have any rust in some of the ‘smaller things’, especially tackling. When you face a team with so many impact players and so many players who can go 80 yards for a touchdown anytime they touch the football, you have to tackle.

Keys for Florida

1. Short yardage – Florida goes out of the shotgun every play. No, seriously, I mean it. Literally every play. Because of that, sometimes when they have 3rd and short, they have problems moving the chains. (see also: Ole Miss stuffing Tebow on 4th and 1 to lose the game). Third down conversions may determine the winner or loser of this game.

2. Special special teams- The Gators have to be special on special teams. They have to contain Trindon Holliday and get Brandon James on the edges and allow him to work his magic.

3. Scott stoppers – The best way to cripple LSU’s offense is to stuff Charles Scott on first and second down and force the Tigers into 3rd and long situations. If Scott goes for 100+ for the fifth-straight time this season, it spells trouble for Florida.

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The pick’em game was competitive again, here are our standings.

Cody: 8-7

Casey: 10-5

Fischer: 9-6

Boura: 11-4

Here are the overall standings:

Casey: 42-33   56%

Boura: 33-27  55%

Cody: 41-34  54.66%

Richard: 40-35  53.33%

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Headlines:

Auburn fires offensive coordinator Tony Franklin – So much for the spread offense, huh? This is nuts. How could they have expected the spread to work this soon with a roster full of guys not recruited to play in that offense? Why don’t Michigan just fire Rich Rodriguez, too. Michigan has a few losses. That’s unacceptable! All sarcasm aside, this is showing the desperation inside of the Auburn program as Alabama has overtaken them as the Western Division’s No. 2 program.

Dice-K to start Game 1 for Sox in ALCS – Sox over Rays in 5. Book it.

Lance Armstrong cleared for comeback race – I just don’t get it. Why would Lance Armstrong subject himself to the testing, the criticism and everything else? Cyclists do not make the 7-8 figures other athletes do. Home-boy Lance must really love what he is doing.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

Blast from the past.

That’s all for me. Have a great Thursday!

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