Against the Tigers from Columbia, Missouri, the Gators’ offense was good enough to get the job done.
But against the Tigers from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a performance similar to Saturday night’s won’t cut it.
Let’s be honest: Florida’s offense was Muschampian against Missouri.
Aside from the first three offensive series, which resulted in two first-quarter touchdowns, the Gators only managed to gain 196 yards while posting a big goose egg on the scoreboard in their remaining 11 offensive possessions.
For the game as a whole, Florida had 337 yards of total offense — just 54 yards more than it had in last year’s game against Missouri, the 42-13 homecoming debacle that had fans leading "Fire Muschamp" chants in the stands.
This doesn’t mean it’s time to panic — far from it. Florida’s offense has been impressive considering expectations, and coach Jim McElwain is probably happy for some struggles that will keep his players grounded.
Plus, the UF defense has been able to more than make up for any deficiencies from its offensive counterpart.
If those deficiencies continue against LSU, however, Leonard Fournette and Co. will be the ones doing the grounding.
If you’ve been living under a rock since the start of the football season, Fournette is probably the best college running back the sport has seen since Adrian Peterson.
In just five games, the sophomore has 1,022 rushing yards. You read that correctly — five games.
To put that in perspective, Florida has had eight 1,000-yard rushers in school history, and just one in the last decade — Mike Gillislee in 2012.
Fournette has 12 touchdowns and is averaging a whopping 8.6 yards per carry. He had a season-low rushing total of 158 yards and one touchdown on Saturday against South Carolina, and that was only because the LSU coaching staff decided to rest him for most of the fourth quarter with the game out of hand.
To make matters even scarier for Florida, if Fournette happens to miss the team bus prior to kickoff, freshman Derrius Guice is averaging 9.1 yards per carry and out-rushed Fournette against the Gamecocks, running for 161 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
And while the passing game has been the Tigers’ weakness this season — seemingly just like every other season — quarterback Brandon Harris had one of the best games of his career against South Carolina, throwing for a career-high 228 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-28 passing.
So despite the assertions from Florida’s defenders that they can win if given the slimmest of leads, a slim lead won’t last long against LSU.
And getting that lead won’t come easy in the first place against the Tigers’ defense, a unit that ranks 14th in the nation in total defense and will be feeding off the home crowd in Death Valley.
If Florida comes out with another conservative, lackluster performance on offense, this breed of Tigers will have a feeding frenzy on Saturday, and that new top-10 ranking won’t last long.
Follow Graham Hack on Twitter @graham_hack24
Florida teammates celebrate with fans after a 21-3 win against Missouri on Oct. 10, 2015, on Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.