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AP file photo by Rogelio V. Solis / Todd Grantham, who is in his second season as defensive coordinator at Florida, helped the Gators beat LSU 27-19 last season after helping Mississippi State rout the Tigers in 2017. The Tigers host Florida this Saturday night.

Certain people mean certain things to certain fan bases in Southeastern Conference football.

Take Todd Grantham.

Florida's second-year defensive coordinator had the same role at Georgia for four seasons (2010-13), with Grantham's 2013 defense allowing 30 or more points a program-record eight times. There was Auburn's "Prayer in Jordan-Hare," when two Bulldogs safeties collided to allow a 73-yard touchdown reception on fourth-and-18, and Georgia yielded a 99-yard touchdown catch in that season's TaxSlayer Bowl loss to Nebraska.

Grantham left the staff of Mark Richt (quality dude) for the staff of then-Louisville coach Bobby Petrino (questionable motorcycle company), and Georgia fans have reveled in hanging 30-plus points on him in the three meetings since — Louisville in the 2014 Belk Bowl, Mississippi State in 2017 and Florida last season.

For LSU fans, however, Grantham has represented a towering obstacle the past two seasons entering Saturday night's clash between the No. 5 Tigers and the No. 7 Gators in Baton Rouge.

In his one season as Mississippi State's defensive coordinator in 2017 under Dan Mullen, Grantham's defense held LSU to 270 yards and 24 minutes of possession time as the Bulldogs rolled to a 37-7 rout in Starkville. The 30-point victory margin represents Mississippi State's largest over the Tigers in a series that dates to 1896.

A year ago, with Mullen and Grantham having relocated to Gainesville, the Gators forced three LSU turnovers in pulling out a 27-19 triumph in the Swamp.

"Last year's game was close, and I think our home-field advantage played a part in that," Mullen said Wednesday. "Todd did a great job last week in defending Auburn, and I think he's one of the premier D-coordinators, if not the best D-coordinator, in all of college football. He puts our guys in position to make plays.

"I don't know if that's specific to LSU, because he does that every week."

The Florida-LSU rivalry has been decided by one possession five straight years, and Tiger Stadium is certain to be hopping with an 8 Eastern start on ESPN.

"Obviously there is a little magic going on at night when you walk in there — that feeling of intimidation and that feeling of domination," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "The fans are rowdy and very loud, and it's hard for the opposing team, especially on third down, when they have to go silent count. It can be a very intimidating factor."

Said Mullen: "Home-field advantage in the SEC is a legitimate, huge advantage, and the LSU fans always do a tremendous job of giving them home-field advantage when you have to go play there on a Saturday night."

 

Pasquali's Pix

South Carolina at Georgia: Jake Fromm has made 33 consecutive starts, a streak that leads all quarterbacks in the FBS. Bulldogs 30, Gamecocks 13.

Mississippi State at Tennessee: This is just the fourth meeting between these two in Knoxville since the SEC went to divisional play in 1992. Bulldogs 24, Volunteers 19.

Georgia Tech at Duke: Georgia Tech's 321 yards of total offense in last week's loss to North Carolina marked a season high. Blue Devils 31, Yellow Jackets 16.

Alabama at Texas A&M: The Aggies are paying Jimbo Fisher well enough that they should be playing closer games with Alabama than with Arkansas. Crimson Tide 45, Aggies 21.

UNLV at Vanderbilt: The Commodores hope to fare better against this week's Rebels than they did against last week's Rebels. Commodores 26, Rebels 16.

Ole Miss at Missouri: The Rebels rushed for 413 yards last weekend, while the Tigers have gone four straight games holding opponents to fewer than 75 rushing yards. Tigers 34, Rebels 27.

Arkansas at Kentucky: These two teams have combined to beat Portland State, Colorado State, Toledo and Eastern Michigan. Wildcats 26, Razorbacks 23.

Florida at LSU: The Tigers are scoring 54.6 points per game. The Gators have allowed 57 points all season. Tigers 31, Gators 20.

OTHER PICKS

N.C. State 22, Syracuse 19

Virginia 27, Miami 24

Oregon 38, Colorado 21

Oklahoma 35, Texas 30

Michigan 26, Illinois 17

Memphis 31, Temple 28

Wisconsin 30, Michigan State 23

Arizona State 43, Washington State 32

Baylor 44, Texas Tech 35

Virginia Tech 49, Rhode Island 16

Florida Atlantic 37, MTSU 34

Clemson 34, Florida State 15

Notre Dame 33, Southern Cal 20

Penn State 20, Iowa 13

Wake Forest 29, Louisville 26

Utah 21, Oregon State 12

Boise State 45, Hawaii 38

Last week:

Winners ................................ 18

Kansas pole dancers .......... 7

Pasquali is 123-27 overall (82.0%) this season.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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