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No. 4 LSU's depth faces big test at No. 10 Florida

Associated Press Modified: October 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm •  Published: October 4, 2012

"Certainly, his experience, maturity, play-making ability, being able to make some defensive calls and calm some guys down in situations in a game like this," Muschamp said of Jenkins. "There is no question it will be an added boost."

The knee Easley hurt is the same one in which he tore his anterior cruciate ligament last November against Florida State, so whether he bounces back quickly remains to be seen.

Florida also was happy to have an extra week to rest leading running back Mike Gillislee, who is averaging 100 yards a game but has been slowed by a groin injury, gaining only 56 yards at Kentucky. His practice snaps were reduced during the bye week to get him back to full speed.

"We've got to do what we've got to do," offensive coordinator Brent Pease said in reference to Gillislee's workload. "If he needs to carry it 30 times this time, he'll carry it 30. ... Mike can handle that."

LSU has built up quality depth. Since taking over in 2005, Les Miles helped LSU to continue to be an annual contender for a national title.

Without Blue, some of LSU's other talented running backs will get an opportunity. Kenny Hilliard, Spencer Ware and Michael Ford have all had spectacular moments during their careers and freshman Jeremy Hill is showing promise. Hilliard and Ware are also big and tough enough to fill in at fullback.

Dworaczyk is a sixth-year senior and a former starter at guard. He said he feels comfortable moving to either tackle spot, and added that many LSU players are adept at multiple positions, giving the coaching staff a lot of flexibility.

Mathieu's departure in August forced LSU to start freshman Jalen Mills at cornerback, with Mills moving to nickel back and redshirt freshman Jalen Collins coming in at cornerback in passing situations. Mills has a pair of interceptions and Collins has broken up a pair of passes that wound up being intercepted by a teammate on the deflection.

"We don't recruit these guys for no reason. They're great football players," said receiver Russell Shepard, who works against Mills and Collins in practice. "Those guys are ready because the coaches do a great job preparing them and our leaders on the team do a great job of showing them how we play our style of football."


AP Sports Writer Mark Long in Gainesville, Fla., contributed to this report.