The dismissal of Tyrann Mathieu turned out to be one of only several episodes of misfortune for LSU, which hits the toughest part of its schedule with a handful of key players unable to play or hobbled.
At least four players who were projected starters in early August won't be on the field Saturday for the fourth-ranked Tigers (5-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) at No. 10 Florida (4-0, 3-0).
Academic problems have sidelined linebacker Tahj Jones. Left tackle Chris Faulk and running back Alfred Blue are injured. Fullback J.C. Copeland hurt his knee last week, but is expected to return.
The news is mostly encouraging for Florida.
Defensive end Dominique Easley (sprained left knee), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (broken right thumb) and fullback Trey Burton (back spasms) all are expected to play.