Da Boot Sports
By: Jason Watson Jr.
ORLANDO, FL- In a highly anticipated 2023 rematch with Florida State, an overly confident LSU team played an uninspired football game, falling to FSU 45-24. To say this was a disappointing start to the season for the Tigers would be an understatement.
LSU looked like they’d start the game with a bang after getting into the red zone in three quick plays. However, a goal-line stand from the FSU defense kept the game scoreless and set the tone for the rest of the contest. LSU’s offense moved up and down the field, mustering five trips to the red zone. They could not take advantage of their offensive success, scoring just two touchdowns and a field goal in those opportunities.
Although the final score tells a different story, LSU led and was in contention for most of the game. They went into the locker rooms with a 17-14 lead and trailed at the end of the third quarter by just a touchdown. A fourth-quarter defensive collapse from the Tigers and an onslaught by Jordan Travis and the ‘Noles offense led to FSU putting up 21 points in the final frame, nearly doubling their game score.
In post-game press conferences, coach Brian Kelly spoke on his team’s effort in the game: “Execution in the first half, the inability to convert in the red zone. You know the second half didn’t play with a sense of urgency. You know those fall on coaching and getting our players to recognize and make those choices in practice.”
The Tigers’ defensive backs were outmatched all night with tough matchups versus the FSU wide receivers. Opelousas native Keon Coleman led the way for the Seminoles with nine receptions for 122 yards and a trio of touchdown grabs. Coleman feasted all night, helping open up the playbook for Mike Norvell. Arizona St. transfer Johnny Wilson also contributed seven catches and eclipsed the 100-yard mark.
When asked about the defensive challenges faced, Kelly said, “I thought we competed there… I don’t know that there was much more else that they could have done.”
Kelly will discuss with his team and coaching staff to make adjustments and improvements this coming week in practice. There is still a lot of football to play in the 2023 campaign, but if LSU wants to make some noise and compete for titles, the turnaround has to start now.
LSU will move on and play their home opener next Saturday, September 9th, in Tiger Stadium. Grambling State will take on the Tigers for the first time on the gridiron. You do not want to call any game a cakewalk, but LSU will use this game as an opportunity for change before starting SEC play.
The game will begin at 6:30 pm CST and broadcast on ESPN+. Geaux Tigers!
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