This Sunday at 7:30 the No. 8 Seminoles will be in Orlando to take on the No. 5 LSU Tigers on ABC.
LSU went 10-4 (losses to FSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Georgia) in ‘22 after winning the SEC West and the Citrus Bowl. FSU is 8-2 versus the Tigers all-time.
Florida State offense versus LSU defense
FSU projected starters: QB Jordan Travis, RB Tre Benson, TB Lawrance Toafili, TE Jaheim Bell, WR Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman, LT Robert Scott Jr, LG Casey Roddick, C Maurice Smith, RG D’Mitri Emmanuel, RT Jeremiah Byers
FSU led the ACC in total offense last season with 473 yards per game. The ‘Noles return almost every contributor and added a few of the best transfers in the country. This should give Jordan Travis plenty of protection and weapons to keep the high powered offense moving.
On the LSU defense, the Seminoles need to look out for the versatile linebacker Harold Perkins, who had a great freshman season racking up 7.5 sacks, 72 tackles and 4 forced turnovers. Safety Major Burns returns for the Tigers with the rest of the defense being made up of mostly transfers.
Travis and the ‘Noles should be able to score points as long as they contain Perkins and are able to get a push in the inside run game. Which should be easier with DT Maason Smith being suspended.
Florida State defense versus LSU offense
FSU projected starters: DE Jared Verse and Patrick Payton, DT Fabien Lovett and Braden Fiske, LB Tatum Bethune and Kalen DeLoach, NICKEL Jarrian Jones, CB Fentrell Cypress and Renardo Green, S Akeem Dent and Shyheim Brown
The Tiger’s offense returns 8 starters including the entire O-Line, tight end Mason Taylor and receiver Malik Nabers. LSU’s offense is led by quarterback Jayden Daniels, who had a great ’22 campaign throwing for 2,913 yards and 17 TDs.
LSU will try to take advantage of Daniels’ running ability, 885 yards rushing last season, so LB Kalen DeLoach will be a key player due to his speed and tackling prowess. The defensive ends will need to keep the edge and the secondary will have to make tackles to help Tatum Bethune and DeLoach contain Daniels. Of course, we can’t forget the impact DT Fabien Lovett had on last year’s game. LSU scored 13 of its 23 points after Lovett got injured late in the 4th quarter.
FSU projected starters: K Ryan Fitzgerald P Alex Mastromanno
The ‘Noles dominated this phase of the game in the 2022 matchup with 2 blocked kicks and 2 fumble recoveries. FSU still has the slight advantage even with the departure of punt returner Mycah Pittman and the inconsistency at kicker. However, Norvell likes the progress of Keon Coleman at returner and Ryan Fitzgerald at kicker in fall camp.
The Seminoles have the advantage at the skill positions (RB, TE and WR) and have a better pass rush so I expect FSU to win another nail-biter. Florida State 35 Louisiana State 28.