(9/4/22) 3:30 PM Eastern.
Spread: LSU -3 / Florida State +3
Moneyline: LSU -162 / FSU +130
Total: Over / Under 50
The LSU Tigers (0-0) open up it’s College Football season on Sunday night against the Florida State Seminoles (1-0). The game will be played in the Caeser Superdome, New Orleans. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30p.m. eastern time.
Brian Kelly steps in at Head Coach after winning 113 games in 12 seasons at Notre Dame. Low expectations and a rebuild usually come with a new coaching staff but Kelly is expected to have LSU contending sooner rather than later. He hired Mike Denbrock as offensive coordinator and Matt House as Defensive Coordinator.
Denbrock gets to work with Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels at QB. He was 18-11 as a starter for ASU and led the PAC-12 in completion % a season ago. WR Kayshon Boutte will be the go to WR for Daniels. He played in just 6 games for the Tigers last year but racked up 509 yards and 9 touchdowns on just 38 catches. Malik Nabers is also a name to look out for, he’s their return specialist but figures to be used all over the field on offense. He will account for chunk plays when he gets the ball in space. LSU has a stable of backs to hand the ball off too with Senior Noah Cain likely to start.
Matt House gets a stacked defensive to play with. PFF has LSU ranked as the 4th best defensive line in all of College Football. BJ Ojulari and Ali Gaye are the stars on the outside, but Jaquelin Roy will do the dirty work on the inside. They will have 4 new faces in their secondary, which isn’t a bad thing considering they had one of the worst units in the SEC last year. They brought in some freshman and 4 guys with plenty of game experience through the transfer portal to sure up the back end. Micah Baskerville highlights the LB group; he returns for his 5th season and will be relied on to help reform this defense.
Mike Norvell returns for his 3rd season as head coach of FSU and has new offensive coordinator to go with him. Offensive Line coach Alex Atkins was promoted when Kenny Dillingham left for Oregon. Norvell will continue to call plays for the offense. Dual threat QB Jordan Travis returns for FSU, he battled injuries a season ago but is the only real option on the roster. Take last weeks win over Duquesne with a grain of salt but they did have 3 different backs go over 100 yards rushing in that game, first time in FSU history. The offensive line has been a major issue for FSU over the years and while it’s improved under Atkins guidance it has a long way to go before they earn people’s respect.
Coaches Adam Fuller and Chris Marve oversee Florida State’s Defense. They had a couple big losses with edge Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas leaving for the NFL but a majority of their starters return. They bring back nearly 75% of it’s tackling production from last year and they have 22 players that started at least one game on the FBS level. Defensive Back Jammie Robinson is the player to watch, he led the team in tackles a year ago and will be one of the most gifted athletes on the field.
I’ve got LSU -3 in this one. Better coach, better roster, and better line play. Despite changing things around Brian Kelly is a proven winner, wherever he’s been he’s had success. He also coached at an elite program in Notre Dame, so I trust his ability to get these guys ready to play in their opener. Offensively LSU still has playmakers all over the field, guys that can house it at any moment. The most efficient PAC-12 QB from a season ago, Jayden Daniels, will get the ball in his playmakers hands and let them go to work. Florida’s defensive line lost a lot of talent so LSU’s offensive line will hold up just fine. Defensively is where I expect LSU to shine though. Their defensive line is stacked, and Florida State’s offensive line may be improved but it isn’t good. An LSU front 7 littered with NFL talent will have a field day against what’s been a weakness for FSU over the last decade. The FSU coaching staff doesn’t have any tape on this LSU coaching staff to prepare with either. Long time winner Brian Kelly knows exactly what to expect from Mike Norvell’s bunch though. All in all despite a down year a season ago this LSU roster is still one of the most talented groups in the country. Florida State on the other hand isn’t bringing in the same level of recruits as a top SEC program. Kelly will have these boys ready to play and the talent will take over.