LSU Football's Rollercoaster Ride

LSU Football’s Rollercoaster Ride: Key Takeaways from the Florida State Showdown

Last Updated: 5 September 2023By

LSU Football: Three Takeaways from LSU’s Loss in Florida State. On Sunday night, in the second half of the game against Florida State, the Tigers stumbled, and the Seminoles stole the show. In Camping World Stadium on Sunday night, Number 8 Florida State crumbled against LSU in the second half, much like a house of cards. Jordan Travis-Keon Coleman connection had a field day against the Tigers’ secondary.

Bryan Kelly and company fell behind 31-7 in the second half, and the Seminoles led 31-0 at one point, never looking back on their way to a 45-24 victory against the Tigers. LSU had turned into a home away from home in Camping World Stadium on Sunday night, with Jordan Travis-Keon Coleman connection wreaking havoc on Florida State. Louisiana native and Florida State’s star wide receiver, Keon Coleman, delivered a highly impactful performance in his debut in Florida. His Michigan State transfer garnered considerable attention in Tallahassee and paid off in his Seminole debut.

LSU Football's Rollercoaster Ride Key Takeaways from the Florida State Showdown_RE

Florida State players celebrate after defeating LSU in an NCAA college football game Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Coleman entered halftime with 4 catches for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns but was hungry for more in the wide-open electrifying offense. Once the second half began, Coleman continued his stellar performance, shining in the red zone with another touchdown score. Coleman finished the night with 9 receptions for 122 yards and three scores. It was a complete collapse for LSU’s secondary in the second half, and the Seminoles capitalized on their opportunities.

LSU selected Eli Ricks and Dwight Chestnut as cornerbacks, while Greg Brooks, Andre Sampson, and Major Burns rounded out the secondary. It was a long night for Chestnut, and despite some interference, Coleman emerged as the headliner with almost every snap in his favor. Coleman won the battle.

Where was Harold Perkins?

LSU linebacker Harold Perkins took only seven snaps against Florida State, even after capturing a total of 28 snaps in his debut in coverage. After being limited to a specific role as a pass rusher in the top pass rushers in college football, a surprising decision by defensive coordinator Matt House and his staff.

Perkins shone as a pass rush specialist in his new campaign, but during the game, the second-year student started to play an inside linebacker role for the Tigers. It was clear that this would be his new role, but Kelly and Company emphasized that Perkins would still be in the lineup across the board. By Sunday, he had quickly progressed, and the decision to primarily place Perkins in coverage sparked headlines. The nation’s most dynamic pass rusher was immediately employed in such a way that it could stop FSU quarterback Jordan Travis.

Lack of Immediate Impact

LSU Football's Rollercoaster Ride Key Takeaways from the Florida State Showdown

LSU presented cornerback Cordale Flott as a starter against Florida State, who quickly became effective, but after a few drives, Noah Cain and Josh Williams entered the mix, and the run game vanished. Bradford gained a wheel route at 55 yards. In the first game of the season, an instant spark was provided, but a lack of use from the running back room was another head-scratcher.

Florida State’s impressive defensive line played a significant factor in the game, but once again, the Tigers trusted Jaden Daniel. The Tigers marched 113 yards on the field at the end of the day, which may seem good on paper, but Daniel and Josh Williams’ two big breakout runs significantly boosted those numbers. LSU failed to replicate the running game success on the field, despite emulating a large-scale run game from the previous season. According to Brian Kelly, Notre Dame transfer Logan Diggs didn’t play due to “coach’s decision,” in which the Tigers’ Bradford, Cain, and Williams were primarily featured as the primary back.

Going forward, it’s crucial that this program utilizes a deep running back room to provide a balanced attack in SEC play.