Here are five things to take away from Florida State’s win.
It’s obvious that the Florida State football program is facing serious issues.
The questions, however, will be positive for the first time in three years.
The greatest one:
Was Mike Norvell’s first win against new LSU coach Brian Kelly and the Tigers, a 24-23 victory Sunday, the biggest of his tenure?
In the final play, LSU’s Shyheim Brown was stopped on an extra point attempt, allowing Florida State to escape with a win.
The Seminoles’ 33-21 victory over the Tigers in the Allstate Louisiana Kickoff at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday will raise a lot of questions over the next week.
Here is what I learned from Florida State’s win.
The special teams unit had a wild ride.
Both teams were ineffective on special teams throughout the game.
The special teams units provided the craziness in the game, and Shyheim Brown’s block capped the win.
With the help of a fumble recovery, FSU put themselves in a great position to score late in the first quarter. The momentum switched to their side after they failed to score on the drive.
In the third quarter, Fitzgerald kicked a 25-yard field goal to redeem himself.
The LSU special teams unit had problems in the game. The field goal block and a punt that went only 31 yards gave Florida State great field position and led to a two touchdown lead.
With just over two minutes remaining in the game, Malik Nabers muffed his second punt, thus ending any chance of an LSU comeback.
The Seminoles got a real charge out of that rollercoaster in the first half.
LSU gained strong field position right away, as placekicker Ryan Fitzgerald booted the ball out of bounds, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. Following an FSU touchdown, Fitzgerald missed a 47-yard field goal and had another kick out of bounds.
After a second kick of bounds, LSU special teams unit made a significant play when Jared Verra blocked a 30-yard field goal attempt, keeping the Tigers within one point.
The blocked kick was the first for FSU since September 12, 2020 against Georgia Tech.
A display of resilience
LSU has long been recognized for its toughness and solid defences, and the SEC has been no exception.
The Seminoles squared off against one of the toughest teams in the nation on Sunday and didn’t blink.
FSU’s resilience was on display in the third quarter when Travis connected with Ontaria Wilson for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Gaye tackled Travis on a correctly called targeting foul, but the Seminoles showed grit all game long as Wilson made a spectacular one-handed catch.
LSU was held to xx yards as the Tigers battled late in the game. The Seminoles applied consistent pressure in LSU’s backfield to restrict the run game and hold the Tigers to 39 yards on the ground aside from Daniels.
The Seminoles emphasized before the game that they would focus on playing their game and not worrying about their opponent. They lived up to that promise when they took the field. The constant pressure from the defensive line forced Jayden Daniels to run for his life all game, and he was never able to establish himself in the pocket.
Daniels had difficulty completing 26-of-35 passes for just 209 yards and two touchdowns.
LSU possessed the ball for 24:35, while FSU had it for 34:06.
Jordan is in the spotlight.
Despite the Seminoles’ inability to establish a running game, Travis was the catalyst on offense Sunday.
FSU was held to xxx yards and a xx yards per carry after racking up 406 yards rushing in a week.
Travis completed 20 of 32 pass attempts for 260 yards and two touchdowns, while also gaining 28 yards on the ground.
When was Travis’s performance at its finest? On third down.
On the drive that put the Seminoles ahead, Travis was perfect on fourth downs, connecting on two long throws on third downs to keep the drives alive.
In the game, FSU was successful on all but one of the money down situations, and Travis was responsible for directing them.
The defense is stepping up.
The majority of Sunday’s game, Kayshon Boutte’s name wasn’t heard. Come April’s NFL Draft, it will be.
The Seminoles took the elite playmaker out of the game, limiting him to two catches, 20 yards, and as many drops as catches.
FSU executed the gameplan by removing Boutte from the game. Jammie Robinson and Omarion Cooper, among others, lined up against him.
The constant pressure on the young LSU offensive line caused Daniels to scramble for his life for much of the game, contributing to Boutte’s inability to get going. However, the Seminoles compiled four sacks.
Tatum Bethune and Dennis Briggs Jr. each recorded half a sack in addition to Verse’s two sacks, which was key in stopping Richmond’s offense. Kalen DeLoach led the team in tackles with x.
You don’t have to second-guess yourself.
What’s great about a win?
No one is going to second guess your choices.
FSU may have questioned Mike Norvell’s decision to punt on fourth down with less than a minute remaining in the first half if they had lost the game.
Rather than taking the sure three points, Norvell decided to gamble and throw the ball to Pittman, who dropped it, immediately giving LSU possession back in a 7-3 game with three minutes left in the first quarter.
According to the analytics, FSU’s chances of winning increased to 69% if Norvell converted. However, Fitzgerald had already missed a field goal and kicked two balls out of bounds by that point.