NEW ORLEANS — The Brian Kelly era at LSU started off with a disappointing 24-23 loss to Florida State in the Allstate Louisiana Kickoff held inside the Caesars Superdome on Sunday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
LSU opened up the game taking advantage of two FSU miscues — a penalty for kicking the ball out of bounds and then an unnecessary roughness. The Tigers took the lead on a 37-yard field goal by Damian Ramos.
FSU responded by putting together a 48-yard drive but came up empty as Ryan Fitzgerald missed the 47-yard field goal attempt.
After a three-and-out and punt by LSU, FSU took the lead with a 14-play, 85-yard drive capped with a 39-yard touchdown from Jordan Travis to Ontaria Wilson.
LSU went 52 yards on 13 plays but the 30-yard field goal attempt by Ramos was blocked by Jared Verse.
LSU’s defense, who lost Mason Smith in the first quarter to a leg injury, kept the Tigers in the game. The Seminoles were forced to punt the ball away but Tiger return man Malik Nabers muffed the punt. FSU had the ball at the 16-yard line but came up empty as the Seminoles’ fourth-down pass play was incomplete.
FSU opened up the second half with a 25-yard field goal by Fitzgerald which extended the Seminoles’ lead to 10-3.
After a three-and-out by LSU, FSU added to its lead as Travis found Wilson for another a touchdown — this time for 27 yards. During that play, LSU was called for two penalties — targeting and pass interference. Ali Gaye was called for targeting and the call was upheld which forced Gaye out of the game.
LSU’s offense finally came to life on the ensuing possession.
Aided by a pair of 15-yard penalties, the Tigers marched down the field and scored their first touchdown with a Noah Cain one-yard run on fourth and goal with eight seconds left in the third.
FSU responded with a 12-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by DJ Lundy.
LSU did manage to add a 15-play, 75-yard drive as Jayden Daniels found Jaray Jenkins for a 22-yard touchdown.
LSU’s defense forced FSU to punt but Nabers fumbled the punt and gave the Seminoles the ball at the eight-yard line. The Tigers would get the ball back moments later as Treshaun Ward fumbled the ball trying to get into the end zone. Mekhi Wingo would recover the ball and give the Tigers the ball at the one-yard line. LSU would drive down the field and got the ball to the two-yard line after Daniels found Mason Taylor for a 17-yard gain. Daniels threw a five-yard touchdown to Jenkins in the back of the end zone. LSU just needed to make the extra point to force overtime but Shyheim Brown partially blocked Ramos’ attempt and the kick failed to make it across the goal post.
BIG NUMBER: 4
Florida State’s defense sacked Daniels four times in Sunday night’s game but the Seminoles pressured and frustrated LSU’s quarterback all night long. In particular, the Tigers’ right side of the line of scrimmage had problems with the Seminoles’ pass rush.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: JAYDEN DANIELS
Even though he had to run for his life most of the night, Daniels managed to lead LSU to a pair of of second-half touchdowns. Daniels was 26-of-35 for 209 yards with two touchdowns, while also leading the Tigers in rushing with 114 yards on 16 carries. Daniels accounted for 323 of the team’s 348 total offensive yards.
UP NEXT: LSU (0-1) will host Southern (1-0) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and it can be heard live on THE GAME 103.7 Lafayette and 104.1 Lake Charles.