On the football calendar, few games generate as much excitement as top-10 showdowns. This was exemplified as the No. 5 LSU faced off against No. 8 Florida State at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium. With two massive brands clashing in a prime-time spot, the fanfare was electric, mirroring the same intensity when Florida State clinched a wild 24-23 victory over LSU in the previous year’s season opener.
A Look Back: Their Previous Season’s Journey
- LSU: Last year, LSU emerged stronger post their one-point defeat to Florida State, marking a triumphant 10-win campaign. This impressive performance saw them clinching victories against formidable teams like Alabama, Ole Miss, and Auburn. The team’s ascension to the SEC West title was attributed to the dynamism brought in by Brian Kelly’s entry to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Despite their significant loss to Georgia in Atlanta, LSU’s quick play for the SEC championship under Kelly signaled a promise for 2023.
- Florida State: Florida State’s previous year was nothing short of impressive. They secured 10 wins, the first since 2016. The team’s steady growth trajectory under coach Mike Norvell saw them rise from three wins to 10 in consecutive seasons. Their victory against LSU and subsequent wins against Florida and Oklahoma pointed towards a team ready for bigger challenges.
The game was not just another regular-season match. With both teams’ success in the past year, they were set up with top-10 rankings and expectations of College Football Playoff contention. The winner would proudly walk away boasting one of the best wins any contender could have, while the loser would face a challenging remainder of the season, with no room for error.
How To Tune In
|Sunday, Sept. 3
|7:30 p.m. ET
|Camping World Stadium — Orlando, Florida
Key Players To Watch
In a game of this magnitude, star players often become the deciding factors. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels and Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis are both in contention for the Heisman Trophy. The dynamic duo of LSU’s Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas and Florida State’s Johnny Wilson and Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman are set to provide high octane action.
The Portal Bowl: Transfer Significance
Dubbed as the ‘Portal Bowl’, both teams have leveraged the transfer portal to strengthen their rosters. Norvell’s strategic use of this tool, particularly in the last three offseasons, has led to Florida State ranking No. 6 in 247Sports’ Transfer Team Rankings in 2023. Similarly, under Kelly’s guidance, LSU has shone, achieving No. 3 and No. 2 rankings in the past two offseasons respectively.
A Setback for LSU
The absence of Maason Smith, a key defensive player for LSU, due to an NCAA violation for an autograph signing prior to NIL’s implementation, posed a significant challenge for the team. While this was a setback, Kelly expressed confidence in the depth of the team’s defensive line.
The Result: Florida State Triumphs
The outcome of the match saw Florida State not just win but dominate, with a whopping score of 45-24. This victory echoed their prowess, as displayed in the previous season. Key players like Keon Coleman stood out, marking three touchdowns for the Seminoles.
While LSU displayed potential and is expected to remain a force in the SEC West, the margin for error in their bid for the College Football Playoff has diminished. On the other hand, Florida State’s consistent performance suggests they are on the rise and could aim for their first ACC title since 2014.
This game was more than just a top-10 showdown; it was a testament to the growth, strategy, and resilience of both teams. While Florida State enjoyed the sweet taste of victory, LSU, despite the setback, remains a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming matches. With playoff contentions and future aspirations at stake, the 2023 season promises to be exhilarating.