WATCH: Florida State Seminoles Crush No. 5 LSU 45-24 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando
By Space Coast Daily // September 4, 2023
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida State defeats LSU 45-24 at Camping World Stadium. Space Coast Daily’s Zach Clark and Juan Rodriguez talk about the big win by Seminoles to kickoff the 2023 college football season.
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily’s Zach Clark and Juan Rodriguez report from Orlando for Top-10 Showdown between No. 8 Florida State Seminoles, No. 5 LSU Tigers set for Sunday night matchup in Orlando.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Florida State exploded for 31 second half points after trailing 17-14 at halftime to crush No. 5 LSU 45-24 in Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
FSU’s defense set the tone early when a haymaker by the LSU offense on its first drive had the Tigers in scoring position, but Florida State showed its muscle stoning the Tigers on six plays from inside the five finishing off LSU’s drive with a sack on fourth and goal by DJ Lundy.
Highly-regarded transfer wide receiver Keon Coleman proved the preseason attention warranted as he caught three touchdown passes and had nine receptions for 122 yards. Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Travis completed 21-of-31 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns and perhaps just as important he settled a Seminole offense that looked sloppy at times in the first half.
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels was 22-of-37 for 347 yards and one touchdown which came with the game out of reach with under a minute left. The Tigers managed just 113 yards rushing for the game with FSU also finding their running game stymied finishing with 135 yards on 34 attempts.
FSU’s defense sacked Daniels four times, while the Seminoles’ did not allow a sack all game.
The first half would not have left many in the packed stadium believing the game would be a blowout as the two went back and forth over the first half.
Following the impressive goal-line stand on the Tiger’s first possession, the Noles engineered a masterful 86-yard scoring drive that included overcoming an offensive pass interference call. The 9-play drive was capped by a 40-yard touchdown pass from Travis to Coleman for the 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.
LSU bounced back on their next possession driving 75-yards on nine plays to tie the score 7-7 on a 1-yard plunge by running back Tre Bradford with 3:48 on the clock.
Neither team could mount any kind of a running game in the first quarter with FSU gaining just 16 on three tries and LSU 12-yards on 10 carries. The Tigers’ Jayden Daniels was 8-of-12 through the air for 151 yards, while Travis was 6-of-9 for 94 yards.
With the score 7-7, FSU mounted a second brilliant goal line stand stymying the Tigers on the first snap of the second quarter. LSU went for it on fourth and inches in the shadow of FSU’s goalposts and for the second time, the Seminole defense turned back the Tigers without allowing a point.
It appeared Florida State got a huge break on their ensuing punt when the Tigers fumbled a fair catch attempt that was recovered by Azareye’ Thomas at the LSU 22, but the Noles gave it right back on the next play when Travis dodged a pass rusher then threw an interception in the left flat.
An LSU punt that hit near the 20-yard line and crawled all the way inside the FSU 1 put the Tigers in great position after Florida State failed to make a first down and the punt from the back of the end zone set the Tigers up at midfield. A quarterback keeper through the middle of the Seminole defense was the big play on the five-play 51-yard drive that gave LSU a 14-7 lead with 6:02 left in the first half when a 1-yard touchdown run finally penetrated FSU’s goal-line defense.
The Seminoles bounced back with its best drive of the half to tie it at 14 with 1:01 left in the half. Travis marched FSU 75-yards in 10 plays that burned 5:01 off the clock. He found Coleman in a one-on-one match on the right side of the endzone and put it up high for a 21-yard touchdown pass, their second of the night.
On the ensuing possession, LSU took a 17-14 lead into the locker room at half after driving 67-yards on 10 plays in 57 seconds that ended with a 36-yard field goal.
Travis finished the opening half completing 14-of-21 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns. LSU’s Daniels was 11-of-22 for 188 yards.
Florida State took the opening possession of the second half down to the LSU 16 before the nine-play, 60-yard drive stalled and Ryan Fitzgerald made it 17-17 when he connected on a 33-yard field goal with 9:19 left.
FSU made it 10 unanswered points in the third quarter when Travis walked in untouched on a 1-yard touchdown run. He connected on 41-yard pass plays to both Coleman and Lawrance Toafili on the 7-play, 87-yard drive that put the Noles up 24-17 with 2:42 left and the score stood going into the fourth quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, cornerback Renardo Green stepped inside an LSU receiver who had slipped on the route and picked off Daniels’ pass to set up the Nole offense at their 43-yard line. Eight plays later Travis and Coleman hooked up for their third touchdown, this from seven yards, to put FSU up 31-17 with 10:18 left in the game.
FSU kept pouring it on in the fourth quarter. Travis found tight end Jaheim Bell wide-open for a 44-yard touchdown that stretched the Noles lead to 38-17 with seven minutes left and Bell’s second touchdown of the game made it 45-17 with a little over a minute to play.
LSU finally got a second half score with 1:15 left on a 75-yard touchdown pass through a prevent defense.