The Tigers will begin the 2022 season with a new coach in Brian Kelly, who hopes to improve upon LSU’s substandard performance in recent years (11-12 combined over the last 2 seasons). Kelly, whose last coaching stop was Notre Dame, brings with him a career winning percentage of 0.728. He hopes this winning background will translate quickly, as the Tigers have fired their last two coaches.
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On offense, LSU is dealing with some unknowns as they have yet to name a starting quarterback. Veterans Myles Brennan and Jayden Daniels are competing with redshirt freshman Garrett Nussmeier for the position. Whichever quarterback wins the job will be heavily reliant on a talented group of wide receivers spearheaded by Kayshon Boutte (38 catches, 509 yards, 9 touchdowns in five games last season).
The Tigers defense faces fewer questions than the offense, although there are concerns about a secondary group that will have to start multiple transfers. The strength of this defense will be a defensive line unit that returns three major contributors from last year’s team. Senior Ali Gaye, junior BJ Ojulari, and sophomore Maason Smith were each named to preseason All-SEC teams.
Much like Brian Kelly, Florida State head coach Mike Norvell hopes to restore a winning tradition to a historically great program. Through his first two seasons at the helm, Norvell has led the Seminoles to 8-13 record. Despite the slow start, Seminole fans are hopeful that this can be the first of many successful years for Norvell.
On offense, the Seminoles will return last year’s starter Jordan Travis, who threw for 1,539 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight starts. Florida State will look to spread the ball around to a group of running backs and receivers that returns five players who totaled over 200 yards last season. Further, the Seminoles will lean on a young, but experienced offensive line that brings back four starters.
The Florida State defense will have to replace multiple key contributors from last year’s team including first round pick Jermaine Johnson. Up front, the Seminoles will rely on Robert Cooper (preseason All-ACC) and Fabien Lovett to build on the positive momentum last year’s defense finished the season with. In the secondary, Jammie Robinson (84 tackles, 4 interceptions last season) and Akeem Dent will look to continue their solid play from last year.
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There are three key factors to consider when betting this game. The first, is that Florida State will have a week zero tuneup game versus the Duquesne Dukes that will surely help them work out some kinks before a big game versus LSU.
Next, LSU has a track record of success in neutral site games to open the season (6-1 since 2010). Lastly, the Tigers will have a decided home field advantage, as this game will take place in New Orleans, just an hour from LSU’s campus. I look for LSU to rely on a home crowd and its key playmakers and win by at least a touchdown.
Florida State vs. LSU Official Betting Pick: LSU -3.5 | -105 at FanDuel Sportsbook