College Football Game of the Week: No. 5 LSU vs. No. 8 Florida State
College football is back in full swing, and two titans are set to square off, as the No. 5 LSU Tigers travel east to take on the No. 8 Florida State Seminoles at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
Both teams have their eyes on the playoffs, both have Heisman-level candidates under center and both are primed to make a statement Sunday night.
Starting in Baton Rouge, LSU has made no mistake in their intentions this season.
The Tigers fanbase vividly remembers their magical 2019 National Championship run, but they also remember that they haven’t been back since.
That needs to change, and LSU is looking to do it in a big way.
For the Tigers, it starts and stops with quarterback Jayden Daniels.
The 6-foot-4-inch fifth-year had the best season of his college career last season, stepping up to the challenge after transferring from Arizona State.
Daniels totaled 2,913 passing yards and 885 rushing yards with 27 combined touchdowns to only three interceptions.
However, LSU suffered some key losses offensively, and Daniels will have to carry the load even more in 2023.
The biggest names were offensive guard Anthony Bradford and wide receiver Kayshon Boutte, both drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft. Boutte logged 48 catches for 538 yards in 2022.
Despite the losses, the Tigers still sport stars on both sides of the ball.
The biggest playmaker has to be sophomore linebacker Harold Perkins, who put the SEC on notice last year. As a freshman, Perkins tallied 7.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss.
Offensively, look no further than junior wideout Malik Nabers. Although the loss of Kayshon Boutte wasn’t insignificant, Nabers logged over 1,000 receiving yards as a sophomore and has shown no sign of slowing down.
The Seminoles definitely have lots to think about ahead of Sunday’s matchup, but have some studs of their own.
Florida State revolves around their signal caller as well, the experienced Jordan Travis. After originally committing to Louisville, Travis made the move to Tallahassee and had the best season of his career in 2022.
Travis threw for 3,214 yards and 24 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He also added 417 yards on the ground with seven rushing scores.
Florida State sports a dangerous backfield as well, with junior running back Trey Benson leading the way.
Benson ran 154 times for 990 yards, averaging over six yards per carry. The threat of Benson, combined with Travis’ running ability, could be a problem for defenses this year.
Defensively, there is none better in the ACC than defensive end Jared Verse.
Another fast, physical edge rusher, Verse notched nine sacks with 17 tackles for loss as a freshman.
With tons of star players on both sides of the field, there are very few weaknesses for LSU to exploit.
The Seminoles' defense ranked top-25 in the nation in points per game, yards per game, and yards per play allowed in 2022.
They also moved the ball all over the field, ranking top-20 in points per game and yards per game last season.
For the Tigers, the defense must improve from a year ago. LSU was outside of the top 30 in points and yards per game allowed.
The combination of Jordan Travis and Trey Benson in the backfield is worrisome for the Tigers’ rush defense as well, as they ranked outside the top 50 in rush yards per game allowed last season.
Overall, this matchup of top-10 teams should be a good one. The game will take place at a neutral site, but LSU should not overlook their lower-ranked foe.
Tune in at 7:30 p.m. Sunday night on ABC to catch all the action in what should be a wild nightcap to a great opening week of college football.
Parker Silverman is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism
Parker Silverman is a freshman at Penn State majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a new member of CommRadio, and has written articles and facilitated podcasts for the radio station. Prior to Penn State, Parker served as a student journalist for his high school newspaper. You can follow him on Instagram at @parker.silverman or on Twitter at @parxsilv.